Christmas beach BBQ: summer is here!

Happy Xmas 2014 Christmas number 2 in New Zealand, and Christmas no 2 without Mum. The latter never gets any easier.

On the run up to Christmas Day it was really hot and sunny. Invercargill has been looking amazing lately,Queens Park ALWAYS looks amazing.

Queens Park

I think the El Nino spring weather has given way to a proper hot summer this year. (Lets hope so anyway!) Just because I can I am excited to report that I swam in the sea on Christmas eve! (and it was not a subarctic temperature!) It was indeed very lovely. I stopped and floated on my back on the waves and looked around. How lucky am I: sun, beautiful coastline and Christmas, all in the same sentence, and only a short drive from home too.

This years weather for Christmas Day was warmer than last year, sunny and hot, allowing us to have a barbecue on the beach! I was working (bummer, I know, but when I got home at 2pm Mark had the picnic all packed, so portable BBQ and all the goodies went straight into the car and off we went). We love the sea, and specially love Riverton, so headed down to Riverton Rocks and walked over to the back beach – we had it all to ourselves. Perfect for contemplation, relaxation, and a barbecue plus beer. I love to watch the sea, ad just listen. I always imagine Mum, whispering to me on the waves. I find it really soothing.

We have been able to relax and enjoy the garden at last, which this year, is a little more under control (only a little!) Mark was climbing (and falling out of) trees today sawing off branches so all our trees don’t cover the garden in shade. The Sun / rain rapid changing combo here in NZ makes everything grow real fast!

curtains¬The bedroom is coming on well, all the painting is almost done, the fixtures are changed over and today we bought some curtains.

Yep, curtains. After weighing up the limited choices and deciding that block out lining was essential, it actually worked out to be over $90 cheaper if I bought the fabric (identical fabric to some that were ready made) and made them myself. I was actually really surprised how costly curtains were, compared to the prices you might expect in England. I guess its consumer demand, and the product of living in a relatively sparsely populated part of New Zealand. But that’s OK, I’ve made curtains before, there’s no drama there.

This weekend between gardening, climbing trees and decorating, we made the most of the lovely weather and went to Colac Bay for a picnic.

The weather was beautiful, the sea right in, in fact, we sat right next to a swimming sign. Its a stretch of water that is regularly quality tested. The road from one side of the bay to the other is around 2km, so he presto, I think I just found me another open water swimming location!

garden rosesI have to say, I do love our garden in summer. We simply pruned a little, amongst chopping trees, and that produced two vases of cut roses, which are now pride of place in the house. These ones, and another vase of pink roses!

I could produce a vase of flowers every week throughout the summer just from trimming things to keep the paths and lawns clear, never mind all the others!!