23
Feb2012
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We were in NZ for a month, all up. It was brilliant seeing all our friends and family. What was not brilliant was some of the worst Christmas/New Years weather we’ve ever had. But at least, socially, everything was great. We got to catchup with all our friends at parties, weddings and baches.

Morning fishing Eric and Prue getting married

The Bilkeys were in top form, as usual.

Bilkey Christmas costumes More Whanau at Emlyn's Birthday

We saw various parts of the Mountain whanau at Mum’s, or the zoo, or up north. All the little cousins are getting bigger and taller. Was lovely to see all of you!

Whanau at the Zoo The cousins open their Xmas gifts

We made sure to see all of Rob’s grandparents. Here’s Helen’s parents, Ten and GramBob, out for a coffee with us at the Shore Road Cafe. They’re both keeping well and still playing plenty of lawn bowls (as well as organising the competitions too).

Out for breakfast with Ten and GramBob

Also, when we drove through Hamilton, we visited Alma (Barry’s Mum) with Rob’s cousins. So here’s Alma with Rob’s Uncle Bruce and all 5 of Alma’s grandchildren (Mark, Rob, John, Michael and Laura). Alma was in good spirits and telling stories, like how she was named after the street where her parents lived before they came to NZ (Alma St in St Albans, England).

Alma and her grandchildren

With my family we walked the dogs, went to the movies, had delicious feasts. Generally, I spent as much time with my parents as possible. I miss Mum’s home-cooked meals already!

Harte's at Christmas

Our last night in town, we had a dinner with all of our parents and my brother (John and Jax had already gone back to Perth at this stage). It was great to catch-up properly one last time before heading back to the UK.

Dinner with the parents

It was great to see everyone while we were back in NZ. We won’t be back until 2013 for another visit, we estimate. We’ve got some more travelling to do in Europe yet (there’s far too much to see). But we’ll move home sometime for certain.

If we didn’t get to see you on this trip, we’ll try for next time, eh? Just give us a buzz. Or come and couch crash in Cambridge. You’re certainly welcome.

Arohanui and keep well everyone.

Until next time,

Liz and Rob

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