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January 4th 2010
Published: January 4th 2010
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Christmas Day 2009Christmas Day 2009Christmas Day 2009

Liz is the hostess with the mostess!
Hello and Happy New Year and indeed, Happy New Decade to you all!! We hope you had a great Christmas and are all set for the things to come this year...

This has been our second Christmas living in NZ and I have to admit, I still haven't got used to it being summer. I left much of the Christmas shopping to the last minute as I couldn't quite get excited about it when it was all hot and sunny outside! We didn't have much planned this Christmas as it was only going to be us. You may recall that last year we celebrated with Mayuko, Mia and Isaac and had lots of fun in the process.

This year, Glynn and I were invited to Liz and Allard's for a Christmas barbecue dinner with friends and family and it was a really lovely occasion. Unfortunately, just as we were about to set off for their house, we discovered the car had a punctured front tyre. Glynn very impressively changed the wheel in about 5 minutes flat but the spare is just one of those flimsy 'biscuit' wheels which was fine to get us to our hosts who only live
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Nicola (Liz's daughter)and her fiance Mike.
around the corner but that was about it. No tyre shops were open for the following 3 days as every day was a public holiday. That meant we couldn't go anywhere and we were stuck at home despite the gorgeous summer weather outside.

After Glynn's 3 days at work, we had another 4 days off together over New Years. Now I can't ever recall having a particularly good NYE - I just seem to be jinxed with them - and this New years proved to be the same. We had been invited to a friend's house for a low-key party but Glynn managed to injure his back at work that day and was finding it difficult and uncomfortable to move. The curse of NYE struck again and we ended up staying home.

Nevertheless, with a new tyre on the car, we were free to travel about again and enjoyed a day at Long Bay Beach on 2nd January. We set out early as we had heard it was a very popular beach and we wanted to make sure we could park and pick out a shady spot. It's a good job we did as the beach was already
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Linda and Sandra, both family friends.
packed at 8.45am with some enormous family groups (some with 50+ members) already camped out for the day. The beach was sandy and very pretty but we didn't go into the water until about midday when the sun was warm enough to take the sting of the cold sea away. By the time we returned to our spot, a couple more very big families had camped out right next to us and we could barely move for all the people. We decided to find another, quieter spot and enjoyed a relaxing hour just lying in the warm sun before another family of about 20 came and elbowed themselves into our space. When they rolled out their blankets, they actually half covered our little blanket and with no apology, their kids were soon running around all over our things. I was not impressed and so we packed up and headed home.

Don't get me wrong, we really did have a nice day but there were just way too many people there for my liking. In fact, as we drove out of the carpark, I was astonished to see a queue of around 30-40 cars waiting to get in! Long Bay
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Allard's bother, Ian, and his wife, Raewyn.
is a beautiful spot but I think I'll stick to the quieter beaches next time!


Additional photos below
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Christmas Day 2009

John (right) is Ian and Raewyn's son and now lives in Japan. He had flown over to NZ just for Christmas.
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Christmas Day 2009

and representing the Harris clan, it's Glynn and Jude!


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