Welcome back to Dunedin!
I was intrigued to hear that people here consider March 1st to be the start of autumn. And then I experienced the first of March…and the second….and the third…..and the fourth. Now I get it. Yes, technically it is still summer, but you would never know that by the weather we’ve had. By the Bay Area of California standards’ this last weekend would have been considered a horrific (I can hear the Channel 7 weatherman now! “Oh my, God, John, this is the worst storm in a decade!”) winter storm. Four straight days of rain and gusting winds to 50 miles per hour. Still the great thing about New Zealand is someone, somewhere, had it worse. This time it was (sadly…because they don’t need any more problems) Christchurch, with 80 miles an hour winds and record rain, and what was described (by the newscasters) as a ONE in a HUNDRED year event. Even that was a funny story, because yesterday at this time, the flooding was described as a ONE in TWENTY-FIVE year event, then late last night-as the flooding worsened-they changed their estimation to a ONE in a FIFTY year event, and the breaking news this morning was the flooding was now described as a ONE in a HUNDRED year event. Not much solace if you’re living through it, except, I suppose, to say you were there, in the Flood of ’14.
The weather has altered our lifestyle a bit.
We’ve played a lot of Bananagrams, cards and Monopoly. These are, obviously, Ryan’s words above (I don’t even know what ‘praxis’ means). And don’t tell him it’s ‘axe’ not ‘ax’.
But one thing we’ve learned in New Zealand is you can’t let the weather dictate your life. So, that meant going fishing in the Mataura River on Sunday (lots of rain, not lots of fish), and doing some beach walking near our house in between weather fronts. The great thing, though, is you never know what you’ll find. On Saturday, we were just walking along a jetty, and practically stumbled upon this little sleeping cutie.
He awoke for a minute as we passed him, but despite the fact we were only about five feet from him he could have cared less that we were there. We saw four more seals along the jetty, all in various states of resting….but mostly asleep. Ah…..the life of a seal. A little farther down the jetty was a whole of Eastern Terns.
And as we walked by, a number of them took flight. They were very orderly, each of them taking their…ummm…turn.
After school on Monday, Matt and I went out to the jetty and did a little fishing. Here’s what we didn’t catch.
It was pretty cool. The ship had a huge video screen on the top deck, and as the ship passed we could actually watch the movie that was being played.
The last two weeks have been busy ones for all of us. The boys are quite busy with after school sports; Ryan is now on the water polo team, the futsol team and track team and the debate team (like he needs to develop any more skill in debating……we all don’t stand a chance…) Matt is on the school volleyball and softball teams and also playing on a club softball team. On many days, I feel as much a taxi driver as a doctor. There is a rumor I will be coaching the water polo team, which sounds fun. Hope I can bring the whistle home…… Each of the boys have field trips coming up. Ryan’s is a day trip to the tide pools, and he came home the other day admiring the honesty of his science teacher, who said, “Look, it’s not like you all are getting Ph.D.’s in biology, so it’s really like a picnic on the beach!”. Next week Matt has an overnight trip to Quarantine Island. I’ve already signed the permission slip…and really I am adopting the ‘hear no evil’ philosophy on why they call it ‘Quarantine’ Island. I’ll let you know how that goes…
That’s all for today, from sunny Dunedin!