Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ohope Beach, Here at Home

We're here back at home in Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty, NZ. For chrimbo  as they call it here. Weather came good for the Big Visit, wetting rain changed to sun so boiling I had to cover my Donatella tan with that very unattractive white sunslap. D not best pleased.

Mum and Dad's house
Mum and Harley, Jackson and Cy and Poppi dog.
Mum's back patio
Trifle in fridge, all is right with world

I'm doing this on the bloggerapp so please forgive spelling misteaks.

The NZ "Christmas Tree" the Pohukutukawa are out in force with red blooms. Kevin and Jackson have bad allergies from them, poor things.  Can't please everone when you're a bloomin' tree these days. 

We went on a 12 mile hike (tramp they call it here) which was brutal as i've done almost no exercise since I returned from the Camino three months ago... 
Me, Kevin and Pietra starting out

Kids did half of it...with just a soupcon of complaints

We boated out to Whale Island which used to be barren and chockfull of rats and rabbits, now beautifully green haven for Kiwis birds, which lets face it with their not flying, must have been at the pub when the survival genes were handed out. Cute little buggers though. 

Only a few years ago there was only eight Kiwis in this area, now there are 300. 

At one point Sylvester Stallone wanted to purchase Whale Island for a casino. Oh Sly. 

Dad and Pietra on the PeeJay's catamaran on the way out. 

Here, niece Leah and I looking at the grey seals, which apparently are incredibly stanky close up, but magical to watch at this distance.

There's so much thermal activity that if you dig a hole in the sand it fills with toasty-toe warm water.

Climbed to the top of the hill and looked down and thought poetic thoughts as you do when you're on holiday.

Then we went to cut down a Christmas tree at our little pine tree farm we have in the backblocks ( yes, call me Mrs christmas).

Me, Sharon and Jackson
To the victor the (small) spoils

And we also dug some spuds (potatoes) for dinner. Dad has a vege garden out there, though the birds are getting the better of him, sounds like. 

We have a talent  for picking trees which have personality but would not fetch the highest bid in a lot...

See what I mean? This one was particularly vertically challenged and Mum had to tether it to the Grandfather clock. Imbibing early for New Years? The tree, not Mum. 

Mum made a cracking good baked ham and Dad carved. 

Tallulah, Leah and I made a pilgrimage that really cheeoice store down the road, Ruby Dunes. We just stood there and said "so nice" which is pronounced 'noice' if you're wondering...

Very happy that sister Sharon is wearing dresses that lay fallow in my wardrobe. She wore the triangular Tracy Reece frock to work and Tracy got to read the radio news and do some reporting so she was well employed.

Well that's all for now... What are your plans for The Big Day?  Meri Kirihimere to you and your whanau ( fam).
Arohanui. With love, my friends. 


  1. Merry Christmas beautiful lady. What a stunning part of the world your parents live in (never been to Ohope, but I will tick it off the list one day). I love the Christmas tree hunting pics too, it reminds me of my own childhood when we'd take the tractor down to the back of our farm so we didn't have to lug it all the way back home. I've never had a proper tree since leaving home, I think I might do something about that too. Not a trifle fan, but that one in sitting in the fridge looks impressive! I also want that pod chair - I don't think I've been good enough to get one from Santa this year though.

    1. Thanks leanne, am so impressed with the spoils of your 12 months of crafting!

  2. Love the round-up and pics. What a gorgeous place.

    I'm heading to the UK today, and will spend the Big Day with my mum and eldest stuffing turkey and mince pies, then see some family on Boxing Day and more over the weekend in the midst of popping over to Lille and back to pick up my youngest.

    Have a fab Christmas. :) xx

  3. The love just shines out of this post Jody.....family and good times..how wonderful....and that trifle!!! well I wish I had a spoon...it looks amazing.............have a wonderful Crimbo back home..xx

  4. what a beautiful country! wishing you a merry xmas x

  5. Your parents live in a gorgeous part of the world and that trifle is just amazing. I imagine that won't last long!! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas in the sun and a Happyy 2015!

  6. Love this post and it's so different from our Canadian Christmas, though right now it is raining (!) so oddly it will be green for us this year. We went to see The Hobbit film last night to celebrate my oldest home from school, gosh that endless battle scene was endless.
    Merry Christmas Jody, it looks like such fun and I adore your drunk tree! xo

    1. yes, endless is a word I hear a lot when it comes to The Hobbit...

  7. Glorious looking time. You are an active group. Whew. I get tired just reading about your adventures. Merry Christmas! The Mr woke with a cold from hell this AM do we may be doing nothing for Christmas. Who wants a germ carrying big baby at the dinner table ?? Have fun! xo

  8. So good to be with family for Christmas, your weather looks great, I much prefer a green Christmas to a white one. Enjoy!!!

  9. Everything looks so bright, compared to the cold and rain here haha hope a grand time is had

  10. What a beautiful way to spend the holidays!!! Your family's home is beautiful, and that trifle looks delicious!

  11. Beautiful pics and the Brettkellys are a most active group. You and the sis's must be celebs after the fab mag profile. Have the paps been tailing you?
    Merry Christmas!

  12. Merry chrimbo from your scouse readers!

  13. Have been following all things NZ-spring and run up to Christmas on a friend's Instagram (who lives in Waiheke beach). Enjoy Xmas Kiwi-style.
    That trifle looks fab!
    Happy Christmas!

  14. Merry Christmas, Jody! Looks you are having a great vacation!

  15. Oh Merry Christmas Jody! Usually I would say it is very unusual to see people outdoors in shorts for Christmas but it is 60 here today, wet and green(ish).
    It looks like you are having a joyous family holiday. And the tree is perfect-especially because it is tethered to the grandfather clock. The same clock that stands in my grandmothers front entry, btw.

  16. Hi long time lurker (from before your pilgrimage walk) I love your blog just don't ever comment. You need a like button like Facebook so you know us readers are out there/here.

    1. Oh I should do that Facebooky like thingy. I am so untechno, will consult 11 year old how to do. Thanks for reading UggBoot! Hope you had a fab NYears!

  17. Ah this is lovely to see your parents' gorgeous home again. I love your photos too, especially the one with the red plant in the foreground - such a good composition, you clever thing.
    That tree looks like something from the Little Shop of Horrors...Feed me Seymour!!

  18. I just discovered your blog via Chicago Lion's Den.
    Your photos are wonderful!

    Holiday Cheers,


  19. Oh I wish our beaches had toe-warming puddles!

    Your tree is perfect. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your delightful family. Especially my man Cy, who's given me some good smiles this past year.

  20. Looks like such a beautiful wonderful place to be!!

  21. you do more for the new zealand tourism board than their ads!! Happy new year to you and your family! x


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