September 20, 2006


P.D.: Periodic detention, where people who have committed crimes are required to turn up and intervals and do community service type work such as weeding and rubbish/litter collection.

P.D.: Professional development for in-service teachers. Often run by teachers college lecturers. While undergoing this kind of PD, participants feel as if they must have committed a crime to deserve this kind of punishment.

There is a saying in education: Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach. And those who can't teach, work at Teacher's College.

Posted by Toni at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2006

It was the oddest house

In the weekend we went over to Napier, and had a lovely holiday with friends. We visited relatives, played in playgrounds and walked around observing art deco buildings. On the Sunday however, we saw the most amazing residential building ever.

It belongs to R's friend's parents, and was built by Dad forty years ago. It has two roofs, Stacked on top of each other, though one of them is only partial and is propped up by some beams. It has windows that are at least 2 inches smaller than the window frame, so very draughty. It has dormer windows that open onto the lower roof. In places the walls don't actually meet the roof, so there is clear air under the eaves. There were holes in the ceiling that looked really old, where someone had stepped through the ceiling. The loo door was set in a wall with no door frame, and the loo had somehow ended up not centered, but is in it's room on an angle. The bath is not a claw foot bath, but is unsurrounded, and propped up on bricks or something. There was a staircase that went up to the second roof. But no-where else we could see, just a staircase to the tin roof.

And they are apparently not poor, but are quite wealthy and this is the way they choose to live. they have expensive english antiques in the house, and some large real persian rugs too. But we can't imagine they live in the whole house, as some of it is impossible to heat due to the large holes in the fabric of the house. Most of it would be abandoned for the winter.

There is a granny cottage on the property, and that is perfectly normal.

We were so overwhelmed by the place, we had to have a debrief last night and check we were not hallucinating. And check what each other had seen. And then we talked about how a real estate agent would describe it. Unique? Having potential? full of character? Unsalvagable? An outbulding?

The council would certainly never permit anyone to build like that now - but I do wonder if it has ever had a building permit.

Posted by Toni at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2006

current obsession

Every time I get anywhere near the music making machines at present, I put on Kate Bush's latest "Aerial". She strikes me as sort of Enya-ish because there is a definite mood music thing going on. but with more meaning. or not.

At present I am listening to Pi, a song based on the number. And coming up soon is a song about washing. And another about her son. At least I know what these things are about even if I don't get it completely.

by gum there are some beautiful sounds - I can't get out of my head the Three point one four in the pi song, and nor do I want it out of my head. Only 13 years in the making...

Hubby home with the little brat today, as he can't stop coughing, and has a chest infection. The big brat wanted to stay home too, but has been satisfied with being able to walk to school. Funny the things they really want to do.

Posted by Toni at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2006

Returning to the ankle

Went for a run last night which is the first time in quite a while due to R being away and also I've been sick. And had my period, which is a very uncomfortable time to be bouncing even a little. To celebrate I had also bought a new pair of shoes. I can report that the acupuncture has been successful - I didn't get any pain from my ankle at all. I think the treatments have mde quite a a bit difference, and the swelling is soft, and may in the future disappear entirely. The new shoes also help - I can certainly feel the reduction in shock with each step. the shin still ached a bit, but I think part of that is trying to reduce impact and slapping on the pavement of that foot, and I might just try to relax and enjoy my uneven stride.

but not running for a while has certainly reduced the cardio fitness...

I heard a really long interview with a podiatrist on National Radio a while ago - he said that people would be better off buying cheaper shoes and replacing them more often. I've taken his advice on board. We have a No1 shoes warehouse here, and just recently a rebel sports shop has opened too. You can buy the same shoes for $50 less at No1.

I'd like to buy the No Sweat shoes from the Trade Aid shop, but they look a lot like leisure sneakers, not like sports shoes... and with my dodgy legs I feel like a bit of technology is necessary. What I have bought has air pads, and cantilevers and all that techo sounding and looking crap.

Shopping is getting like a blood sport - there's trying to get the best deal on price, and balancing that with the quality of the goods that are bought. Then there is balancing the big picture of sweat shop labour and underpaid thirld world labour in places like China, with still trying to get what is actually wanted. Its becoming necessary to be able to justify why you have spent the recources of the world on your new purchase...

Could be a good way to slow down the rush to buy stuff. You know the shopping as leisure idea, which I think is a pretty sad idea.

Posted by Toni at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2006

Opera in the opera house

Where I live we have the Royal Opera house. It wasn't royal until a wee while ago, when one of the english princes was living here for a year and he royalified it. Its quite old, a victorian wooden opera house.

For the year we have been here there has been no opera in the opera house, but last night there was a version of Don Pasquale on, which we had booked for a long time ago and had good seats.

I was disappointed to hear it had been translated to english which is a definite snobbery thing. Mind you I generally find translated operas as incomprehensible as the original italian so what is the point. But last night the libretto was a very pleasant surprise - I could understand it, and it didn't grate on the ear. The singers were impressively clear with their diction. And the singing was really good - not too over-powering which is what I generally don't like about opera.

The set was excellent. It was apparently computer printed which was a new experiment, and it worked well. It was sort of cubist, because it had lots of bits of house, so you knew what the house was like, but it wasn't all in order or in the right place, or even all the same room.

But I'm thinking it wasn't all perfect. I don't know the original but I suspect it has a chorus and that things are a bit more logical. Some of the characters last night night had huge changes of mind and opinion and all that in the space of one line. And Don Pasquale is supposed to be a mean and horrible rich man, while I felt a lot of sympathy for him as he was tricked and abused by the youth. The young man was supposed to be a hero but I thought he just looked lazy and selfish. The girl was supposed to be a nice person but she seemed conniving and sly. So the story didn't hang well on the characters.

Great night out though, and I wish that kind of thing happened more often right here.

Posted by Toni at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2006

Failing the health check

I didn't manage to stay out of bed yesterday - I weeded a teeny tiny bit of garden, then thought I didn't feel that good, then went to bed. I read a teeny tiny bit of book, lay down and slept till three in the afternoon. And just dragged myself up.

Now I am back at work, and I feel terrible, and look bad. Magnificent...

Posted by Toni at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2006

house of the unwell

On Friday the littlest one was home sick, and a visit to the doctor discovered that he is still carrying the ear infection from two weeks ago. So he is on antibiotics again to try and clear up the ear.

I survived the pirate party quite well which was good. Nearly everything got done, and most of the invitees turned up - and they had a good time. There was plenty of food and most of them did not want to go home when the time came. Pirate parties are really good, and it is so easy for everyone to come in costume.

Then I went to bed - and stayed there all Sunday apart from visiting the dentist. I had a head cold and a very sore tooth - not a combination I would recommend to anyone. And yesterday morning I went back to the dentist as the pain was still the same. I am on antibiotics, and the second type have definitely made a big difference - I can eat now.

I had yesterday mostly in bed, I passed out after taking a pill and cold mixture cocktail (recommended by the pharmacist, mind you) and woke feeling a damn sight better. The husband, however came home with a fever and so I HAD to be better. He is so funny when he is sick, last night he wanted to be admitted to hospital! For a head cold! He is very brave about a lot of things, but not about feeling sick.

So today is my recovery day, and tomorrow i will be back to the chalkboard. I'm planning on spending a bit of today OUT OF BED, and that will be a lovely change.

Posted by Toni at 09:46 AM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2006

Pirate party

The husband is home today, and boy does he have a huge list of things to do. Tomorrow we have a pirate party which we booked a whole month ago. But the army has shat on our plans even though so well laid, and R has to go to a conference and I have to do the party on my own. But I won't be on my own, as my friend will help I am sure.

But the husband has to
- make a gate for the front yard
- make a cake
- decorate a room
- make a treasure trail
- go shopping for treasure and food

Especially make the gate so the little people stay at the party instead of going to play in the traffic. I am sure the party will be fine, and I have said it is for two hours tops, so it has a definite finish time! Wish us all luck for no injuries, and good time to be had by all. Har har. (made a cake last night for the grown ups, and it is so soft and well cooked it broke when I turned it out, which is unusual for a fruit cake, and no problem at all for enjoying it.)

Posted by Toni at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)