It was back to the real world for us this week with a resounding thump: Farm Girl started back at school. Although she was more than happy to venture forth into the land of Nova, as were we (because this school is one for the whole whanau*), its resumption is our first clear signal the carnival is over and it’s time to buckle down. No more lazy evenings, late dinners, “we’ll worry hair washing another day”, and stumbling, bleary eyed and scary haired, out of bed and down to the goat paddock. Now it’s back to 6am rising (well, 6.15 by the time Natrad has updated us on what’s happened over-our-night and how many layers we need to wear), appropriate lunchbox collation and a bit of a spruce up for the appointed escort. Sigh. To add salt into the wound, 6am looks a little different than it did when last we met at the end of the 2013 school year; although not dark, it’s not really daytime either. Spirits further dipped when the earth decided on a bit of a welcome-back-to-school shimmy (Farm Girl, when asked how this went down in the classroom, reported everyone including the teacher did “the turtle” and then, when it was over, laughed “a really lot”) but the garden rectified this by putting on a morning tea show.
There’s no hiding the gap a chattery six year old leaves in the soundscape, though.
Not that there was a lack of bods around the morning tea table this week. The Bean Counter has taken a couple of weeks annual leave to assist in tackling some of the more arduous jobs-on-the-list, The Renovator still has a fortnight before uni starts, and at the beginning of the week we also had the pleasure of the company of Pop and Uncle Trevor. The addition of these two to the Homestead mix can only mean two things: heavy duty renovations requiring the kind expertise and lateral thought only available from those who retire from the building industry with the full complement of fingers, and a marked increase in tea consumption. None of that fancy-pants, freshly ground coffee carry on for them. Now The Goat Herd and Farm Girl’s bedroom has a built in wardrobe and a cornice adorns it’s rather undulating ceiling, and The Renovator has a heap of sanding, plastering and painting to get through before the new semester rolls around.
Whilst he got on with the job at hand, a firewood sortie was undertaken midweek. Another yard clearance resulted in a lesson on how to load a trailer (we still would have made two trips if left to our own devices but there’s no denying we made it home with shipment intact although no evidence as all were too scared to dally with the camera), a substantial amount of wood splitting/chainsawing work to fill the remainder of The Bean Counter’s leave, and the bonus of a van full of ivy treats for Nessie and Leia. A more subdued journey past the Godfamily’s and The Intersection further ensured we are in for a toasty winter.
Thursday being Waitangi Day and thus a public holiday, some of us skived off to the local family fun day, I Love New Brighton, for our dose of community connection, music in the sun and, in the case of Farm Girl, adrenaline filled games – oh, and a free sausage sizzle too. Who could ask for anything more?! Although at heart we Homesteaders are confirmed hermits, it doesn’t hurt to get out amongst it once in a while.
So, while summer’s days are numbered and we’re back into the term time groove, we’re still finding plenty above and beyond the everyday chores to keep ourselves busy. Tonight it’s a fish and chip tea (our terrible weekly transgression), then a night of Sochi on the TV for two of us while the remainder trundle down to the New Brighton Ukulele Jam for our weekly fix of Joyous Anarchic Music.
It’s not a bad life.
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