Just before I nurse Ramona to sleep each night, as we cuddle in bed, she tells me some of her day’s highlights.
Over the last month our tangled up, sleepy chats have swirled around activities like building pixie houses on the beach with driftwood, the “massive scoop of ice cream with sweets in it”, going on the DIY zip wire her uncle built mostly with twigs, the muesli “with sweets in it” and swimming in the river with her “Kiwi cousins” (she will call them that forever.)
“What was your favourite part of the day, mum?” Last night, for the first time, she asked me. It felt so grown up.
I do feel as if Ramona has blossomed over the last little while. Our first few weeks we were all just frazzled and Ramona frequently and anguishedly expressed the emotion we were all feeling. But now she seems to be thriving; negotiating and reasoning with eloquence, throwing herself into fleeting friendships with abandon, mothering Juno and the other babies we meet with gentleness and care. She is already picking up New Zealanderish- all her friends are mostly definitely mates, and they are Cool As. She even slips in the questioning but not really questioning “Ay?!” at the end of odd sentences now.
Juno meanwhile is bombastic. Ploughing over any obstacles in sight to get where she wants to go, pointing and saying LOOK (just without the LOO bit) and attempting to do WHATEVER Ramona does.
Gosh, the swings in New Zealand. These feature in pretty much every pre-sleep analysis. Every fifth branch here has a swing dangling from it. Be it over a small patch of lush green lawn or a steep, rocky gorge.
These tree swings are so much more than swings – they are a Statement of Intention, a National Anthem. “We are kiwis! Relaxed and care free, spending our lunch breaks swinging in a tree!”
We are LOVING Bert the Bus. We keep discovering new things about him- such as how the fridge runs solely on solar energy. We didn’t even know about the solar panel when we bought him so it seems uncanny that we now have something that fits so perfectly with our desire to tread gently on the earth. , the Spanish eco community, we’ve been researching hard about creating a home using only solar. Also uncannily, the day we discovered Bert’s solar panel, VELUX emailed me to tell me about their own products that get families using solar and other sustainable living methods. *dodododo* (That spooky sound, y’know the one?)
We are also enjoying tripping about catching up with old friends and meeting new friends. Just now we are in Gisbourne staying with an inspiring wee family who do all sorts of fabulous eco stuff like being part of an organic bulk buying food co-op with their)
We are feeling ready to start putting a few tentative roots down though. We might plod about for a few more weeks and then head back to Thames to start being a bit more settled.
Tonight Ramona’s highlight was watching the movie she bought from the charity shop three times. Yes, three times, folks. The wind and rain was ferocious and we all just wanted to hide away.
It’s true, days like that do happen here. When even the kiwis leave their swings alone, flailing about in the wind.*
This is a sponsored post with VELUX, please do read my disclosure about that.
*Oi! *looks down nose, with raised eyebrow*