Joshua and Adrianne were finally baptised in late January during Astrid's parents' visit - Father Phil presiding.
Maybe not dirty, but certainly quick:
We’ve obviously lost steam on this blogging thing - so much has happened since Uncle Chris came and left. In a nutshell:
Friends Alistair, Diane and their two beautiful, wonderful kids came to spend Christmas here. The 25th was understated - rotten turkey replaced by KD, walk in town wearing shorts and t-shirts, ultimately invading friends who generously fed and wined all nine of us with no advance warning. On Boxing Day we headed up to Karamea where Diane, kids and I hung out at a swish lodge on the coast while Paul and Alistair walked the Heaphy trail for four days. New Year’s Eve back in Reefton was a blast - the town gathered at the gas station just before midnight where a brass band played a couple of tunes then someone broke out his bagpipes and the town danced. The Gamble-Rennies left too soon.
In early January Paul went back to Canada to assess the dismally slow renovations on our house, replacing the project manager with himself with the hope and expectation of having a habitable structure before the summer. The highlight of 2008 so far is the arrival of the senior Sjodins, here for a month. It’s great having them here - the kids are thrilled, shockingly well behaved even. That might be because Adrianne and Josh finally got baptized and are now Christians, but more likely it's because they're excited to have company. We’ve been running our guests ragged, though. We’ve done all the local day trips, taken them down to Milford and Doubtful Sounds, then up to Queenstown where we had to talk Margaret out of skydiving. Paul had to leave us in Queenstown, heading back to Canada for a week or two. He’ll return just in time to pack up and leave.
Kids are well - their first day of school is tomorrow so of course they’ve spent all day happily anticipating working hard. They can’t wait, look forward to going to bed and getting up early, getting out of pjs and staying away from the river all day…
Poor old Josh spent a fair amount of time in the doghouse in the last month. While Paul was away I called the kids from work, waking them at 10:30 to bark out orders. Josh was assigned the collection of recycling, being instructed to get the bottles from on top of the wine rack where we keep the empty milk containers and sauce jars. Josh, not being so attuned to prepositions, took all the bottles from IN the wine rack. All twelve. New. Unopened. The good stuff. He said he thought they must have been stale. As if. Anyhow, many calls to the rubbish tip and the town council and the recycling centre later it was clear that someone who wasn’t us would wake with a hangover. Josh got in trouble, not so much for doing such a goofy thing, but because he looked at me seriously mid-rant, batting his eyes he suggested “we just skip ahead to the part where we all find this amusing.” Had there been any gypsies I could have sold him to right then, there would have been one less Harte in the house now.
My work is still rewarding, but knowing our time is winding down I’m chomping at the bit to move on. These last few weeks have been busier than all the others and the illnesses and injuries seem to be somehow worse, so I’ll be relieved to ship out when the time comes. It will be hard for all of us to leave the many good friends we’ve made. Fortunately March is eons away.
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