Wasn't it just the best thing to start the New Year fresh from what was the crap, I mean erratic, year that was last year! Like many I happily left 2020 behind. What I appreciated most about last year, cos every cloud has a silver lining, is my whanau. Not just my tightknit lil whanau here in Porirua and in Melbourne, though they are the best, but my big as extended whanau and friends that probably don't realise how special they are to me.
According to my youngest boy who likes to tell me how it is, I tend to only get emotional about twice a year hahaha, silently annoyed at that comment, but to be fair there is a tiny bit of truth in that, and this Summer I had 'one' of those emotional urges to catch up with my Hawkins famz so Augie and I headed off on a roadie. Visiting my Dad first as he was housesitting in Fielding, then to Palmy and we saw the New Year in with our Best Man and his wife over a pub meal at Rosie O'Grady's (who do a superb seafood meal btw), and the fireworks display at midnight was pretty amaze for PN, had a night with our boy who was travelling to the East Coast and our moko in Taupo for her 'lil holiday with me', then we headed over to Hamilton to see my sisters - all four of us in one place at the same time can be quite scary for some and my sister Marlene had a friend over who at times was quite petrified, then up to Auckland to see Augies Mum and Bro, and Uncle who hasn't been too well, a day over at Waiheke Island inbetween with my bestie and hubby for wine tasting and eating gorgeous food, then over to Coromandel to stay with the cuzzies to enjoy their stunning vista of Long Bay, down to Rotorua for mineral pools and breaky each day at one of the lakes (pretties Blue Lake), then Taupo again for more mineral pools, before heading home. Loved it. Augie, whanau, sunshine, beaches and lakes, and awesome kai. Coro had the best kaimoana, still dreaming of the just smoked snapper, white wine mussels, and then the coconut fish curry that my Uncle made. And the biggest scoop off goody-goody gumdrops ice-cream at Long Bay campsite. Waiheke island was pretty cool too and the oysters were divine, so was the wine tasting, and hanging out on the beach, eating at restaurants, living the dream - literally pretending we were in Fiji. Being with whanau this Summer has filled up my heart and has set me right for what's ahead.
It's always great to come home though. Have been doing a few local walks enjoying the sunshine and I love to stop when I spot something and take a photo and later use my APP to tell me what is what - found Hawthorn the other day, didn't know what it was, now I do, and according to FB foraging aficionados you can make a jelly or jam with it - just don't eat the berries raw. I love foraging, and found a new kawakawa spot which I am overly excited about, said my little karakia and picked some, not too much of course and am drying it off atm. Another day got some apples from Bothamley Park (the old road in Porirua) which will be great for the next batch of Kimchi, and I cant wait for when the community blackberries fruit - apple and blackberry pie yum. Been busy at home to, well Augie has! He's putting in some new vege pods for me and the two big full compost bins that we have have been tipped in into them and are now in there settling. Will leave that for a week or two before looking at what to plant - yes kale for sure! Our moko who was out gardening there yesterday arvo said that the compost was smelly, sure is all organic matter there, so instead she moved over to my current garden dug quite a bit up, and pulled out quite a few baby carrots, she loves eating carrots and luckily they are the right size for her. Also picked up a fig tree on my travels, I love figs and so stoked to find one with some lil pepe figs on it already. I checked the maramataka and managed to plant it yesterday which was a perfect date for planting. Lot's of gardening stuff happening atm, must mean that this year is going to be a year for growth, I'm into that, and whanau, and for keeping it real (I still have my second 'emotional event' in reserve lol) - all that sounds pretty good to me. Bring it on I reckon.