January, 2023

We are back!

January, for me, has been about trying to do my best to give myself what I need, to feel like I can start to think beyond my grief. It has worked – probably not quite as tidily as I thought it was going to, but it has – and I’m beginning to feel like I can look forward again.

For a month that has been dominated by wind, rain, and grey sky after grey sky, it has been benevolent. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of our summer plans and traditions have been upended by the truly abysmal weather going on here, and yet, overall, it’s all shaking out okay.

I started the month with a solo hike on New Year’s Day, walking the entire Mangawhai Cliff Walk by myself. I didn’t necessarily mean to be alone or to do the whole thing! But with no childcare (so Hayden couldn’t go with me) and the tides happening to be low at the right time, I had the time and space to keep walking and so I did. It was wonderful. Getting out into nature will never not be one of my favourite things, and starting the new year with a hike is the best way I can think of to kick things off.

We spent a lightly rainy day at the Mangawhai Gala, where we ate Lil’ Orbits doughnuts (remember those?!) and Amelie had her first pony ride.

We went down to Auckland to stay in an AirBnB and watch the tennis. No tennis happened. Not a single game, and we had tickets to three different matches on three different days. On reflection it’s kind of funny. We still had a nice time! We took Amelie and one of her friends bowling and to the arcade one rainy day – Amelie’s first time doing both those activities and she was very impressed. It was a lot of fun.

Our neighbour’s dog decided to come and visit one day. She and Theo became good friends and we spent a happy hour or so playing outside with both of them.

Later in the month we got some sunshine! For about a week or so. We spent another weekend in Auckland, we paddle boarded on Lake Pupuke, I went running and captured photographic proof of the sun, I picked dahlias (my first summer growing them, I am proud), and we swam every day. I spent an excellent hour one afternoon doing nothing, just floating around the pool on my float, reading my Kindle.

It has since started raining again, biblical amounts of water falling from the sky this time. The last weekend of the holidays we took Amelie to the cinema for the first time to see The Amazing Maurice – a decidedly average film but an awesome experience to see her enjoying it. And now, Amelie is back at school, which does rather make it feel like summer is over but it is not! If we’re lucky we could have two more months of it. Fingers crossed!

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