Summer BBQ’s

It is Auckland Anniversary Weekend which means a long weekend and fortunately Tropical Cyclone Wilma or whatever she’s called,which has been wreaking havoc both in Aussie and the Pacific, decided to bypass us so we only had one day, Saturday, of bad weather. It was not all bad as it was an ideal day for unpacking and storing seldom used crap in our newly installed attic storage. Also did a spot of furniture shopping and bought a new TV cabinet for the “lounge room” (Aussie talk).

Sunday saw the sun shining bright and the wind had dropped to a mild breeze, a beautiful day. We had lunch at one of our local pubs, Bar Africa, where we enjoyed some live country music. In the evening we had a lovely BBQ at Darren and Amanda’s house. Darren is such a good cook and always does an amazing BBQ with all kinds of innovative new dishes. I just love Darren’s Braais.

Monday morning and we are preparing to head off to the Auckland Seafood festival, we went last year and it was fantastic. Watch this space for a full report, in the mean while for all those enjoying the Summer, remember that BBQ’s are what summer is about.

Have a good day.

The Empty Nest

I have not been great on blogging; I tried it a few years ago but got a bit bored with it. Since reading my Cousin Tracey’s blog “Death & Taxes” I have become a little more enthusiastic. Tracey is a very talented writer and I find myself looking forward to her words of wisdom every day.

In a lot of Tracey’s writings she talks about the family unit and how much she misses her family back in South Africa. I completely empathise with her as I too am part of that family.

Irene (my wife), Evan and Darren (two of our three sons) immigrated to New Zealand ten years ago and while NZ has been good to us we do miss the smells of Africa. The twenty years prior to moving to NZ we lived in Durban in Kwazulu Natal, the rest of the extended family were all living in Johannesburg, some 600 km apart, so we did not see too much of each other but nevertheless we were still in the same country.

Our youngest son, Evan, recently left the nest after winning a scholarship to study for a year at one of China’s foremost universities near Shanghai. He is twenty two and will be twenty three when or if he returns to NZ. We don’t have any reason to believe that he will want to come home to Mom & Dad, and that is how it should be, however it is very hard when the young ones flee the nest. At least we still have one within grasping distance.

It was for this reason that we decided to down size and move to a lovely little town house not far from our old “big” house in Browns Bay. We now have a lovely manageable little garden which opens onto a beautiful manicured reserve belonging to the council who maintain it and keep the lawns mowed and it only cost us the normal rates which we were paying at the other place anyway.

While packing for the “big move” I found an old biscuit tin which I had mislaid when first moving to NZ. The tin contained a pile of old letters which I had received from my family while doing my army training in 1966. I found letters from my beloved Mom, my sister, aunts, cousins and my darling grandmother. I spent a very tearful few hours rereading those letters which were and still are so precious to me. I realized, after reading the letters just how lucky I was growing up with such a loving family. It is that which I miss the most about my country of birth.

Oh well Life is…