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winter wander

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Five years ago we headed out to Karekare, our favourite black sand wild west coast beach, on a windy day in the middle of winter.
We took the photo that has since been our trademark…

at the edge of the world

Today, again the middle of winter, and no less windy, we returned to the same spot…

Family June 2012_16_DxO

Often we were asked why we did not have a faces-showing photo…..five years ago, with children ranging from just one year old to twelve, it was tricky to get everyone looking straight at the camera, smiling and not squinting or grimacing or pulling faces and not sticking legs out to trip each other up – ack, who am I kidding? simply looking pleasant would have been good enough! So we walked away from the camera, and decided that would do.

Turns out, five years on, things aren’t too different…..
Family June 2012_25_DxO

Figuring that reducing the numbers of participants would improve the odds for a good shot, we sent the frozen girls running down the beach to warm up while we arranged the boys on an old log sticking out of the sand. Unfortunately there is not one photo that they are all happy to share! Noone wants to be the one famous in blogland for having his eyes closed or lips pursed.
But the girls, on their return, took the award for favourite-photos-of-the-day:

Family June 2012_63_DxO

Family June 2012_64_DxO

We were also asked why there were not so many photos of the parents, so here’s a start.
Family June 2012_34_DxO

Another new pilgrimage: 2012

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

It won’t be fifteen months like the last one.

It won’t even be fifteen weeks; it’ll be about half that.

But it will contain a pilgrimage….of sorts.

The first plan was to walk the Camino Frances from St Jean Pied-du-Port in France to Santiago in Spain, the old pilgrimage trail. Of course we’d read books that said not to do it with kids and while our eldest kids can now be called adults (most of the time), there are still a handful of little ones. We’ve never been the sort to be put off by people saying “it’s impossible”, so we made the decision to try to make it happen. Turns out FatherBear can’t get enough time off work to be able to hike the whole 800km slowly, so we’ve decided to do a three week stint and see how far we get….and sandwich that in between a week’s visit to Paris and a week’s visit to London and a week on a canal boat cruising up to Oxford. All things we wanted to do on the last pilgrimage, but which were not achieved then.

In the forseeable future, this is the final year that we anticipate all the children being free to drop everything and just go (the call of tertiary study and earning a living is starting to make itself heard)… we offered a final family fling. Older children were free to choose to stay home. I’m glad they’re all coming.

We’ll be off at the end of August and back towards the end of October.
We’re still tossing up whether or not to take a lappie……we’ll be lugging Every Single Thing we stuff into our packs for 20km or so each day. If we take it, FatherBear will probably photo-blog with few words. I (MotherBear) want to devote my time to creating a tangible hold-in-your-hands record, and experience reminds me that when we are having busy days, my paper journal gets neglected if I’m blogging as well. I have a vision of words and pictures and embroideries and a break from computers!

BUT…..I was intrigued to see what would happen if I posted a wee note here in our cyber-spot.

So I have.

Next step will be updating our photo; the eldest son is now taller than the mother and so he’ll have to stand next to the father, the baby is no longer carried and will take her place standing at the end of the line-up.