Basically, it's nice to have it back again, and may I not have to see Apple's service providers for a very, very long time again, thank you.
...playing with Duplo and Lego at Imagination Station which is an entire room filled with mountains of blocks.
...walking The Dog in the rain and through our nearby wetland reserve which she adores!
...playing at home...
...building with blocks and jigsaws, neither of which The Girlie has much patience for. Guess which photo is of her stuff?
...visiting the beach on cold, rainy mornings...
...and then on hot, sunny mornings...
...and generally speaking, it's been a lot like a summer this year. It has actually felt a lot like a summer this year!
I have watched Astrid from Connecting the Dots visit New Zealand and upload her photos to Instagram (she left for Denmark only a few days ago), and it has filled me with a recognition of what a magnificent country it can be.
She visited many of the places that have been my "home" of sorts over the years, and walked many of the tracks that I have walked, too, and I have looked at her photos and sighed.
There's been change in the air. I discovered, by coincidence of sorts, that government-set lending criteria for home loan applicants - at least 10% deposit and in most cases, 20% - only applies to banks and not all financial institutions, and so it means that this week I will be talking to a mortgage broker to find out if we, with our saved-up deposit of approximately 6% and no other loans to our name, will be able qualify for a home loan. It still means crunching the numbers and working out if it makes sense to keep paying rent until we save up the remaining 4% of the deposit, or to go for a higher interest rate that non-bank lenders offer in exchange for the opportunity to buy a home, but either way, for the first time in several years I am feeling like there is at least an option available to us, whether we take it or not, and it's a hope-filled feeling.
I have also wondered - again - whether to just ditch Christchurch and go down to Invercargill, where I would finish my quantity surveying diploma and see if The Man can face kind of Scottish winters of lots of rain and cold, as opposed to Christchurch's rather mild overcast skies.
But either way, I think for this year we are set to stay. The Kid has another year until he starts school and I have started working at a local bakery on Saturdays (which has allowed me just enough finance to put The Girlie in daycare once a week so I can finish writing the book I have been trying to finish for about 4 years now). We'll just plod along and do our thing and eventually, an answer will come, I think, an for the moment I'll just continue enjoying the fact that I have a functioning laptop, two healthy kids, a dry home, a large backyard, friends, youth, a safe place to call home and life.
Enjoy your week, guys :)