Thursday, December 17, 2009

And so as not to be outdone

Firstly here are the photos from Reuben's successful night. Here he is winning second place in the Basic Facts championship- behind Felix, the big kid!

And here is Reuben getting runner up in the Best Allrounder in the universe ever award!

Next year we are thinking of ringlets and a waistcoat!

So, then, yesterday, Reuben was off doing an TVC= television commeracial for NZ RU ) rugby union- (yes lots of lovely rugby players!) at exactly the same time as Caitlin was having her prizegiving. I managed to drop him and dash to her school.

I missed her getting her termly red star. She now has eight which is enough for a gold kauri already. She also got one for hard materials!

Miss W had come along, just in case I couldn't get there, so that C had a support team, and if she hadn't got anything, a shoulder to cry on!

Shouldn't have worried should I?

When I was there, they announced the top sports people of the year and Morgan, her mate, took the year 7 girl prize.
Then they announced the academic prizes... Year seven girls... Caitlin Ashcroft. Just as well Elaine had tissues with her. My heart really can't take this.

I can't work out though why I am surprised, but I always am. I know my kids are amazing and kind and generous and clever but they still surprise me.

Here's the trophy, already engraved ( which is a nice touch). She also has a little trophy to keep!

My kids both have very bright eyes tonight!

Boy, do I love them!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Out of the shadows

Laingholm school has said good bye to Paul Heff in an emotional week. 16 years as a head teacher is a LONNNGGGGG time.

He is so inspirational. His parting words to Reuben were "You had better be top boy next year!"

We were a stunned family at Prize giving the night before. Roo had been nominated but we had no idea what for. He collected his distinctions in the Australasian exams in Maths and Writing, and was awarded 2nd place in the Basic facts championship! That was it we thought, after awards like 'role model' came and went! The last award of the evening had been discussed at length. Who would be 'All round student of the year'? It always goes to a year six! It usually goes to a sportsman who happens to work hard... Well Rowan came third. We had worked out he was in the running.

But then the shock. Paul read out "Reuben"... Ah Reuben Mita we thought. Yes that's good coz he's such a good writer!

BUT NO! "Reuben... ASHCROFT!" said Paul. Some mistake surely! Roo is only a year 5! Oh my god! My boy!

And sure enough, Ruben Mita did get the actual award- but my little Reuben is officially the second best boy in the ENTIRE SCHOOL!!!

Finally he has stepped out of the shadow of his overachieving sister! His school report suggests he still has a way to go, opening up in class more and eveloping into the leader we all know he can be, but...

We are so proud of him. He is so proud of himself!

What a way to end the year!

And now he is off to be an extra in a feature film, starring a famous cartoon bear!

He will be famous one day, my boy

Friday, November 27, 2009

We are very proud parents

12 months ago Caitlin competed for the title of Laingholm School Idol 2008.  

This year she returned as reigning champion. 

This is the latest performance.  

There were one or two sound issues but her professionalism shone through.

And well done to Jess ( this year's winner) and Chloe for stunning performances!

I am such a proud mom!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh, what a week!

Eventful and some!

The Laingholm Goddesses ( as we are now calling ourselves- or rather I am!) held a lunchtime gathering for Sian, our friend with the Big C. It was the most joyous occasion. A group of women brought together by their love for one person, many of whom knew each other a little through shared classes or through school but who laughed and cried together easily. Many of us hadn't seen Sian for a while so we were shocked by her appearance. So terribly thin, yet swollen by her illness. Caitlin has said, and bear in mind she is 11, that Sian has been many people since we have known her... Laura's mum, the student nurse, mommy's friend who asked for help on her Bipolar presentation and yet now she is something different. She IS her illness. We have all Facebooked more in the last week than the previous months, sharing jokes, congratulating others on courses passed, kids' successes, or just commenting on how lucky we are. The community has blossomed but how sad it is that this has to happen because of something so sad.

The next day, I held a little afternoon tea for my birthday. Many of the same people attended both events, though Dads and kids were only allowed to mine. I think there was a sense of relief, that we could talk freely and openly. There, again, was a lot of love in the house, and laughter and the noise of children. I don't think I ate anything and drank hardly anything- which is saying something as I only allow my self a drink on my birthday and Xmas  for reasons of sanity! My favourite people were there, they brought great food, the kindest presents and we had a lovely time. My mate Elaine remarked that I deserved it. Maybe I do. We have talked a lot recently about sharing the love, being positive and passionate about things. Getting there...

Anton allowed me a day's grace this year. We visited A&E on the day after my birthday this year. I have felt very angry with him for shutting me out, for not being there emotionally for me especially during the last two weeks. He can be so blinkered and so 'selfish' for want of a better word. I have tried talking to him, asking how he is, taking more of an interest in his day, his extras work etc but we have hardly seen him. A&E was the last straw. A silent trip there, a three hour wait ( for me as I wasn't allowed in with him) a silent trip back, no thanks just silence. He went to see the doctor today and told me nothing. I finally had to get through. He says he understands that he hasn't been good enough. I think it scared him that I said I was close to leaving because I had had no emotional support, or rather that my 11 year old daughter had provided me with comfort beyond her years ( but then she is 43!). Will it make a difference? For how long?

But life is too short not to enjoy.

Today was Laingholm school's athletics day. My springy boy came second in the high jump again. He can virtually jump over his height- almost! God knows how! He wrote his letter of application to be a school banker today. He so wants that job. Should get it.

Caitlin was awarded her bronze kauri award for all round excellence at school, two stars of each colour and two of any colour. She was hoping for that at the end of year 8. She has got it before the end of year 7! She is such a joy!

I got lots of comments on my hat today. It is decorated with three rainbow flowers which make people smile ( not tested but an official statement). There were lots of smiles today. Kids running makes people smile... and the person who comes last always gets the biggest cheers- WELL DONE TIM!

Our kitchen floor is going to look great. Howey is doing a great, and fast job!

I am reading Haruki Murakami's Things I think about when I am running- that's a joyous book.

The sun shone all day.

Molly. a flea ridden nightmare but I love her!

I am going to bed, happy.

I have a great life all told!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Counting one's blessings

I received a lovely compliment today. Really made my day in fact. Graham and a student teacher took time out of their busy 'Green Gold" celebration day to discuss the fact I was wearing a skirt and shoes, rather than the clumpy boots I usually wear! So later that day I heard a few 'Great legs' comments. Yay for thin ankles I say!

Anyway made my day and I worried Graham greatly when I hugged him when he was on road patrol and said 'thanks' but didn't explain why!

Today is a day for saying thanks and counting one's blessings. The Laingholm community celebrate the school getting the Green Gold Award for its efforts in working with the environment. The Major, Bob Harvey was there and was as usual impressive. More so  because today he gave his majoral chain to an 8 year old boy to wear. It was this kid's birthday so it was a nice thought. However this kid lost his father about a fortnight ago, in a suicide. Bob spent a long time sitting with him, eating morning tea. It wa as though this kid was the only person in the world who mattered. It was beautiful and very moving.

I have spent time with other mums today too, talking about our dear friend Sian. People ( mums ) have rallied amazingly. In fact I felt a bit guilty for not having cooked or helped out practically, but then I have enough trouble cooking for my own kids ( and then they dont eat it). But today I sat and listened and made coffee and allowed my friends some time to talk. When I texted one later to say how amazing she has been, fielding everyone's questions and offers, she replied by thanking me for my help today. I was deeply touched.

The Laingholm mums are finding support in each other. Largely, we think because the Laingholm dads don't seem to be able to understand how we are feeling. One friend was talking about Sian buying 18th birthday presents for her kids and leaving them letters or memory boxes for the important points in their lives. I wonder sometimes if the men realise just how important we are to the lives of our kids and how they would cope if we weren't there to deal with stuff, big and small. I, for one am finding it difficult as my OH doesn't seem to get why I am so numb, or putting energy into supporting others. In fact there is not a lot of communication going on at all right now!

Hence the compliment came at just the right time

OK Gratitude list

Bob Harvey
"Great Legs"
fireworks at home
Caitlin wanting big bangs.
Caitlin doing a mime of Graham
Roo being 'FLASH" at kung fu
finding the right photo album for Alison
WW being free
supportive texts
Being there for someone
Marion for being excellent
Lunch- only a snack wrap but it was really nice!
Finding the right birthday present for Rachel

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Just heard startlingly differing news from two fronts

First, one of my best mates in the UK is pregnant, only 7 weeks from term in fact. She hadn't posted anything on facebook, photos of scans etc because she wanted to tell me 'in person' before I found out any other way. Bless her. I think I suspected when she sent the odd message saying we should skype, but I am not a big skype person, so sort of avoided the whole thing! Ah well, better go do some baby shopping. Another buzzy bee will be winging its way to the UK.

And then I get a message from a mate here to say that another mate has been in hospital and that inspite of  recovering from cancer a while back, the doctors have now found it in her stomach and some where else. I think I am too numb to remember. She has possibly weeks left. She has kids in the school years below mine, who are just gorgeous. She has been through so much, being a single mum and all, and now this. I just have to ask why?

Anton has gone to bed early as he has an early start on his film set. I need a hug but maybe not tonight.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Meltdown abated,

I promised a photo of Caitlin's poster of "The Travelling Pants'. Unfortunately she had finished it and wrapped it in glad wrap to protect it from the weather when she took it to school, so this is the best I can do.
It has notes in four pockets- two of them stuck on with glue around the knees, a felt patch and a cutout, both of which lift to reveal the writing beneath. She is so proud of it. She loves doing documentaries and presentations but this is completely different for her. Very creative, she even did the sewing herself!

I am a proud mom

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

After minor meltdown...

So I continue my week of blogging successfully...
Usually I only blog when I am in a certain mood... and this week seems no different. Since lunchtime I have felt flushed and I have been eating continuously- not good with weigh in tomorrow. I was headed for a free Weightwatchers meeting Ah well!

Played tennis with hubby this a.m., in spite of the fact I desperately wanted to craft.  Had my arm twisted. Played reasonably well considering my arm was hurting ( not because it was twisted but because the dog pulls and I think I have strained something), placed the ball nicely and didn't run much, unlike hubby!

So up till lunchtime, life was good.

I did manage to make a cuff but took three goes to get the elastic in. Kept putting the loop in the wrong place in the fabric sandwich.
Started to make a new hug but again things were not going well. I think she'll be OK but will not get finished till tomorrow. Discovered that so far my hugs are all left handed. Not sure what that means, though Roo is a lefty!

After school, watched Roo's t ball practice and then helped Caitlin with her homework. Who else would decide to do a character study, six adjectives and their associated quotes on a pair of jeans- I mean physically on a pair of jeans. The adjectives are on the pockets and the quotes inside. Well it is about Carmen from the Travelling Pants so I suppose it works... and I did get her to embroider most of it herself- I will put a photo on so I don't sound completely mad, at some point.

Meltdown was over a missing CD case. Trivial as usual, but desperately overwhelming. As usual everything became global, as everything would. The house was a tip, my room was a mess, i can't find ANYTHING!!!! Why do people in this house not help? If I want to do more creative stuff then how will I cope with the house? I can't cope with anything etc etc etc. Anyway you get the picture.Luckily I am OK now. Case found, though only after the gazebo was taken back to Debs and I could get into the back of the car.

It has been cathartic writing tonight, like I can put to rest the trauma. As a result of the adrenalin produced, the stack of rubbish is no longer in the hall, there are no longer excessive numbers of cups and plates around the place and the clean washing is at least in the rooms it belongs in, if not exactly put away.

Strangely I still think I am doing the right thing with the meds. I had registered earlier that something was coming and the disc case was merely the final trigger. It could have been anything.

Today's gratitude-
1. Playing tennis with Ant
2. Playing tennis well
3. Paddling in the sea at Armour Bay
4. Molly bounding through the waves
5. Making a cuff- finally
6. Watching 'Closer' all the way through- is it a bad thing to fancy "Larry"? Clive Owen is gorgeous but this character is so sleazy, yet somehow honest... hm?
7. Beginning a hug
8. Ant got the returning visitors' visas at last
9. Getting a new fridge- should I worry that he is spending a lot of money?
10. My kids
11. Roo reciting lines from the book he is reading- unfortunately it's Cows in Action
12. Caitlin sewing
13. The kids understanding that I was 'Off' and backing away to keep safe
14. Molly and Teddy knowing that I need a 'hug'
15. Reuben's hair
16. Getting post 'The book of pages' and 'Healthy Hair treatment' from Chawtons
17. Making lighter than air banana bread
18. writing down the train of thought and being aware of how I was thinking earlier.
19. The sun shining
20. Elaine telling me I looked fabulous and thin!!!!!
21. Getting nice email from Trish
22. Being able to give Danni a lift when her car broke
23. ...

I think i can stop now even though there are doubtless other things. I really need to go and turn the iron off!!!! Don't want to burn the house down. That would go against the mood I am trying to be in!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gotta love some people

Just received the 'Book of Pages' in the post, having had it recommended. 

Looking at my 'inspired' first ever self designed embroidery...

Adding the song beneath to my Damian Rice, Jeff Buckley, Kate Walsh play list,

Like I said, gotta love some people!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Feeling funky

What a few weeks we have had.

I don't know where to start but then since this is MY BLOG, not the family or the craft blog I can start and say what I want.

I AM EXHAUSTED! At first I thought it was because of the last five days. Having got a table at crafternoon tea, and realising I had nothing to sell, three very late nights ensued, creating 35 flowers! Then there was the actual euphoric event ( good adrenaline rush, your first actual selling fair), the anti climax of coming home to a preoccupied ( by cookies and new kitchen work surface) hubby who didn't remember why you were out for the day and only noticed that you had spent some of the profits on something he regarded as 'not necessary". I didn't appreciate having to explain that it is a thing of beauty- don't you think?- that craft fairs are about sharing the joy, oh and it was for my sewing room and is therefore essential! Oh and the lovely lady ( whose name I am desperate to remember) who made it spent at my stall too...

There is more to this exhaustion than meets the eye however. My joints are hurting, though the pain in my finger joints could be due to sewing flowers and stabbing myself with a seam ripper when helping Caitlin create a poster about the Travelling Pants out of a real pair of jeans!

I have a feeling there may be medical issues here. You see... and don't get mad... I  have sort of been reducing my meds. I have had a very ropey, zombied winter and had upped the meds to no avail. I had a few problems getting my stabiliser ( chemist low on stock) so reduced them and the anti depressants too. For the last month or so ( a while anyway ) I have been noticeably happier, healthier, more responsive. I am far more creative, less likely to spend hours on the internet and likely to be found in my room, making, doing, planning. Frankly I FEEL GREAT. There have been a few roller coaster rides along the way ( see above comments about hubby) but I have been coping. No better than that, I have been living!

This physical lethargy could be to do with that so I am keeping an eye on it. So for all those concerned people, don't fret. The family are good at checking my well being, though if Anton asks me once more how my head is, instead of how I am I think I shall scream. I am a person and my head is attached to me. Also I think I'm doing a good job of channelling my head right now...

Basically I wanted to report in on how I am doing when I wasn't off on one. I know I am still uptight about hubby, but I think we have a different way of looking at the world which has been developing. SOme mates remarked yesterday that he brings everything back to money, rather than enjoying something for what it is. Our kitchen is now beautiful but he will only talk about how much it cost and how much extra a certain bit was...

I do try to share my new joy with him, but it is difficult! Suppose I must try harder! He is off on the jet ski now, having a day off which can only be a good thing!

Right, dog needs a walk, and that means I can keep an eye on the water sports.

Lots of love

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In case you are wondering what I am up to...

In case you were wondering what I'm up to, I have a new blog, a new brand and a new enterprise. This is the latest posting but if you click on the title of this post it will take you to the new blog.

I am one lucky lady. I have an amazing husband, fabulous and talented kids, supportive friends ( both old and new) and look at this for a 'glamourous mum in law'

Caitlin and I are off to Crafternoon tea, on Saturday and these photos are going to be part of our display. It is our first ever craft fair ( I didn't get a table at Kraftbomb) and it is the first ever Crafternoon tea. Should be very exciting!

I am working today ( I'm a relief teacher at my son's school) but I would really rather be making flowers. I made 10 camellias last night including a black experimental one. So today will be cartoon flowers and new pansies ( oh and nagging Caitlin to make some of hers!

Busy, busy,busy!


Friday, September 04, 2009

Same post as on the family blog

WARNING> This post appears on the family blog. I have not gone mad ( yet) though Spring is proving very very difficult. I know some people read both blogs- sorry. I know some people only read this one. In which case, please do read between the lines, yes I have been feeling awful and no it hasn't stopped yet. Still feeling very negative but totally aware of feeling this way which makes it worse. When someone says anything I see it as a criticism of me. All that comes into my head are negative comments bout me and other people. Deep down I have been trying to stay away from people to limit damage but I am not sure it is working... WELL YOU WERE WARNED

I have not had a terribly good time of it lately, moodwise, so the blog gets rather neglected. Ihave tried to update a few times but then Blogger has been annoying so no joy. Here is the post I was supposed to post last weekend!

Wow! Am I glad this week is over! I didn't intend for it to be so full on but..

Saturday went to Cirque du Soleil performing Dralion which was AMAZING! Sort of beyond describing really. There are no superlatives worthy of being mentioned in the same country as the performers- just WOW!

Mind you I knew my head was off as by the end of the second half I was having trouble concentrating, almost as though I wasn't physically there. Sounds odd but then that is the week I have had ( and am still having)

Sunday Ant went off to do some advert or other, I was up all night with an upset stomach ( not mine!) and then we went to play community netball in Parau. As expected the primary age kids ran rings round us adults but it was a good laugh.

Monday- final netball coaching with a bunch of ungrateful pre teens. I wish I hadn't bothered making cookies and cake. AH well know better for next year

Tuesday- Oh god. Interview time for the Japan/ Korea trip. Of course Caitlin though it went badly. How was she to know that sign language is different the world over? The OK sign here means do you have a boyfriend? I think in Korea!

Results of that on Monday 31st

Tuesday was also the first performance of the Bay Music festival. BBI and assorted local primaries got together and sang, lots. C was stressed as the rock band trio were soloists in their school's individual item. They were , of course, fab.

Wednesday also saw a performance of the Bay Festival, oh and the table tennis team trials, which C had been pestering Mr Hill ( one of the Korea interviewing panel) about. Needless to say, she made the team beating a couple of year 8's 12-10 and 11-2

Wednesday was also the day I took the car to have its cam belt done, spent the day racing from Henderson to BBI to New Lynn and back to Henderson all in the search for photo frames of a particular size!

Thursday- the day of the mental meltdown. Managed to leave my camera in the loan car which started it all.

Friday- takes a breath! Barbara sent me the 'Secret life of bees' and I sat on the beach reading in the sun, then picked up my camera when I did the school run.

So then this week was fairly uneventful by comparison...

Not only did Caitlin get chosen to go on the Korea trip, but so did her mates Ruby and Claudia, from Laingholm. We are mighty proud. I was so convinced she would do it that I had already bought the Korean phrase book the morning before she heard!

Today we hear that she has achieved her bronze kauri award for receiving two red, green, blue and yellow stars ( and two extras). This is a BIG deal for a year 7. Most year 8's are hoping to get theirs before they leave!

I had to take the car in again as there was an oil leak, which they admitted was their fault- an improvement on the last time I too it in and they charged us twice.

Anton is feeling flush as our tax bill is relatively small so he is arranging to get the kitchen sorted ( new benchtop, cooker, floor), the gutters fixed, the drive done and who knows what else. He has just got his computer updated- new hard drive, ram and battery and is taking us to Rotorua for the weekend. I think this is as a direct response to a mate taking his wife to Hawaii for her 40th birthday. CARPE DIEM!!!!

Reuben has finished his latest wall chart and is very very proud of it, oh and is still rehearsing hard for the semi final of Idol on Monday

And did you ever think you would see this...

Isn't he gorgeous in his new hat?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Capitalism has hit Parau!

Caitlin has begun her quest for world domination! She is trying to earn some money towards a possible trip to Korea next year. We have said if she can earn some of the cost ( and that doesn't mean going begging to grandparents) we will help her out.


With this in mind, we have set up a stall on a website called Etsy.

Caitlin has made some felt flower badges which she is selling. She has made them all herself, from cutting the felt to sewing the button and the pin in place

It's really my site so my stuff is on there too.

There is an icon on the right hand side of this blog which will take you directly to our page!

There may be family and friends' discounts but I wouldn't bank on it!

Come on over and have a look. You might find something you like!

Can you tell whose is whose?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Having a bad day, hence the update

Anton has bought a time capsule for his mac as he thought he had lost his computer and all its work a few weeks ago. As a result of trying to install it, he has f&*ked up the settings on my mac so I can't get on the Internet at home. So I am sitting on the floor outside room 17 at Laingholm, with the kids walking the dog round the field, surfing using the school internet. Subsequently I am not able to go on Facebook to update anything. It is blocked at school!

So a quick update on life in NZ

Roo has made the gym team for the second year running! He is more impressed by the fact he has finished Age of Mythology however! The whole family is impressed with the first piece of news. He has finished the cue cards for his presentation at school too. He is a bright little cookie and I am very very proud of him. Oh he gives good cuddles too!


has unofficially earned her kauri award, which is exceptionally rare ( like never ever done before by a year 7 in the first half of the year). I had a long conversation with her head teacher at book day yesterday who was impressed by her competitive spirit and determination. He is sure she WILL be going to Korea next year!

went to character day as Hercules Poirot- pictures to follow with an internet connection at home! And got a yellow star.

is working on Trash to Flash ( in my sewing room with some friends today... must go and clear the floor!)

Is hormonal but we don't like to talk about it!

Is going to present her Suffragette video to a group of teachers ( and get a green star for her trouble)

Is dragging members of the family to another weeding day ( dad's turn) for half a green star- can you see a pattern emerging here?

Went on a trip to Tree Adventures and challenged herself 20 metres up in the air( and so did her mum!)

I am sure there is lots more but my fingers are getting tired..


is pfaffing with the computers and Jo is about to kill him if her computer doesn't start to work soon

Is working for the Dept of Corrections as a consultant on three times the pay of his last job

is still at Serenity which is reopenning soon

is working with Simon on editing and designing books ( Simon is a graphic designer)

is thinking of investing in property with some other friends

Jo is not having a good day.

Sewing is going well but can't upload pictures coz of the internet ( though I might be able to put some of the pictures on here)

Has applied for a job at Woodlands Park school ( but they want Maths and Music and I offered them IT and Science and Soft Materials)

was asked by the head of BBI to put her name on the relief list.

Is being hormonal too

Has been running well in the 10kms and is thinking of doing the half marathon in July (In my opinion she is incredible.From Caitlin)

Loves her kids to bits

Needs to blog when she is feeling better!

It's been a busy week and everyone is suffering I think. Hopefully photos to follow

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Busy Day

We are all lying somewhere chilling or sleeping. It has been a long day!

The kids and I were up at 6.30 so I could get to my Run Auckland 10k in Remuera. It was a very small event with a lot of people. I guess I am used to events like the Garburn which are like carnivals of running. This was a start line and a few tables! There were over 1000 entrants and most seemed to be doing the 10K. It was a cool route, two laps of the Waiatarua reserve, a few undulations and some ok scenery.

Then the kids and I went off to a planting day at BBI, planting tonnes of plants and weeding. All this just so Caitlin earns half a green star!

Then food shopping.

Then cooking dinner!

Caitlin is working on a big project on the suffragettes, and procrastinating!

Anton spent the day being in a traffic jam and eating cold soup for a commercial.

All go at the Ashcrofts!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Been Down

Hey peeps,

Been very down for the last three weeks. It all began with a glass of wine and a comment. It wasn't a particularly upsetting comment. I pointed out that the only thing I expect my OH to do is empty the bins once a week and how annoying it is to have to remind him EVERY WEEK! A discussion ensued about expectations and sure enough, it got a bit heated. Luckily we were at a friend's house so it didn't come to blows.

Fast forward three days. The alcohol affected my brain chemistry as it used to. Major down occurred, at the same time as the sudden lack of communication between husband and wife. This lasted about two weeks, interrupted by other arguments about who should take responsibility for certain jobs when at home. Is it possible for a person working at home to take half an hour off so they can pick up kids whilst the other person is attending a meeting abut IT at the school she'd like to work in? Possibly not! I hear the meeting was a good one!

I am still low and now in pain from my stress response tummy ache, which will pass if I remember to breathe. My sewing is going well. Indeed the flickr group I belong to has had some very positive posts! You can find my pictures here and take a look at the groups too. They are here, here, here and here. ( Or they will be when I can get the links to work- ah the joys of NZ broadband!)

I am running a 10k tomorrow. I seem to have forgotten to train...Ah well, a nice walk!!!

T ball awaits

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome to my world

This is my most recently completed piece. I can definitely say it has kept me stable over the last week, giving me a focus. I am pleased with the resulting picture. The photo does not give quite the right perspective. I shall try experimenting to get the photography right.

From sewing 2009

From sewing 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A post from, which appealed to me

Think less. Do more.

A recent idea for a project was going to require some problem-solving.

Things in my life this week feel extraordinarily complicated. Craziness is firing on all cylinders, and much of my free time has been drowned away in worry and doubt.

Resolving the project was going to push me beyond my current skill set. It was going to lead me out of my comfort zone and force me to take a hard look at my mistakes.

Originally, I tried to solve the problem the way I always do — by thinking, plotting, and obsessing over it.

Obsessing, though it is my preferred mode, is not always the best way to solve problems. Even cognitive ones.

Sometimes, taking a breath and getting to work is the only thing to do.

I needed this reminder — to stand still and tackle one hurdle at a time. To slow down and peacefully experiment. To stop rushing and obsessing and pushing. To take action, but calmly. To give myself permission to fail, but insist on trying anyway.

Think less. Do more.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pause for thought!

When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone every day.
Live a good, honourable life.
Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
Learn the rules, so you know how to break them properly.
Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
Be gentle with the Earth.
Remember the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Perfume, the movie

OK I know I said I wasn't going to watch it, but on advisement I decided to give it a chance ( Thanks Andy)

I was very pleasantly surprised. I still think that Grenouille should be more grotesque but the lead actor was still incredibly disturbing. You could almost sense his detachment from the world.

The film was beautifully lit. The light shining in Grenouille's eyes was wonderful and a superb tool to show how he was able to hide. It was interesting, too, to see such a faithful adaptation of the book. In fact Anton has wondered where he can get extras work like that!!!!

The lesser roles were just as powerful. I loved Dustin Hoffman as the perfumier, once I had got over the fact that it was him, and Alan Rickman was perfect as Richis. And as usual the juxtaposition of tragedy and comedy was just right ( a cliche from A level English days) especially when each of his employers comes to a sticky end.

I should not be so fast to reject modern cinema. I have felt myself dumbing down lately though this has now been tempered by cryptic crosswords and listening to Woman's hour. My next home cinematic experience is the Pianist. Anton couldn't understand why I hadn't seen it until I explained this wasn't the PIANO, but the PIANIST!

Watch this space

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Perfume and Kafka

Anton has finally finished reading "Kafka on the Shore' and found it as gripping and surreal as I did. Neither of us could put it down. It is one of the few books that we can discuss easily as it works on so many levels, and generally is very strange but compelling.

I've just finished 'Perfume'. I had wanted to see the film for a while but I am not sure I will bother now. Don't get me wrong I loved the book, but I can see how badly this could be Hollywoodised, especially as I already know that Grenouille in the film is far more attractive than he is described. I really enjoyed the fact that there were no heroes in this, just people trying to buck the system, to make easy money or just to survive. No one came out of it smelling of roses(!), and even the smallest characters had defining characteristics and flaws.

Unless by Carol Shields next, if I ever get my sewing projects finished

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Twilight update

Having said that the Twilight series was a good introduction for young teenage girls to the challenge of romance, the fourth book has changed my mind somewhat. From chaste cuddles and stolen, breath taking kisses, the plot has developed into marriage, honeymoon and pregnancy ( with devil foetus) with some haste. Now the consummation is handled in a very vague fashion. Just like the old Mills and Boon epics of my youth, the door closes on the briefest of embraces, then our heroine wakes up to discover she is covered in bruises from the vampirical super strength of her husband.

I do approve of the fact that Bella, up until the pregnancy, was beginning to reconsider her desire to be a vampire and contemplating the human rites of passage she would miss if she changed. And I am enjoying the new narrative voice. LIstening to Jacob and his take on affairs is definitely preferable to the whimperings of Bella.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Caitlin forced me to take a quiz on the film 'Twilight' this afternoon, out of her teenager magazine. I would have done anything to cheer her up as she was less than happy about her latest haircut. Turns out I know quite a lot about the Cullens and Quileute. Probably helps that I am in the middle of the fourth book. I got A+ and would have got full marks if only I knew about the music in the film. Well I knew about Debussy's Clair du Lune but not the modern stuff!

This series really is a phenomenon, almost as big as Harry Potter, and it has certainly gripped the teenage girl demographic. Caitlin and her friends are lapping it up, though my feeling is they have little understanding of the nuances of the story. The fourth book involves the wedding, honeymoon, pregnancy and doubtless 'death' of the heroine. Whilst there are no graphic details, I am not at all sure this is what my 11 year old should be reading!

It does make a change from all the stereotypical vampire and werewolf stories. Sparkly vampires and loyal werewolves are a completely new genre, even taking Buffy and Angel into the equation. The teenage angst of new school, new friends, hormones, love and the complication of relationships is handled in an accessible way, making it not unlike Buffy in its tone. That's probably why is appeals to this age group. It is very easy to read, or should I say gloss over !

I was pleasantly surprised at the cinema adaptation. It was incredibly true to the book; I suppose it had to be or there would have been hormonal complaints all over the place! There are some truly gorgeous people in the film, Edward, Jacob and Alice in particular. I have to pretend to prefer the older vampire 'Carlisle' although I think the werewolf will ultimately be the favourite.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Anton seems to be improving. He is happier and more relaxed in himself, is talking again about business ideas and is hardly talking to me apart from to complain that I buy too many coffees- inspite of the fact I went out for coffee once this week, with Marion from WW and spent a whole $6.50.

We went to the Sea food festival in Auckland yesterday because the kids were with Donna and we had to take the heart monitor back. Lots of mussels, oysters ( for the first time), champagne, salmon, clams. A cool event though I thought a bit expensive. Some decent music too. Heard a band called the Manukau project or something, very moroccan influenced! Must look them up online. Bet they are on myspace.

Ant was happy to spend nearly $100 there, as he saw it as something special, ie if I have coffee with him that is fine, on my own it isn't! Hmmmm

Roo seems very worried at the moment. He is very clingy, needs constant reassurance, lots of mommy time- with blocks of course. He even said he wanted to give up gym so that he could be with the family more. We disagreed and I offered to stay with him for the sessions so he felt better. This is the first time I have seen him really affected by Ant's situation. Maybe it has to do with Caitlin going to the big school and leaving him alone!

Short thoughts on books.

I loved Murakami's books. After Dark was simply delightful, beautifully written ( and translated) with sympathetic characters in an unusual environment. Kafka on the Shore was completely addictive, totally surreal and yet everything made sense. No matter how weird the events became, the characters remained true and thoughtful. I loved the way the story of the two main characters came together, merging the two journeys at a single point. I also loved the fact that the characters also took everything at face value, even the truck driver ( sorry no good with japanese names) who watched and participated in the weirdness from a slight distance.

Currently reading "New Moon'. Twilight was lovely and I am surprised by how well it was adapted for the screen. Not sure where the next one is going. Doesn't matter really as it is a light read, a rest from the more complicated novels I have read of late!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another morning

And so another morning dawns, bright, sunny, hot.

I got up, emptied the dishwasher, fetched the paper, put the washing on and out, watered the plants with a little help from one of my little friends ( begins with R and ends in euben), had a shower, did a poo run ( in the garden picking up a couple of days worth) and then asked the immortal question 'How are you?" to two members of the family. One miserable face complained about her sunburn. She has very red shoulders but was told to apply cream before she left home and to reapply regularly, and another mum was in charge. Ah another day of misery guts. At least the cold and the tonsillitis are over!

The other one is monosyllabic, tense, pale and unaware that anyone exists apart from himself. He even spoke to his dad on skype and failed to mention me though he did get round to saying the kids are fine -yeah right they are both coping, just- and asking about his brother. I am getting to feel as though I don't matter, except to keep the house running, just, and to make sure food is on the table, providing I do it cheaply of course.

And then there is my duck murdering, oh and thrush murdering, dog. She and I have fallen out BIG TIME.

Needless to say taking her for a walk will calm me down and get me out of the house, though i will need to take the kids in case Ant decides to take himself to A&E! A good idea since I have a feeling the meltdown I have been expecting will happen very very soon.

New Year Resolve?

I have just returned from a seven a side football match, a successful one, played in glorious sunshine at seven o'clock in the evening. If there was a place to ride out the economic storm then surely it must be here. I am not saying life is easy, far from it, but the opportunities, the friendship, the support and the generosity of others make this a most beautiful country.

I don't really make resolutions, largely because it depends on which version of me makes them as to whether they last. I resolved last September to lose weight and I have been successful. I have resolved to start running again and, although it is proving tricky what with the kids being home and Ant either working or being ill, I have made a start. There is a pipeline path, virtually flat, which is 6.4km. Molly and I ran it in 50 minutes. I want to try it without her but she is reasonable company. I have entered a series of 10k runs, in the Auckland Series, as an incentive. I realise I need to be fit in order to cope with whatever life throws at me. Who knows what this year will bring.

We are all extremely worried about Anton. Right now he is experiencing palpitations every three or four minutes. He feels spaced and tense. He is going to see a cardiologist on Monday but has already said he feels he needs to go to A&E if only to sit and feel safe. It is affecting all of us hugely. Caitlin has been feeling as though she has to act like a mother to Reuben, to take the pressure off me, something Roo has taken none too kindly to. They understand about tightening our belts, especially as Ant has now given up on the Department of Corrections. I am sure it is a good thing for him and his health but it still raises issues. It will not help his sense of responsibility for us, for example. He seems to see everything in purely financial terms, without really stopping to consider how much we have already in our lives, in this place.

I am so unsure what to do for the best. I have resolved to be positive, to look forward. I mean to be mindful in both what I say and how I feel about myself. In the last few months I feel I have practiced that skill. I try to make less negative comments, to believe in myself and in my strengths. I have others to help me and remind me of my value, but it is still hard to accept compliments still. I wish I could be more like the kids who just say 'thank you' and earnestly believe what is said of them. They are BRILLIANT KIDS! I am so proud of them.

Couldn't resist this...

You Are "alt"

Some people might find you to be strange, mysterious, and even a bit off putting.

You tend to be drawn to and influenced by alternative lifestyles. You're definitely not normal.

Once people get to know you, they realize you're interesting, intriguing, and very intelligent.

You have a lot of knowledge stored in that big brain of yours. Most of it is useless knowledge, but some of it is very useful.


Your Rising Sign is Aquarius

You are an interesting mix of introspective and outlandish.

Waving your freak flag high, you really do things your own way.

While you may seem distant, you care very deeply for humanity.

You just have no tolerance for fools, slackers, or dullards.

And while you're fairly misanthropic, many are drawn to you.

Innovative and clever, people look to you for new ideas and trends.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The return of Blogthings!!!

You Find Some Parts of Your Family Frightening

You feel a bit overwhelmed by and resentful of your family right now. This is a good moment for you to take some time away from them.

You feel like some members of your family are too unhappy. These family members tend to create unhappiness for everyone else.

You believe that one of your relatives is truly evil. You wish to be protected from this person at all costs.

You are honest and very outspoken with your family. You sometimes hurt feelings by saying things they don't want to hear.

Your Quirk Factor: 56%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.

Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

You Are A Nightgown

You are a bit old fashioned and elegant. You aren't very casual.

You are well mannered and modest. You don't make a fool of yourself.

You tend to be a bit reserved, and it's hard for strangers to get to know you.

You are likely to not let anyone outside your bedroom see you in your pajamas.

You Should Live in Idaho

If you don't want to live in Idaho, you might also consider:



New Mexico



Saturday, January 10, 2009


Your Word is "Think"

You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.

And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.

When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Credit Crunch

I absolutely love this posting from one of my favourite blogs- the Age of Uncertainty. Made me smile.

The ladybird book of the recession