Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Update 8

Giday family - greetings from a very wet Stratford. We've had two days and
a night of really heavy rain which the farmers will love - we've been in
drought for a while but this water is great and good timing - except if
you're involved in tramping up Mt Taranaki for the last three days with a
school group like Jade has been. I pick her up today and she'll be fairly
damp I should think.

Last week's excitement centred around Keegan's graduation in a BA (first
class honours) from Waikato University. Jade, Jacky and I travelled to
Hamilton last Wednesday for the ceremony on Thursday. Adam joined us and
we had a great day that included an interesting breakfast and a long walk
to get food with Keegan after the ceremony. We were really proud of this
achievement - it hasn't been without its pain along the way. Jade has some
great family snaps of the the day on her camera which I'll add to the next

The weekend centred on burning our huge stack of branches from around the
property. We've had a fire ban on for some time during the drought and
when it was finally lifted we stoked up a massive fire. We also spent time
collecting a new horse from Urenui (a little spot around the coast north
of Waitara which is about 40 minutes away) - Sallie has bought a brood
mare that we'll look after until the foal is produced. She (named Pele as
in the black pearl) joined Cash ( the white pony) and the two other young
horses we're looking after for a neighbour (Sally and Dallas - the
horses/not the neighbour). The weekend also saw Jade leave for her tramp
and Samantha return home for a week during University holidays (my holiday
starts at the end of this week). I hope you're keeping up with all that!
Samantha brought a friend from her England days home as well. Simon is
from Chelmsford and has been with us for a few days. We have Sallie and a
friend of hers staying on this weekend.

So - all pretty hectic as usual really. Plus it was Jacky's birthday on
Monday and we're heading into our 24th wedding anniversary this Saturday.

Nature watch - I mowed all the lawns at home on the weekend as well (takes
about 4 hours with the hand mower - we're saving up for a ride-on mower).
The growth in the grass has slowed down some, the leaves are starting to
change colour and drop and we had our first fire for the year last night
during the rain storm. Today isn't as cold but is dark with cloud cover
and rain (as dark as November in Essex).

Currently grooving to some Van Morrison - Haunts of ancient peace (and
thinking about Tintern Abbey)

Love and peace - W

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