At least I packed the booze: A family Holiday.

I know. I shouldn’t complain. Complaining will make me sound like a giant asshole.

But, this is day three and I have nearly run out of bourbon, so.

We are on holiday. In New Zealand, this is the last set of school holidays they have before the break up (and out) for the year.

It’s almost October, so really it should be sunny. Really.

So we packed the car with three of our five teenagers and headed off to the Queen Charlotte Sounds. It’s a very beautiful place. Totally not dismissing this fact.

It usually looks like this:



So, you obviously pack swimsuits, sunscreen, beach towels, fishing rods, and cross your fingers that you see the pod dolphins that sometimes comes into the bay (not what the fishing rods are for, just to clarify..)

You talk excitedly about lying on the jetty at night and looking for shooting stars, (or peeing into the water in order to stir up the phosphorescence…. your call)

But it’s been raining. A lot. Since we arrived. 

So now, it looks more like this:


We told the kids to have a swim in the ocean anyway, that we’d get the spa going for them so they could defrost right after. But it was built around 1992 and it wouldn’t start..

So frozen children with shrunken junk were shuffled off to the shower and given a free pass on water conservation.

Because I was in charge of packing, we have no food. I mean, I bought beer and bourbon, and some bread, but pretty much forgot everything else. This has meant multiple trips to the (not so local) store, where a box of Weetbix is $8.50. On special.

I felt the judgement start to set in and knew they were just itching to scream “you had ONE job”. To which I would reply (after having a decent swig of “coke” ) “there is nothing wrong with eating Grandma’s cream of chicken soup from the storeroom. Just because it expired in 1983, it’s still fine.”

And it keeps raining.

We’ve tried to be creative… we let the kids use a rope tied around the indoor skybridge reinforcing to make an indoor swing. And a human pulley.

They have just this afternoon decided to play ‘the floor is lava” and have lined up 65 pillows and an oven mitt that spans two floors (the game, not the oven mitt). I feel strangely compelled not to stand on the carpet…

And there was that whole ‘swim in the water anyway’ thing…

I know I shouldn’t complain. We are very lucky to be able to stay here. There really is nothing wrong with expired cream of chicken soup. It’s powdered. Like in the army.

The house has been extended in the last few years by my husband’s father, which has caused some interesting fights differences of opinion.

When I say extended I mean tripled in size. At least. We very much enjoy having a larger space to ourselves, however there are some ‘quirks’ that have come with this latest renovation.

The bedroom we stay in has an en suite (don’t hate me right now). The toilet flushes, but in a really passive aggressive manner. You do not want to eat a curry before using it.

You DON’T.

The shower that was installed seems to have one purpose: to MAIM your private parts. I feel like showers should have one head, and deliver water. This one has 8, and delivers pain.

There is a giant TV upstairs (We did not vote for this one) and no-one knows how to use it. It is essentially a large, very confusing piece of wall art.

The house now sleeps about 21 people, but the kitchen is still the same; it fits about 2 people. This is fine, except when you exceed the limit of people in the kitchen, you risk stabbing each other with a veggie knife due solely to proximity.

These things aside, it is a magical place to be able to visit.

Note the wet roof, and lack of swimmers gorgeous view


There were hardly any dead rats in the wall, or possum shit on the deck this time so I totally count that as a win.

I just wish the rain would stop. It feels like a rip off for the kids. Who are being very good about it all really.. That rope swing/human pulley is a life saver.

And we will be able to come back. We might just have to check the weather forecast.

And I veto being in charge of packing the food.







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