What news? Well just a few short hours before we go back to school, Dr Who is being watched avidly by all the family – the new Dr isn’t half as good as David Tennant, or maybe we just haven’t got used to him yet? It’s always the same when a new one takes over. I don’t feel quite ready yet for school but time marches on and we have had a good holiday.
I went down to Queesntown for the NZALT (New Zealand Language Teachers) Biennial Conference in Queenstown with the rest of my department at the beginning of the holidays and then Nigel and the boys joined me on the Wednesday. The conference was great, some very inspiring speakers and plenty of food for thought. The best part was the “weekend d’immersion” beforehand, though – we had a couple of days speaking only French with other language teachers and some of the native French speakers who teach here. I think I have spoken more French here than I ever did in the UK!
The weather was beautiful and it was great to be surrounded by mountains. As I said the boys joined me on Wednesday lunchtime and late afternoon Ross came to pick us up to take us to Wanaka. For the first time since we arrived in NZ and 5 years since we last saw them, we finally got to catch up with the Greenwoods. Lachlan and Ellie, despite some apprehension now that they are both teenagers, hit it off straight away – it was like they had never been apart. Aonghas and Erin got on well the last time they were together but now they are 10 and 11, one is female and the other male, there was a little distance! At that age girls and boys just don’t really mix, do they? They got on well enough, though, especially when they had a computer each to play on!
Despite the glorious weather in Queenstown, as we drove over the Crown Range into Wanaka, we descended into a thick temperature inversion, which Chris said had been there a few days. It was also freezing!! We North Islanders were just not prepared for it! Luckily we awoke to a slight breeze which was just enough to lift the cloud and send it away over the mountains. We then enjoyed the rest of the week out and about, skiing and walking in the sunshine. It was lovely to catch up with all the Greenwood news and share ours. We had just one day on the slopes at Treble Cone which (too expensive for any more days!) and despite a wobbly start on the nursery slope Gus was soon whizzing down from the top of the chair with Lachlan and Ellie! We must get down to Whakapapa sometime this winter! Went for a few nice walks out with Nuk along the Clutha to Lake Wanaka, and up Mount Iron. We also had a good walk in Kidd’s Bush – steep up and steep down but fantastic views!