Rory Gardiner's Webpage

10, Jan, 2010

Sunday 10th January 2010


It's amazing how, even when your life is turned inside out, and you are put through the ringer to emerge a different person, some things remain the same.  One of these things is the relationship you have with your childhood friends.  At high school I was fortunate to be part of a close group of seven, 'the girls'.  We have remained friends through our lives even though we have followed very different paths.  One of us, Cindy, is getting married in mid-February so we went out for a hens dinner together on Friday night.  It was quite a stroke of luck six of us were in New Plymouth at the same time.  There was plenty of chatter around the table at the Garlic Press as we caught up and exchanged news.  Cindy was a great sport and put on the wedding dress made of curtains Nana found her at the Hospice Shop, and a veil and bride-to-be sash.  Darlene brought her a beer glass with a pink bike bell on the handle which she drank wine out of and rung during the night.  After dinner we went out on the town to check out our old haunts, and the new; Fredericks, Mad Toms (unbelievably we all did karaoke and some amongst us who shall go unnamed went up for a second burst), Peggy Gordon's and the Mill.  None of us turned into pumpkins although we were out later than we had been for a while.  It was easy to be in the company of my girlhood friends who are all vibrant, warm, intelligent, hard working happy women.  P.S.  The photos are to follow!

The boys and I have had a busy few days.  On Friday we went for a walk around Barrets Domain, a small bush block which surrounds a large lagoon.  We fed the ducks and a scaup, and enjoyed watching the scaup's three small chicks dive under the water to pop up a few centimetres away.  I spied a gum emperor moth cocoon on the trunk of a gum tree.  When I was a girl we used to collect cocoons, watch the moths hatch out at home, then release them.  I have been looking for one for the boys for a while so was thrilled to finally spy one.  It was too high up for us to reach so I used a long stick to gently pry it loose.  As it fell to the ground a large black spider landed on my back and I let out a scream of fright (to my embarrassment) and rushed at Sam to brush it off.  Everyone was laughing.  Unfortunately the moth had hatched and the cocoon was empty but we have saved it for our science table (we are inspired by Korie's).  Rory think it looks like 'a dog turd'.  He managed to walk some of the way and dozed off in the buggy on the way home. 

Yesterday (Saturday) we drove south around the coast to Opunake for the annual beach carnival.  It was cool in the morning but got hot in the reserve behind the beach.  We tried to encourage the boys to get up on stage to enter Mr mini Muscle but they weren't keen.  Sam entered the big dig but didn't find an ice cream stick for a prize as some kids kept digging after they found one and ended up with a handful.  It was a typical carnival lunch of hotdogs, Mr Whippy and candy floss.  The boys had a jeep ride around a paddock, Sam drove.  Rory's hat blew off so Sam had to stop so he could retrieve it and they had a minor collision with another jeep.  We had a clear view of the mountain on our drive home.  I showed the boys the murals in Opunake, the Peter Snell memorial (they produce good runners in the Naki), and the coloured flags marking Parihaka where the annual peace festival was occurring.  When we got home Rory began building the Lego City coast guard boat, tower and jetty he got from the lovely Lyn for Christmas.  He was a little man on a mission, totally absorbed and reluctant to go to bed. 

Today we had a morning at home.  Rory completed the coast guard set all by himself and was very proud.  We completed his daily ND therapy session.  When he commando crawls I have to put my hands underneath his feet so he can push off to gain momentum.  Our left handed activities over the past few days have included; puzzles, playing cards, and putting the Weebles into vehicles and containers.  He struggles to control his left hand and place objects where he wants them to go.  Fortunately he doesn't complain and is patient and persistent at completing activities.  He has spent some time over the past couple of days building opposing forts and huts with Sam, then they shoot each other with the Nerf guns.  Sam and I continue to head out for a run most mornings.  This morning was our long run across town, down Te Henui walkway, along the coastal walkway, then back up to Westown past the dairy where I weakened and bought lollies.  This afternoon we went for a buggy ride around Pukekura Park.  We covered parts of the park I haven't been to for a while.  We got out at the fernery and walked through the cool moist earth tunnels and elevated houses full of bright beautifully smelling exotic flowers.  We enjoyed an ice cream at the kiosk on the lake.  Afterwards we went to the Taranaki Mineral Spa and soaked in the pool.  The artesian mineral water is 29,000 years old and comes from a 1km deep well drilled during oil exploration in the 1900s.  Poppa told the boys he swam in the original pool when he was a boy.  Water continuously flowed into the warm pool, and out via a stream at the bottom.