2013 has begun with the loss of two good friends. One has returned to Australia and the other has returned to England. I will miss both of them very much. It is not just a loss for me but also for our children who have formed friendships with the children of my friends. Elizabeth in particular, has lost her best buddy, Esther:
At least I shall see my Aussie friend on semi-regular trips to Australia (as she is Brisbane-based). We will also visit my English friend as the second half of 2013 will be a 6-month sabbatical for Ben and we are planning to spend it in York, UK.
I have visited York before, many years ago, and it’s a gorgeous little city. The two things that remain etched in my memory are the York Minster and the Shambles. The Shambles is reportedly Europe’s most visited street and it’s easy to see why.
It is very likely we will also lose Freud this year. I am hesitant to say it’s a certainty because the vet predicted his death to come before Christmas last year and he’s still going strong. I will really miss Freud when he goes.
We have been going to the beach a lot over the holidays. The kids love it; it’s free; and the water is surprisingly warm. Even I have been swimming in the sea for the first time since I moved to New Zealand more than 7 years ago.
There’s a never-ending supply of interesting beaches in Auckland which makes it an easy place to entertain children over the summer. The North Shore of Auckland is also scattered with pockets of bush and decent bush walks. This one sits in between the motorway and a couple of busy roads, but you wouldn’t know it from the inside.
Although I am not a fan of Auckland, I have to acknowledge that the beaches and the bush have provided lots of free amusement for us all.
Elizabeth is finally sleeping in her own bed and completely by choice. Up until her 3rd birthday, she slept in our bed every night. For the past 6 months, I have been talking to her about being a big girl now and moving into her own bed which is in a room shared with Daniel. Most nights I asked her whether she’d like to sleep in her bed yet and she always said no. Then after her 3rd birthday, she made the decision to sleep in her bed. We’ve had no dramas at all. She falls asleep in it every night and wakes up in it in the morning. She also sleeps right through the night now. I think she likes this new independence and I’m sure being the decision-maker in the process helped to cement the move.