New Zealand

Lizzy Embarks On Her Own Adventures

The family has now dispersed just a little bit more. We came into Wellington three weeks ago to send off another young adult of ours to the other side of the world. Lizzy flew away on Easter Sunday to go to Texas. In Texas she will go to the wedding reception of a very dear friend, Jessica and hang out with her brother, Sam and his wife, Jenna. The plan is that she stays in the states for a month and then comes back downunder to go to patisserie school in Melbourne, Australia. The school starts in July so there is plenty f time for diversions. I am privy to information that Sam and Jenna have plans to lure her into spending more time with them in Texas.

Very proud of our lovely oldest daughter but very sad to say goodbye at the airport. Unsure when the family will all be on the same continent.

This is definitely the greatest sorrow of having a nomadic family.


Morocco mum's rants

Our incredibly shrinking family…or is it

So, lost another post to the trials of Ecto. You see I have sort of a love hate relationship with Ecto. Anyway, not much lost just my moaning mum stuff as 2 of my kids fly the nest in the same week.

The night before the flight to London the nearby river overflowed and took the path of least resistance down the road in front of the mechanics. In the middle of the night people were climbing over the wall and tow ropes were hauling cars in from the road as the river took over. In the morning what was left was some destroyed fish carts littering the street and sludge everywhere. We put on our welly boots, Sam took our boots back in a bucket as we jumped in our… taxi.

Lizzy is taking off to Texas to hang with Jessica, our amazing, wonderful Woman friend (notice the capital “W” for woman which I reserve for only my favourite women in the world) who we love.


This is a photo of our first leg of the journey. Lizzy’s first hitchhiking experience. Actually we were waiting for a taxi to the airport and some of our friends saw us and gave us a ride in their big blue horsebox.
The rest of her trip was a bit more normal with planes and trains. Well, maybe not that orthodox as we flew ryan air to London. Every time we fly ryan air we say NEVER AGAIN but we always get drawn in by the illusion of cheap prices. We did get free entertainment on the plane this time. With a handful of drunks, an angry primadonna with a huge carryon and a man with a lost boarding card.

Sam, Donald and Alana took off for Scotland. The only drama we heard this time came from Alana. Dear Alana, Andrew drilled and drilled them in the taxi on the way but her carefree attitude, optimism and lack of extensive funds were no match for the near impossible border control in london and she was denied entry. She is now in a detainment centre in London – Ramada with bars – waiting for the next flight to Morocco in 2 days. Not sure if she will continue on with us or what. So, this time our clan got to provide the drama. Ahhh life.

Miracle of miracles Sam and Donald got in. I guess they had to let Donald in because he holds a british passport. Samuel, however, well, he did try. He put on all clean, all black, clothes that promptly got really dirty as we are presently living in a mechanics backyard. You see, miracles do happen in the modern day.

I AM feeling much better. Glad you missed my empty nest moan and groan. It was very sad and I am sure would have brought you all to tears.

Now we are all thinking, North or South. Do we continue south towards the Sahara or do we high tail it North. Hmmmmm, you know we do have sandmats proudly displayed at the back of our truck. We also have a large group of new friends gathering in Sidilfni preparing for Mauritania and beyond. There are visas to get and a carnet to figure out if we go further south.

The Mauritania visa is near impossible to get in U.K. Once you go to the Mauritanian Embassy, London website that has no clue to the Embassy’s closure until you take the long trek and knock on the stranger’s door where the embassy is supposed to be. If you probe deeper online they say to go to the French embassy where they say send in lots of paper and wait 4 months and they might say yes. Seems the thing to do is go to Rabat, Morocco and you get it in 5 hours. You know, you try to set things in order before you get on the road but I think it takes a leap of faith. Jump on out there and the answers come along the way. Oh no, there I go again with one of my rants. STOP ME PLEASE!

You know alot adds up if I havent blogged for a while.

Enough for today.


Happy Birthday Lizzy

Yesterday was Lizzy’s 17 birthday. Wow, my little girl. So big. You know she checked our heights this week and she is officially taller than me. Yup! I must be shrinking. I am just so happy with the woman she is becoming. I am excited that she is so beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. I am excited that the child inside her is still alive. I love the things that make her Lizzy. Her determination to do her best. You know, she took up the saxophone this year. She practices at least an hour a day. She sounds so great now. She has so many dreams. So many creative dreams. When she was a little girl she taught me to see beauty. I hope she will find a way to share this gift. She will probably be going to stay with Jessica in Austin, Texas in just a couple of months. She will be gone until June. What a difficult stage to be a mum. If you do your job well, your children fly off to follow their dreams. Hmmmmm.

OK enough of that, you old sob story of a mum. I get way too sappy at 4 am.

Here was our day.


We started off with a sweetie from one of the many sweetie stalls on the road. Abi especially liked this lady because of all the pink.


Me and Lizzy and Abi went into Tarifa and went to some cafes. Partly because we wanted tea or juice. Partly because we enjoyed talking and dreaming. Partly because we couldnt figure out when siesta would be.

Dang, they have a long siesta. It goes from 1-5:30 here.

Another coffee shop.


Andrew made a great BBQ complete with ribs and smores. I’m not quite sure why Sam is glowing here. Could be all that rapid movement.

spblizbdayhat.jpg Elizabeth created a birthday hat from the broken base of our mini globe and is sporting her new shades. She likes them because they remind her of the goggles she wore in science class.


Abi made a great birthday cake (14 carrot cake) in our flat-pack coleman camp oven (thanks Mercy for the oven).

Happy Birthday Lizzy.


Dream Sax

Through the long journey and all the struggles I finally got myself my dream instrument…THE SAXOPHONE!!! As soon as I got it I started practicing. I went to a creek and sat down on the steps next to it. The small tunnel which was next to me caused the sound I was making on my saxophone to echo. Above me people would walk on the bridge, their footsteps (even if they were louder then my saxophone) I would never hear as all I cared about for the time being was my sax. Some people would lean over railing and look down on me. An old couple that did that also said something to me in German (which I could not understand). I did get one word which was “Wonderful”.

Now I look back on the time when I never would have dreamed I would get my amazing instrument. I try to think about all I went through, all the people who put in money and of course my love for it every time I pick it up to practice on it.



Energetic models

The large, intimidating light shone on me and Klara. It marked the photo shoot commencing. Beth held up her Large Camera and my mum held up her inferior one to capture the moment. Before we new it we were crowded with kids posing in very interesting and funny ways. We all even got out an umbrella out.

Derek and Sasha saw what we were doing, copied it and ofcourse, took it too extremes. Liz


Food Spain

The ultimate vending machine

When I saw it I thought ‘It couldn’t be’. As we all gazed at in confusion it all became clear. Yes, this was a HUGE vending machine where you can buy large waters, chocolate multi-packs and other things you find at a store a. This was the second time in my life that I went absolutely crazy about a vending machine. I know, pathetik isn’t it. It’s just one of those new technology devises that I just haven’t managed to fully get used to.

So as me, Sam, Abi and Mum gazed at the vending machine in absolute amazement as the oreos got pulled off the self and taken to the other side, these feelings of it all being ridiculous was running through my head.

Try to imagen the tension we were all feeling as you watch our ‘home movie’.