Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Entered the Young Writer's 'Summer Competition'

Eight Year Five students were selected to participate in an extension writing programme. The aim was to produce a composition for the Young Writer's 'Summer Competition'. Having to manage their time in order to ensure that their story met competition deadlines confirmed that the end product was indeed about to be read by a specific audience. These are some of the photos taken in Room 10 during the writing process. While some students preferred to write at a desk, many were just as comfortable on the floor once the teaching phase was over.

Here are the stories our students published and entered in the competition:

The Trip To Tekapo Was Worth the Trouble

Written by
Nate Boeyen.

“I am sick of these long car trips,” I said as dad drove across the plains and through the forest.
“Jim, stop shouting and relax,” said mum.
“Yeah Jim, we’ve still got three hours to go,” snarled my brother Tim.
But really, I did hate long car trips. They made me feel sick.

When we arrived at Lake Tekapo I took a quick look around. “This is way nicer than back home in Queenstown,” I said. We drove into the camping ground by the lake and put our reading material down beside our beds in our cabin. From that moment I knew that this was going to be the best kiwi holiday I would ever have.

To start our holiday off, we went to the local fish and chip shop for lunch. The smell…ooooh… the smell was mouth watering. I wanted to scoff all of the chips but that wasn’t the wisest thing to do considering I was still getting over the peregrination in the car and anyway we were having a picnic lunch.

We drove past the camping ground and onto the stony lake frontage. I got out of the car and found a picnic table right on the shoreline. We ate. I was persuaded by mum to leave the table and take a walk along the track, possibly because I had eaten more than my share. But then again I loved walking, especially during sunny days. I noticed that my dad had confiscated Matt’s iPhone so that he couldn’t play on it during lunch. T-Bone our dog was having a wonderful time sniffing everything in sight. Without warning he jumped into the water and sent spray all over me. I looked like I had just won the wettest swimmer with clothes on competition.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the track that ran alongside the lake. It gave me a chance to dry out. As the waves smashed into the rocks, I was reminded of our white water rafting experiences at Queenstown. The regular beating almost had its own jingle. It began to get dark so we walked back to the car.

As we drove into the camping ground we saw some 80’s underwear flapping on a washing line. “Ha, ha.” Everyone started laughing. Even Matt got off his iPhone and started chuckling. T-Bone simply looked confused.

I went inside my cabin…well technically it was the kid’s cabin because Tim, Matt and I shared it with T-Bone. You see T-Bone is my dog. I got him for my seventh birthday so he comes everywhere he can with me. Time passed but I couldn’t get to sleep because there were no electric blankets on the beds and I was freezing. I usually live like a prince, so this was a bit of a nightmare.

The next morning I complained to mum about the beds. “Jim,” she sighed, “why are you such a drama king?” I decided to see if dad would let me go for a swim in the lake. “Okay, “ he said,” it has to be a quick one because we’re going for a tramp soon.” I ran outside, into the street, down the hill to the lake. Dad hadn’t noticed that I had swiped his snorkel and mask. Now I could put my head under the water. ‘Brrrr’
My body shivered. The temperature of the water was so cold. Then I looked down and saw the most amazing sight. There were trout in the lake and they were close. So were arms that hoisted me up out of the water.
“Jim!” Dad was behind me. “We’ve got to head off now,” he said dumping into the back seat of the car. “What’s with the snorkel Jim?” he asked. I ignored the question and looked out through the window. “Dad gave me a couple of minutes to dry off and change and we were off on yet another adventure.

Tim had found a perfect tramping stick, and was bragging to us about it. Then out of nowhere a Kiwi shot past me like a rocket “oh my –“ I couldn’t finish my sentence as it’s soft feathers brushed across my leg. “Wow!” said Dad taking photos on his digital camera like the paparazzi. Soon, the whole forest rang with bird songs. Let me tell you it was quite a hullabaloo! T-bone tried to work out where the noise was coming from. I shouted as I ran after him. Eventually I caught up with him. “Bad dog!” I growled. Wow, he had found an amazing waterfall. I recognised the sound of kiwi voices and thought it might be important to put T-bone on the leash and walk back to the others. We walked back down the track to the car park, I decided NOT to tell the family about the waterfall because knowing my family, they would probably tell me off for going off by myself. But I cant help it, I’m a explorer and exploring is what I do. So we all got back to the car park and from that moment on I knew NZ was a magical country.

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Grandpa Harry is a real character. He’s ninety-one and spends most of his time telling everyone how much he hates young children. You see he lost an eye and a leg in the war and he’s in a wheelchair. His favourite meal is Christmas dinner and I think that’s the only reason that he comes away on holiday with us.

“Orse!” yelled Thomas, grinning that awful devilish grin of his. “Orse on Lizzy. It’s your turn now,” he says.
“You’re supposed to yell horse when you see a horse, not a picture of one,” I tell him as we passed another sign that states ‘No Riding of Horses’.

By the way my name is Lizzy Tucker. I’m in our black four-wheel drive with my family heading over to Diamond Harbour for our Christmas holiday. I can just make out Purau Wharf as we come around the corner. Wait a minute... that means that we must be here. People say that the scenery in the harbour is amazing but in my case, the windy roads spoil it.

What a hullabaloo! Thomas was screaming, Tiz our dog was barking, and worst of all dad was trying to sing. I could see Grandma’s car pulling up.
“Hiya Larry!” yelled dad. Dad had to yell because our one legged, one eyed Grandpa had never had enough money to buy himself a hearing aid. Grandma had to lift Larry out of the car and put him into his wheelchair.

“Mum… blue…really!” mum groaned as she caught sight of the streaks in grandma’s hair. Grandma had always told me that bright colours made her feel younger. I loved the fact that my grandmother was so trendy.
“Bob, put the tents up!” screeched grandpa to my younger brother.
“Thomas,” my brother yelled as he corrected grandpa.

Once the tents were up, Thomas wanted to put the stockings up in the caravan. “Let’s put the stocking up,” Thomas shouted enthusiastically. “Okay,” I groaned. Thomas and I caught sight of a drunk couple hobbling along the beach. It was that time of year. I was tired and looking forward to snuggling into my warm cuddly airbed.

When I woke up, I could smell pine-cones and taste dog slobber. I opened my eyes to find Tiz giving me a big wet kiss on the lips. I heard Thomas repeating, “Santa’s been,” over and over again. In my stocking I got an inflatable biscuit and a swimming suit. A biscuit is a big inflatable circle that you tie onto the back of a boat. You jump on it and it tows you around. It’s neat fun.

That day we decided to take the biscuit out and try it. The steep windy access road down to get to the beach caused us a few problems that day. It was funny when Larry got cranky and hit the back of his wheelchair with his hand. He was trying to hold on, when his wheelchair took off. He fell out and started to roll down the hill. We ran after him all the way to Purau beach to find Grandpa sitting on the shoreline, swearing. It was really funny (for us, not grandpa Larry), but little did we know that it wasn’t going to stay like that.

“Come on, let’s explore” said our Grandma, already running down the beach. “Wow, kids come and see this,” yelled Grandma. “She sounds really excited” said my little troll of a brother, as he ran after her. Guess what my beloved Grandma had found? She had uncovered a half disintegrated seal’s brain. “Oh gross!” I complained, as I ran back down to the bay.

“Let’s jump off the wharf,” yelled Thomas excitedly.
“Fine,” I mumbled. Thomas got there before me of course. He made a huge leap into the water. I kept waiting for him to come to the surface, he did, but I knew he was in trouble.

I dived in and grabbed him by his rash vest (a swimming top that prevents you getting rashes from salt water) and tried to drag him back to shore. Thomas was getting heavier and heavier. Out of the corner of my eye I saw grandma racing down the wharf to save us. She dived in and took Thomas while I struggled to climb over rocks onto the edge of the road

We recovered back at the campsite and spent the rest of the day in bed. When we woke we were ready for Boxing Day. What a Christmas day to remember.

Written by Phoebe Blackwood

Adventures at St Bathans. Written by: Kezia Fowler-Blyth

The blinding sun glinted on the lake as it does in the middle of summer in New Zealand. It was such a relief to get out of our stuffy car at St Bathans and into the fresh air. Air that was scented with pine, smoke and dust. I could see the sheep grazing on the hill. The water on the dam rippled in the warm breeze. The skiff on the bank was waiting for someone to rush over and push it into the water.

“Kezia!” shouted Sophie. She was sprinting toward me like a dog chasing cattle. Three of my uncles’ dogs had been let out for a run and were chasing each other barking monotonously. Barnaby, Poppy and I unpacked quickly and sprinted down to the dam.

We found the water freezing cold because of the heat of the day. However, it was better to be in there than out in the heat of the sun. Barnaby was on the skiff so I swam out to him and pushed him off. We had our fun that way. Imagine being there with us. You can keep your swimming pools. It’s amazing being out in the open, miles away from everyone. Barnaby and I also love to bike along the tracks behind our holiday house. We sometimes imagine that there are things that will jump out at us. Actually sometimes our dogs jump in front of our bikes. The pine needles under the trees were soft like wool. In the winter it snows and they’re great for snowball fights.

For dinner we had a delicious roast chicken with mashed potato and a drink of ginger beer. Later that night we went for a walk. I ran ahead trying to catch up with the dog. After awhile I wandered off the track without noticing and realised I could no longer hear the others. I was lost and worried so I turned around and tried to find my way back. I was scared that they would never find me, so I stopped walking. Eventually it got dark and exhaustion overtook me, so I lay down and curled up on the forest floor.

I woke to something crawling over me. That thing smelt like a dog. It was Max, Sophie’s dog. He started barking. I could hear Poppy in the distance calling my name. I sprinted after Max. After a hard run I reached Poppy and the rest of the group. “What a night,” I panted. Poppy said she’d been worried and stayed up all night waiting for me to come home. We all decided to run the last few metres back to the house..

“Slurp” I went as I scoffed the noodles that Poppy placed in front of me. It was good to have food inside of me. The heat of the noodles warmed me up a lot. That afternoon Poppy, Barnaby and I went to the old gold mine (otherwise known as ‘The Claim’) for a swim and to slide down the cliffs on old signboards. “Agghhhhhhhh,” Sophie screamed as a piece of the cliff crumbled, and a rock narrowly missed her. The next rocks that fell were heaps bigger and blocked the entrance to the cave she was in. “Oh no,” we all thought. “Thats going to be hard to move,”said Barnaby.

We pushed and shoved but we couldn’t create a big enough gap. So we turned, feeling helpless and trudged home. We sat down on the gigantic stump outside the front door of the old house sobbing miserably. I thought of Sophie in the cave with all the rats and spiders around her. Then I remembered a jingle from tele. ‘Bad boys, bad boys, what ya gonna do, what ya gonna do when they come for you?’

Two things suddenly came into view; a rabbit skittering past us and something bounding over the hill. I stood up to get a better look and realised that it was Sophie’s messy blonde head bobbing in the wind. “Poppy, look up there on the hill.” I said. “She’s alive,” we called. “Yay,” Barnaby said sarcastically as he plodded off to make his two minute noodles. Poppy and I ran to Sophie and hugged her. What a hullabaloo we were making. Max was barking and we were shouting. We were so happy to see her.

After telling Dad our story, we put our togs on and walked to the dam. Not surprisingly Dad came with us.

A Trip into Paradise

Yay! We were finally off on a peregrination to our favourite holiday spot, Nelson. Because of the excitement in the car there was a real hullabaloo. I couldn’t wait to explore the centre with my best friend Isi as she hadn’t been there before. Isi and I were talking about what we could do in Nelson and what we wanted to visit. An hour out from Nelson, we had finally decided what we wanted to explore on the first day. I was about to play a board game with Isi when exhaustion over took me and I fell asleep.

“Emma Emma!” my mother yelled. Startled, I woke up to find that we were at the batch. Isi and I raced to our rooms. ‘I bags the top bunk,’ I said. Yay, I got it!
“That’s not fair,” yelled my sister.
“Yes it is,” I said in my best growl.
“Oh stop complaining.” I said to her.

After unpacking it was time to explore, so Isi and I left. Outside the batch we heard a scratching sound. What was that noise? ‘Scratch’ There it was again. Isi and I just had to investigate. ‘Scratch’ We followed the noise. I looked up to see a few possums on the roof. It was really hot so we decided to leave them to it and go back inside. I wanted to tip water over my head but we had to go to the fish and chip shop.

The inside of the shop stunk like something mouldy. “Yuck!” I said as I went inside. They weren’t busy so we ordered. The order was ready in no time. We went back to the batch to eat. My stomach was full because I had scoffed down so many chips. It was nice relaxing in the spa after tea even though the water was hot. I didn’t stay in long. I was exhausted and decided to go to bed.

The next day I woke up and heard some kind of jingle coming from the kitchen, but it was just someone with the car keys.
“Emma, get dressed. We are going out,” Dad said. I wondered where we were going. Of course, I remembered that we were having breakfast in a restaurant.

Inside the restaurant I heard a bagatelle being played. “Not bad,” I thought. I enjoyed listening to music. I had all sorts of different things for breakfast, even icecream. It was Hokey Pokey, my favourite flavour. It dribbled down my chin. I love it when that happens.

Later in the day we all went off for a hike. I like the fact that you can have quite an adventure in places like this because of the natural surroundings. As we started along the track, I sensed that we were going to have fun. The only noise I could here were birds chirping in the bushes. What a lovely sound. The trees seemed to disappear into the sky. At the top of the hill there was a small lake. We could see eels swimming in it. I’d never seen an eel before. They looked like great big long worms, squirming around in the water.

By the time we got back to the batch after our tramp, it was getting late. I went to watch television, but there wasn’t one to be found. “ I want to watch Dora!” cried my sister. “How do you watch Dora when there’s no television here. Go play with yourself outside or do something,” I said in a huff. Isi and I went to our beds early that night because we were so tired. I had to admit it was hard to know what to do without a television.

Around eleven o’ clock the next morning we started to pack up because our weekend away was ending and we had to go back to school.
“Oh blow, school tomorrow. I don’t want to go,” said Isi.
‘I know, I know,” I said sadly. My family loaded us into the car and we were off.

Ring went the bell as we started news time. “Well Isi and Emma would you like to share your holiday news?” asked Mrs Robin. Isi and I got up to.
“Good morning,” Isi and I said.
“Good morning Isi and Emma,” said the class.
“Our news is about our holiday in Nelson and we would like to tell you all about it.
Written by Amelia Haller

Adventures at Anchorage

“How long is this going to take?” I yelled over the din of the boat’s motor. My family and I were heading to Anchorage in Abel Tasman Park.
“About fifteen minutes,” my dad said. My arm was killing me because it had been lying in a bad position and had cramped. National Park and Anchorage, here I come.

We had never been to Abel Tasman National Park during the summer so this holiday would be slightly different. The first unusual thing that I noticed was the sound the cicadas were making. It was deafening. What a hullabaloo. Normally it was quiet, but with the heat of the summer the insects sounded like a supermarket on a Friday night, but 1000 times worse.

When we got to our tent site something hit me, not literally but the fact was that we had been to Anchorage three times and were camping in exactly the same spot. “ I suppose that it doesn’t matter,” I said to myself. You see the sun overlooks the camping site so we were always nice and warm. There’s a picnic table only two metres away that can be used for eating on and sitting at. We didn’t have to walk far to the toilets either.

I turned around having taken luggage from the boat and walked straight into my little sister Clarrase. “Denis, why did you do that?” she whined. She may have been a midget, but was she tough. I did what any scared person would’ve done, I ran. Fortunately I’m faster than Clarasse. “See ya sucker,” I said triumphantly.
“Denis stop! I want to pound you,” she yelled.
“Mum, help! Clarasse is going to pound me,” I yelped.
“Take this to the tent site Denis,” my mum said handing me a large container while completely ignoring me. Well at least I had some form of defence now. After carrying the last of the luggage up to the campsite, I helped mum and dad put the tent up. I was happy by this time and was happy to get into bed.

Day two, and I woke with a start. “Wake up!” Clarrase screamed in my ear. Was I always going to get up to this racket? Mum had told her that we needed an early start.
“Where are we going?” I asked curiously.
“We’re going to Medlabs Bay,” dad said.
“It’s Medlands Bay,” mum corrected.
“Oh!” dad said, surprised that he had the name wrong.
I got dressed into my wetsuit, grabbed my life jacket and headed for the beach and the boat.

We moored in Melands Bay in quite a sheltered spot. “Isn’t it quiet,” dad said.
He was right it was far quieter than Anchorage and there was a small lagoon. While I was splashing about having fun, I noticed a narrow stream flowing into the lagoon.
“Hey Dad, check this out,” I said enthusiastically.
“Okay, be there in a minute,” he replied.
We both wanted to explore the sights, so we did.

The track came to a dead end. “Dad, what’s that trickling noise?” I asked.
“It’s a tiny waterfall. Come and take a look,” dad said.
Because a large boulder had been leaning against the bank of the stream, it had created a small cave like thing. And what do you know, inside of it, there was this waterfall. Some people may have thought that it was caused by heavy rain, but no, this was a real waterfall and it was really cool.

On the way back, the tide had gone out so it was easier to walk across the rocks. I told mum about the waterfall. I’m not sure how much she heard because I had so much to say and I spoke rather quickly. After lunch we got our gear and headed back to Anchorage. By the time the boat ride was over, it was dinner-time.
I yawned, “Sleep at last,” and I went out like a light.

I awoke the next day knowing that we would leave. Clarrase wasn’t awake so I yelled, “Wake up!” in her ear. Finally, pay back. We packed up the tent and everything else and put it all in the boat. I would miss Anchorage, even though life at home was pretty good. My cat would be missing us, so in a sense I was ready to go home. We took our last look at Anchorage and turned to face the road.
“Step on it dad!” I said. The motor revved and we were off.

Written by Adam Moore

A Great Place to Make a Friend
Written by Ella Tucker

“Oh for goodness sake you two, stop it!” mum screamed. Samantha was complaining that she hadn’t had a turn playing ‘I Spy’. We were in the car on our way to Kaiterteri. It wasn’t my fault that she had fallen asleep in the middle of the game. Me, well yes, I was complaining too, as children naturally do, but then it had taken so long to get to the camping ground.

Here we were standing in the lush green Kaiteriteri Motor Camp. This was where we would camp for two days. Mum was grumpy with us and dad was irritated because he hadn’t been able to get the new two-room tent up. Mum and dad would sleep in it while me and my sister would have our own tents. We hadn’t had any trouble getting ours up, but then they’re only pup tents and don’t come far off the ground. You see we had arrived on a rather windy day.

I’m out of here,” Samantha said to me, “I’m going to the dairy with mum.
“Yay, you’re leaving me alone,” I said happily when mum wasn’t listening.

Once they were out of sight I took the opportunity to wander off to look around the camping ground. It was packed with people. There were tents of all sizes and colours. It looked as though there might be another hullabaloo tonight.
Every year we came, the noise of partying was got worse. In fact every year the party’s got louder, especially the night ones.

As my mind drifted into the clouds I bumped into someone.
“Sorry mumbled a blonde girl.” She seemed to be about my age.
“Hi, I’m Grace,” I said politely.
“Rose,” said the girl.
“Come here often?” I asked.
“Nah, not really,” she replied.
I ended up talking to Rose for ages. Finally she told me that she had to go to the toilet, so naturally, our conversation ended. Yes, Rose would make a great friend. She was quite sweet really. Maybe she would invite me back to her cabin. She had told me that she had a piano in their cabin so I thought that we might be able to compose a short jingle to sing on the way home.

“Grace, you know we love you, but be quiet now and stop being mean to Sammy,” dad said. Sammy always tried to be in charge of the people I met and I didn’t like it.
“ Are you sure?” she asked.
“ I told you, I bumped into Rose when I went for a walk.”

Later that day a tanned lady came to introduce herself to mum.
“This is Rose’s mother,” mum said, “ I understand that you have met Rose in the camping ground and her mother has invited you for a sleepover.”
“Ah, great,” I said poking my head through my tent opening.
“ Can I have a sleepover with Grace mum?” I asked.
“ Well because Sammy is feeling unwell, I think that would be alright, but remember that we are going home tomorrow. Sammy may need to see a doctor.”
“ Oh mum, I don’t want to leave,” I said. But I don’t think that she was listening.
“Bye Grace,” she said, putting a bag in my hand.

Before dinner Rose taught me how to play monopoly. It’s a game where you start with money and buy places that you land on. Jail is the one place that you don’t want to land on up because you don’t get out until you get a double six or pay up. Rose won, but only because she knew how to play. Well that’s my story.

As night fell, Rose and I were allowed to watch movies in her mum’s Range Rover. We had chips and lemonade. I was right about the noise in the camping ground.
Drunk teens and their parties.

The next morning mum came to get me because Sammy was still ill. Oh no, I complained, Sammy always ruined my fun. I got dressed into a simple blue dress and hugged Rose. She gave me her mobile number and we left.

In the car on the way home, Sammmy vomited all over my dress. “Poor Sammmy Wammy,” said mum. Once the signal returned, I phoned Rose and we arranged to meet again sometime. Rose suggested the folllowing year, way to far away I said. In June I’m going up to Auckland so we could catch up then I said. Ok said Rose see you then.

The Truth

“Stop writing in that journal,” insisted mum.
“Yes mum,” I shouted.
‘Ouch!” said Ava.
“ Mum, Isabella shouted in my ear,” she yelled.
“No, I didn’t,” I said.
“Yes, you did,” replied my sister.
“You two stop fighting,” mum said. “Just as kids do,” she mumbled.
“What?” we asked.
“ Oh nothing,” she said.

“Wow, look at Invercargil.” I interjected trying to change the subject.
“Where?” Ava asked.
“On the map of course. Look there’s Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, and there’s Nelson, Dunedin and even Kaipoi,” I told her.
‘Yes, and we are here in Dunedin,” mum added, “ so get those bags unpacked before you go anywh….”
Slam! We had already left.

“ Ava let’s get iceblocks,”I suggested as I began to jingle the money in my pocket.
“ Great idea,” she replied.
“What a hullabaloo that man’s creating out there,” said Ava.
“That man’s playing a bagatelle,” I told her.
“Oh,” she mumbled, “whatever that means.”
“Here’s your iceypop. Now come on,” I said as we walked away from the corner shop. “Remember 14 Tilina Ave ,” I whispered for apparently no reason. Someone behind me said, ”Helllo.” It was the strange voice of a man. For some reason I knew we had to move away. “ Ava run!” I yelled. I ran. When I stopped to check where she was, I realized there was no noise, nor Ava. “Oh no!” I shrieked.

I ran around the crowded streets hoping that someone had seen my sister. After all, we had holidayed here before. I searched for hours without thinking to go to the police station. Eventually I headed back to our holiday cottage.

“I’m sorry,” I sniffed as mum burst into tears. “Where’s my little girl?” she wailed. I couldn’t cope with my guilt, so I went outside. There was a paper sitting on the step. The paperboy had just delivered it. The headline said ‘Gruesome Gang Has Returned.’ I read the first paragraph. The police were warning the public about a group that had kidnapped someone. The word kidnappers lingered in my head. Then BOOM! It struck me that my sister might be in real danger.

I headed back to the spot where I had last seen Ava. On the footpath lay a small piece of paper with an address on it: 87 Courtney Cove, Delwood Mountains. I just knew that Ava had to be there. But would anyone believe me if I told them that she had been taken?

Ah, yes, by now you may have guessed that this is one of my journal entries. Something I do when we have a wet day while we’re on holiday. You see, I’m nine years old and pretty good at reading and writing, not to mention maths. I have an annoying sister and yes again, her name is Ava. So why wouldn’t I try to get rid of her for a while, well at least in my imagination.

So anyway I heard someone running towards me. I turned around slowly. “Isabella!” a little girl screamed. I couldn’t make out who she was. Then I realised. “Ava “ I shouted. For once I was happy to see her. I was about to take her home to mum when I saw Alice, Ava`s best friend coming down the road with my friends lsabel and Bellathorn.

“I found her in Alice’s room,” said Isabel. I called your mum, but she said you weren’t there so I called Bellathorn. She was able to locate you on her cellphone. We’ve already let your mum know that she’s safe.

Back at home mum let us watch a movie before we went to bed. The next morning we went to the local shops. Ava wanted to make a scrap book about our holiday so we got one each. Ava wrote a few things on each page like: “Hi im Ava and I am loving our stay in Dunedin so much that I’m tempted to be nice to Isabella. Here are our photos of me and Issy eating chocolate cupcakes.

I’m so happy that Ava and I are getting on like sisters should. Now we have to go because we`re off to the park.

By Maddie Tutty

Down Under at Riverton

By Brydie Washington

“Riverton’s the last place on the ‘r’ list,” I said excitedly after our long peregrination. Gran and Granddad had written down a list with me of all the places starting with ‘r’ that we would pass through on our way to Riverton. This was a special trip for me because I had been chosen to travel down with my grandparents.

When we arrived, we met up with my cousin Ishoa a very quirky, out going sort of girl and my Aunty Shelly who is a real naturalist. They usually come with us on holidays because they are close family, on my dad’s side. They tend to be heaps of fun and good to be round, but then everyone is.

It was great to be back. There it was, our crib which has a sea blue deck with a barbeque that sits in the front of it and boy do we use it. Just like all good kiwis do. Right next door, is a park. Some times we pick the daisies and I put them in my hair. Dad thinks that they make me look like a hippie.

I was pleased when Mum, Dad and Sinead got to the crib later that day. We still had time to go for a walk to the back beach. The waves were crashing up onto the shoreline making a real hullabaloo like a waterfall does on the rocks below. We walked down to Gem Stone Beach. We may not have found any gemstones, but we did find blue bottles washed up the beach. As we galloped along the beach Ishoa and I jumped on the blue bottle pieces. When they popped they made weird squidgy noises. I went further along the beach and jumped on another blue bottle and the liquid inside of it squirted out onto my leg. I had to ask my granddad to wipe it off because it was so revolting. It was all forgotten when we got back to the crib.

Some days later we headed off for a long walk. We saw a flock of sheep on the hillside. They were cantering after a leader. They do that. Down the track we saw a tragic sight, a dead lamb. It was right in front of me. “Oh my gosh!” I yelled.
“How are we going to get through here?” I asked looking at the thorns in front of us. Dad cleared a pathway. Under a bush he found a pile of bones including a skull.
“Obviously the last family who came here didn’t make it out,” he said holding up the bones. “Dad!” We laughed. We knew that he was telling porkies. On the way back down the hill we had to duck and leap over the prickly bushes but finally, we reached the beach. ‘Hurray!’ I thought.

As we were walking back to the crib, I found a starfish on the shoreline. I would have to take it back to Christchurch with me. I was a bit of a magpie. Walking across the cattle stop we talked about the bush that looked like a prairie dog. That was when it started to rain, but it didn’t stop Ishoa and I composing a short jingle.
Don the prairie dog.
Looks like a prickly log
Paws are small
But his body is tall
Don the prairie dog.

By the time we were back we were soaking wet. Luckily Gran had cooked us a scrumptious dinner and a lip-smacking dessert. We always love it when Gran cooks. It’s so nice to sit in our crib with the family. We were all snuggly tucked up on the couch. I kept thinking ‘Man its good to have New Zealand as a home.’ I love it when we go on our own little family adventures.

On our last day we had to frantically tidy up the crib because the new people arrived. Its a bit challenging hurtling around a small crib in a rush, especially when there are nine of you all banging into each other. We packed our bags, gathered the laundry, and searched for the shells and rocks we had stored under the deck. As I got into the car to come home on that last day, I knew I didn’t want to leave but then, I’d be back again some day soon.