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Simple delights

Little pleasures that have delighted me this Christmas break:

My first ‘adventure’ alone with my four-year old grandchild Zara to the local shops where, wincing, I bought an extra-large gift for myself – an 18-day overdue car rego I’d overlooked. Then we explored every shop that was open and one that was closing, an old-timer that stocked everything from elastic to suitcases. Their gift to themselves was retirement but the village will miss them.

The book and library visit. Zara chose a book Prince and Knight by D Haack and S Lewis with plenty of princesses the prince could choose from (but didn’t want) to help him rule, but there was a dragon to fight first. A knight in shining armour on a horse appeared to assist the prince. They saved each other and overpowered the dragon. The prince discovered the knight was the one he wanted to rule beside him and the two men were married in great splendour with a happy King and Queen beside them. After a few readings, Zara decided it was not fair and thumped the table in disapproval. What about the princesses?

Dare to Explore, the Auckland Council Libraries Reading Challenge. Registering Alex, my nearly-seven-year old grandson. Teaching him how to choose books at his reading level. Finding out what to do for the challenge. He chooses one about weather and hurricanes so later we watch the latest cyclone damaging Fiji on TV. Then writes a silly story created from a word bank of nouns, adjectives and verbs. He laughs so much his writing is barely legible.

The garden. Adding to a border garden along the fence line of this new property. Lifting past-their-use-by date flowering spring onions and the odd-shaped but so sweet carrots. Shopping with my son for compost and plants and having coffee. Putting up a netting trellis for the beans and future passionfruit. Watching bean tendrils waving in the breeze, winding around their new climbing frame. Creating colour with marigolds and lobelia. Some odd rockmelon-looking volunteer seedlings have popped up. My son had thought they grew on a tree which is why simple gardening is so good for a city family.

Reading during the day. A guilty pleasure. Almost a book a day so far. Philip Pullman. YA books. A thriller by Tana French, The Secret Place, more from the library.

Finding that the local libraries have ordered five (5)! copies of my new book Wiremu Weka Treks the Alps. And a 12-year old house guest reading it will write a review to post. Perfect! Check out what Zoe said on

I wish all my readers a very happy New Year and a rejuvenating holiday. Travel safe!

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