Saturday, January 30, 2010

January & Cyclone Nisha

I have just looked at the calendar and suddenly there are only 3 weeks left before the kids and I fly out to Auckland. Michael and the boys have just had a week in Rarotonga, while Sienna and I stayed home in the peace and had our nails done. Our first split holiday was a bit odd, but the boys had great time with their Dad and I had a quiet time with my daughter. Also in January was a trip to One Foot Island, which started out fine and sunny and ended up soaked to the skin, swimming in the torrential rain.

Tupuna’s CafĂ© sponsored a kids fishing competition at the Game Fishing Club, and we took our home-made poles to the harbour and spent the morning in the sun pulling in tiny fish. We all had a great time, with Bailey catching 5, Jamie 3 and Sienna 2 fish. None larger than 200g! We thought Jamie might get a prize for his 25g rock cod, but there was a last minute weigh-in at 60g! There was a great turnout with 40 kids strip-mining the seas – it would have looked lovely to the passengers of the cruise ship that had stopped by for the day.

The Christmas holidays are over thankfully, though when I dropped the boys at school on Monday I found that the pre-school teacher was still in NZ and there was no reliever… except me! So now I have a class of 18-20 3 and 4 year olds from 8.00-10.30am. It is exhausting, but not too bad! I have only put my hand up for a week though – I am not completely insane.

We have had some very hot days this year. The temperature on the deck was 38 on one day, and the air-conditioner has been getting a good work out. The reciprocal side of that is now it is wet, and warm sea temperatures mean that Tropical Cyclone Nisha is floating about between the Cook Islands and Samoa. The predicted track brings it close to our shores (like, right over our heads maybe Saturday afternoon), and may be a category 3 by then, which means winds 80-100knots. Of course one thing you can say about cyclones is that they are not always predictable, so both the track and intensity could change (for better or worse) or die away completely. NB: Aitutaki is due north of Rarotonga at approx. 159W 19S. In the mean time, the island emergency plan has been activated, (which at this stage means the police are notifying everyone) and it is time to check on candles and torches and things. Our own situation is quite good – we have a very well constructed house, are well elevated above sea level, and are connected to the emergency generator and water supply from the resort. So we shouldn’t need to evacuate to a community hall but can sit back and have a ring-side seat as we watch things fly.

In the meantime, take a look at yet another beautiful Aitutaki sunset from last week.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Shah's Grand Tour

Welcome to 2010, especially to all those who waited with baited breath for the lights to go out on NYE 10 (short?) years ago. Weren’t we supposed to be riding around in flying cars in 2010? And I hear that it is twenty-ten, not two-thousand-and-ten, don’t you know - at least that is what the NZ Herald is reporting that a blog is reporting (which is what passes for reporting in the NZ Herald these days).

Having survived December with livers more-or-less intact, the focus is now well and truly The Shah’s Grand Tour. A good nine months in the planning, we are taking a month (and a bit) off the rock to visit family and friends, recharge batteries, shop, and see what the (temperate areas of the) east coast of Australia have to offer. So here is a heads up for friends, siblings, nieces & nephews, parents, aunts & uncles, great-aunt’s & great-uncles, grandparents & great-grandparents, and assorted dead relatives: the Shah roadshow is coming to a town near you!

Feb 19 – Mar 3 Auckland

Feb 19 Jenni & the kids arrive in Auckland

Feb 28 Michael arrives in Auckland

Mar 4 The Shahs depart from Auckland

Mar 4 – Mar 10 Victoria

Mar 4 – 7 Melbourne

Mar 8 Ballarat

Mar 9 Echuca

Mar 10 Rutherglen

Mar 11 – Mar 23 NSW

Mar 11 Goulburn

Mar 12-13 Kiama

Mar 14-16 Sydney

Mar 17 Hawkesbury

Mar 18 Hunter Valley

Mar 19 Port Stephens

Mar 20 Forster

Mar 21-22 Port Macquarie

Mar 23 Coffs Harbour

Mar 24 – Mar 27 QLD

Mar 24-26 Gold Coast

Mar 27 Brisbane

Mar 30 Aitutaki

I feel exhausted already!