Birthdays, Goodbyes and Beautiful Noise

Last week was crazy-busy but, as luck would have it, the weekend had an extra day in it allowing us to catch up with ourselves – just a little.

 Labour Day, a statutory holiday to commemorate the eight hour working day and celebrate the notion that every day should have eight hours for work, eight hours for play, and eight hours for sleep, is always celebrated on the third Monday of October here in New Zealand and whether or not this is still a relevant holiday is not an argument we’re willing to get involved in right now.  Suffice to say, having five of the six homesteaders (The Farmer was busy earning his wage) home on Homestead All-In Housework Day was a treat in itself. It meant the Homestead got cleaned in such a speedy manner that we had time to sit around and do absolutely nothing save reflect on the week that was.

We started the week off with two things on our minds: 1. we would be losing two days, namely Thursday and Friday, to “the boys” respective birthdays, and 2. Otis’s departure was imminent.  

otis goatis
Photographic evidence of what actually “floats our goats”. Otis, playing along for the camera, has no idea what the hilarity is about, but he has an inkling that towel may be edible.

Monday started off at a harried trot as we scurried through our chores, intent on squashing our respective five day workloads into three. Otis’s new family were not sure whether he would be uplifted on Tuesday or Wednesday so we did what we excel at, and pretended it wasn’t happening.  In hindsight, this was simply the best approach and one we will attempt to continue with future goat disbursements as all concerns regarding decibel-smashing wailing of those left behind or pining goats in general were totally unfounded.  Mr Otis had a bit of a wail as he trit-trotted down the path and into the back of his new family’s truck, his mother, auntie and sister had a collective grizzle as they realised the slice of hay they had watched being selected was not heading in their direction, but by the time we had waved him off, his little white face staring fixedly out of the back window with a limp piece of silverbeet dangling from his mouth, all was back to normal in the paddock. Ruby did spend the odd solitary moment at the gate, staring off in the direction her brother had headed, and Leia undertook a few circuits of the paddock looking for boundary breaches, but we heard none of the blood-curdling belly-cries of last year’s separation. If an email the following day outlining Otis’s happy assimilation into his new home didn’t make us feel vindicated over our decision to sell, the jugful of frothy Geraldine milk certainly did.

2014-10-29 15.08.57
The amount is still variable, but its enough to keep us happy.

So, with a song (albiet a little wonky and off key – we do our best but know our limits) in our heart, four Homesteaders trotted along to watch our very own family songbird in concert.  Miss Jacq Dee, as we have mentioned before, is destined for a life in the spotlight and The Goat Herd, Milk Maid, Renovator and Farm Girl could only sit and marvel at the wonderful opportunities she is being afforded by her chosen High School, Burnside.  We swooned at the harmonies, wowed at the triumph of a brave programme well executed, grooved to the designated crowd-pleaser (Queen’s Somebody to Love! Freddie would be beaming!), and glowed with pride at OUR relative’s (we know her, we’re related to her!) solo. Maybe we were a little stunned hearing the actual lyrics of Sheena Easton’s Morning Train (some of us were too busy trying to execute the required aerobics move in our natty legwarmers first time round to acknowledge them) enunciated so clearly, but the choir’s collective dance moves ensured it was Farm Girl’s favourite.

Thursday and Friday were given over to grazing our way around Christchurch, starting as usual with a family pedal down to Crema for breakfast

von trapping
A Renovator birthday selfie. We really should be sporting the lounge curtains and singing “Doh a Deer”.

  and finishing with Subway in front of the TV, with visits to two cafes that have been rebuilt since the ‘quakes in between.  

The Lone Star Cafe, which has been rebuilt on it’s original site

19012011 News  Photo: John Kirk-AndersonThe Press
The Lone Star Cafe floorboards recovered during demolition. 19012011 News Photo: John Kirk-AndersonThe Press


And Cafe Valentino, which has moved around the corner.

{Information |Description ={{en|1=Cafe Valentino at 813 Colombo Street, Christchurch. Damaged in the 22 February 2011 earthquake.}} |Source ={{own}} |Author =Schwede66 |Date =2011-02-25 |Permission = |o
{Information |Description ={{en|1=Cafe Valentino at 813 Colombo Street, Christchurch. Damaged in the 22 February 2011 earthquake.}} |Source ={{own}} |Author =Schwede66 |Date =2011-02-25 |Permission = |o


While it’s always wonderful to splurge and fantastic to be able to enjoy two wonderful cafes that had the wherewithall to “do a phoenix”, it’s nice to be back on the Homestead and finally get this post finished.  It  has been a long time coming for a variety of reasons,  but mostly because we’re so terrible at taking photos as we move through our lives.  

We promise to try and rectify this; but fellow Homesteaders take note: the No Cellphones at the Table Rule still applies.

2014-01-17 16.41.57


8 thoughts on “Birthdays, Goodbyes and Beautiful Noise

  1. It sounds breathtakingly busy. I love the way you lot go all out on birthdays. I’m a non-birthday person myself – just want the chocolate cake and to be waited on, and can forego the rest, but I could get into doing a whole family day thing like that. What a lovely day for a birthday bike ride.

    Our Labour Day is the first Monday in September. I wonder why they’re on different days? I will google shortly…

    Geraldine is producing more than a few ml at last! Here’s hoping to enough for a steady flow. Glad to here that Otis has landed on his feet, and that the others are over the loss :).

    Valentino’s is where we had dinner one of the nights we were in Christchurch. There’s a bottle in the wall that is the only surviving bottle which survived the quake that took the place down, and a news clipping beside it. I had an amazing roast veggie pizza…

    • I had a feeling you’d been to Valentino’s. We had a very leisurely lunch with the place pretty much to ourselves – very different from our only other visit where it was packed! Yep, the bottle is still there.
      I tried finding out why we celebrated Labour Day when we do…it seemed to have more to do with fitting nicely into the year rather than any specific happening. Here in Christchurch we have another stat holiday in about a fortnight for our Anniversary Weekend (Show Weekend) and generally Labour Day is wet and cold and Show Day is hot. So far Labour Day has lived up to expectations.

  2. Great Post! Otis happy, the girl goats left behind happy (again) and you all a bit of time for yourself and Christchurch recuperating form the devasting earth quakes….
    hmmm and yes, cell phone etiquette such a good thing!

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