I am trying not to be self absorbed. Surrounded by all the beauty here we all do pale by comparison. But I have become obsessed with my face. The bugger with beautiful photography is you can’t escape yourself. The reality of you. And especially with B. Always with a camera, a lingering loving camera. Not so much. I look, and try as I might to focus on the entire shot, my gaze finally settles on me and how I look. ¬†Everyone does it, and lies if they say they don’t. And then invariably never mind how gorgeous the view is if we look crap, the shot is deleted. I see it with my girls too. A gorgeous pic of Queenstown, but the first thing they look at is themselves. Okay, I admit, it is more a girl thing but still. I so wish I could lead by example but oh my word, my face has suddenly collapsed. It feels like it happened the past month. I have become completely obsessed by it. By the lines and furrows down the side of my mouth. Those ones that make you look like a puppet. I’m suddenly a little bit less dismissive of major intervention. Growing old gracefully, accepting the beauty of age and wisdom and experience etched in deep grooves on your face? Sounds wonderful and noble and true and no doubt I will get there because ultimately I do believe it. But right now there is nothing beautiful about seeing my granny’s mouth on my face. Especially when I feel twenty nine. Max. Shit. So, whilst surrounded by heaven, I have become a little obsessed by my face. Damn photography. I was loving the illusion. Less so Kate and Jem tickling my wattle. Very funny girls. Leave mom alone, she’s having a moment.

two hundred and fifty seven

28 September. A five hour kayak on the magnificent milford sound with the majestic peaks rising right out of the water has got to be one of life’s great adventures. I am so grateful Kate put herself out there and found out what she is capable of. Found out what an adventurer she actually is. And even had time to pout.

two hundred and fifty four

Me, two girlfriends and glacier hot pools. I am grateful for friends who make me snort with laughter, tease me, laugh at me and laugh with me. And laugh at themselves. And who trust me with their stories. And my promise that what happens in the pools stays in the pools.

two hundred and fifty two

From the best flat white (no doubt because it was the first of the day and it was already 2pm) in Wellington, to the unexpected ice rink in Hagley Park in Christchurch, to Kate and Jem skating hand in hand, to the interesting french fella who made our dinner, to the hottest most delicious soak (probably first of the year too) ever in the cute Cotswolds lookalike hotel, I am most grateful for a wonderful introduction to a beautiful gentle country. What took us so long.

two hundred and fifty one

I am grateful for nanna naps. And homes away from home. I never ever have nanna naps, only twice, and both times on this exact spot. So I’m also grateful for a sister who always creates a home away from home for me. And has a comfy couch. I’m less grateful to the little angel who took this shot. And anyway, my iron is low and getting ready for a trip to NZ is damn tiring. It is.

two hundred and fifty

It was sweet today to notice as I inched forward in the school pick up queue, the wonderful grin on every single child as they connected with their mom, dad or carer. That wonderful moment of truth, before the invariably unsatsifying conversations of how was your day fine, what did you do nothing starts. I am grateful my daughter was as thrilled to see me.¬†And It had nothing to do with end of term. It didn’t.