Abi wants to walk the Camino

Oh yes, our family has quite a history with the “Camino de Santiago”. Our first experience with it was in 2004 when we took our whole family and 12 friends. TJ was only 2 at the time and took her first steps on the Camino. Lizzy walked the Camino with our friend Cindy when she was only 12 years old. Sam, not to be outdone by his younger sister, walked the Camino last year. He went with his best friend, Donald. Abi feels that it is now her turn.

Look at her so keen, so cute. All she needs is a responsible adult to accompany her. She wants to go in June. She wanted me to put up this post to see if any friends, who would also fit the bill of reasonably responsible adult, would want to go. The walk is 550 Km from Pamplona to Santiago.

New Zealand

Adventures in the South Island

After a couple of initial trips into Christchurch we have gone out for some adventures in the South Island.

We have seen lots and lots of sheep.

We have discovered doc (Department of Conservation) campgrounds. Much cheaper than your normal campgrounds, a bit off the beaten track but worth it.

We went to an observatory and learned about the stars in the Southern Hemisphere.

We went to a doc campground north of Queenstown. We drove our minivan on a treacherous 20+ mile drive through “Skippers Canyon” to get there. We met sheep and 4x4s on this trip with sheer cliffs as a constant warning to stay alert. At the end was a small, restored mining village. We did homeschool in the old schoolhouse with the white picket fence and camped in the field next to it. Quite a surreal experience. Kids said it reminded them of LOST and the camp where the “Others” were in.

Abi finally got to jump out of a “perfectly good airplane”.

We have this tradition in our family. Sometime after your 12th birthday you get to choose a “right of passage”. It is different for every child. It cannot be a child thing. It needs to be an adult thing. Sam walked a week of the camino, carried other people’s burdens and got a man shirt at the end. Lizzy walked the camino for 6 weeks, walked most of the way across the top of Spain. She did this with a beautiful woman, Cindy, we have known since she was a girl. Cindy walked with Lizzy and imparted womanhood into her. Abi is a bit more action packed. From 11 she said she wanted to jump out of a plane. Dad said that if she wanted to jump out of a plane she had to do it in Queenstown. I think he was probably also considering how far away from Queenstown we actually were, at the time.

So here we are with our extreme, adventurous, diabetic daughter. She got her dream, her right of passage and jumped out of a plane.

Guess what!

She wasn’t even afraid.

Not even for a moment!

Fearless Abi!

Ready for a life of adventure!



We just finished our 3rd festival of the summer. Greenbelt. We celebrated Abi’s birthday with lots of bubbles. Perfect for Abi. We just happened to have a polish bubble inventor with us (I am serious) Patricia (the bubologist) can be seen in the first picture on the right, with the pixie hat, and behind Abi’s bubble with the black trousers in the second photo. gbbubblekids.jpg


Does that girl ever stop playing the sax.

Andrew and Paul cooking for….


TJ and Finn find the best place to eat.



The pigtastic village

berpigchurch.jpg While we were in the Berlin Zoo I saw a small village in the corner of the petting zoo. This village was piggy central. It even had a piggy church. It had little houses that lined up one by one. With little, little piggies walking around everywhere being cute. One decided to kneel down for confession in front of the church, as you can see in the picture. The other piggies didn’t think much of this. Abi