Rory Gardiner's Webpage

23, Jan, 2012

Family dynamic Jan 2012

The dynamic in our house has been different recently due to the absence of Rory. He was lucky enough to be chosen to attend Camp Quality 2012 in Hastings ( ). He was gone for six days. I coped better than I did last year, but his absence left a huge hole, and I couldn’t shake the feeling of anxiousness. The theme for CQ 2012 was the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’, and Rory went equipped with a robe, glasses and wand. He caught a bus on Tuesday morning to Woodville where he met all the other campers and their companions. They all boarded the Hogwarts Express for the last leg of their journey to Hastings. We have briefly watched the DVD he brought home which covers highlights of the camp. In every frame children are smiling, laughing and having a fantastic time. There were; trips to Waimarama beach, Splash Planet, the National Aquarium of NZ, and the Arataki Honey Farm. Activities included; hot air balloon rides, creative crafts and sporting games with a Harry Potter theme, skits, and the Hogwarts Ball. Rory was thrilled to be paired with Mike Long, the same companion he had last year. Rory is very fond of Mike, and the two of them get up to all sorts of mischief (thanks very much Mike). I’m sure much will be revealed in the next few days as Rory shares his memories with us. Unfortunately Rory came home with a tummy bug, and he is exhausted (from all the activity and late nights). He is resting on the couch.

The boys and I have continued to keep busy in the holidays. Sam and I are now running four times per week and are up to an 8km track (although Sam rides as much as he runs). The boys have been to see Tintin at the movies, swimming at the Aquatic Centre, Inglewood Pool and Everett Park. They have been to the Library, strawberry picking, and to Fitzroy Beach for the Kiwi Conservation Club ( ) Taranaki branch whale and dolphin field trip. One morning we walked the Lake Mangamahoe circuit and were accosted by a Canadian Goose. It was so tame it flew in from the lake, landed at our feet, and was keen for cuddles. It followed us along the track, and would not be given the slip, when we ran it flew after us. Eventually we got to a gate and style which it couldn’t get through. The bird had a red band on its left leg so was likely hand reared as a gosling and released into the reserve by people.

We have had a couple of adventures. We walked the shorter southern loop of the Paraninihi White Cliffs walkway. There were fresh slips on the beach from the cliffs due to recent heavy rain, and a small group of feral goats looked down at us from one. As we climbed the ridge to the high point on the track rain and fog rolled in from the sea soaking and enveloping us for several minutes. As quickly as it blew in it was gone, and it was magical. Last weekend, while Rory was away, Sam’s friend Taylor stayed over. We walked the Waingongoro Loop Track on Mount Taranaki. The track begins at Dawson Falls, and ascends past Wilkes Pools to Stratford Plateau. You climb a little higher to Jacksons Lookout, then down the Enchanted and Waingongoro tracks to Waingongoro Hut. You have to cross the newly upgraded Waingongoro Swing Bridge, the longest and highest in the park (approx. 30m above the river bed and approx. 30m long). I have issues with heights and crossing the one plank wide swing bridge was as scary as it was exhilarating. On the way back we stopped at Wilkes Pools and the boys had a swim in the ice mountain water. Colt sat in the gravel and thought trying to eat rocks was a game!

Colt is Mr Mischief. He is into every drawer and cupboard. He is now 13 months old, and a late walker. While he will walk around the furniture he hasn’t taken any steps on his own. He has a new tooth at the bottom, and two more coming through at the top. He has returned to Porse as I have returned to work. The dynamic in Sharon’s house has changed as Gemma (Colt’s favourite) has turned 5, and left. Sharon has taken on the care of a 6 month old baby, and Colt is miffed he is no longer the baby!

There is one more week until school starts for 2012. Sam and Rory are looking forward to returning to Inglewood Primary, and seeing their mates. It will be Sam’s final year at the school as a Year 8, and Rory will be a Senior as a Year 5. I am looking forward to sharing the next leg of their journey with them, and forever grateful Rory is still with us.