Archive for February, 2008

Happy Blogiversary!

I hope you’ll continue to write for many more years.

Lotsa luff,
Mama xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Today I (J13) was thinking about what has “made” summer for me and my brothers and sisters, so far, this year. Here is what I came up with;

Firstly, our SUNFLOWERS. One of our sunflowers would be almost 4 meters tall the other ones, (we have about 15) are between 2 and 3 meters!!! Here is a little poem I made about the sunflowers;

The Sunflower
Once a seed,
Then a sprout,
Growing tall,
Now leaves grow out,
Slowly opening by the hour,
Out comes a sunflower.

The TEMPERATURE. These last few weeks the weather has been pretty much the same every day; hardly any clouds, lots and lots of sun and the temperature which has ranged from 20-25°C and sometimes even 28°C +.

Because of all the sunshine the blueberries on my blueberry bushes have ripened. This year I had so many berries that I decided to make blueberry jam. The jam set really well!! Here is the recipe that I used:
3 C blueberries
3 apples peeled, cored and finely chopped (I grated them, it makes the job easier)
¼ C lemon juice
Boil all these ingredients together until fruit is soft.
Add 3 C sugar to the boiling jam, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Boil jam until setting point is reached.
Pour jam into warmed preserving jars and cap.

Because it has been so hot we have been going in our pool almost every day. The temperature in the pool has been sitting on a steady 27°C!! Very refreshing!!

Just lately we have been constructing a mud house down behind the garden. That means lots and lots of digging! The dirt that is dug is mixed, with a spade, in the wheelbarrow with water, grass clippings, a few rocks and more dirt, then that mud is used to form the walls. We are putting sticks and brush in the walls and plastering them with mud. At the end of this all we are all muddy and hot! We will put a picture up once the house has a better outline (at the moment it is not very clear where the walls are).

Dad being on holiday. While he has already gone back to work that is one of the things that made summer.

Eating outside, every day.

Going to the beach.

That is all that I can think of at the moment, but they are the things that are SUMMER.


Hi Kids, Mama here

You know how we’re reading Dear Mr Henshaw………and you know how Leigh is a bit very rude to him…..and *I* know you won’t be that rude to me…….but I thought it would be a good idea to grab Mr Henshaw’s ideas for things to write about……I hope to see some answers over the next little while (organise between yourselves which questions you will do when – I’m happy to type up the little kids’ answers – make sure you write your own answers before reading what anyone else has written, OK)

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you look like?
  3. What is your family like?
  4. Where do you live?
  5. Do you have any pets?
  6. Do you like school?
  7. Who are your friends?
  8. Who is your favourite teacher?
  9. What bothers you?
  10. What do you wish?

“Adventures of an IMP” Part XIV: Epilogue

“Why don’t we take the row boat to the boat maker to have IMP painted on her?,” Dad was saying, “and keep filling in the Ship’s Log and Papers. You may need them if you ever dock at a foreign harbour, and also, the Harbour Master will need to see them.”
So later in the day when Mark and Philip had left Dad and Captain took IMP to be named properly, while the rest of IMP‘s crew retold everything that had happened to Mum.
Author’s note:
While the epilogue has just been written it does not mean that we (IMP‘s crew) can put THE END on the page (because a Ship’s Log and Papers never end until the ship does, and ships can last forever almost).
The epilogue was written only because things needed to be cleared up and made final.
All that has happened so far was just the first episode and whenever we use IMP we will add to the Ship’s Log and Papers (as Grandpa A suggested).
We have been asked, “Why did you name your boat
IMP?” Well, our friends have an Optimist named SWALLOW after Swallows and Amazons (an adventure story about two crews to the sail boats SWALLOW and AMAZON) and it has always been a joke that if we ever owned a boat that we would name her Amazon. So when we were given the row boat our first thought was to name her AMAZON, but after a bit of reconsidering we decided that we would only be able to name a sail boat AMAZON, because that is what the real AMAZON is.
After reading We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea (a story about
SWALLOW ‘s crew and how they were helping to look after a schooner, GOBLIN, when a “true English fog” set in and SWALLOW ‘s crew were swept out to sea, still on board GOBLIN) we discovered that the row boat of GOBLIN was named IMP. So that is why we named her IMP. If we ever own a sail boat, though, she will be called AMAZON !
I hope that everything has been explained, and that you enjoyed what I wrote while we were camping.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part XIII: Surprise!

Monday 14 January 2008
4:32 pm

…tomorrow…! “But that is today,” thought Captain upon wakening. Quietly he crawled out of the “sail-n-oar” tent, and once out he walked up “The Ledge”, thinking about yesterday; the seals, the shark, the boat, Mark and Philip. By this time he had reached the top of “The Ledge” where he found First Mate sitting on a long flat rock. Captain sat down beside her and said, “What do you think Mum and Dad will say when we get back?”
“I’m not sure,” said First Mate, pausing, then with a grin she finished, “Maybe we should get them to read “We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea” before they say anything 🙂 .”
Both laughed, but Captain, becoming serious, said, “I guess Mum and Dad will be glad that we are no longer somewhere where they don’t know. But I really should have taken into account that an offshore wind and a strong rip would make getting back to shore difficult, well, impossible really! I don’t think that I will make that mistake ever again.”
“I think that Dad will say “learn from your mistakes”,” said First Mate.
Two hours later IMP, her Captain, Mates, Able Seaman, Boy and Baby were being towed by Mark and Philip’s boat (whose name we later found out was FIREFLY) back to Tiritangi Bay. Arriving at Tiritangi Bay, Mark and Philip anchored FIREFLY and then we all squeezed into IMP and rowed her to shore. We left IMP tied to our anchored buoy up on the beach and walked up across the grass that fringed the sand and up to our own house and knocked on our own front door (that felt strange!!!!). Dad opened the door. He looked so surprised, but I’m not sure whether Dad was more surprised to see *us* or Mark and Philip.
“Come in,” said Dad, ever the gentleman. Mum having heard a noise had come to see what it was and was just as surprised as Dad was, if not more.
We can only say that the conversation that passed for the next while was one of explaining and understanding  and also us being told that next time we should be more careful, much more careful.
“So it’s my old school friends,” said Dad to Mark and Philip….
And so we are back home and Captain isn’t feeling bad and Mum and Dad aren’t          worried any more and …..”It is so good to be home,” we all thought! 

T.B.Completed Next time.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part XII: A “one-of-a-kind” Day

Sunday 13 January 2008
7:25 pm
           IMP's longest voyage.
       We went under the foot-bridge,
              against the tide,
   floating back up the estuary with the tide.
After this J13, J12, K10 jumped off the foot-bridge.
             Whananaki harbour.
             Average temp. 24°C.
                 No clouds.

So much has happened today that we will write a list first so as not to forget anything that happened, then we will write in detail. (We are writing in chronological order).

  1. Camping on the beach last night
  2. Jumping off the ledge
  3. Rowing out to sea
  4. The sighting of a boat
  5. A visitor

Here is how the day started:
“Wake up…everybody, wake up shhh!” whispered Second Mate. He was pointing at a group of seals that had flopped down in front of our tent the night before, after swimming around in the water all day. Last night had been very interesting because of the seals. They had got used to us being around them and didn’t pay that much attention to us, so we were able to camp down on the beach, which was quite an experience!
While we were looking at the seals we noticed that they “snored”, well actually they snuffled, but snored sounds better. Finally we exited our tent from the back entrance and walked up “The Ledge” and along to where it dropped straight down a good three meters into deep clear water. We, having tested the depth of water beforehand, knew the water to be about three-four meters deep. In we all jumped. The water was cold and it really woke you up!!! The sun had just risen over “The Ledge” allowing us to see to the bottom, where a school of snapper was swimming….
…Now onto the rowing. Rowing out of “Seals Cove” was difficult, due to the in-coming tide. Once we were out on the open sea it was very calm and visibility was excellent. We dropped our lines over the side and waited for a bite….. Two hours and only one nibble. We were looking over the side watching our hooks when a shadow passed nearby turning on its side, and turning white as it did so. A SHARK! I didn’t think that the Captain and First Mate could row as fast as they did when they saw the shark; that was, until they saw a fin following us. WOW! We flew through the water…but…the fin was gaining on us. And then something very funny happened, though none of us saw anything funny at the time. We, in our fright, had taken a seal’s nose for a fin. How we laughed about it later! (We had seen a shark, though). We had a mind to stay on the water, but one thought of that shark put us all off.
“No use being eaten if it can be avoided,” said Second Mate, shakily.
Sitting on the sand warming up the oldest member of “The Crew” was looking out on the horizon when he thought he saw something. Remembering the whale incident he said nothing, but watched in silence until he could make out the outline of a boat. In a flash he was up and putting fresh bamboo on our small fire. The signal being let off, we watched the boat approach with caution. S-l-o-w-l-y she came closer until we could make out the “number plate” as Ship’s Baby said.

M.V. 156

Translation: Motor Vessel, 156 (registration #), New Zealand (country where registered).
As we watched a man came up on deck, saw us, and said, “Here, catch,” as he threw a rope to us. Tying the rope to a nearby tree we waited as another man came up on deck. He was probably the captain. “Is it all right if we come ashore?” enquired the first man.
“Yes, it’s fine, a good stroke of luck you came by,” replied our Captain. After introducing ourselves the two men introduced themselves as Mark (the captain) and Philip (the navigator). Ship’s Boy was puzzled and Philip could obviously see that, so he asked “What can I explain to you?” “Well,” Ship’s Boy said, “I thought that the captain usually was the one to navigate.” “Yes that is the way most people do things, but if the job is split we seem to get to our destination a lot quicker, so it has only taken us one hour to go from Tiritangi Bay to here, Lighthouse Island.” “And how far is that?” said our Captain.
“Why, that is about 60 km, but…I…I thought you would have known that, you being the captain and all…,” replied Mark looking at Captain strangely. Captain explained and with the help of IMP‘s crew he retold all that had happened the last two weeks.
“So you see, we wouldn’t be here if we knew what island this was to start with,”
said First Mate. “So…we are the first people that you have seen and you would like us to rescue you, although by the looks of things you don’t really need rescuing as it were?!” asked Mark. “Yes to your first question and only if you want to, to your second….,” said a very cheeky Ship’s Boy. “But if you don’t feel that you want to rescue us, would you mind telling Mr. and Mrs. Bear (they are our parents) of #25 Herring St, Tiritangi that you know where we are???”
Mark and Philip both looked at each other and then at us and said “Is your father’s name Andrew?” “Yes,” we replied, “but how did you know?” “We went to school together and haven’t seen him since, although he did mention to us in a letter that he had 8 kids!”
And so it was aranged that Mark and Philip would tow us back to Tiritangi Bay and at the same time visit Dad, tomorrow.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part XI: Hope for tomorrow

Saturday 12 January 2008
9:30 pm

The weather has improved greatly since a few days ago and we have been feasting on another wild boar (well done, Captain and Second Mate!). We have now fully explored the whole Island and have mappped it all, naming it “Headlands”, as has already been mentioned.
There isn’t much to write about, because we haven’t done much, but we will use IMP tomorrow. Hopefully it will be more eventful tomorrow, because it will give us something to do when filling in the “Ship’s Log”. One last thing; we are writing all this at night, because the moon is soooo bright. It must almost be full moon! 


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