Kakanui is a sleepy ocean-side hamlet about three and a half hours south of Christchurch. It’s a little collection of holiday homes (many the old fashion shack-style “baches”), and apparently the sand at the mouth of the river there is perfect for cricket pitches. Go figure. We headed there a couple weekends ago because we can’t stay put on a 3 day weekend, and we’re operating under our usual premise: S+W=KH (Sand + Water = Kid Happiness).
We were joined by our friends Sophie, and Ian, and their three daughters. We love our English friends, and one of the reasons they’re so great is that weather doesn’t phase them. They’ll ruck up with long johns, rain coats, thermoses of tea, and enjoy that seaside whether it’s sunny or rainy. They tell us that it’s still a picnic compared to the legendary English weather.
We saw some blue sky the first afternoon we arrived, before the clouds rolled in. No mountains in sight–it’s a big sky.
Milo’s one for projects! Jeremiah started the bath tub for the clan, and those members with wet suits partook.
I’m not sure if this hillside was technically rock or soil….perhaps a mudstone? “Milo, stop! You’re getting pieces in my nest!” Chloe noisily protested. The girls have yet to learn that the squawk reaction is intensely satisfying to Milo, and he grins as he sends another sprinkling pattering down. I remember my own father counseling me to ignore my younger sister’s goadings as my whining only spurred her on. I was completely incapable of absorbing that bit of advice at the time, but now I find myself doling it out to the next generation.
What do you think, stone or soil? It had fascinating little fissures where some mineral must have migrated during the formation process. Wish I could see it happening, fast-forward and at the chemical level.
The same beach has another odd piece of geology. Moeraki Boulders are perfectly spherical rocks seemingly plopped into the ocean like…well, like a string of dinosaur turds. I spend a lot of time with a four year old. I believe they are technically “concretions,” formed in sedimentary rock when minerals within the rock migrate to a central charged particle. Last time we visited Moeraki we saw some still being freed by erosion from their encasing rock. The kids thought they were fantastic podiums–Ella’s got a cool pose going.
Naomi is developing a strong personality, surprise, surprise. The older kids were chasing the retreating waves then turning and fleeing up to the safety of the beach in front of the next cold onslaught. Naomi took off running, too, but it was chilly so I wasn’t interested in her falling and getting seriously wet.
She was not happy at being thwarted! Pouty lip, lowered brows, she turned into a thunder cloud.
On the flip side, she’s usually happy and delightful. Sun came out and it warmed up a tad and what started with a delicate foot-paddle turned into an all-out grubby mess, and her top layer was removed to salvage something dry for the ride home. I guess we need to get her a wet suit too.
Back at the bach I was working on dinner while Jeremiah was cleaning his fish, and I suddenly realized it had been a while since I kept tabs on Naomi. A quick scan of the house came up empty and I was starting to get nervous when the kids found her in the car, calmly polishing off the last of the gummy worms. She had consumed at least half a bag. And she still ate her supper. This little girl loves her food.
Jeremiah’s diving catch is displayed and given the appropriate admiration.
Wood stove is crackling, kids are fed and tucked into bed, and now it’s grown-up time. we played games and drank beer, and I remembered my parents doing the same when we were little at our annual Cape Cod vacation. Happy birthday Ian!