Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Taking things personally

July 5, 2012

We were walking through town, shivering in the cold blustery wind which whipped up dust and sand and made us blink.

“Mummy,” Babess said mournfully, “the wind is throwing things at me because it doesn’t like me.”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Winter holidays

June 30, 2012

The first day of the winter school holidays is for

-sleeping in

-playing with Lego

-watching movies and tv most of the afternoon (while also playing with Lego)

-having play picnics in the lounge and hall and bedroom

-shutting yourself in your bedroom and listening to CDs while reading library books

-having smiley-bear pikelets for afternoon tea

smiley-bear pikelets

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


June 14, 2012

Brrr!  We’ve had a definite change in the weather lately, and a nasty cold snap this week.  I have been crocheting hats – pretty shell-stitch ones for the girls in shades of pink and green, and a quick-but-warm one for myself.

As I worked on the flower to adorn Babess’ hat, I asked Fainjin whether he would like me to make him a hat, too.

“Yes!” he agreed, then looked at what I was doing. “But not a pink one.  And no flowers.”

Fair enough.  It’s a few years since he asked me to make him a pretty dress, after all.  “What colour hat would you like, Fainjin?”

“I want a dinosaur hat!  With spikes!”

Ummm.  OK, then.  This is no time to ruin the illusion that Mummy can do anything.  We had a look on the internet, and he decided he wants one like this – only bigger, obviously, since that’s a newborn hat.  We discussed the merits of “googly eyes” and he eventually decided he doesn’t want his dinosaur hat to have eyes.

There was a yarn sale at my favourite shop today, so I bought several balls of dinosaur-coloured yarn, and I have cobbled together a sort-of pattern from bits and pieces of other patterns, as is my wont.  Mostly I’m making it up as I go along.

When I’m done with that, Babess would like some gloves…

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


June 6, 2012

Every morning, Fainjin dresses himself in shorts and t-shirt.  Sometimes I can convince him that he will be cold, and persuade him into either a long-sleeved (but lightweight) jacket, or trackpants, but seldom both.

Today we have had a cold, wet, windy storm front blow through.  It was horrid.  Fainjin’s teacher was very impressed: when we arrived at school he was wearing trackpants, a woollen jersey, his raincoat (which he usually refuses outright) and a hat!  It had taken me a lot of fancy talking to get all that on him, but I think he appreciated it during the walk to school.

One of his classmates was happily in shorts and t-shirt – it’s sometimes nice to know I’m not the only mother fighting this battle.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Good clean dirt

June 2, 2012

We’ve had some landscaping done recently, and our front lawn is now a front dirt-patch.  Finally the builders and digger-drivers have finished, and we are able to start thinking about grass again.  Of course, it’s winter now, so we may or may not be very successful, but we’re going to try to plant the lawn.

Today we went and bought grass seed, and some plants for the border, and a new garden broom because ours miraculously broke a couple of weeks ago – apparently after the children had finished playing witches and sword-fights and who-knows-what with it and put it away.  It must have just broken in two pieces while no-one was looking, as there are NO witnesses.  Hmm.

Pearl helped me choose some seedlings.  I wanted some snapdragons, but they all looked sad and scungy, so we chose love-in-the-mist, lupin, larkspur, and pansies – hopefully lots of glorious colour in a few weeks!

So this afternoon’s job was to clear the mowing strips and dig some compost into the borders, which have had clay and mud and all sorts of “stuff” dumped in and on them during the works.  While The Dad attempted to dig out a long and recalcitrant sycamore root we found sticking up in the middle of the “lawn”, I worked my way along the border, clearing the mowing strip and turning over the soil in the border.  It was hard work!

Fainjin rode his scooter up and down the driveway like a demon, narrowly missing the seedlings in their box each time and gleefully skidding on the corners.

Babess kept bringing the pansy seedlings up to where I was working, and asking whether I was ready for them yet.  Then she wanted to dig.  She took her trowel out into the middle of the “lawn”, just where we don’t need a hole at the moment.  I called her back, and pointed to the border I had just dug over.  “How about you help me here?” I suggested.  “Dig in that bit, that will make the soil softer for our flowers.”

“OK!” and she went to it with a will.  I kept clearing the mowing strip and working along the border.  After a little while I looked over my shoulder.  She was right behind me, digging all the soil out of the border and onto the mowing strip.

She was quite disappointed when I (with muttered imprecations) shovelled it all back in again, but eventually we finished our task and the border was ready.  Babess went back inside to watch from the lounge-room window, nice and warm, but Fainjin was very keen to help.

He stood on the driveway and told me where to put each plant.  That’s his idea of gardening!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Movie night

March 2, 2012

After dinner tonight, the children scrambled to get into their pyjamas and we all snuggled together on the couch to watch a film.  We chose an animated Disney film, one none of us had seen before, and it was very enjoyable.

Babess sat on my lap, nearly half-asleep by the end, and Fainjin squished in next to me, so I was well-cuddled and warm.  There were plenty of laughs and gasps as the story unfolded, and at the end the children bundled themselves off to bed quite happily.

I’m looking forward to more Friday evenings like this over the winter.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

After the storm

August 21, 2011

This weekend we have had calm, sunny days, and the temperature has crept back into double digits – a marked contrast to earlier in the week with the snow and gales!

It would have been a great shame to waste such glorious winter weather, so this afternoon we took the kids and their scooters (and Babess on a parent-pushable trike) for a good long walk.  We were out for about 4 hours, exploring rock pools, clambering over things, rocketing along the straight bits, and sitting staring out to sea while eating chocolate.  We walked all the way around to the next village, where we got icecreams (and sat staring out to sea eating those) and played at the playground for a while.

Eventually we caught busses home, where the kids proceeding to hoon around the yard on their bikes and scooters, whooping and hollering.   Funny, I had thought they might be tired…

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


August 17, 2011

We – along with the rest of New Zealand – have had crazy wild weather this week.  A “once in 50 years” weather event, several days of intense cold, hail, sleet, graupel and snow.   We’ve had lightning and thunder, heavy rain, bitterly cold gales and heavy seas.  The weather has been the top story for all the tv news programmes and the newspapers all week.

Where we live, the snow hasn’t settled, but it did snow, to the children’s great delight.  The hail did settle, at least until the rain melted it again:

That's me, struggling down the driveway on the ice

Pearl wrote about the storm:


Pure white, cold snow drifting, crisscrossing down to settle on the turf.  Wet, wet snow dropping on my glasses.  I can barely see the hills for the snow is so thick.  I see people, running, running across the turf laughing, shouting with joy seeing, watching the first snow in forty years.  Big and little snowflakes settling all over my hands, my sweatshirt, my feet.  Thinning, thinning, slowly stopping.


Hailstones falling on my arm

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Dinosaur princess fairy

August 7, 2011

All dressed up

Babess knew just what she needed to wear to play in the garden on a sunny but chilly winter day…

Ready to go!

The “boo’ful skirt that Nana made me an’ my dinosaur cardie”… teamed with jeans and pink boots.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Sunset magic

July 26, 2011

Over the past couple of days, we have had a terrible winter storm.  Lots of New Zealand that doesn’t normally get snow did get snow, and places where it’s not uncommon to have snow got more.  At our house there was no snow, but we got sleet, and cold cold rain, along with biting winds.  The higher hilltops did get snow.

Today was a crystalline, sparkling post-southerly-storm day.  These are my favourite winter days.  Days like today almost make the storms worth enduring.

So tonight, Pearl and I met The Dad and the little ones and we all came home “the long way”, driving around the coast.  It was gorgeous.  We pointed out the snow-capped hills, discussed how deep the snow might be even when from a distance it looked like a “dusting”, and wondered how cold it would be.

The sky took on a pinky-orange glow, and the glowing green sea displayed perfect curls of surf topped by luminescent white foam.

As the orange sunset deepened and The Dad and I agreed that the only thing more perfect would be to (finally!) see some orca (we didn’t), Babess piped up in a puzzled voice:

“How does the colour stay up in the sky?!”

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


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