For the first time in 7 years Ian & I spent Christmas at home with our families, I can’t begin to describe how great it was to be back. We took a month off, arriving on the 13th December and not leaving until the 12th January, and as luck would have it the weather was awesome.
The first couple of weeks were spent chilling out with family, meeting new family, Jayden my nephew, Sarah my sister in law & Clinton her husband, catching up with friends and christmas shopping. It’s funny how things stay the same but are different too.
Christmas day was spent firstly with the Bulloch family for lunch and then dinner with the Barnes family and with the usual plentiful food, wine and laughs. A long standing tradition in the Barnes family is the Boxing Day Outing, this year being the 20th anniversary something special was called for, so a few days away at the Koura lodge in Rotorua was organised by Neil. Sadly Ian’s aunt died Christmas eve so some had to return to Auckland for the funeral, Deb had been unwell for sometime so Ian & I felt grateful we were able to see her before she passed away.
As a little time out Ian & I camped at Hahei for a couple of days, we had a excellent camp site one row back from the beach. We swam every day, walked to Cathedral Cove, went over to hot water beach (where due to geological activity you can dig holes in the sand which will fill up with hot water – natures own spa), ate proper fish & chips, played cards and relaxed.
Much to both our parents relief being home also gave us the chance to go through all our stuff we had stored with them and get rid of a good proportion of it which was much harder for Ian I think!
Dad took us out fishing on the Manukau harbour we had a great afternoon catching sharks, pity they were only babies, my hammerhead was impressive though. Dad did catch a good sized Gurnard which he cooked for Ian & I as an entree before dinner.
Sarah & Clinton recently brought a new house in Blenhiem so Ian & I flew down to spend a few days with them, Sarah works for Montana wines so we were able to have a tour and tasting while we were there. We also spent our time fishing (Ian was the only one to catch anything and that was a sprat), visiting wineries, sight seeing, playing cards, .
All too soon it was time to come back to the UK, and to winter.