2016 is almost over and summer hasn't really begun at all. It's so cold! I can assure you that for the past month we might've had five or six hot, sunny days. Boxing day was one of them, I thought today would be another but it's turned pretty miserable again. Makes it hard to celebrate the festivities when the weather won't cooperate, but never mind.
So, time to catch up. Christmas and my birthday have gone and passed for another year, I've reached the jolly age of 21, however nothing has really changed. Except that I'm now most certainly an "adult". Better start acting my age now, huh?! hehe
It's been a long week. My Nana arrived from Rotorua on the 22nd and my Uncle, Aunty and three cousins came up from Wellington on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve morning I milked with Cam and Hamish, and I helped them dry off half of the herd - about 170 cows, it was a long morning; starting at 5:45 and finishing finally at 9:45. Although Cam and Hamish just spent the entire morning chatting and joking around so I didn't actually think it had taken that long to get through it. I guess I can now add "Capable at administering Dry Cow Therapy" to my CV, it was the first time I'd actually done it myself, and it's rather easier than I thought.
I then milked with Hamish for Christmas Day morning, but it was only five rows so I was out and gone within an hour and a half, arriving home in time to join everyone else for breakfast. The roads are very quiet on Christmas Day morning, it was rather lonely out there.
The usual dynamics of our typical family Christmas had somewhat changed for this year, what with having extended family up as well as the two Taylors being involved. Nick abandoned us Christmas Eve to spend it with she Taylor and he came home the next morning. My Taylor came here for lunch and then that afternoon we both went to his Mum's for dinner - it was kinda odd going out and about on Christmas, it'll have to be something I'm going to get used to I guess.
Then on Boxing Day Tay and I went north to get me a birthday present, so I could choose something. (Got a huge purple metal butterfly. Something you'd put out in your garden or on an outside wall. But it'll go up in my room somewhere). I got to drive his car for some of the way, so fingers crossed I didn't get him a speeding ticket or anything! haha, it's pretty easy to drive now that I'm used to it.
My birthday came around, I got some pretty neat presents. Lots of nice jewellery (over christmas and birthday) among other things. It took a while but I finally got to open the gift from Mum and Dad, it's never happened before but I couldn't help it. I opened it and started crying - it was my personalised plates for my car!! And it has a green border. I've been wanting them for such a long time, and keep checking to see if they were still available. I never even guessed they'd get me them, and my nickname has always been super special to me. I didn't realise until Dad mentioned it in his speech that night, the name came from joining my name with my childhood cat Tiger. He explained how we were so inseparable so they joined our names together. So now every time I look at the plates I get this massive grin on my face. Man I was stoked!
The party itself was OK, there were only 26 people there but most were family, quite a few people just didn't bother showing up even though they said they'd come, which was rather disappointing. While my boss Cam and Jo couldn't make it for other reasons. But it was OK, I kinda wish the weather had been better. Everyone there were all dressed in jeans and sweatshirts, trying to stay warm. It was freezing! The wind was so icy and it kept threatening to rain. Later that night we even brought out some blankets, simply because we couldn't fit everyone in the house.
17 people stayed the night, so we had 19 to feed breakfast to the next morning as my Great Uncle and Aunty came back from their hotel to join us. It was busy. Within a few hours everyone except for he Taylor had gone on their merry ways back home and the house was so quiet! It was crazy how suddenly there were plenty of places to sit, you could talk and be heard, it was rather incredible really how so many extra people make the difference.
Once Taylor left we just sat there, exhausted, thinking - now what do we do? The great thing about being the host is having all of the leftover food, but I've never been given so much chocolate in my life. Between christmas and my birthday, wow, so much chocolate. It's sitting in my room but I've no desire to touch it at all.
My plans for the new year? Well I won't be milking again until March now, as both of my farms have dried off either half or the whole herd, so I won't be needed again until autumn calving starts up again. I'm a little concerned about it, not having the work. Dad's going to get me out fencing but I'm not sure how much I'll get. Hopefully enough hours to cover what I need.
I'm also going to be car hunting in my spare time, Ali is giving me no end of grief. A week or so before christmas she died on me, when I was leaving for work in the morning I couldn't get it to start. We got her up to the BMW mechanics I go to, they agree there's an issue but they've no idea what it is. As there aren't any faults. Which is basically a needle in a hay stack the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
So I'm going to dump her at a dealer of sorts and they can have the lemon for themselves. In my case, the quote when life gives you lemons, make lemonade doesn't apply to me. It's more like, when life gives you lemons, they're rotten so you can't do much with them at all. It really sucks.
I know trading her in will hardly get me a penny, but I don't want the guilt of selling her to an unsuspecting buyer like I was two years ago. I'll get a small loan and find a newer, second hand car from a dealer and then at least I'll have the warranty and all that guff. Fingers crossed I'll get enough work for the monthly payments...
It's a right pain, I can't really drive her now, she's registered to the new plates but Dad's having trouble getting them on due to the screw holes being different - he doesn't want to damage my new plates. And whenever I do drive her, I take the risk she might not start. I just have to turn the engine on, then sit for a minute or two on the accelerator. Chuck it in drive and then don't stop. It's ok once she's warm but I just don't trust it anymore. Lucky I don't need to drive anywhere I guess, but it's just means my independence is now out the window.
Bring on 2017 and here's hoping for a better year.