}

Monday, April 29, 2019

The nice, long break

Today was the day a lot of New Zealanders went back to work and their normal schedules. The new school term began to day, so kids headed back to school after their break. It’s been a nice, long break for a lot of people, a rare coincidence that doesn’t often happen outside of the Christmas/New Year period, and it was very welcome.

This year had a coincidence of holidays that really benefitted most people: The two public holidays at Easter happened to fall close to Anzac Day, and, after adding in this past weekend, workers could take ten days off but only use three annual leave (vacation) days to do it. Add to that the fact that all this happened during school holidays, and there were some pretty happy families around. The weather was even pretty decent during the break.

Nigel’s Mum stayed with us a few days at the week before Easter, and that weekend we took her to Nigel’s sister’s house where she stayed a few more days. We even had a visit from other family members on Saturday when they stopped in for a little while.

We did very little the week after Easter—pretty much as little as possible, actually—and it was great. We rested, mucked around with little personal projects, and otherwise just enjoyed ourselves. Aside from the unfortunate incident on Thursday evening, the whole break was uneventful.

There was some rain, and the temperatures are definitely cooling, but we still have pretty good weather. It’s that odd time of year when it’s warm enough to open up the deck doors and the windows in daytime, but at night we either need to turn on the heat or maybe put another blanket on the bed. Then, the next day, we open up the house again. In a few short weeks, give or take, it’ll be too cold to open up the house, and the heat will be on all the time. Then, in about six months, in Spring, we’ll have the other, similar odd time of year. But the holiday the end of October, Labour Day, is one day, and part of a three-day weekend—there’ll be no long break to help us enjoy the mild weather.

The Easter Bunny visited our house again this year (photo above). He told me he didn’t bring any Cadbury products because he felt we Kiwis had suffered enough. The marshmallow eggs are by Rainbow Confectionary Company, a New Zealand owned and operated company founded in 1884 and based in “the coastal Steampunk capital of Oamaru”. Their eggs were ranked first on a list published by The Spinoff last month, following years of betrayals by Cadbury, especially its recent insult to the country’s love of marshmallow Easter eggs. The two hollow chocolate Kiwi from NZ company Whittakers are something we’ve actually had before, and they’re probably more appropriate than the Swiss company Lindt’s chocolate bunnies that we’ve had in previous years (like in 2010, then again (for sure—maybe there some unrecorded in between?) in 2015, and then again last year – and this is why I blog about everyday things: There’s no way I’d remember all that any other way). The little eggs were branded M&Ms, and included some other varieties in the mix.

It took us a week to get through all the chocolate. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, too fast or too slow.

Our next break is the three-day weekend of the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, which is June 3, five weeks from now. The next one after that, Labour Day in October 28 is exactly six months from today, and 21 weeks after Queen’s Birthday. And that’s why weather alone isn’t the only reason that I hate winter…

In any case, it was a nice, long break, and was very welcome.

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