The cyclone that never was!

Well, after all the hype, today played out much like any other sunday, in fact the sun shone and it was a positively nice day, considering we were supposedly experiencing the tail end of a cyclone - there must be a good fairy looking out for us somewhere!


Tropical Depression Alert!

A moderate tropical depression named 'Nisha', is supposedly heading our way, and is expected to hit on Sunday. It's caused general panic in Tahiti, in particular the meteorology office has been on red alert! The possibility of a weekend in the midst of a cyclone has been enough to scare our guests off, so after getting all geared up for a full-house, we're suddenly off duty again! I suppose we should set to securing the rigging, buying in water and tinned foods - that's the official advice we're getting. The storm is currently about 1000km away, in the Cook Islands, with winds of over 120km/h, it's predicted that it'll pass somewhere between the northern Australs (that's us) and the Society Islands. But it's actually losing strength (it's almost the Ex-Tropical Depression, previously know as Nisha), and while it will cause some stormy seas, it'll probably bring little more than wet weather, fingers-crossed!


Where are they now? Sarah M

It's over three years since our wedding, and I've recently heard the happy news that my good friend and one time maid of honor, Sarah M, is getting married to this dashing young man, in CA in May........
....before moving to New Hampshire and a new and exciting life! Congratulations Sarah!

This got me thinking about the rest of my fabulous blue-team girls....where are they all now and what are they up to? I'll be finding out and reporting back over the next few weeks!


There's a crab in our bathroom....dear Liza,

Life in a tropical country is always just that little bit more organic, life seethes around here in a way that we're not used to in the higher latitudes. A couple of days ago, for instance, I noticed that a crab has taken up residence in the outlet of our shower.......he's obviously found a way in from the outside, and is able to lift the cover off the plug-hole from inside the pipe, bingo a ready-made burrow! I think it's pretty funny, my husband thinks I'm mad, but there you go! I guess we'll have to fish him out at some point, but I'm amazed how he's been happily withstanding the hot soapy water he's getting thrown at him on a regular basis. I spent far too much time this afternoon trying to take a photo of him. This is the best I can do, but I think you can see that he's in there....so good enough!


Food Glorious Food

Heimana's appetite for solids and grown-up food is rapidly developing. I remember being amazed at how rapidly Matotea became obsessed with the dinner table, but Heimana, with the help of her sister, is catching on even faster.
Compote and baby food works well (chicken, rice and tomato or apple,banana and blueberry are current fvourites) but it's a two man or a two spoon job!
Even better is the real thing from our plates, a crust of bread does the trick for a few minutes.....but she's sure that we're holding out on her! She happily gums at a bit of rice or mashed banana.
Water from a glass or a cup of herbal infusion (red fruit or mint) are also accepted, if there's nothing better around!
She's also experimenting with some slightly less suitable food stuffs - our rubber ring, for instance,
I know we should be encouraging her to eat her greens, but we need a little talk about cooking methods, or to wait for those pearly whites to grow!
Dad's already leading her astray, and she loves it!
(No babies were harmed or intoxicated for the making of this photo!)


What grandparents are good for.....

Matotea was overjoyed to see grandmere and grandpere on skype this morning, finally back home after their visit.....but she was a little cross that they wouldn't be able to come and chase her on the beach today! The poor little thing has been missing the oldies, who were pretty much at her beck and call over the last month or so. Over the weekend I was clearing out their room, ready for the guests arriving today.....but Matotea has been insisting that it's still grandmere and grandpere's room...she even disappeared in there to have her afternoon sleep on saturday, discovered crashed out on the unmade bed! So it's fair to say that we're missing grandmere and grandpere, they were quite good for........
....going to the beach

Babysitting Heimana....

(often multi-tasking)

.......going for a quiet stroll
(Matotea, above, sporting her Fairy outfit, a Christmas present, is being taken for a 'fly' around the garden)

Bedtime stories and a game or two of 'row,row the boat'



Matotea's fanclub has been shrinking rapidly since Tuati and Iro left last weekend (as well as Apera, who left for Tahiti and Matai who went back to Tubuai, so Meisi and Simei also returned to their home on the south coast).
The blow was cushioned slightly by the return to school on monday, but on friday grandmere and grandpere left us....back to chilly Wales, on the avion bleu.
The Christmas/New Year holidays are finally over! Now we need to get back to our old rhythmn.....


Heimana's progress

Tuesday Heimana celebrates her first six months - her progress has been remarkable, even in the six weeks since the grandparents met her in the flesh. In late november she was just getting the knack of grasping things and had just started to prop herself up on her belly.

Yesterday she rolled over properly for the first time, and is already doing her best to sit upright unassisted, at least for a few seconds, followed by the inevitable face-plant and frustrated little screams.
The baby gym now serves as exactly that - a gym, she likes to do pull ups with the little toys and does the whole babyzilla pose that Matotea liked so much. She's picking things up and quite clearly throwing them away now.....or making them 'disappear'.
She's also discovered that you can make noises just for the fun of it, and for a few days she was screaming and yelping with glee, just because she could! She really loves her sister, her little eyes light up when she sees Matotea up to something (.....which she normally is).

She's still all smiles and charm......


The Christmas Tree Saga

A few days before Christmas, we headed up into the mountains to pick out our tree (and have picnic too), we don't have much choice here, so we usually use a Caribbean pine, though people often also use ironwood saplings too. Tuati, Viriamu's son, who's here for the holidays, was keen to prove his strength by cutting down the tree with his machete....

Viriamu trimmed it down to size and got it into the truck....

Matotea and grandpere decorated the tree with all the decorations that we had bought in New Zealand...including the Christmas angel for the top of the tree....

Heimana and grandmere watched.....

The wind blew the tree over in the night and we started all over again. Finally the tree was moved inside and the boys decorated it, at least everyone got a turn! It stayed put there until we pulled it down yesterday...........and ate our gallette du Roi (the 'king' for the day, is the one who finds the little figure baked into the marzipan tart......but Matotea had other ideas!).


Things to do in Rurutu, when you're bored!

Build a huge tower out of plastic drinking cups (left over after your wedding in 2006).....let it fall over and do it all again, until your daughter has had enough!


Ia ora na i te matahiti api 2010!

Happy New Year from us all in Rurutu! We saw in the New Year, but only just - it's somehow not so exciting any more now that we have the little kids and now that I'd give anything for a proper night's sleep. Since our trip to NZ, Heimana has become a super erratic sleeper, maybe it's her teeth, or maybe she's just plain mean! At the moment she wakes up about five or six times in the night, and after six months I no longer find it amusing!!!!

Anyway we made the effort to stay up, fortified by our crate full of oysters (ten dozen) and imported champers....We particularly appreciated the oysters, as getting them here in time was quite a deal. We had ordered them while we were back in Tahiti in early december, and had been assured by the store that they would be able to deliver in time, then on the 30th (the last day for a flight) we got a call from the store telling us that our oysters had arrived from NZ but that there was no room on the Tahiti-Rurutu flight so they would stay at the airport until the 1st!!!! Why they hadn't pre-booked the freight, as we had suggested, I don't know....anyway not ones to give up, we called around Viriamu's friends, and were super lucky that the head of Air Tahiti's travel agency, very kindly pulled some strings on our behalf, so good old AirTahiti came to the rescue - Mauruuru roa Muriel!

Matotea put on her party frock, and we took her into town to see the Christmas lights, to while away the time....

She thought it was just marvelous....the whale light was her absolute favorite, but she was a bit disappointed that we couldn't lift her up to touch it!

We also bust out the sparklers, in an attempt to get in the festive mood..

...anyway here we are arrived in 2010 wishing you all health, happiness and prosperity!