New Zealand is apparently experiencing a heatwave. I say "apparently" because to us it just feels like what a summer should feel like.

With little planning, we decided to head on down to the beach after work tonight. Taking a walk along the sand seemed more appealing than walking around a block or two. And there were enough leftovers that we didn't have to worry too much about cooking.

It was a pleasant hour and we weren't the only ones with the same idea. As I told The Most Adorable Granddaughters#1-#3 when they rang to wish me a Happy Belated Birthday (not their fault it was belated), DH went swimming and I threw a cardigan on. Yep, even in this "heatwave" the beach was a little too cool for me.

This is the first time we've been back to the beach since we lost Nehli. It felt so strange. It reminded me of when my youngest started school or when they'd all left home: I'd catch myself talking to an empty carseat or wandering around an empty house. It just didn't feel right.

That's how it felt tonight.

I still miss her. The house doesn't feel alive when we come home. DH still finds himself going to fulfil his morning routine that involved feeding her. I still think that I hear her on the back veranda. I haven't yet accepted the new norm. But I will admit that tonight on the beach, while I did miss Nehli, I didn't miss handling wet and sandy sticks.

This "heatwave" is meant to hang around for a few more days yet, so there may be a few more impromptu beach visits. Who knows? Perhaps I may even venture into the water at one stage (beyond ankle deep I mean). Watch this space!