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A few notable things have happened in the past couple of weeks. Firstly, I went for a horse trek- a wild, wet, windy canter along the sands following a splash in the surf and a beautiful stagger through the native bush, over little streams and across wide open paddocks. This was with Wayne and Penny, our neighbours, kind of, at Wildcoast Ruapuke. Lucky to be invited, and excited to be back in the saddle, riding reminded me of how wonderful it is simply to walk and to look, to not really think, just sit back and go with the movement, in this case of Blue, a handsome and sturdy roan.

Also, I spent a day working for a clever friend of mine, Ben, who makes groovy shoes from upcycled materials under the name Trash Footwear (www.trashfootwear.com). This earned me an awesome pair of boots, ready for Winter wanderings. He's off to Oz to do some work, so needed a hand tying up loose laces and fattening up the website, which was real fun.

Then there was the storm. A mighty weight of wind, whipping and smashing through Ruapuke, taking trees, power lines, tipping, tossing, tumbling all kinds of objects as if rubbish, leaving then strewn across lawns like an obstreperous teenager, who's in fact still waiting, sulking around the mountain and shouting gusts of air, though for us now from a more amiable distance. It came in the night and felt like it could kick the bus down... Fortunately, it's reasons lacked conviction and it seemed to stomp off after an extended tantrum, leaving, well, just a bit of a mess. Which afforded us a lovely day at the bus, with no power and a good reason to cook delicious food on the fire, dream up cool ideas for the bus and of course, siesta.

Snails, frogs, and no magicians.

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I haven't written anything in two weeks, So much has happened in that amount of time and each day is so different that I can't even remember them all. Luckily I have a few photos to remind me.

The picture of Noah, below, was taken after an epic traipse through the forest searching for snails. We were eventually successful and along the way we encountered a frog, a dead man's house, and a host of mosquitoes as well. Noah is holding his second balance stick used to help him cross the river by stepping on the rocks jutting above the surface. The first one broke while he was precariously perched with one foot each on a different stone spread below him, resulting in Noah safely on the far shore, I with two wet shoes.

We continued on our way, Noah walking down the river stone to stone while I squelched along behind him. (The advantage of having already fallen in was that large gaps between rocks wasn't such a barrier to me anymore.) Eventually we passed an old cabin on the left and Noah informed me that the owner had died inside so it creeped him out. I wanted to go check it out and eventually he agreed so that it wouldn't scare him so much anymore. We went up to take a look, and BOO! We were attacked by a billion ghost mosquitoes! We high tailed it after there (after I made Noah and I suffer blood loss for a few minutes while I attempted to photograph a sapling covered in spiders. Not a single photo focused).

On the way home we used our balance sticks to battle the evil tries trying to block our way. When we came to the river again Noah and I scared a frog into the river and I took some more unfocused pictures. (I'm starting to realize that as a professional photographer, I'm kinda terrible). We found a snail, that we kissed, on the slimy side, and it did not become a princess to my disappointment. We finally crossed the bridge home and I snapped this (finally in focus) photo before we headed in to report for dinner.

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