Family, Spring, and an Educational Grounding

With a couple of annual celebrations, two new additions to the flock, a few one-off, full-on, roll-out-the-barrel family meals, a not-negotiable display of the unpredictability of Spring weather, and  the departure of the visiting deputation of the Spanish (soon to be Staffordshire) branch of the family, not a lot above and beyond the call of duty got done on the Homestead this week. Well, that’s our excuse anyway.

Overseas visitors always equals a great many family get-togethers which, in turn, mean an immense amount of catching up – generally over meals. This week, as befitting the impending departure of the revered duo of Uncle Steve and cousin Aimee, three such get-togethers were indulged in. Unfortunately, due to an over abundance of chat and an under abundance of forethought, no photographic evidence exists of any of these festive occasions, but please rest assured they were enjoyed by all – as one look at the Homestead waistlines will prove. The Homestead sends a huge dollop of aroha to the two that undertook the marathon journey and a huger dollop to the two that stayed behind keeping the newly relocated home-fires burning.

Amid all this food-fuelled family bonding, time was still found to waddle out to The Farmer’s place of paid employment on Sunday (apologies for the quality of hastily-shot-on-the-phone photographs).


The Farmer and Princess Nikita welcome us to the tractor-riding, animal patting, toffee apple eating, fun-fest that is The Arion Farm Park Spring Fair.

This illustrious event is always worth a visit, if only to put furry faces to the names we hear every evening around the dinner table.


The Farmer shows off Emerald, his very own Ms Sapphire’s much anticipated off-spring

The second annual occasion we enjoyed this week was the Kauri Room Discovery Journey at the Kingdom of Nova. Once a year we get to be Farm Girl’s students as she passes on a little of what she has discovered over the past year.  This time The Goat Herd and Milk Maid were shown how each of the body’s internal organs fit together and keep us healthy, how to build words from prefixes, roots and suffixes using a very cool game,

discovery journey

and the difference between equilateral, isosceles and scalene triangles – something twelve years of schooling had neglected to impart to The Milk Maid…I get it now 🙂

Thankfully, the menagerie was very happy to be fed, watered and left to its own devices this week, which was just as well. Every week the goat’s bellies get fuller and fuller, the ducks find more imaginative places to lay their eggs, and earlier this week we had a report of Dave the cat’s mentoring by neighbourhood feline capo di tutti capi, Archie. That Dave has found something other than stalking the chickens to pass his time with is a great relief


and made assimilating the latest flock members, another Sylvia (due to identical appearance to an existing coop resident) and Twyla a totally painless experience – especially as the newbies seem resigned to their place at the bottom of the literal pecking order.

And so it was, we were set to send our weekly happenings out into the blogosphere. As we typed, black clouds were observed rolling in from the south and barometer behaviour prompted The Goat Herd to turn a blind eye to timetables and feed out early. The wind began roaring as she returned to the paddock with the filled bowls; by the time she strode back up the path massive raindrops were lashing the windows and we’d had the first crack, flash and rumble of a proper storm. The first off-Homestead worker was The Renovator.

“So, guess which school was hit by lightning?” was his cheery welcome.

Later investigation by the appropriate authorities found that this was indeed true, a tree next to the staffroom had served to earth the lightning and, in the process, wiped out a lot of the school wiring including the internet and phone.


A school without the internet in this day and age? Horrors! But I know one first year teacher very excited about using his pen and paper attendance book for the first time.


8 thoughts on “Family, Spring, and an Educational Grounding

  1. Oh my gosh, what a crazy week. And FG is a leftie? Woot! Me too…
    The Farm visit sounds fun – although toffee apples aren’t something I can eat with my old fillings, delicious though they are. Names and faces, yes this happens here too – characters that crop up in daily dinner table conversation, who I never meet but who are familiar nonetheless. And then one day I do meet them, and it feels funny, they’re not quite how I imagined them, but a the same time I know them so well…and can’t tell them that either 🙂
    No library without computers either, frankly. We can operate for a few hours off-line, but beyond that, we generally close the doors. Glad the lightning strike didn’t do more harm than that. I often wonder about storms for the homestead, given your proximity to the Pacific.
    Integrating newbies to the flock. Well done. I have GOT to get going on that – my “little” flock of 9 hatched last spring are not at little any longer, and need to be with the larger flock, but the two older roosters are pretty aggressive with the littles, and I’m still letting them sleep separately as a result. Winter’s coming though.

  2. We had to keep the register in a big book when I started teaching and then add everything up on Friday when the book was collected by a high-heid-yin and rebukes for bad arithmetic were handed out. What fun we had in those days.

  3. The house we had in Somerset was struck by lightning – scary! Had to have the chimney re-built and replace 2 TVs, video recorder, all the phones and some of the connectors to the computer (which wasn’t plugged in fortunately). Extensive repair needed to gas boiler.
    Congratulations on learning the difference between those triangles! I still can’t sort them out – probably won’t ever do it now.

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