August 30, 2006

A day of dissatisfaction, I think

Lets see: there was a good thing straight up after the briefing - one of the senior managers agrees that I have too many contact hours, and that I am entitled to some time off in lew/liu/lu , you know?? Time off is good.

Had a few classes today, and they were just fine. Not exciting at either end of the spectrum.

Saw the rippa rugby this afternoon, and that was fine too. Last game of the season which is both good and bad. Its gone so well this season that I am actually going to miss it, but it will be good not to be rushing around on Wednesday too.

I'm off to bed now - I'm really tired, I have a sore tooth, my monthly and a cold coming very slowly. Hope you nice people are all well and that the spammers have vicious attacks of pleurisy.

Posted by Toni at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2006

More bloody whinging

Do you know I have more teaching contact hours than any other member of the staff?

Did you know that when I applied to have my pay reviewed after I finished the PhD I got turned down?

Did you know I am unable to have my contract made permanent full time, even though I work full time (and am paid full time)?? I have a permanent part time contract...

Did you know I get quite cranky if I think about these things all on the same day and then I ring the union, because something here does not compute?

Posted by Toni at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2006

That last minute

Had a highly productive weekend. R got up on Saturday and started ripping into the deck, and got a fair bit up (we are removing the swimming pool at last!). Then the friend turned up and R had another man helping him, and I think they got all of the timber that you walk on up, and quite a bit of the supporting timber (beams and piles). There was no concrete involved in the support of the deck, which was great - I have saying for ages that it was a cheap thing that would fall apart in a year or two, and now the husband thinks the same thing. All bitty timber hobbled together, and lots of short cuts, like not using flat head nails or treated timber. I went with G to the plant shop and bought another rose while the men were doing the man thing of destruction - so girly and so good.

The Sunday was very fine here so we went over to their house to share the love, and do work there. We gardened and gardened, which was really mainly scrub clearance. And rose pruning. It looks a whole lot better and we took a truck load of rubbish away so it really looked better. Cos I am a legend for making a tidy garden and a messy lawn by not clearing away the rubbish.

Then we took a big tree down which was blocking a lot of light in their house and the neighbours house. All the branches came off really well, and no-one fell out of the tree. But when we took the trunk down it fell on the house and broke a window and the windowsill too. And the phone line which was tangled in the branches, which we had successfully freed, and then broke at the last minute with the trunk. We feel really bad about that - we are the ones who are supposed to know what we are doing, and with hindsight we know now we should have cut the trunk in sections so it wouldn't have been big enough to fall on the house. And used the truck to pull the trunk over so it went towards the road. Ahh hindsight.

We know we did lots of really good stuff, but that last minute has killed all the good feelings. The worst part is we have almost exactly the same thing at our house - a cheap fast growing tree in the phone line. It also has no branches any more and is a trunk which is waiting to come down. But we will do a better job on our tree having learnt so much on theirs.

And we are not going to enjoy having that knowledge.

Posted by Toni at 08:28 AM | Comments (1)

August 23, 2006

Just like

Had my second session with the pins. I have about an hour there, and the first half consists of deep tissue massage. Which essentially means he sticks his strong fingers deep into the scar tissue on my ankle till I grunt or twitch. Which is apparently enough pain to be satifactory. After a while of this the pins are a relief.

The pins went into different part of the ankle last night. Last week they made a pretty half circle round the bottom of my ankle bone. This time I had one on the front of the ankle and some near the achilles tendon, and one was supposed to go on the bonier part half way down the foot. But when he stuck that pin in, it was JUST LIKE SOMEONE STUCK A PIN IN MY NERVE. You know, when you have a hole in your skin, its pretty localised pain. But if something hits your nerve, the nerve shoots pain messages up and down the neurons, and its pretty special.

I have a suspicion he will try for that meridian again next time.

After the pins had been in there for a while, he comes in and twitches them again. And the heat lamp and pins lasts about half an hour. I took a book this time, cos its really boring looking at posters in chinese for half an hour. But after the pins being there for a while, he could do the massage and it didn't hurt at all. Like the pins had done something.

I know I'm doing this and I'm paying for it so you'd think I though acupuncture would work, but because I have no idea how it works my faith in the efficacy of acupuncture varies. But last night it certainly seemed to be doing something. Killing nerve activity perhaps?

I went for a run last night, the dog is looking a bit desperate for exercise, and I wanted to see what it would feel like. Really very sore. I'm going to try again tonight, because its hard to tell if the treatment is doing anything if I don't do the activity that actually stresses the ankle.

The dog also seems to have a tumour, which is a bit of a bummer.

Posted by Toni at 09:41 AM | Comments (3)

August 22, 2006


today it is raining AGAIN. The soil here is so soggy that when I was weeding yesterday, I had to scrape the soil off the weed roots, because it was so sodden it could not let go. Strangely enough, I garden in two completely different soils. At home I have wonderful sand, that has been fed with compost and other humus, and where it is sunny it grows plants all year. Here at school I have clay, that is terribly soggy in the winter, and so we cannot grow much for most of the year. The soil is just too cold and wet for growth. I can't be bothered with winter gardens at home much, so it is somewhat ironic that the place where I need to grow stuff in the winter is where the soil will not allow it.

All quite well. I felt very virtuous last night as I did my marking before doing my internet stuff, and then read a book instead of reading all night and ending up behind on my work. The book is "A short history of tractors in the Ukraine" by Marina Lewycka. Its very good, and does not have much about tractors in it!

Its really cold today, exactly like winter.

Posted by Toni at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2006

Sort of normal

It should be a sort of normal week after the chaos of last week. I got all the junior test marked and the reports written, and still taught classes which was a damn fine effort. Which I have to say myself, as everyone else is just keeping up with their own issues.

On Thursday night Russ and I both had committments, but he did get a babysitter, basically by door knocking down the road at houses where we knew the people. And then his event was cancelled due to the funeral of the Maori Queen so the babysitter was not required.

Then to top it off, the battalion had their birthday in the weekend so he was away doing parading and I was a solo mum for two days. In fact he took a very slack attitude, and was around home quite a bit. But I did need a baby sitter again on the Saturday so I could get my hair cut.

The last hair cut was horrible, and I hated it from about two hours after I got home. Too long. Too shapeless. Too much hair. So getting it cut on Saturday could not be moved, as I had been looking forward to the cut for six weeks. It feels so much better really short!

One of my mommy's friends died in the weekend. She is feeling a bit delicate, it is the first of their friends to die, and bring the whole mortality thing into close focus. Poor Mommy. But it will be father who is more upset would be my guess, as he tends to freak out about dying and death. But in that manly way of the past, he sucks it all up inside... Then drinks and cries. I guess it brings the certainty of my parents death closer too, but I don't feel too affected by that. I might if I was going to the funeral. But since Origin Pacific stopped all passenger flights its a bit tricky, and I don't think I would be realsed from school either.

And its my niece's birthday TODAY. And I have nothing for her.

Posted by Toni at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2006


The school looks like we are Conducting classes in a rubbish tip, so the students have to eat lunch in the fenced tennis courts which are known as the cage. Unfortunately, so do the staff. And the pain continues next week as well.

Posted by Toni at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2006

Down, down

I'm feeling a bit down at the moment. Apparently we have only a tiny number of enrollments for next year, and so there is definitely going to be a capna round at the end of the year. I don't know whether to stay and hope I am one of the ones that stay, or to go before being pushed. The number of schools here is so small that it is unlikely that there will be any jobs outside of the October shake-up. I really like being at this school, but the Cstant worry about whether there is a job here in the future is Not Good. But the other thing is that there is no other school in town that really appeals either. I'm sure if I did change I would find things that I liked and be reasonable happy... but I don't think the whole family atmosphere thing would be the same.

Posted by Toni at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2006


So today I had the acupuncture. I had 10 needles put in and around the ankle area to help break down scar tissue, then a heat lamp was left over my ankle for about 20 mins. It doesn't hurt, I could hardly feel the needles going in. Next time I am going to take a book, because all the posters are in chinese, and so have limited interest. Though I found out they use arabic numbers in china as they are quicker than chinese numbers.

I had the projector for using with the computer stolen out of my room today which is very disappointing. fortunately I had locked the room so it is not my fault, and so I don't feel personally responsible, but it will produce a certain amount of trouble.

Had coffee with the husband this afternoon by ourselves. You know, without children. It was nice to finish the occaisional sentence :) We must try to do this more often.

Posted by Toni at 08:41 PM | Comments (2)

August 14, 2006


I have now acquired enough music on my laptop that I could turn it on and it would take a week and a half just to play everything once....

Its helping keep me from falling asleep on the marking

Posted by Toni at 09:39 PM | Comments (2)

August 10, 2006

The eyes have it

We kept the senior son home today with suspected Cjunctivitis (a very infectious eye Cdition) and took the junior son off to his usual daycare arrangements. Senior son went to the doctor this afternoon, and has possibly a tiny touch of the gummy eye syndrome, so is back to school tomorrow.

Junior son was having his face cleaned at lunchtime, and suddenly, there was yukky goo everywhere. HE had the Cjuctivitis, and no-one needed a doctor to Cfirm it. She kept him for the afternoon as he sleeps most of it, and so would be seperated from the other kids, though it was probably too late. So tomorrow I will be home again, but this time with the other kid. We can tell it is not comfortable for him - I suggested I gave him some eye medicine when we got home. "peese" he said. I told him he would have to lie down - immediate lying down. And even when I put the drops in, there was no complaining. When he got up - "Fank roo eye meddi". Repeated fanks about five times. And no complaining about another treatment round before bed either. And more "Fank roos". When he pack a sad about the drops I'm guessing he is on the mend.

I have an appointment with an acupuncturist next week, who reckons he can fix up my ankle. Heres hoping. I've never done the acupunture thing before, so should be interesting.

Posted by Toni at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2006

Wonton soup

Just what we had for dinner, which I haven't 'made' at home before. Frozen wontons, heated with water and a flavour sachet. Easy, and okay.

Went for a run tonight, and will have to see a quack type person about an old injury as it is palying up. Was Csidering acupuncture.

Zillions of students came and went from my room, it was not interesting actually.

I have been trying to draw a rhinocerous for the art course, and they are pretty hard to do. Especially slightly kooky ones by Albrecht Durer.

I have nothing much to say - and I think it is showing!

Posted by Toni at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2006

Needing a break from my own life

After school today I had tidied up, finished arguing/discussing the right and wrongs of GE with a German exchange student and put the gear in the car - it was pretty early still, and the thought of coming home and getting on with the washing and the cooking and the cleaning and the childcare was just boring. So I went to visit a friend who had been home yesterday with 3 (count them) sick children all on her own. By herself. With THREE sick children. I have no idea how many children would still be living at the end of the day if I had to do that, but she copes with these things really well. Anyway, I thought I'd like a change from my routine and that she might like someone else to talk to too. She seemed to.

She takes a daughter to a ballet lesson once a week, and while the daughter dances, she goes for a walk. One where she actually gets somewhere. Walking with children is so terribly slow, and they are not about the progress. They don't care if they never get anywhere. I know this can be described in a very positive way as they look at every leaf, but honestly after 38 years most leaves are pretty similar. When you are 2 or 4 they are new things, but I've done the leaf thing now, and the only way they get interesting is if I have to draw them... Walking with kids is slow and erratic. Other women have offered for her to go round for coffee at a house, but she loves going for a walk, by herself and on her own, and the walk being about walking and not about all the things to see. I can relate to that.

It keeps raning here, and the hillsides keep slipping down. The kids are wet and glum and some of them could not get home tonight because of roads being closed.

Posted by Toni at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2006

I'm blaming Jenni, but I hope she doesn't mind...

In the highly unlikely news front, and hoping I don't jinx this by commenting on it, I have been going for a run every day for the last four days. I haven't run for a long time, like for about 10 years or maybe longer because I haven't run since before I was married.

It gets wierder.

Last night I didn't think I had gone far enough, but thought I wouldn't push it. Tonight I ran round the block twice. I'm a two-timer!!

I don't know how long I keep this up, but I'm so proud of me for doing this much.

It wasn't planned either. I have always run for about 50 metres when I take the dog for a walk to get the heart rate up at the start of a walk, but the other day I just kept running. An accident. That I keep repeating.

Posted by Toni at 08:39 PM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2006


Its been a really long week. The kids at school have been impressively unfocussed, there have been inspectors, its been either raining so hard you wonder where the air went, or very hot. I have downed a couple of beers, and I'm now going to bed to read a book. The leader is out at the ambulance station, and the children are asleep.


Posted by Toni at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2006

A very brief ode to patience cos I should really be going to bed

On Thursday nights at the moment, I am going out to a community education class, and doing basic drawing. What I have noticed, basic drawing involves a lot of painting. But I digress. The other thing I have noticed is that the best drawings are the ones where anyone spends a bit of time on them. If I don't rush the washes, and put them on lightly, not dark, the whole thing doesn't go manky. When other people work slowly they produce some beautiful stuff. One guy is doing a ink wash of a shell that is absolutely stunning, and he hasn't put anything even remotely dark on it. Slowing down, and drawing what is actually there, rather than what I think is there are the secrets to me producing anything halfway decent.

I'm pretty sure every art book in creation says that. Not much of a secret.

Posted by Toni at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2006

Grumpy and tired

The senior son is doing really well at the rugby - he got a try tonight, and also got some good 'tackles' which in rippa rugby means he got their tags so they had to pass the ball. Lots of determined running, which makes taking him much more fun than when he does nothing.

Learning point - kids grow into being able to do sport, and just because the kid did nothing useful in the first year, it doesn't mean he won't do something useful eventually.

Actually, the kid shows some talent, as he seems to understand positional play instinctively.

I've come home and made tea, then made invitations for a pirate party, and feel like there has been no rest - I'm very grumpy now.

Posted by Toni at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2006

Its the seCd half of the year now

Had the inspector come to class today, and it was of course a bit chaotic, then he spent a long time poring over the computer looking at unit outlines and markbooks, and then went away. Will probably come back later.

Saw my first new coin today, and by gum they are tiny.

Went into Trade Aid and bought the family a game of skittles, or 10-pin bowls. Had a tourney tonight with the team and that went down really well.

Husband came home which was unexpected, and will be away next week instead, but that is good, as the inspectors will be gone then.

Posted by Toni at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)