A Four Day Week, Forsooth!

Four day weeks, like the one we’ve just made our way through (Show Week), are strange phenomena. You spend a great deal of time looking forward to having an extra day off but generally you end up spending the holiday recovering from the effort required to condense your normal week’s activities. To begin with, this was never going to be a normal Homestead week anyway.

Firstly, The Renovator had an overnight school camp at the iconic Living Springs. Room Nine joined with all the other Year Four classes from School for a couple of action packed days which, if their teacher’s homecoming state was anything to go by, fairly taxed their reserves both physical and mental.

camp montage

While we older Homesteaders struggle with the concept of school camp for eight year olds (this much anticipated treat was only opened to those in their final two primary school years “in our day”) there is no doubt it was fun for all – except for when it came to bed time and home seemed a very long way away. That’s where technology comes into its own; nothing like a well worded text from Mum to settle the homesick.

The Farmer also spent the short week in preparation for a break away; his annual “Weekend at Trains”, where he spends three days living and breathing his preoccupation with trains in general. It is fair to say that this is a fascination the rest of The Homestead doesn’t share, but no one would dream of standing in the way of the undiluted joy he derives from his annual railroad retreat.

Farm Girl had a day out of her own, spending all day Tuesday making music with her friends at her BLENNZ (Blind and Low Vision Education Network, New Zealand) music group, preparing for their end of year concert. To say she loves this group, which usually only meets for an hour a week, is an understatement and it was well worth trekking to and from during peak traffic (times two) for the joy she receives from nailing yet another recorder/marimba/percussion solo.


The Goat Herd and Milk Maid, when they weren’t involved in the pre-milking hoof trimming regime or other associated animal tending, spent their days finishing the kitchen cabinet install. This was scary stuff and well out of our comfort zone, but it had to be done we are ones to embrace the often worded mantra of The Goat Herd’s hero, Guy Martin, and measure twice, cut once. He doesn’t mention throwing a great number of tantrums, shouting at each other or dissolving in piles of tears at undercut end panels, but it seems to work for us and the kitchen is now ready for another visit from Daryl the Plumber.

In fact, the only Homesteader to have a bog standard week was The Bean Counter, and even then there was the hint of a possible all-nighter. Luckily he was able to call in a couple of favours and it didn’t eventuate; a sleep deprived Bean Counter is not a pretty sight.

So that’s been our week; five days squashed into four, and with a bit of excitement for all.


20 thoughts on “A Four Day Week, Forsooth!

  1. So much excitement and loveliness!! And Indeed, i remeber schouting camps that seemed less fun when bedtime came indeed..But oh the recorder!! I love music made by a recorder. Have a lovely Sunday, Johanna

  2. Sounds rather madly off in all directions, and fitting it all into a short week as well, wow. Well done on the cabinets, looking forward to pictures eventually. Maybe it was good that Bean Counter was out of the way while the two of you were in the throes of it all.

    I feel for Renovator. Looks like an amazing experience for the kids, but I can just imagine how much fun it was for the teachers. I’ve had my share of dealing with homesickness at bedtime, as I’m sure you have as well – Brownie camp days, so I sympathize.

    Trains – I love them. For all the vastness of our country, and the much touted by textbooks fact that it was the construction of the railway all the way across Canada that convinced the different provinces to join Confederation, very few Canadians ever go on trains. It is far cheaper to fly. We have a miniature railway near here that we went to on a semi-annual basis when the girls were small – usually with my Dad when he was alive, as he loved the trains. We’d ride them over and over, and there was a magnificent model railway in the shed nearby as well, almost as fascinating. I’ve been on trains more in Europe than here, and we took the train from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pas in 2014 – beautiful scenery through there, and even in March, there was still plenty of snow on the tops. I seem to remember Farmer drives a miniature train?

    Farm Girl just has so many interests on the go! I’m assuming she doesn’t do marimba and recorder simultaneously :). Good luck with the upcoming concert!

    • I think, given the chance, FG would be happy to give the similtaneous marimba/recorder thing a go.
      In the olden days when I was a lass, pretty much all the high schools took advantage of the railway selling off houses in Arthurs Pass; mine was no exception, the the way we travelled was via train. Now it’s so incredibly expensive to do so, and also with the whole health and safety stuff, almost all the houses have been sold off. I think we’re pretty much the same as you – we’ve taken more trains in Europe than here in NZ.
      I really did think that this whole train thing would be something he would grow out of…it doesn’t seem to be happening…:)

      • I’m curious about the connection between the railway selling off houses and the high schools taking advantage of that?
        Re: trains, be grateful for small mercies…think of all the things in this world that he could have become obsessed with…

      • The railway and electricity boards would build settlements in out of the way places for their workers eg Arthurs Pass. then sell them off very cheaply (because very few people wanted a house in the middle of nowhere where the climate can be a little uninviting and it’s difficult to get to). High Schools, here anyway, needed somewhere for camps, The Pass is perfect for biology, geography, history etc etc so they were snapped up. In my day, there was a line of houses all painted in different high school colours (ours was green with red window sills and roof 🙂 ). Good source of income in the summer months as people wanted to go tramping and hiking etc. When I think of the things that happened on camps it’s not surprising the health and safety people stepped in…but boy those camps were fun 🙂
        RE: train…you are sooo right!

  3. Any post with a picture of a recorder player in it is a winner with me. Thank you for such a treat. I fail to understand your apparent failure to find trains the second most interesting thing in the world but nobody’s perfect I suppose.

  4. That was a busy week! I am pleased your kitchen is nearly finished and I admire you greatly for installing your own kitchen cabinets. I used to play recorder and loved it – Farm Girl looks a natural performer to me! I also know all about the ‘siren song’ of the train – my husband is a train enthusiast. I hope your weekend has been calmer and quieter so far and you can all get a little more rest.

    • As part of the renovation, we recently unearthed our set of recorders and are schooling Farm Girl up on the alto. She’s a quick learner 🙂
      As for trains, I just don’t get it but know it makes The Farmer very happy.

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