Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas time, Barbeques and wine

I've always hated that lame Christmas song. Especially when Cliff Richard sings it.

Today I have been preparing for the thirty, yes - 30, people who are coming here on Tuesday. Good thing it's a pot luck barbie thingy.

I weed-eated (weed-ate?) the wasteland that we call the Deck to Nowhere. Seriously, it just sits there, separated from both the house and the courtyard. Strange. I plan to have blankets down for people to sit on once Sam mows it. The plan was to pave it in November but circumstances intervened. And the quotes were well over our budget.

Pressies are wrapped and under the tree.

Below is a close-up of two decorations that I'm sure will be talking points when the family all arrive on Christmas Day. One is a picture of not-kate and I; it was in my goodie bag at her 30th birthday. The other is a Champagne cork. The bottle was a wedding pressie from my cousin - we opened it and drank it in the lounge when we bought the house in Kelson. I tied curling ribbon on it and hung it on the tree: It ended up back in the decoration box so I put it back on again this year.

Warning! Rat photo below!

I just wanted to put this photo up cos the rats look so cute all snuggled up together. They were sleeping, but woke up when I opened the door to take the photo. Poppy is such a poser!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Me and my Dad.

Dad was an only child

He was born at the tail end of the Great Depression, in 1934, in Inglewood. His Dad – my Pop – was a schoolteacher and later a headmaster. Pop went away to war in 1939, and so Dad and his Mum Elizabeth lived a pretty meagre existence for a good part of his childhood. Elizabeth died when Dad was in his late 20s. She drowned during her daily swim in the sea at Paihia. I grew up knowing little of her, as Pop remarried and I grew up with a different Gran.

Dad was a soldier

He joined the Army as soon as he was old enough. He wanted to go to Korea, but I’m glad he didn’t. He went to Malaya and fought in the Emergency that was happening there. He didn’t like to talk about it much. He did like to tell us though, about his trips to exotic places like Bangladesh, Australia, Singapore and the States, and the shenanigans he got up to, including asking for a huge plate of cabbage from the mess when he arrived back in New Zealand from USA. I’m sure they thought he was mad, but apparently you couldn’t get cabbage in America back then.

He met Mum in the Army. She was a senior rank to him, which raised a few eyebrows back then, but he didn’t care. He swept her off her feet and into an Army House in tropical Waiouru once they were married.

When the Army Cadet unit started up in Lower Hutt in 1990, Dad told us all about how he was a School Cadet in the 40s, which sounded pretty exciting. Carol and I joined up the next week, and Dad even joined as an officer for a few years. I owe a lot to my 9 years in the Cadets. I would never be so confident as I am now if I hadn’t been to all those courses or taught all those lessons, or led all that drill on the parade ground. I will always be thankful to Mum and Dad for taking us to that first meeting in a draughty drill hall in Petone.
And “on time” to the Hall family ALWAYS means “five to ten minutes early” thanks to our military parents.

Dad was a family man

So much so, that he had two families.
He married Jean in 1956. Steven was born later in the year. Dad had always acknowledged that he was a bit of a lad, and wasn’t always around when he was needed, and eventually they divorced. Steven grew up into a fine man and we used to all go to visit Jean and Steve a few times a year for a catch up. When Steve developed cancer in 2005, Mum and Dad opened their home and hearts to have him move into our place for the last few months of his life. It was a really special time.

He married Mum in 1973. Carol arrived in 1974, I followed in 1976. Apparently when Mum was in labour with me, the doctor sent Dad home, saying it would be a while, and that he would call when it was time to come back.
He was at home, mowing the lawn when the phone rang. Mum’s voice on the other end of the line said; “Hello David… we have another daughter!”
He replied; “Who is this?”

He was a surrogate Dad to Katie (Carol’s friend), Sarah and Kirsten (my friends), and Allison, our exchange student from Chicago who stayed with us in 1990. Recently he was also Dad to Lauren, who stayed with Sam and I while on teaching exchange from Canada for four months.
He was also a loving Gramps to Megan. There will be more Grandchildren eventually, but unfortunately they won’t get to know him as Megan did.

Dad went on a big trip overseas with Mum in 2001

The planning conversation with Mum went like this:
Where do you want to go?
Anywhere else?
No, just Chicago.
What about England?
No, just Chicago, to see Allison and her family.
OK, but we’re going to England too because I want to go there.
OK, but only because you want to. Don’t ask me to enjoy it.

When they got back, the conversation went like this:
Where do you want to go back to?

Dad was skilled with electronics

He was what is known as an ‘early adapter’, trying and embracing new technology as it came to hand. Working for Philips helped. We had a video well before most other people we knew. The cassette was two-sided like an audio tape, and popped out of a little hinged door. The technology never took off, but ‘Mr Philips’ always provided us with newer, better models as they became available.

Carol and I had a Philips version of the Walkman, before most people even knew what one was. The batteries lasted long enough to play about 3 tapes before they went flat, but damn we were cool, walking round to the dairy in the 80s with our big black foam headphones on.

When things broke, Dad was always able to fix them. He could still install and programme a video faster than any cable guy, and always knew exactly which cable went where, even over the phone, which he had to do the many times that Carol and I moved flats.

When the Defence Film Library became the Defence Video Unit he took it all in his stride. Watching him use a mouse when computers came in was hilarious, because his finger would hover over it like it was the Doomsday button, but we taught him how to play Minesweeper and Patience, and pretty soon he was using the mouse like a pro. He was pretty good at using the internet and email, and loved being able to interact with his Army buddies using SigsNet.

He could also send a text message faster than any other Septegenererian I know. Even though he held it at arms length and typed with his index finger.

Dad was great with his hands

He made a wooden rocking horse and a doll’s house for us when we were kids, and heaps of wooden toys. The wooden train he made is still at home, and Megan now plays with it. He remodelled every house he lived in, including Miro St, which has now been remodelled and redecorated at least twice in some parts.

He made Carol and I wooden boxes that sat at the end of our beds. And later, a blanket box for the end of his and Mum’s bed too. He made our garden furniture, built the pergola at the back of our house, and rebuilt the deck in 2005 with Steven and Murray. He made a beautiful changing trolley for Carol and Murray, and a trolley that he used to get himself round the house when he was still mobile. When he couldn’t do the big jobs anymore he started making holding crosses. They are all over the place; as far afield as Canada, USA, Japan and England. And even Gore.

I learned a lot of skills from Dad, and own my own tool kit and power drill. Sometimes I even let my husband use them.

Dad was firm but fair

He picked us up from parties with no questions asked; whatever the time or place, he and Mum were there to take us home. Even if there was underage drinking involved. Which there was, on quite a few occasions.

When we were old enough to drive, we got to return the favour by collecting him from the Taita RSA on ANZAC Day and Corps Days. These were the only times he ever left the seat up! Living with three women engourages a man not to do that very often.

When one of us had a boyfriend round very late at night – a BIG no-no, Dad chased him out of the house. Naked. That certainly scared the living daylights out of the would-be Romeo.

Dad was smart

He did the prize cryptic crossword every week in the paper. It became a bit of a competition between him and Peggy from Church and Jim from SigsNet. The record stands at three pens each.

He did Sudoku every morning. Mum and him would each work on their own copy after breakfast, and race each other to finish it.

He loved maths, particularly algebra. I couldn’t wait to find out what that was. When I found out, I loved it too. Now I’m a maths teacher, passing on my love of maths to my students.

He loved to watch Eggheads and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? on the TV, and knew a heck of a lot about a heck of a lot of topics. Sam and Dad’s combined knowledge base was a scarily powerful combination, and they used to love watching it together when we went home for tea every Thursday for the last few years.

Dad loved to have fun

He used to take us to a local playground after Church on Sundays, to let Mum have some downtime. We loved going to Avalon Park, or Petone Foreshore, or the playground just near St James. He would push us on the swings till we were so high we could see everything around us. Or he would take us on the model trains at Petone and Avalon Parks. Dad loved going on them with us too.

He was a great rock 'n' roll dancer, and would eventually dance with me after a bit of persuasion. He would get breathless at times, but he gave it his all. He taught me how to follow, as often I would second-guess the next move and try to lead. I have great memories of dancing with him at Carol and Murray’s wedding.

He used to read to us at bedtime. Our favourite book was There’s no such thing as a dragon, but he never got to find out how it ended, as every time he got to “luckily the milkman was able to tell them which way it went”, he would collapse in laughter and tears, unable to read any further. Even in our teens and 20s we would beg Dad to read it to us, just to watch him laugh. He never got to read it to Megan, but we will do it for him when she is older.

My Dad was amazing and I’m going to miss him.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

1934 - 2007

My Dad passed away this evening at 10.45pm, after the machine that was breathing for him was turned off. While not entirely unexpected, his turn for the worse was kind of sudden. He was surrounded by family and friends and not one but two Priests. Oh yes, he certainly had God on his side.

Farewell, my big strong Daddy.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yet another busy weekend

Friday night:
Leavers' Dinner at Kaitoke Gardens. My babies are all grown up now... good old 9FH from 2003 have left the building. It's interesting that the only ones who stayed to the end of Year 13 were mostly boys (there were three girls but they didn't make the dinner). Seeya guys! I must admit I shed a few tears during the goodbye hugs and thankyous.

On the way home, Sue (another of the Deans) and I popped in to Paul's place to see if their annual family and friends Christmas party was still going. It was, and we arrived just as everyone was gathering round the piano for a singalong of Christmas classics. With pre-printed songsheets and everything; man, were they prepared! We went through all the carols and tacky santa/snow/winter/reindeer songs, then lo - a bunch of songbooks appeared from the piano stoool, and we sang our way through those too. At some stage a guitar appeared as well. We were just singing "The Midnight Hour" when we realised it *was* the midnight hour, and that the neighbours might want some sleep, so we finished up and headed home.

Hit the shops early to avoid the rush; needed a Santa suit for the Church Christmas Pageant (it's a trad story and a modern story running parallel to each other), and bought a dress for $20 for Sarah and Adam's wedding in 2 weeks. Bargain! Then I headed to Church to 'do a few things' to prepare for the afternoon rehearsal. I ended up 'doing a few things' for close to 4 hours! But the set looked cool, and the rehearsal went well.

When I got home, I had a quick change into the Indian gear and headed to Upper Hutt to dance in a concert. Turns out it was the Anita's School of Dance end-of-year concert, so there were lots of little poppets in tutus and tiaras wandering around. Too cute. We were special invited guests; Rani runs our group, and apparently Rani's daughter does Jazz through Anita, and Rani asked if we could join in. Something like that. I caught myself speeding on the drive home and was wondering what a cop would think if he pulled me over. I still had on a pile of makeup, a bindi, and a sparkly red and gold dance outfit. With a denim jacket on top. Nice.

Here's a shot of us rehearsing, and a posed one at the concert in the Green Room. It really was green!

Sang a solo in Church today. Sam even came to listen, but Dad was not well enough to come due to a bad night of breathing issues. The piece I sang is called "This is the record of John". It's a traditional piece for the second week of Advent: Prepare the Way of the Lord.

After Church I went shopping for school camp and spent around $450 on food. It filled three trolleys, and STILL managed to fit in the boot of our car cos it's so big!

Then I went back to Church for the pageant. It went off, and Dad was even able to make it, so I was really pleased. The angels got carried away and came on way too early with the wise men, but they understood my sign language and managed to get off the stage in time to lead the shepherds back on. The dancing farmers (modern shepherds) stole the show!
At the BBQ tea afterwards, people were all coming up to tell me how much they enjoyed the pageant - I guess it was worth all the stress in the end.

At 7pm I escaped to K and R's where we watched somebody Bergen (the bad ventroloquist), Madeline Khan (who sang badly), and Steve Martin (who plays the banjo quite well!) on The Muppet Show. I got a fab shoulder massage from R, and K fed me feta and herb rice crackers. Yum.

It's now after 11:30 pm. I need to go to bed now.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I came home without my undies last night

It was on the guy's stag night to-do list: I couldn't resist. And they were my nice ones - clean too, thank goodness.

I also wrote "fish loves you" on his left buttock with a permanent marker.

Going out in Welly is fun. I should do it more often.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Secret Admirers Week Rocks

I am at the computer in the staff workroom getting a very relaxing and pleasant shoulder massage from my co-wo Mihail. He has good hands.

It was arranged for me by my Secret Admirer.

This week I have had chocolate milk and V delivered to me, and three chocolate bars, and today I got a bottle of wine and some pretty flowers. Yay :) I am very spoiled.

My secret admiree has been even more spoiled this week. Every day I have left notes in her pigeonhole (saying things like "Helen is awesome" or "Helen rocks my world"), about 5 times a day. I got students to deliver Hershey's kisses to her office three times a day, I got her fav drink (coke zero) and put one in the fridge for her every day, and I got her some flowers. And two mini bottles of wine. And I made bacon and egg pie on the weekend for her lunch on Monday. Wow.

I am still being massaged. It's lovely.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We just bought a car!!

It's a Mazda Capella station wagon, just right for putting pushchairs and babies in, when the time arrives. No Mum, NOT YET!

You can see a similar one here but ours is a pretty blue colour, is manual (yay) and has done about half the k's.

We get it tomorrow. Yay!!

Sorry it took us so long Lauren. It would have been really useful for you to have had our old one to run about in. They gave us $1000 for the Barina - about 500 more than I was expecting for the old heap :)

Farewell, little Barina. A new fishtank is in town.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


This shot I like to call "Ahmed and his harem". Yeah Right.

This is Kathryn, Femke, Ahmed, Sarah and moi just before the start.

My goals were:
  • Don't stop on the run, and follow through from the hip (Thanks Damon!)
  • Improve on (my best) 6min30 per km run time
  • Cycle with fast RPMs and do it in under an hour
  • Swim non stop and pass lots of people in the pool

Well, I did all that. Yay me.

I ran 6 minute kms (4 km in 24:07)

I did the 18 km cycle in 47:45

In training I had got down to swimming 300m in 5:40, but in the race I did it in a pathetic 7:07.
I meant to do tumble turns in the swim as I had been in training but there were just too many people hanging around at the ends to do it safely. I did pass about 20 people in the pool though. Note also my high elbow and streamlined head and body position in this shot; excellent form.
The official time is 1:18:59 which put me in 14th place (out of 20) in my age group, and 38th (out of 72) out of all the women.

All photos taken by my personal photographer on his new camera. Thanks Sammy!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Lauren goes back to Canada very soon. Boo!
So we are going to have a farewell party. Yay!

We are also forcing you to look the part. Come in your national dress, or the national dress of some other country. Make an effort or else!!
Be warned that if you dress as an All Black you will probably get beaten up. Unless you dress as Dan Carter. Lauren will probably take you upstairs for a while. Just kidding, Lauren! :)

Anyway, be at our place on Saturday 3 November from about 8pm.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Back in Town

We arrived back from Wanganui last night and managed to last for about 2 minutes before turning the computer on; not bad. Anyway, here's some pics from our wee road trip.

Kirsten's car is not really made for five adults. (Like whose is?) We made the most of it anyway. This is early in the journey on Friday evening.

We stopped at Raukawa Falls along the way. The river is a bit high. And dirty.

We stopped in Bulls at The WORST Subway Ever (tm) where the service was crap and the bread was stale. Good thing we had Fruit Bursts to tide us over till morning.

The next day we travelled to Waitomo, just missing being there the same time as a Kiwi Experience bus. (Ah, the memories!)

Here's a (poorly focussed) shot from inside the Aranui caves. Photography is forbidden in the glow worm caves unfortunately. When you are inside the cave they call the Cathedral, they always do this spiel about how the acoustics are great and how Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has sung in there, and would anyone like to sing a song? I've been twice before and always been too chicken, but this time, Lauren and I got brave and sang the beginning of Pie Jesu. We were ok, I guess. The acoustics were actually not that good though - it's nice to have a *little* echo, but the limestone absorbs absolutely *everything*. Anyway, we got a little round of applause from the tourists in our group.

On Sunday we drove over 65km of metalled road (via Athens, London, and Jerusalem!) to arrive at Pipiriki, where we rode a jetboat to the Bridge to Nowhere.

We took loads of Obligatory Self Portraits (OSPs)

And Obligatory Tourist Shots (OTSs)

This is a swingbridge on the way to the Bridge to Nowhere.

The infamous Bridge to Nowhere. The land up here was gifted to returned WWI soldiers. Unfortunately the land proved unsuitable for farming once the forest was cleared and most of the families had left by the time the bridge was completed in the 1940s.

We stopped in Taihape on the way home for Iced Chocolate and coffees and things. Yum!

This sign is just out of Maungaweka. It cracks me up every time. "Peach Teats, calves love 'em!"

We were SO over the back seat by this stage, but still managed a weak smile. I certainly enjoyed getting home and leaping into a warm shower then bed. Many thanks to Rich for organising us and being the Dad. And to Kirsten for supplying the car and being the Mum.


The Naenae Triathlon is less than a week away! I have to do one more trial of the whole course and one more bike ride before I feel fully prepared. Think of me on Sunday morning!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Here we go!

Canyon Swing #1

I went first, mainly as I thought I would chicken out if I had to watch others go ahead of me. In the end it still took me a while to get off the edge, but I got there in the end! I think going over backwards was way easier, as I couldn't see the drop. Although at one stage I take a quick peek over my shoulder. Please excuse the swearing :)

Canyon Swing #2

This time I went forwards, which was really scary as I kept looking down and psyching myself out. The two guys kept freaking me out too - pushing me and then pulling me back in. One of them poked the back of my knee to try and make me tumble too, which nearly earned him a slap. In the end I asked the guy holding me to just push me and I would go with it... he reckons he didn't push me, but I think he did. But hey, at least I got value for money with the dvd footage - 4 minutes worth!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's good to be home

I posted my canyon swing videos on facebook today. I will get them up here soon for those that don't use facebook, but until then, try this link and click on "videos" just below my photo.

Dunno if that will work; let me know!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Oh yeah, I'm alive after my canyon swing. Having too much fun doing other stuff to spend much time on the computer, so I'll upload my canyon video later in the week.

In Christchurch now, then Kaikoura tomorrow. Gonna swim with the dolphins - yay!

If you're interested, you can see more news of our travels on Lauren's blog.

Monday, October 01, 2007


We are in Queenstown, about to do the canyon swing this afternoon. Eek!! You can read about it here, and if you have a flash player, check out the jump styles link also. I'm planning on the back flip and perhaps a pin drop if I do a second one. I just have to keep telling myself that it's just a big swing, and swings are fun, right?

Kayaking in Franz Joseph was awesome. I have some photos on disc which I will upload soon. The water was mirror smooth in places, which made for some pretty shots.

Monday night is karaoke night at the backpacker's pub. Bring it on!

Friday, September 28, 2007

y'know what you should ALL do?

I'm in Franz Joseph, having a play on the internet while the people with more money than me go heli-glacier-ing. My internet time is almost up though, so I just want to say that you should ALL go and look at Lauren's blog for pictures of our trip, cos i have a film camera that doesn't upload to the interweb.

Oh yeah, apologies to the tangata whenua. I hope my costume doesn't offend anyone :) They even forced me to do a haka 'cos the bus driver didn't know how to do it and I did. And I knew that I shouldn't do it. Oops. My poi skills have improved heaps though.

Onward... kayaking this afternoon. Off to Wanaka tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

so far so good

We are in Westport right now, having just returned from the beach where we had a bonfire and Lauren and I entertained the masses by singing songs from our varied repetoire.

Today I swam in Lake Rotoiti. Actually, 'swam' might be too loose a term - the bus driver said he would buy a beer for the first person to jump off the jetty and I couldn't let that go! So I got a beer and also got very cold!

Then I went on a horse trek. We got to trot and canter, and even got to gallop! I have never galloped before, so that was cool.

Reports on challenges to come soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The travels of fish and lauren

Lauren and I are in Blenheim right now, staying with Carol and Murray and Megan. Tomorrow we head off on our Kiwi Experience trip for nearly 2 weeks of South Island action. Yay!!!

Expect random updates over the next two weeks. Pictures too, courtesy of Lauren. Dopey fish took her old film camera rather than the digital camera!

Any missions from my faithful readers that you wish to give us will be carried out and reported upon.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Head

That's what my Dad says when you get a haircut. Like; "Oooh look, new head!"

I haven't had a haircut, but I do have a new header. Thanks Kate! Now if only the green fish matched the green banner down the side... :)


Missing the gloriousness that is Rumpus this weekend as I will be at the Wellington Regional Synod in Palmerston North. It's like Government, Church styles. What a trade-off. Pity it's not being held in Welly. Ah well, rock on without me, my friends.

I spelled 'regional' wrong just then, and had to use the spell check. I have come a long way from standard 4, when I used to be called "Dictionary" and I was in the best spelling group.

"Dictionary?" I hear you all ask? Well, it beats "Fat-ona" any day.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Stuff to tick off the to-do list

*** WARNING: Rat photos below. Scroll down at your own risk! ***

I got the car window fixed for free. Thanks State Insurance :)

I marked 24 x 4 Year 13 Stats papers and 28 x 2 Year 11 Maths papers and entered the grades into the school system. Tomorrow I get to go through them with the kids - should be interesting.

We finally got our Rick Edmonds prints block mounted and on the wall. It will probably take another 12 months till I get them to hang level with each other and the ceiling line!

I cleaned out the rat cage and even wiped the shelves down. It should take them about 10 minutes to pee and poo all over it again, but at least it's clean for a while. Actually I think Lily is doing her bit in the corner in this picture. Thanks Lily.

I just love their little bellies :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To the bastard that broke into my car last night

I hope your hand got cut breaking my window and that glass got stuck in it and that it gets infected so your stupid hand falls off.

So there.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Yay - I got some more pictures from Choir School!

Our Church choir is rare in that we don't wear red. Makes me easy to spot though. This was taken about 20 minutes before the final service.

I *do* however, wear red when I'm dancing. This is me in action at the in-house concert on the Thursday night.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beep test

I just did a beep test by myself in the Gym before school. I dropped out at level 5-9. That's a crap score apparently. The kids do it in groups - I think maybe if there were some other people to run with I might not have given up so easily. Still, it's a start. I can only improve from there. And I can still beat all the Year 13 PE class in the swim.

I saw an infomercial yesterday morning for something I MAY ACTUALLY BUY. I know - strange but true! It's a set of exercise DVDs, but here's the cool thing - it's a hip hop dance class! Cool. I can learn to dance hip hop AND get killer abs at the same time. I don't want to pay just three instalments of $39.95 though. Does anyone wanna go halves/threes and we can illegaly burn copies? Go on...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So I have a facebook account but I'm not really convinced that I'll use it once the fuss dies down.

I don't see the point in being a zombie/pirate/ninja/vampire/whatever. (Can anyone explain to me what purpose that has??)

If I want to give my friends a present, or a poke for that matter, I'll do it in real life.

I'm not interested in acquiring thousands of friends so I can say "look how popular I am, darlinks!"

The only useful thing that I can see is that you can keep in touch with people even when their email addresses change - because fb emails you when you have messages and stuff. Of course, this is assuming said friends update fb with their new address when it changes. And if they are the kind of person who doesn't update YOU with their email, why on earth would they tell fb? There goes that theory.

I do have the aquarium application of course, which is almost the only reason I keep using facebook. Meh. Read the blog if you want to know what I'm doing; don't expect a daily update either.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wins all round!

UHC Senior 4 vs Sacred Heart
We won 20-24 and are in the Collegiate 10 final next week.

UHC Senior 5 vs St Oran's
We won 35-10 and are in the Collegiate 12 final next week.

High School Old Girls 3 vs Resene Paints
We won 13-17 and next week we play the loser of 5v6.
If we win that game, we play in the minor final the next week.

And I was named player of the day. Yay me!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Netball on Saturday

** From an email that I have sent to our netball co-ordinator at school. She will be passing it on to the College Sport people for me. So there, HVHS! **

Upper Hutt 14 played netball against Hutt Valley High School 13 on the weekend. At three-quarter time, the score was 41-2 to UHC. At the start of the fourth quarter, most of the HVHS team began to yell loudly whenever UHC had the ball, and screamed even louder when the GA/GS were shooting. They were not yelling out cheers or encouragement - it was just plain screaming. In my opinion, they were not cheering their team on - they were making noise with the express purpose of putting us off our game.

When the ball went over the sideline a few minutes into the quarter, I asked the UHC umpire to have a word to the girls before play re-started. She reminded the girls that this was a competetion game, and to take it seriously. Play re-started, and as it did, the HVHS umpire (a student, and possibly their coach?) called out "no girls, keep doing it!". The screaming and yelling continued.

The HVHS Goal Shoot mentioned to the UHC Goal Keep that they were doing it to put UHC off, and then proceeded to elbow the GK sharply in the stomach, allegedly on purpose. The GK was injured by this, so much so that she needed to call time and leave the court for someone else to take her place. She did not retake the court for the rest of the game.

I talked with the venue manager after the game, and he said I should have notified him during the game so he could have seen what was going on. I didn't think of this at the time, but I certainly will if it happens again.

The HVHS team showed a gross lack of judgement and very poor sportsmanship at this game, and I believe their school netball manager needs to be notified that this is not acceptable.


Thanks for tea on Saturday, Sarah and Ronnie!! Yum :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Harry Potter and swimming

*** WARNING!! Allusions to Harry Potter content below, but no genuine spoilers ***

Rich lent me his workmate's copy of Harry Potter on Saturday morning. I read a few chapters on Saturday, but was so busy with everything else I didn't really get into it till Sunday afternoon.

After a few hours reading on Sunday, and a couple of hours on Monday/Tuesday, I finally finished it last night before I had to race out the door to netball.

I have to remind myself this is a kids' book, so then I don't feel too disappointed with the Scooby Doo ending. I ALMOST cried at the bit where Harry did something really nice for someone who died (near the middle of the book) but managed to control myself. Wuss.


I went to the pool with one of the Year 13 PE classes yesterday. They were doing a 300m time trial in preparation for the Naenae Tri, which I am also going to do this year (anyone want to join me??). I swam rather slowly, as I kept tagging the feet of the two kids in front of me, but I did the 12 laps in 6m 40s. Totally within reach of my under 6 minute goal. Only one other kid managed to do faster than me (6:30), and he had a clear lane in front of him. I will triumph over you, Chris M!!!

The kids were quite impressed with my machine-like swimming prowess. Not only did I do the 12 laps, but I did it THREE times, once with each set of kids! And as I said, I still beat (nearly) all of them. Yay for fish!

They will of course, kick my ass in the run/cycle bits.

Monday, July 30, 2007

snap out of it fishy!

I'm feeling low today. Not sure why, but I've been on the verge of tears all day. I have heaps to cheer me up, so I thought I would post a list and see if that helps...

I have lost 5kg and kept it off for a month.
My husband is back in town after a weekend away.
I have a neat bunch of Year 9,10,13 students (even though my Year 11s are awful).
My HoD likes and respects me.
I am going on a maths course in 2 weeks.
I have two free periods tomorrow.

That should do for now I think.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Te wiki o te reo Maori - rima

Phrase-a-day: Ramere 27 Hongoingoi

Ka rawe to korero Maori
Gee, speaking Maori is good fun!

I probably won't have time to post on the weekend, so that's all from me. I hope you have enjoyed this week. Ka kite ano!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Te wiki o te reo Maori - wha

Phrase-a-day: Rapare 26 Hongoingoi

Today there are two for the price of one!

Kei te pehea koe?
how are you?
Kei te pai ahau
I am well

practice this one with a partner :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Te wiki o te reo Maori - toru

Phrase-a-day: Raapa 25 Hongongoi

Today's one is a little naughty...
patu i te kumu
smack on the bum - haha!

Put homai te at the front to say "give me..." if you're feeling naughty :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Te wiki o te reo Maori - Rua

Phrase-a-day: Ratu 24 Hongongoi
ko te aroha taku koe
I love you!

Go and use it on your loved ones. If you don't have a loved one, go find a hot guy or girl and see if they like your lingo!

Te wiki o te reo Maori - Tahi

Kia Ora readers

This week is Maori language week. I will try to post a phrase a day for you to practise. Make sure you visit!

Phrase-a-day: Rahina 23 Hongongoi (Monday 23 July)
ka nui tena maku
You look good!

Off you go, poppets. Practice saying it out loud and you will have it in no time!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lauren's first night in NZ

Yes, I know that was over a week ago, but better late than never. Not a bad night out, considering Lauren had just had a 36-hour plane journey to get here! I gather staying up late is a good way to prevent jet lag anyway.

Lauren and Fish, having just arrived at the BlacktoSchool karoke party.

Lauren and Merv (Merrrrv!) singing a duet. Awwww.

Fish singing with Jeremy - an ex student who was at the party to run the music machine. Rosita seems to be enjoying herself too.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Choir School is over for another year.

I think I should have gone to boarding school in my High School years. My Ma did, and hated every moment. I think my Dad also went to boarding school and hated it. My Sister reckons she wouldn't be suited to boarding school, but I reckon I would have LOVED it.

Over the last fifteen or so years I have attended heaps of live-in courses and camps and never wanted to leave any of them when the time came to leave. I love the routine, the staff and other students being around, having my own little room or dorm space, and communal activities in the free time. There's always the Harry Potter fantasy aspect too.

Anyway, I had an absolutely fabulous time. We were at St Matthew's Collegiate in Masterton, which has nice single dorms with a few double/triple rooms. I had a wee single with a lovely view of the Chapel out my window.

We had larger numbers than last year, and so there were four Houses, rather than the three we had last year. They were:

Gibbons - trebles (boys' unbroken voices). 9 - 11 year old boys.
Purcell - young sopranos, 9 - 11 year old girls.
Stanford - older sopranos (11-13 year olds) and some broken voice boy altos
Byrd - four part broken voice choir, including mature soprano and alto girls, and two boy altos. It turned out that there was only one tenor, so I helped out at rehearsals, along with Christina. We were literally The Three Tenors!

We had Chapel services twice a day - spoken prayers and meditation after breakfast, and sung services after dinner. Each night service was lead by a different house. The first night, the staff sang a full evensong with versicles & responses, a psalm, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittus, an anthem, and two hymns. We sounded pretty good, considering we had just met that afternoon and had never sung together. I guess my sightreading was better than I thought.

The tutors were all great - we had Stephen Rowley and Alison Stewart from last year's School, and two new tutors from Christchurch; Robert Cross and Paul Ellis. Christina from last year, a couple of parents and myself were all there as mere "house staff" - read "camp mums", but in the evenings, the music staff and house staff all came together to talk crap over a quiet drink in the staff lounge.
The organ scholar this year was a chorister from last year's School - Paul Tarling. Only eighteen, but very talented (and cute too!) I think it might have been a little wierd for him this year being staff, having been just "one of the kids" last year. Still, he loosened up a little as the week continued. I even got a foot rub out of him on the last couple of nights.

The final service was in the acoustic vortex that is St Matthew's Church in Masterton. The digital organ sounded less crap than last year though - maybe they loaded some anti-crap software in it. We sounded awesome and I made only two mistakes in the whole pile of music we sang. My favourite bass (Thomas, 16, from Tawa) scored the only Yellow Ribbon award, and also a sightreading scholarship to come back next year.

After the final service, we all ran around getting photos, hugs and email addresses from each other and headed homeward for a well-earned rest.
The guy standing 2 over from me is Thomas, the one I reckon looks like my friend James from netball. The photo doesn't really do him justice. The dark haired guy right up the back is Harry - the only MALE tenor in the School.
Winter Choir school is in early July '08. I'm looking forward to it already.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Here I am - I'm here!!

I've been out of the sphere for the last wee while, but I'm back now. Here's some of the stuff I've been up to...

Watching Derren Brown
This guy is amazing! I've always been interested in hypnotism, but this guy manages to mix hypnotism, neuro-linguistic programming, misdirection, magic, and pure showmanship to do some really cool things. My favourite clip is where he NLP's a young guy to be drunk, just from imagining it, then linking the feeling to a word that he flashes in front of him. I want that - a good buzz with no hangover the next day. Yeah!

Losing weight
I have now lost a total of 4kg and have maintained it for over 2 weeks. Wierd! I'm listening to a Paul McKenna NLP recording every night, which is supposedly helping my willpower to resist eating so much. Guess it's working, huh?

Two hundred and fifty (times five or six!) Senior reports all proofread,commented and signed. Whew! Deaning is not fun this time of year. And Junior reports are still to come in Term 3.

FINALLY we have finished the season from Hell! Next season will be better,I hope. It's a good thing I still have ring-in games at Petone. It's keeping me sane. And today I'm in the staff team playing the Prem 1 girls at lunch. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What Sam said...

Here. See you all in a week or so.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Four short paragraphs

We got a postcard from Lauren today. Yay! Roll on July 13 :)

I have somehow managed to lose 2kg. I blame excessive netballing and other exercise.

I dug up some grass in the backyard so that we can pave it for Summer and get more use out of the 'deck to nowhere'. My shoulder hurts.

Roll on, end of term! I am SOOOOO ready for a break. If you call spending a week in Masterton with 65 junior choristers a break.

Monday, June 04, 2007

yeah baby

Jack and Heather had their second bub recently. Yay! I kept meaning to check in on their blog to see if it had happened, but it seems I forgot.

Her name is Margaret - I love it - it's my middle name, so I'm biased perhaps. She looks very precious in the photos.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Time for an update

Sign of the times

I was at the Bristol last Friday after a hilarious comedy show at SanFranBathHouse. I looked down from the level I was on and saw a bunch of people signing - it seemed most of the people there were actually Hearing, but a few of the people were quite fluent in their signing and were probably Deaf. From the goings-on, it seemed to be a birthday celebration, so I was reluctant to go down and bother them. I was itching for a bit of sign practice, so in the end I plucked up the courage to go downstairs and butt in.

I ended up 'talking' with a couple of Deaf guys who explained that they were tutors for the DEAF 201 course at Vic Uni, and one of the girls had invited the whole class out for her birthday celebrations. I was quite pleased that after learning NZSL about 6 years ago, I was still able to understand and make myself understood! We had a good chat about all the basics - where we live, work, family and all that other basic stuff you learn in sign class. I told Darrel (one of the two Deaf guys) that I had taught some signs to kids at school for NZ sign language week, and he was really encouraging. He reckoned I should start a Deaf Club at school and keep these kids interested - apparently NZSL interpreters are in short supply. Ah, if only I had the time... Still, it was cool that I could sign properly even though I haven't really kept in practice.

Rekha's leaving party

We had a MASSIVE cocktail party to farewell Rekha from UHC as she goes back to England. I bought a lovely new dress, which I bought also to wear to the school ball in July. Unfortunately, I'm going on a ski trip on the same weekend, so I will miss it. Bugger.

Anyway, back to the party. I drank way to much and ended up fertilising the garden out the back with the contents of my stomach. Bit of a shame really, as I ended up going home quite early and missed all the shenanigans later in the evening! I blame Mihail's cocktails. He makes them really strong. And yummy. I suppose my lack of willpower is partly responsible too, but I like to blame Mihail anyway. At least I made it to the garden. I gather someone else used the couch. Euuu.

I was pretty sorry for myself the next day. I took Dad to a motorbike show in the Town Hall for his birthday and wheeled him around, trying not to vomit the whole time. After that I went to a rat-meet, where I met a few people from the online rat club. Then I played three games of netball, which boosted my metabolism somewhat so that I was STARVING when I got home. Still felt crap on Monday at school and got a bit of ribbing for not living up to my nickname.


I'm going to see the Shakers lose, er, I mean *play* netball on Sunday. I've always said to myself, "I should go see some national level netball", and never made it. Well, this coming game is the last Shakers game EVER as the league goes through a re-shuffle, so it's now or never really. Going with my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin who are in town for the weekend. Should be fun.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Edward's 21st

So Edward (who I remember when he first came to St James as the son of the new Vicar, at age 6) just turned 21. What the?? Where did all that time go?

Anyway, the theme was National Dress. So I came as a Silver Fern. Yay for my excellent sewing skills!

I freehand stitched the logo on the front and machine stiched the white letters on the back. The velcro bibs are courtesy of my netball team. Pity not many people dressed up. Losers. Maybe they knew I would look so good that they shouldn't even bother. The photo below is my "Does my bum look big in this?" pose. Note: the correct answer is "Yes, and I like it that way".

I just noticed you can see a nice bruise on my elbow. From netball THREE weeks ago!

Paul Holmes is gone

Oh well. Although he didn't set the dance floor on fire, he certainly burned rather nicely on my back porch. I want Suzanne (aka Richard the bastard) to win anyway. Go Suzie!!

Note I am wearing my new 'fish' hoodie that Sarah made for my birthday. I've hardly taken it off since I got it.

The fish hoodie

Yeah baby! I reckon these would sell like hotcakes! Maybe only to wierd people like me, but what the hey :) I LOVE this hoodie!

Rat Photos below
(You have been warned!)

The wee ratties are growing bigger by the day. Still uber-cute though :)

Poppy likes to surf the net too.

This is the cutest little school bus! It's for taking the babies to school once a week or so. I now have a second cage that lives at work so it's a little easier than lugging the travel cage around.

I hope to blog a little more regularly next week. I only have 2 games of netball planned, rather than the five I played this week. Life is a little crazy at the mo.