[post written 15 April – it’s surprisingly hard to find broadband connections in NZ!]

or, more to the point, Megan-out-of-the-cot… yes, Megan has learned how to climb out of her travel cot. She acquired this technique at 0445 yesterday morning, when I was greeted by her walking towards me as I went in to her room.

This morning, in an echo of her Uncle Jonathan (Grandma used to waken in the night to find him standing beside her bed), Megan appeared beside our bed…

Auckland has a yearly inorganic collection where, in the two weeks prior to the collection, everyone puts whatever they are getting rid of out on the street and it is then available for anyone else who wants it, before what is left is taken away. It is the turn of Uncle Martin and Aunty Heather’s area at the moment and, on hearing a description of our new jack-in-the-box, Uncle Martin offered to go and get us some chicken wire that a neighbour was throwing out. It’s tempting, very very tempting…

However, before going to such radical lengths, we are currently employing the well-known, tried-and-tested Pick-Up and Plonk technique. This involves picking up said small girl, and plonking her back in her cot with a firm “No”, and “You’re not allowed up until 7am”. Seventeen turns later and the chicken wire is definitely becoming a more appealing option…

In other news, we’ve had a busy few days. The weather hasn’t been too great, so we’ve been looking for indoor activities. On Thursday, we took the children to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which has several interactive sections specifically designed for children – from natural history-type things, to treehouses, to musical instruments. Megan loved playing the huge glockenspiel, and Aidan assembled a cow and played with “fossils”.

On Friday, we went to MOTAT which is a semi-indoors science and engineering museum, built around the old Pumphouse which housed the old water wheel which used to provide water for Auckland many years ago. It also has a super interactive area, which entertained both children (and us as well!). There was a shadow wall which Megan loved, and a build-your-own arch bridge which Aidan had lots of fun with.

Yesterday we finally made it to Muriwai. Muriwai is the northernmost of the West Coast beaches located in the Waitakere Ranges just north of Auckland. It was a very windy day, and Aidan was fascinated by the quantities of foam blowing in from the sea across the beach – the jury’s still out on the origin of the foam, but Aidan had lots of fun playing in it! Muriwai is also home to a large gannet colony – we climbed up the cliff (on a board walk) and were able to view it from above.

Later today we’re setting off on our tour of the North Island. First stop is Wanganui…

PS there hasn’t been a moment to get any photos up, but we should have some time in Wanganui, and we’ll get them up soon after.

[Sadly we didn’t have time or an Internet connection… but do stay tuned!]

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