153/366 1st June 2020

1st June: Look down! Lampposts with feet. I love the quirkiness and creativity of people. It lifts our spirits. Cuba Street, Wellington.

154/366 2nd June 2020

2nd June: An adventure on the train was cut short when we got to Taita Station – “this train is terminating at Taita due to a signal fault”
We were very promptly picked up by a ‘train-replacing bus’. We have been very impressed with the public transport these last few days – not least because it has been free!

155/366 3rd June 2020

3rd June: Our journey on public transport took us to Days Bay yesterday, a walk up the hill, along the ridgeline and down to Eastbourne before getting the ferry back across to Wellington. Today we flew home. One of the things I love about flying is being able to see places, orient myself and recognise places I have visited from above. The wee island is Ward Island and it was connected to Eastbourne during the war by an anti-submarine boom.

156/366 4th June 2020

4th June: I’m working on my te reo mahi. The Matariki constellation is known as Pleiades in the western world, and by other names by other cultures around the world. In Aotearoa, the rising of Matariki marks the start of the Māori new year. thespinoff.co.nz/atea/05-06-2019/matariki-what-to-know-ab….

157/366 5th June 2020

5th June: It’s never too early in the month for a photo of the cat! I haven’t moved far from the computer today as it’s been a busy work day.

158/366 6th June 2020

6th June: Our Oxfam team caught up today for a bit of a reunion – a walk along the Karangahake Rail Trail and then lunch at the winery. Autumn is turning to winter but there is still colour in the trees.
I hīkoi tātou tēnei ata i Karangahake. I kõrero, katakata ngā hoa ki a tātou.
Ngā tae o Pipiri, ngā waiata o te ngākau harikoa.

159/366 7th June 2020

7th June: I haven’t seen my big boy for such a long time. He needs a haircut!

160/366 8th June 2020

8th June 2020: Back at te reo class again. I love learning using the rākau. Challenging but fun and we learn so much. This tells the story of the maramataka Māori – well the winter of it anyway. Find out more here – read.bookcreator.com/uEJkCGS2bHaLPf8CtnYtxBm2qi52/p5vN2Zn…

161/366 9th June 2020

9th June: No comment …. Arthur Dent maybe?

162/366 10th June 2020

10th June: Adding to the kōrero. Raumati or Summer when the nights get shorter and the days get longer…

163/366 11th June 2020

11th June: Dawn at Lake Rotoroa. I came down to run this morning not really feeling t but needing to do my 5km Time Trial. I decided that if it was going to happen it would so as not to put myself under any pressure. I ended up taking about 15 seconds off my previous PB. 27m12s. It wasn’t pretty!

164/366 12th June

12th June: Playing with leaves at the river. We are trying to keep our after work walks going but they are becoming less frequent… partly the weather and partly being back at aa physical place for work rather than working from home which dictates working hours.

165/366 13th June 2020

13th June: Not a great photo but you can tell that these are wax eyes (pihipihi) feasting on the seeds of this daisy. There were heaps of them!

166/366 14th June 2020

14th June: Two days of stunning weather in Whanganui-ā-Tara. Yesterday we ran at Red Rocks and did a side trip to see the seals. Today up to Belmont Trig – it was icy as we set off and the frost was still there at midday but what amazing views! kiwitravelwritertalksfoodtravelandtips.com/2009/09/19/red…

167/366 15th June 2020

15th June: Tonight at te reo class we had to give instructions to make a cup of tea… I was at Chris’ in Silverstream ‘Zooming’ in so decided to create step by step instructions visually.

168/366 16th June 2020

16th June: A murky day in Silverstream today. Had to persuade myself out of bed to get this run in before work. As usual, I was glad I did. Despite the murk it was lovely to be out.

169/366 17th June 2020

17th June: Sail or fly – DT curriculum integration. Working with teachers exploring how to create an integrated programme of learning. So much learning all round. #lovemyjob #teachersarecool #origami #algorithms #computationalthinking

170/366 18th June 2020

18th June: He ahakoa te ua me te hau i oma tāua tēnei ahiahi i te ngahere ki te matairangi o Rangituhi. Wild and windy at the lookout but good to blow the cobwebs away. Thanks Sarah. #trailrunning #hauora #rangituhi

171/366 19th June 2020

19th June: It’s been a wet and windy week in Whanganui-a-Tara. I drive past here every day to and fro when I’m working in Porirua and see it in all weather. #commute #pauahatanui #whitby

172/366 20th June 2020

20th June: 10km Time Trial on the programme today. My running buddy Jo paced me to a PB!

173/366 21st June 2020

21st June: The shortest day – midwinter in Aotearoa and the start of the Maramataka Māori. Time for a swim! It was a beautiful day in Whaingāroa after the rain in the middle of the day cleared.

174/366 22nd June 2020

22nd June: Matariki star cluster. Matariki, Puhutakawa, Hiwaiterangi, Tupuu0101rangi, Tupuu0101nuku, Waiti, Waita, Waipunerangi, Ururangi.

175/366 23rd June 2020

23rd June: FOMO – spotted these two dogs hanging out of the back of a ute on my way down Grey Street (I wasn’t driving!)

176/366 24th June 2020

24th June: Building our korero…. te korero o the Maramataka Māori

177/366 25th June 2020

25th June: a bright splash of colour in an otherwise dreich day.

178/366 26th June 2020

26th June: Protea in Hamilton Gardens.

179/366 27th June 2020

27th June:

squadfest #2 – the plan was to run a marathon. my legs thought otherwise! a gym session with the physio to treat my tendinitis left me with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) so I ended up pulling the pin after 33km. This is Jo dancing through the mud! It was a bit of a damp day. Black Track Rotorua.

180/366 28th June 2020

28th June: Aonghas has discovered chess. He beat, then coached Leah to a win against me but Nigel for the better of him.

181/366 29th June 2020

29th June: Begonias with their winter colour

182/366 30th June 2020

30th June:

Rainbow at the trig
Tēnei ahiahi i tae au i te kõtihi o te puke i kite au tēnei āniwaniwa i te rangi.


May 1st – I heard a tūī today, and I thought it seemed closer than usual. I looked out of my window and there he was right outside my office. I rongo au te waiata ātaahua o te Tūī.

123/366 2nd May 2020

It’s so good to get a bit further afield than our back yard. Much as I love Hamilton Gardens and the Waikato River and walking along it has been my saviour over the last few weeks, it lifts my heart to get up high! Back up the puke (Kakepuku) today… it’s a while since we’ve been and the landscape is a bit greener than last time!

124/366 3rd May 2020

Praying Mantis on faded blooms.

125/366 4th May 2020

I think I mentioned last month that the country has gone into baking fever – now it’s time to use up the gluts of home grown produce! Spent an afternoon preserving feijoa, chilli and limes all from the garden. This is a great pickle recipe and really easy to make.

126/366 5th May 2020

Moonrise over the Waikato River.

127/366 6th May 2020

Work has started again on the new road.

128/366 7th May 2020

Glass … I am taking part in a collaborative photo book at the moment and today’s theme was glass… this wee vase was my Mum’s and I’ve always loved it.

129/366 8th May 2020

Kātahi anō aukaha ka rātou te ara i te taha o te awa
Finally they are repairing/strengthening the path by the river

130/366 9th May 2020

Tonks found the sunny spot. I sat with her for a while and warmed my cold fingers on her fur. I have Raynauds and even in warm weather my fingers go dead so this is a luxury not many will appreciate!

131/366 10th May 2020

First time seeing my big son after 6 weeks in lockdown. so good to hug!

132/366 11th May 2020

Another view of Turtle Lake. It’s been fascinating seeing all the different views and colours of the sky, the trees and the lake over the last month.

133/366 12th May 2020

I’ve finally succumbed…a training programme! What have I done? Only gone and said I would enter an 85km race – persuaded by my friend Jo as it falls on her 60th Birthday! Now got to get a place in the race!

134/366 13th May 2020

Just peeking…my co-worker!

135/366 14th May 2020

Dusk – the Waikato river – longest river in NZ, flows through the Waikato region and Kirikiriroa. We decided to walk the other way this evening #bubblewalk

136/366 15th May 2020

It’s that river again! The Mighty Waikato. taken from the bridge in the previous photo looking to the next bridge!

137/366 16th May 2020

We escaped! Back on the trails as we move into Level 2… so it had to be time to bust out a handstand! A new trig on the Western Okataina Walkway. A two day virtual trailrunning event Squadfest – pick your own challenge and commit to completing it over two days. We decided to do a marathon. This is day 1 – a hilly half marathon.

138/366 17th May 2020

I don’t think I’ve seen the Waikato river as still as this before! like glass! Day 2 of our Squadrun challenge – back to back half marathons. I much preferred yesterday’s terrain… hills mean I have an excuse to walk! This was all flat but enough elevation (50m) to make our total 1000m over the two days! My 2nd fastest half marathon – so not bad especially after the hills yesterday.

139/366 18th May 2020

One of the by-products of the rāhui seems to have been a proliferation of graffiti. Some of it is quite clever, a social commentary of the time, some is clearly kids just bored. This one just seems destructive and disrespectful. Obliterating someone else’s artwork… maybe I’m wrong… maybe it’s just as much a social commentary as the rest?

140/366 19th May 2020

The Waikato River…again!!! The evening sky was just stunning today!

141/366 20th May 2020

The rāhui seems to have brought the birds into the garden. This Tūī has been around a fair bit. I just missed getting a very cool photo of him!! Yeah, right! Must be a Tūī ad!
I got the caption corrected……

I /ka rere te Tūī i mua i taku tango i te whakaahua.

142/366 21st May 2020

Coprinellus – I spotted heaps of them on a tree trunk in our garden as I was hanging out the washing today. I loved how the daisy contrasted against them.

143/366 22nd May 2020

Work is continuing apace up at my trig trail. The big trees were cut down on the first day of Level 3 and the diggers and tractors are busy transforming the landscape and preparing for the road and the bridge that will cross the Waikato River. #progress #manatwork
E hanga rātou te huarahi hou. Ka hanga rātou hoki tētahi arawhiti ākuanei nā whai anõ i tope rātou ngā rākau nui i tērā wiki.

144/366 23rd May 2020

Olga da Polga was a favourite book when the boys were little and they got guinea pigs. They called one of them Olga da Polga. Can’t remember what the other one was called! I came across the book in a box as I was sorting the garage out. Memories!

145/366 24th May 2020

This is a kiwi feather. A DoC ranger brought it into the Maungatautari visitor centre while we were having coffee. It is amazingly soft and almost like wool. Apparently, it is illegal to keep feathers from endangered birds like kiwis unless you have permission.

146/366 25th May 2020

Playing with leaves and photos and drawings… creating art from art. It’s amazing what you can do in online meetings…..!

147/366 26th May 2020

Autumn colours. I love these trees on the bank of the Waikato and the way they have a carpet of rich auburn leaves at this time of the year. The light of the evening sky provides a beautiful contrast.

148/366 27th May 2020

Don’t ask!

149/366 28th May 2020

Flying today! Exciting to be travelling again now we’re well into Level 2. Off to Wellie for a few days away. Physical distancing on the plane meant people all sitting at window seats except for couples. (the ATR only has 2 seats on either side of the aisle).

150/366 29th May 2020

Signs of the times! Most people seemed to be complying at least during the day – later on Saturday night not quite the same!

151/366 30th May 2020

It was a lazy sort of a day but eventually got my a into gear and went out for a run. Hard to believe that this is just 5 minutes from the house!

152/366 31st May 2020

An oldie selfie! So many photos today as we saw heaps of birds as we went round Zealandia… especially the Kākā and Tieke. Thought I’d end the month with this one of the two of us!


92/366 1st April 2020

Lockdown Birthday! My birthday tea. Gus insisting on looking louche…had to explain to him what louche meant!

93/366 2nd April 2020

Dandelion Clock – childhood memories.

94/366 3rd April 2020

“Bubble” walks have become part of our daily routine – one of the bright spots in all of this strangeness. We take a football with us and have a good kick around.

95/366 4th April 2020

Breakfast – pinwheel scones. Baking, it seems, is what everyone is doing. No flour, yeast or baking powder in the shops. I felt the urge to bake this morning but then I do reasonably frequently anyway – it’s not a lockdown thing! But maybe because everyone is doing it, it prompted me!

96/366 5th April 2020Ventured out ... #shoppingexperience #covid19nz # #rāhui

#covid19nz shopping. physical distancing. a surreal experience
Our first venture out since Nigel stocked up before the lockdown. It is quite weird. Strangely pleasant as the place is quite calm, it’s quiet, people keep out of each other’s way and there aren’t many people anyway. Could get used to it!

97/366 6th April 2020

Sunset…autumn sky in Hamilton Gardens. As we’re both still working albeit from home and can’t get out until after 5pm, we are really noticing the days getting shorter.

98/366 7th April 2020

He marama tino ātaahua tēnēi po. #fullmoon🌕 E tiaho ana te atarau ki runga ki te taone. Ko ahoroa, ko māhina, ko atarau ētahi atu ingoa mō te marama #learningtereo It’s a beautiful moon tonight. The moon is shining over the town. Ahoroa and māhina are other names for the moon.

99/366  8th April 2020

Flight formation – migrating geese? Looked up because I could hear the honking of geese and there they were…. heading somewhere on a mission. Love the way birds fly together to protect the vulnerable.

100/366  9th April 2020

This guy was running/walking along the river path, we overtook him and then he overtook us as we were looking at the chestnuts and mushrooms. He was an older gentleman, with a limp and he stopped every now and then for a breather. As we came round the corner there he was just venturing into the river. He spotted me taking a photo and turned around and struck a hero pose – unluckily, I wasn’t fast enough to get that photo. Such a character.

101/366 10th April 2020

So good to see so many families out and about in their bubbles. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon for walking and cycling. Let’s hope the weather holds…. Can’t imagine what it’ll be like for families if they end up cooped up inside.

102/366 11th April 2020

2nd time success -the first attempt was a dismal failure! Hot Cross Buns for Easter.

103/366 12th April 2020

Holiday weekend – #day 3 it’s lovely to have a slower pace to the day and be creative.

104/366 13th April 2020

After the rain…. mushroom hunting.

105/366 14th April 2020

Being adventurous and trying something different. A present for a friend. This is a konae rather than a kono.

106/366 15th April 2020

Day 20 #rāhui bubble walk with a football.

107/366 16th April 2020

Another 24 hours with some rain and the mushrooms are starting to emerge. Nigel harvested some field mushrooms that we had for tea. Not these fairy toadstools though!

108/366 17th April 2020

Heard a Tūī, turned around and there he was outside my window. I rongo au i te waiata o te Tūī, kātahi ka i huri au, i kite au hoki i te manu ātaahua i roto i te rākau. #nature #brightspots #listen

109/366 18th April 2020

Whakatū Wahine Garden in Hamilton Gardens. It was created and planted to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of women going suffrage in Aotearoa. Women’s lives are represented through the healing plants, the woven patterns and the blue of the shelter.

110/366 19th April 2020

We went mushrooming today…. found all sorts of mushrooms out there. Nigel was most surprised by this one (and there were plenty of them) which appears to be a lacterious but he hasn’t seen any in NZ so far.

111/366 20th April 2020Pink sky at night...#turtlelake @hamiltongardens #bubblewalk #hauora #covid19nz

Our ‘bubble walks’ which we manage to do most days are not getting later but the nights are drawing in. It does mean we get to see some stunning sunsets.

112/366 21st April 2020

Looking up to the trig – trying to get there before the pink sky disappears but it’s a sharp wee climb so thought I’d better take the photo on the way up in case I’m too late!

113/366 22nd April 2020

Cats always find the warm spots. #fire #winteriscoming #autumn

114/366 23rd April 2020

A very late walk this evening and not enough time to get up to the trig, so went the other way along the river and back along Grey Street. Spotted these on the way.

115/366 24th April 2020

Escaped between ‘zui’ for a bubble walk today so we got some sunshine and light! Lovely to see families petting by the river and kids paddling.

116/366 25th April 2020

25th April: It’s Anzac Day here in NZ – equivalent of Nov 11th in UK. This year there is no Dawn Parade or public services, but many of us stood at our gates at 6am to pay our respects. I had the radio playing the service and the son of our neighbour played The Last Post. There were probably 7 or 8 households at their gates. It was strange, a story of togetherness of purpose but disconnected too.
This photo is of the Whakatū Wahine or tye Women’s Shelter. It was designed and put in place for the centennial celebrations of Women’s Suffrage in NZ. This year, a focus for Anzac Day is the many women who contributed to the war effort by taking on the farms, the jobs, and keeping the economy going while their menfolk were away fighting. And, I suppose for coping and nurturing them if they came home or bringing up their families singlehandedly if they didn’t.
It seemed like a good place to stop for a few minutes just to think as I was on my run today.

117/366 26th April 2020

Turtle Lake at Hamilton Gardens. another evening view on another bubble walk during the rāhui.

118/366 27th April 2020

Social commentary – there has been a burgeoning of graffiti during the rāhui – most of it seems to be kids who are bored and feel the need to make their mark but some of it is more of a commentary on the times.

119/366 28th April 2020

One day into Level 3 and they’ve been to chop our trees down! Essential business?! Making space for a new road bridge over the river. Progress!?

120/366 29th April 2020

Another day in rāhui, another trip to the trig, another view of Pirongia. I’ve lost count of the days but progress is being made by our “team of 5 million“.

121/366 30th April 2020

Break out! Finally made it to a trail again… my happy place… can you tell?!


61/366 1st March 2020

So many #wahinetoa i te whare tēnēi põ with a heap of awesome tane backing them up… @riahallnz @annacoddington @troykingi @flymyprettiesnz @hgartsfestival @hamiltongardens

A wee cheat – I didn’t take this photo on 1st March but it had to be included – a whole heap of amazing NZ artists all on stage together at the Hamilton Gardens Summer Arts Festival. Wahine toa – Ria Hall, Anne Coddington, and others who have amazing voices and skills and the Tane – Troy Kingi and heaps. of others too. Fly My Pretties brings them all together.

62/366 2nd March 2020

Dropping down through the cloud into Whanganui-a-tara. Travelling for work again…

63/366 3rd March 2020

The stories they tell. I love the kōrero I hear and the trust that kāiako put in me when I facilitate workshops. Whanaungatanga.

64/366 4th March 2020

Hump week in the capital. Working in Whanganui-a-tara this week and Nigel is also down here because we are heading out to see Rhiannon Giddens. Would have included a photo of the concert which was amaaazing, except that no photos allowed in Norman Fowler Centre. Though I think Nigel might have taken a sneaky one or two…. shhh! This photo is pre-drinks and chillax before the show.

65/366 5th March 2020

Ata marie. He timatanga rawe. Parakuihi me te taupuhi o tõku manawa. #breakfastwithmybeloved💓 It’s actually not often I have breakfast with my husband – we’re up at different times and out and about so this was a rare treat.

66/366 6th March 2020

I worked with an amazing group of totally underrated members of our learning community today. Teacher aides who do vital mahi with our most vulnerable tamariki but who are underpaid and often forgotten when it comes to professional learning. These wonderful people shared so much of themselves, showed an immense passion for their learners and for their own learning I was humbled. This was an activity at the start of our session so essentially I could get to know them but they reflected on how much they learnt about each other too. This was a sentiment echoed when I did a similar activity with some teachers earlier in the week. But it also linked to our mahi about digital technologies – using different language, code, symbols to express ideas and solve problems, and to organise and sequence.

67/366 7th March 2020

So many other great photos from today but this has to take the biscuit! It got more likes on social media than any other I posted! We have such smutty minds!

68/366 8th March 2020

Out for a bike ride today with my running buddy. I’m still suffering from a fall I had 10 days ago when I badly bruised my quadricep. Running is still very uncomfortable so opted for some cross-training which seems to have worked. The river trails along the mighty Waikato were stunning today but very, very hot!

69/366 9th March 2020

Learning te reo Māori with rakau. The Ataarangi method. It’s fascinating. This image represents the colours of the Māori world – Ngā tae o te Ao Māori…

70/366 10th March 2020

My first whiskey tasting! Delicious. Unfortunately, they sold out of my favourite before I got to the counter – clearly it was everyone else’s favourite too!

71/366 11th March 2020

More te reo learning – visual, oral, aural and written to tax an old brain!

72/366 12th March 2020

I don’t take too many photos of food but this was a breakfast fit for the Gods!
Parakuihi mõ ngā ātua! Anyone want to share? #morethanenough #breakfast #workofart via Instagram ift.tt/3aRbMWp

73/366 13th March 2020

I went to visit Maria today, I. sat by her. side and had a wee kōrero.

I toro au i a Maria tēnēi ahiahi. I noho au i te taha i a ia, i kõrero māua mõ te ao me ngā tangata #connecting #friendship #puttingtheworldtorights #aroha via Instagram ift.tt/2U5SJkt

74/366 14th March 2020

A wander up a river to a hut. Just stunning weather and a great adventure! Wairarapa and the Rimutaka Range.

75/366 15th March 2020

A beautiful day to be up high, looking out over the world, spending time with friends and remembering what happened a year ago today in Aotearoa. #maumaraha #aroha So difficult to comprehend why some people feel the need to bring evil into such a wonderful world.

76/366 16th March 2020

This wee girl was such a livewire! Play-based learning – having fun and learning your limits.

78/366 18th March 2020

I hikoi ahau tēnēi ahiahi. He wahi tino ātaahau me mārie. I went for a walk this afternoon. What a beautiful and peaceful place.

77/366 17th March

Exploring digital storytelling with Book Creator.

79/366 19th March 2020

I te pupuhi te hau i Te Whanagnui-a-Tara tēnei ata – it was windy in Wellington today!
Went for a walk/run with Sarah along the Paekakariki Escarpment Track – stunning views, very airy!

80/366 20th March 2020

Life seems to be all about COVID at the moment. We have some excellent medical experts sharing some very useful information – just wish more people would listen to them than each other!

81/366 21st March 2020

Sitting at Wellington airport with a glass of beer, waiting for my flight home. Might be my last flight for a while – Level 2 announced today – I’m thinking we will very quickly be moving to Level 3 & Level 4. A smooth on ramp to prepare us for full on lockdown…. #COVID19

82/366  22nd March 2020

We didn’t know this at the time, but this is the last time all 4 of us are together in the same room for a while. Setting up a Discord server for the family…

83/366 23rd March 2020

Aotearoa went in to Level 3 today. Level 4 by midnight Wednesday. Huge decision and we are all left reeling despite the ‘smooth onramp’ and the fact that we suspected we would move very quickly from the Level 2 announced on Friday to Level 3 & 4.
If nothing else it has prompted me and my sisters to connect – we’re not very good at making the effort to talk altogether, usually just fleeting comments on Facebook posts. This is us having fun with effects in Messenger

Probably the last time I’ll get out into the bush for a few weeks. Just enjoying the peace and quiet.

85/366 25th March 2020That's it. Official. We NEVER close our gates! #covid19nz #level4 #lockdown #shitjustgotreal

85/366 25th March 2020 That’s it. Official. We NEVER close our gates! #covid19nz #level4 #lockdown #shitjustgotreal gates close as NZ goes into Lockdown or Rahui… 11.59pm we will be officially in our bubbles

86/366 26th March 202020200326_203016

Day 1 of our Rahui…the Māori translation sends more positive…we are protecting our land and our people in the face of a threat or a sadness or grief to redress the balance and show respect.

87/366 27th March 202020200327_094418-01

Day 2 Rahui
essential workers are out there keeping us safe.

88/366 28th March 2020

I spent today weaving these kono…baskets made from harakeke #rāhui #keepingbusy #relaxing I have joined an online course run by Veranoa Hetet – a renowned Māori weaver. It is fascinating learning not just to weave but about the tikanga and history of the art.

89/366 29th March 2020

Today I made another kono and I learned how to make putiputi (flowers) so I added bling to my kono!

90/366 30th March 2020

Day 5 Bubble walk which didn’t go too well. We’re all getting a bit frustrated..well maybe it’s just me. I’m an argumentative cow and like to be in control.. I ended up taking myself off and physical distancing to extreme!
On the other hand, it’s important to notice the little things and my #brightspot was noticing the acorns. There’s something about them that reminds me of my childhood, simple pleasures, autumn…

91/366 31st March 2020

Aonghas playing his music…I love listening to him. I managed to persuade him to play so I could record to send to his cousin for her birthday tomorrow. She’s 14 and having her birthday during the Covid rāhui


32/366 1st February 2020

Don’t you just love the meanings of place names? The stories they tell? This is from a book a friend sent me for Christmas about Yorkshire.

33/366 2nd February

My Dad’s birthday today. He would have been 88. Said a wee hello to him at the top of Kakepuku. Looking out at a parched Waikato landscape. My Dad loved a good landscape!

34/366 3rd February 2020

A Twitter contact who is Principal of a small rural Waikato secondary school put a plea out for scientific calculators today – I found 4 in our house! I will be driving past next week so have arranged to call in and drop them off.

35/366 4th February 2020

In this hot weather, it’s important to find shady places to run that have delicious water we can jump in to cool off afterwards! Kaniwhaniwha means dancing stream. I always used to think it was pronounced Kani-whani-wha, but found out recently that it is Ka-niwha-niwha…

36/366 5th February 2020

Another trail run, another hill or two, more parched Waikato landscape.

37/366 6th February 2020

180 years since Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed – it’s what allows us to be here in Aotearoa, but it’s been the cause of much pain, poverty and inequality. I read and listened to lots of news reports, speeches, interviews and articles this morning. Sort of wished we had been able to head to Waitangi, learn more and be a part of it all. Maybe next year. This afternoon we painted the fence! A job long overdue!

38/366 7th February 2020

Just look at those ears!

39/366 8th February 2020

We got to the newest garden in Hamilton Gardens today – the Surrealist Garden. We have seen its gestation over the last months and it is a fascinating concept. Gigantic elements juxtaposed against weird angles and moving giant plants….

40/366 9th February 2020

Super moon – my phone doesn’t really cut it to get a good photo so decided to take a photo of Nigel taking. a photo of the moon!

41/366 10th February 2020

I just couldn’t be so close to the beach and not go and put my feet in. Should’ve taken my togs! Work-life balance!

42/366 11th February 2020

Playing with Snapseed to turn photos into art…

43/366 12th February 2020

The big dry… The Waikato region was officially declared to be in drought today. Water use is severely restricted, the fields are tinder dry, farmers are looking to dry off cattle within 2 weeks if we don’t have any significant rain soon.

44/366 13th February 2020

Rotopiko – a wee pest free island reserve on the way to Te Awamutu. It was a cool place to be in the afternoon heat. Stopped off on my way home from work

45/366 14th February 2020

Variation on a theme… cat.

46/366 15th February 2020

Cuisenaire Rods are used for learning maths but also for language learning. Te Ataarangi method was developed in the 1980s to support the regeneration of Te Reo Māoriteataarangi.org.nz/?q=about-te-ataarangi

47/366 16th February 2020

Late summer blackberries – a wee treat on a trailrun at Maunga Kakaramea – Rainbow Mountain.

49/366 18th February 2020

I won a keep cup today – thanks Davy Engravers! #lovethetron

50/366 19th February 2020

Canterbury from the air – drought.

51/366 20th February 2020

Mural trail in Ōtautahi – murals come alive with augmented reality – #plainsight. The art in Christchurch is one of the features of the rebuild after the earthquakes. Now the murals have taken on a new twist with a collaboration with digital technology. Such a cool idea.

52/366 21st February 2020

Partnership, Bi-culturalism, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, respect.

53/366 22nd February 2020

Early Saturday morning. No commuters today. Silence. Heading off to meet with friends for a trailrun. I love railway stations – must be something to do with my Dad…so when I come to Wellington it’s a treat to get the train.

54/366 23rd February 2020

A tuatara basking in the sun. Chris and I visited Zealandia today and saw a whole heap of amazing NZ wildlife. Couldn’t decide which was the best to show you. The Takahē was pretty close but it took us a while to spot this wee beastie – good camouflage!

55/366 24th February 2020

Would have been my Mum’s 91st birthday today… She would have enjoyed this wee beauty from the garden – better than Dad’s green leaves! (long story!) It’s been a good year for aubergines.

56/366 25th February 2020

Auē! Kua pakaru ahau tāku waea pūkoro tēnēi ahiahi. #broken #pakaru
My Mum died 37 years ago today. Shame I haven’t got a happier photo to share. I thought going for a run would be a good way of honouring her but I tripped and fell. Broken phone and munted leg! 37 years and I still miss her.

57/366 26th February 2020

This is how I take notes…

58/366 27th February 2020

Me and the old boy out at the movies in the park. Summer festival in the Hamilton Gardens. What’s not to like about good food, good enough beer and some music – David Byrne and Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense.

59/366 28th February 2020

Another night out in the Gardens. Nadia Reid played in the Henry Harkness Emporium and then we ate, drank and chilled in the summer evening listening to local bands by the lake.

60/366 29th February 2020

These sorts of days only come around one year in four. In 2000 I took advantage of my prerogative to ask Nigel to marry me. Like “the man from Delmonte” he said yes! He’s an old souk! But this album has just been released today! So special… Ria Hall.

Kohitātea 2020

A new year begins. Ngā mih o te tau hau – Happy New Year. Although strictly speaking. it isn’t the new year in the southern hemisphere, it is halfway through the seasonal year. However, we are governed by the calendar that the British and Europeans brought with them when they colonised the country. This article talks about the seven stages of summer and this one talks of how many indigenous cultures live by the maramataka – the phases of the moon.

01/365 1st January 2020
Handstand amongst giants

We found this beautiful ngahere on our travels. You get to it as you climb up past Waiotemarama Waterfall. It’s the other end of the track we did earlier in the week. The kauri trees are just majestic. Plenty of. young ones growing and some giants too. This will be a splendid ngahere in the future if these trees don’t succumb to Kauri Die Back disease. It seemed an appropriate place to start the New Year off with a handstand! Some of the photos here have more detail written about them in our family blog if you want to read more.

02/366 2nd January 2020
Salt crystals on a Mānawa leaf

Mangrove trees – or Manawa in te reo Māori – are incredible. They survive in salty and often dry conditions by expelling the salt from the glossy tops of their leaves and holding water using the soft hairy undersides of their leaves. You can see the salt crystals on this leaf. It is worth doing this short walk at Rawene. The mangroves are gradually recovering after the damage done to them from the timber trade in the 19th & 20th centuries.

03/366 3rd January 2020
Handstand at Magic Rock

We drove on to Wairere Boulders which is a must-do if you like geology, clambering through, on and around rocks and you want to be amazed!

04/366 4th January 2020
Oysters growing on Mānawa pneumatophores

More from the mangroves but this time at Waitangi on the Haruru Falls walk. Did you know that ‘haruru’ means ‘big noise’? This is a pneumatophore and it has a type of oyster growing on it. These are the ‘breathing tubes’ of the mangrove trees.

05/366 5th January 2020
Orange light from Australian Bushfires at Cape Brett

Our big adventure was a two-day walk from Rāwhiti to Cape Brett Lighthouse and back. This is Cape Brett Lighthouse bathed in a strange orange glow – skies all over NZ have been experiencing this as the smoke from the Australian Bushfires filters in front of the sun. You can read more about it here.

06/366 6th January 2020
Handstand at Cape Brett Rakaumangamanga

Day 2 of our adventure and the weather closed in a bit – mist and wind accompanied us for the first part of the day. Makes for an impressive handstand spot!

07/366 7th January 2020
Orca in Bay of Islands off Urupukapuka Island

So privileged to have been in the company of these amazing creatures today. Orca.

08/366 8th January 2020
Nigel at the Flagstaff at Kororareka

Nigel’s Birthday today! Standing atop the famous flagstaff hill in Kororāreka (Russell) where Hone Heke repeatedly cut down the flagstaff.

09/366 9th January 2020
Remnants of trenches at Ruapekapeka

Ruapekapeka – site of the last battle between the British forces and Māori in Northland – an incredible place – full of mauri but the engineering and planning that went into these defences is amazing. Apparently the trenches from WWI were based on the way that Māori defended their Pā.

10/366 10th January 2020
Glow worms in Waipū Cave

Glow Worms – teara.govt.nz/en/glow-worms/page-1
They are pretty special – Māori call them Titiwae but they are also considered by some to be patupaiarehe or fairy-like creatures. Whatever, when you turn your lights off in a cave and wait for a few moments in the quiet, they just multiply until there is a starry sky above you.

11/366 11th January 2020
Number 11

The Scottish door. #eleven #roadtrip #campervanlife #summerholidays #exploringnz

12/366 12th January 2020

Just playing with Snapseed – editing photos of flowers! I think I’d like a dress with this material design.

13/366 13th January 2020
A Room with a View

Off on another adventure! This was our room in Whakapapa with a floor too ceiling view of Ngauruhoe except that the clag was down and it was raining!

14/366 14th January 202020200114_151724-01
Tama Lake

Fortunately, the cloud lifted by the next day and we had some stunning views from above Tama Lakes.

15/366 15th January 2020
Handstand on Blyth Hut track

Oh! Another great handstand spot! This was on the Blyth Hut Track which carries on from the Waitonga Falls track. Well worth a trip.

16/366 16th January 2020

Back home in Kirikiriroa – summer evenings at CraftHamilton.

17/366 17th January 2020
Reading on the LOO

Roadtrip continues – off to Hawkes Bay. Time for a loo stop!

18/366 18th January 2020

Fantastic organic coffee at a wee cafe called Pikirangi Palace in Waipawa, Hawkes Bay.

19/366 19th January 2020
Trouble on tour!

On our way home. Cup of tea and a leg stretch in Taupō.

20/366 20th January 2020

Trying to keep that holiday feeling going by having an evening walk in the sun exploring a new place in Kirikiriroa – Waiwhakareka Reserve.

21/366 21st January 2020
kua raranga ahau tēnēi kete

So privileged to have been able to make this kete today at a Wahakura workshop which I sort of gatecrashed because I misunderstood the information on the FB page but the wāhine were so lovely and welcoming.

22/366 22nd January 2020
My boys – 12 years in NZ

12 years in NZ. Still can’t get the boys to all smile at once!

23/366 23rd January 2020
Summer Office

Back to work but still keeping that summer feeling going – my summer office in the garden.

24/366 24th January 2020

She always finds the comfy spots. She will miss Gus when he heads off to uni.

25/366 25th January 2020
Reflections on Lake Waikaremoana

Off we go again! Waikaremoana – another big adventure. Te weather keeps on being kind to us. Day 1.

26/366 26th January 2020

Day 2 Waikaremoana. The views of the lake are just incredible but the ngahere are also beautiful and the sun shines through the trees and sheds its light on the forest floor revealing its taonga.

27/366 27th January 2020
sunlight through the ngahere

Day 3 I just can’t get enough of these trees and this light and the beauty of it all!

28/366 28th January 2020
the ‘disaster’ kete!

So, I bought a raffle ticket ion the day that I made my wee kete and I won! I went to meet the wahine who made it and she told me it was a her ‘diaster kete’ because she had run out of blue-dyed harakeke and so the pattern has gaps in it. I reminded her of the kōrero we had had while I was weaving with her about how the ladies in Arran always used to leave a small mistake in their knitting to make every piece unique.

29/366 29th January 2020
a rare photo of Nigel and me that isn’t a selfie!

So this wasn’t taken today – work took over but this evening I spent some time editing photos from our trip to Waikaremoana. I love this one and Nigel and me.

31/366 31st January 2020
Dustbin lid

Editing with Snapseed – part of a workshop with teachers.

Hakihea 2019

Last month of the year and as I have got closer to the ‘365th’ photo, I realised that somewhere along the line, I must have miscounted or missed a day because I ain’t going to get to 365! With a wee bit of awhi from Nigel, we located the missing photo, added it into the appropriate albums and I have now been through and renumbered from August! Phew! So December – what happened?

335/365 1st December 2019

A foray up Wairere Falls with friends. Always a crowd-pleaser, steep and windy up through the bush to where the stream flows off the Kaimais and down to the Waikato plain below. You can stand right on the edge and get a stunning view.

336/365 2nd December 2019

Belf stowed away today and came to school with me! I was working with a leadership team looking at Localised Curriculum. I really enjoyed the kōrero (conversation) and the whakaaro (thinking) that went on. Challenging but stimulating.

337/365 3rd December 2019

Kua piki a Belf ki runga i te rākau i te mea ai kei pai ia te kakara o ngā putiputi mā. (Belf just climbed the tree because she likes the scent of the white flowers.) . Belf got her name because of the bell she has on her hat. This was donated to me by a friend. She climbed Mount Fuji whilst on a trip to Japan. The bell was on the walking pole that the tour company gave them.

338/375 4th December 2019

I travelled down to Ōtautahi for our work ‘Retreat’ today. I decided to travel during the day rather than in the evening or early in the morning so I had a couple of hours after doing some work to look around. Ōtautahi really s rising from the ashes and a lot of building and development in the inner city seems to be coming together. I love the way that art has been used from immediately post-earthquake to ‘heal’ the city. This artist was painting from a photo/image on his phone. I watched mesmerised along with a couple of blokes – we were all marvelling at his talent. We talked about how the rise of street art has had an uplifting effect on the city and on the hearts and minds of the citizens.

339/365 5th December 2019

This has got to bee the best team ever! The Connected Learning Advisory is no more, but for 3 and a half years we worked together – some left during that time and others took their place but the ethos and the spirit of the team carried on. This shows some that were there right from the start and some who only joined us for the last 6 months and there are quite a few missing who have moved on to other jobs.

340/365 6th December 2019

We were rudely awoken at 6am by the fire alarm. I left my room, (after getting dressed first) to enter a corridor filled with acrid smoke. I held my breath and walked swiftly to the stairwell which fortunately was clear of smoke and made my way outside. As I exited the building, I heard an American woman shrieking that she didn’t know that the jug was plastic and that it didn’t go on the electric hob! Hmmm!

341/365 7th December 2019

A dash up the Hakarimatas from Waingaro end – some steps but not as many as in the middle and no other people! Just the way I like my trailruns. Just me and my buddies! Great views of Ngaruawahia and the Waikato.

342/365 8th December 2019

A Sunday morning walk with my wee man. Funny peculiar – the 8th December was his due date 25 years ago but he decided that he was ready for the world and came a month early! This is the Picturesque Garden, the most recent garden in Hamilton Gardens. Much less manicured than some of the others – I like it.

343/365 9th December 2019

Kotahi te kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango me te miro whero. There is only one eye of the needle through which the white, black and red threads must pass.


This is Te Taio o Kirikiriroa – The Gate to Kirikiriroa. The newest sculpture to be gifted to the city which sits at Victoria on the River and overlooks the Te Awa Waikato. I went along to the opening of it. It really is stunning. www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/118055314/sculpture-of…

344/365 10th December

Honey-sweet clover
Memories of rosy childhood
Walks through long-grassed fields

345/365 11th December 2019

Ice cream with my wee boy who has been on jury service this week. Not needed so far…two days to go! Duck Island Ice Cream really is worth visiting if you are in Kirikiriroa. (Now open in Ponsonby, Tamaki Makaurau too!)

346/365 12th December 2019

I think the photo of these roses in full bloom was a photo of the day for November. I happened to look up from my desk today and noticed that they had dried out. I still think they look beautiful.

347/365 13th December 2019

Packed and ready for adventure! We’re off on Saturday to walk the Abel Tasman and the Heaphy track over a week. Exciting!

348/365 14th December 2019

Christmas Trees at Wellington Airport in support of Cystic Fibrosis – love the coffee theme on this one!

349/365 15th December 2019

Beach walking on the Abel Tasman. Nearly the end of Day 1 and it’s been a long one! This is the last stretch along Onetahuti Beach. I have just been for a swim at Tinga Quarry – had top be done as the weather is due to turn to custard and I desperately wanted to submerge myself in the sea!
Amie and Paula carried on and Jo and I are now on a mission to catch them!
Just over that hill to go and then there’s beer!

351/365 17th December 2019

Rest day! Always up for a challenge. Not strictly my photo as my friend took it for me but it is a photo of me! It reminded me of the caving challenges we used to do back in the day when we were young and stupid! Now I’m just old and stupid! We decided to take a stroll out along the Maitai river through the city centre. There are several pieces of artwork along the river trail.

352/365 18th December 2019

Plan B – Amie’s blisters from Abel Tasman are horrific! So we made the hard decision, very reluctantly, to can the Heaphy track but we decided it was best to stay together. There is also a severe weather warning published for the rohe for the next two days. So we had a rest day yesterday, rethought our plans, hired a car, booked into the motel for another few days and decided on a trip out to Nelson Lakes today. Amie came wit us and sat in the grand lodge at St Arnaud and we climbed St Arnaud’s track. The track takes you 5km uphill to Parachute Rock with these stunning views and then 5km back down again through beautiful beech forest.

353/365 19th December 2019

Plan B, Day 2 – a bit of an adventure up the Maitai Valley. This trail took us for 3kms or so along a really runnable, undulating trail. Then we hit the river, which we had to cross! Knee deep and about 15ft wide with freezing water! The trail from here on in, as described in the guide was very gnarly, lots of tree roots, narrow, greasy and at some points the stream flowed along it. So we sloshed our way upwards as the path climbed through beautiful woodland. After a couple of kms (less than the signs indicated) we arrived at Maitai Cave. I ventured in to explore while Jo and Paula waited outside for me. I could hear the stream from above and it sounded like there was quite a lot of water. Difficult to see initially how far down the climb was to get to it and how much of the passage it filled. I clambered down greasy, muddy boulders making tentative use of the rope that was belayed around the rock that wedged across the entrance. Landing in the ankle-deep stream at the bottom I could see that it emerged from a small opening directly ahead of me. I looked to my right first to see what was there but after a few steps saw that there was no way on. I ducked down and could see that it was possible to get into where the stream was emerging. I crawled into a short passage that only went a few metres. the water seemed to be coming from under the rock wall. On coming back out, I followed the stream (all of 2 – 3 metres!) to where it disappeared underground – a couple of tree trunks were wedged in the stream. Turning around to my right, I looked up and saw that there were more boulders with a piece of tat hanging down. Above them was an aven. I climbed up, inspecting the rope carefully as I may well need it to get down again. The floor was strewn with large boulders, mostly covered in greasy mud and knowing that Jo and Paula were waiting outside I decided not to go any further. It didn’t look like there was a way on. Shining my light upwards I could see that the aven was about 30 ft high but difficult to see if there were any stals. Apparently Maitai Cave is the home to a very rare snail but I couldn’t see any pools that it could have been in – all water I saw in the cave was flowing quite fast!

354/365 20th December 2019

On our last morning we climbed up to the trig which is the Centre Of New Zealand. I have already done a handstand here but that is no reason not to do another since it is a very special trig! I wanted to try to line up with the trig but didn’t quite make it. Close but no cigar!

353/365 21st December 2019

Last Saturday before Christmas – shopping to do and maybe also a last drink in Craft Hamilton before it closes for the holiday break!

356/365 22nd December 2019

Time to bake the Christmas Ham – marinaded in a mixture of honey and marmalade, rum and 72 cloves. It’ll keep us going for a few weeks!

357/365 23rd December 2019

Monday morning. No work. Time to chill and drink good coffee.

358/365 24th December 2019

Aonghas decided he likes egg custard pies, so I set about making some for Christmas. Christmas Eve was spent in the kitchen after an early morning run out at Pukemokemoke. I did all the frilly things and Nigel did the main, important stuff!

359/365 25th December 2019

We can’t let Christmas Day go by without a family photo. You know by now how difficult it is to get all my boys to smile or look at least halfway happy all at the same time in a photo. So this is 2019 Christmas photo – I didn’t even attempt a family selfie!

360/365 26th December 2019

Boxing Day morning run out at Ngāroto. After a quick circuit, I walked back a km or so and tried out the #WaipaJourneys at ift.tt/37cxPFg This photo is looking across at Taurangamirumiru Pā. Fascinating stories of the rohe to listen to as you walk.

361/365 27th December 2019
Veggie garden

Our veggie garden is looking good. I’m determined to keep on top of the weeds this year and tame the growth of the tomatoes and beans so that we eat them while they are still fresh. It could all go to custard while we are away though!

362/365 28th December 2019
Kaniwhaniwha Cave

How many trails do you know that actually go through a cave? this one does! I’m sure the sign didn’t used to be there. Department of Conservation used our photo of Aonghas in their website and brochure for this trail – it’s still there!
www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/waikato… and I have only recently found out that I have been pronouncing Kaniwhaniwha incorrectly for the last 12 years. Making an effort now to untrain my pronunciation muscles and say it correctly! The stories of Pirongia can be found here as well as the meanings of some of the places. Kaniwhaniwha means dancing stream.

363/365 29th December 2019

I couldn’t resist this one! Fun on holiday at a wee park just outside Dargaville – a cornucopia of crap, kitsch and creativity.

364/365 30th December 2019
fern leaf

Summer holiday in Northland means exploring kauri forests at Waipoua. The textures and colours in the forests are beautiful.

365/365 31st December 2019

Just finishing the year off! Better find somewhere to start 2020 with tomorrow! On the last day of the decade – OK not really, as some people will say that the decade actually ends at the end of 2020 – a handstand at a trigpoint. This is Hauturu Highpoint in the Waima Range. A great way to end the year.

Whiringa ā Rangi 2019

drawing of a chocolate cakee with pink icing and filling with the words marama kekee which means a piece of cake in te reo Māori and the words "easy peasy' in a pink circle

Playing with words helps me to learn them – Marama keke means it’s a piece of cake – or it’s really easy! Easy Peasy!

white foaming water flowing over black rocks

Summer came – a hot, hot walk in the bush with tempting streams to quench our thirst! Jo and I ran and Rob and Nigel biked the Waihaha track. It was a beautiful trail with really varied terrain. Unfortunately, I wasn’t 100% when I started and totally lost my voice later that day and it didn’t come back for a week! Talk about ‘kill or cure’!

a cocktail glass decorated with hgh heeleed shoes containing orange liquid. There is a strawberry attached to the side of the glass

Gin cocktail in the evening sun. Nigel is a great concocter! #dontmindifido #summerishere☀️

an open book with old photographs

Third day of no voice! Reading was one of the remedies a colleague suggested! I decided to take a sick day since I was feeling miserable!

a very old worn wooden post set in a block of concrete at the side of the road

I had never spotted this hitching post from 1877 on Grey Street before! Interestingly neither had this reporter in 2018 www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/life-style/107507297/histor… Even more interesting is that it appears to have moved and also has a different plaque on it. This one reads “1877 Hitching Post, Australian Hardwood, sponsored by HCC Streets Unit”.
On closer inspection of the photo in the paper, they are clearly not the same post – now I need to go on a mission to see if there are two!

an old wooden post set into concrete plinth at the edge of a road. shops in the background and a metal bike stand in front

So this hitching post is the one referenced in the link in my previous photo – much more modern – placed in 1936 but some mystery over its provenance as the butcher’s shop it refers to doesn’t appear to have been at this site. On the other hand the shoe shop on the other side of the road, with the large boot above it has been there since 1915 apparently.

a wasps nest with a wasp in it

It’s such a shame that this exquisite workmanship will be destroyed. Wee waspy has been working so hard but we don’t really want wasps in the garden. For one thing, they sting and they also scare the honey bees away.

two young men looking upwards and outwards in a crowd. A dark cloudy sky in the background

Dad’s Day out has become an annual event. This year our surprise was thee U2 concert at Mt Smart. My two boys looking like their grandfather, my Dad.

a blackbird pecking at the dusty ground it has bugs in its beak

My companion in the garden today as I dismantled the old compost heaps! Quite unbothered about my proximity – clearly the bugs were good!

the remnants or the beginnings of a birds nest lying on the ground

I am always amazed by the skill of creatures to build their own whare. I’m not sure if this one was ever finished – it looks like it might have been abandoned or maybe it fell from the tree in the wind before the birds had a chance to complete it.

a bearde man n a red teeshirt laughing with a small woman (Nephew and Aunt) they are cooking in the kitchen

Aunty Chris and Nigel cooking us up a treat. Chris brought the recipe with her because she thought we might like it and then acted as Nigel’s Commis chef as he cooked. It was delicious!

25 years since this beautiful young man came into our world. Happy Birthday, Lachlan! How has time flown by so fast?

I am never sure what to call these roses but we have a whole bed of small bush roses that seem to flower profusely however badly we seem to neglect or over prune them.

There is something beguiling about sparrows or ‘spuggies’ as we grew up calling them – definitely the scavengers of the urban bird community – they have learned where the next feed is coming from and are not afraid to get it. I think the cleverest thing I have seen is the way that they open the sugar packets.

Kaiako trying out sorting networks. So great to work with inspiring educators who can take an activity, run with it and change it up.

The Aunt. The woman. The myth. The bad influence.
Aunty Chris always has an adventure when she comes to stay with us!

Yellow Roses – yellow is such a happy colour and I love this rose. They are in a vase that was my Mum’s and I love the whole retro blue bubble glass. The vase is sitting on our new garden table – long story…!

When the only photo you’ve taken all day is of a receipt for expenses because it was pouring with rain and your nose was to the grindstone!

Christening the new table. Gus working on perfecting his unsmiling, being cool pose!

Running today to support #outruncancer and Caroline’s 1000 day run streak. Inspirational. I couldn’t make it to the group run around Lake Rotoroa in Kirikiriroa because I was working down in Porirua so I did my own run in support along the Hutt River.

More adventuring with Chris. One of the pleasures of having to work in Porirua is being able to stay with Chris while I’m there. We went on a wee evening hikoi…a bit of an adventure exploring trails in the rohe that she didn’t know about.

Pauahatanui Reserve. I decided on the way back to stop and explore this rohe. After a morning of talking I felt the need to sit and reflect and have some quietude. While I was sitting on a bench looking out across the lake I received the news that my cousin’s son had taken his life that morning. Another beautiful young man lost in depression. What is it that makes our babies struggle so much with life that they feel the need to take themselves out of this beautiful world? Devastated.

I really can’t take her anywhere! Our favourite Aunty!

A splash of colour on the beach at Eastbourne.

The promise of summer!

Rangiriri Pā – I was driving back home and looked left to Rangiriri and saw that there were more pouwhenua. Pulled over to have a look. There are now 16 pou – the original 6 face towards the pā the new ones face the river Waikato.

“Belf is born”! I decided that since my Elf from last year was kidnapped that I’d make a new one rather than buy one. She is called “Belf” because she was gifted a bell from my friend Jo which was on her walking pole when she climbed Mt Fuji earlier this year.

A rather alarming colour for a beer but it was actually very tasty – a refreshing sour!

That bloody bird is at it again! Tonks hasn’t moved for an hour despite being verbally harassed and dive-bombed! #battleofwills #whosincontrol #catsandbirds

The boy has bought himself a keyboard – that necessitated moving a few bits of furniture around. We now have a ‘music room’!

Whiringa-ā-Nuku (October) 2019

a brown cup fullof rich dark, black coffee on a white saucer with brown floral pattern.

A great start to the month! A cup of delicious coffee in a wee cafe in Three Kings, Auckland. The Buckley Road Foodstore has a selection of locally made and antique bits and pieces as well as delicious cakes and food. Oh, and great coffee!

train tickets

It shouldn’t be an adventure using public transport but it really feels like it. It brings back memories of childhood going shopping with Mum – not clothes shopping – grocery shopping to Leeds Market. I am full of admiration now of how she managed to get three little girls into town on the bus and then back again with bags full of shopping as well. No mean feat! Then memories as a teenager travelling to and from school, to and from the gym taking two or three buses to connect across the city and then on outings with friends. Then as a student travelling to and around Europe. Then in my first two years teaching taking buses and the train to get to work in Huddersfield from Leeds. It was just what we did in a city, a country and a continent that had (has?) an effective and usable public transport system. Having said that, I was mightily relieved once I could afford to buy a car and dark, early mornings and evenings waiting at bus stops in all weathers became a thing of the past! Since my early twenties, I have really only used public transport for tourism and during short interludes when I didn’t have a car. One of those interludes was when we arrived here in NZ, to Kirikiriroa. Expecting a bus service we were used to, we were first of all surprised to find that buses didn’t run on Sundays, and then that pretty much all services went through the central bus station which required two buses for any trip across the city with a wait in between them. We soon worked out that we could walk to most places more quickly than we could get there on a bus!

Anyway, this is getting to be a blogpost of its own! So, these tickets are from the train from Wellington to Silverstream which seems like a very efficient system, clean, quiet and regular. Makes perfect sense to use it!

a low wall painted with flora and fauna gives way to a railway station behind it

Following the theme – this is the early morning view from the wee bridge over the stream (Silverstream, perchance?) looking towards Silverstream Station. Off I go into Wellington to Nethui19.

a panel of people sit on a stage with an MC at a lectern

This was a panel of awesome people at Nethui19 discussing how we can make the internet more inclusive. Very powerful korero. Watch the “Building an Inclusive Internet” debate here.

bright green leaves and the beginnings of fruit on a plum tree

These are wee podfuls of promise! Lachlan bought Nigel this plum tree for his birthday 2 years ago and after leaving it in its pot for 6 months while working out where to plant it, we decided to put it in a half-barrel so it had space to grow until we prepared a space in the garden. Looking forward to the fruit – just got to make sure the birds don’t get them first!

a father and two sons sit at an outside table of a cafe

October means birthdays and most importantly Aonghas’! Another milestone – no longer a teenager but I still can’t get them all to smile and look normal at the same time!

a young man smiles from behind a cake with lighted candles

Birthday caramello cupcakes!

close up māori carving at the gate of a marae complex.  The wharenui ios in the background against a dark cloudy sky

Our Powhiri for uLearn19 was held at Tunohopu Marae. It was highly emotional as this was where we farewelled my dear colleague Maria Tibble at the beginning of this year. I was unprepared for the raw emotion I felt as I walked through the door and into the wharenui. You can read more about her amazing mahi here. I had the privilege of learning so much from her.

Your openness to my voice laden with legacy and tradition is the one response that my heart will recognise, that my soul will rise to, that my being will open to as a mokopuna of iwi. Maria Tibble

view of a stage at a conference with bright coloured large letters spelling uLearn

uLearn this year is in Rotorua and it is magically MC’d by Stacey Morrison (@formerlydaniels) who keeps us all very entertained.

tall, straight trees rise from a pine needle strewn forest floor. A woman peeps out from behind one of the tree trunks

We love uLearn but it is hard mahi and so Anne and I decided to ‘escape’ for a wee bit of hauora in the Redwoods. I so totally take our environment for granted and hadn’t even considered that tree ferns here grow so much bigger than in Dunedin. Nor had I ever touched the bark of the young Redwoods and realised how soft it is. It’s always magic seeing the world through other people’s eyes.

two women inside the hole of a giant letter A

And when it’s all over – what else to do but jump into an A!? Two Annes in an A.

My first (only) 50km run. It was hard, I wondered many times why I was doing it when all I could feel was pain! But the end is always worth it! I am writing this two weeks after the event and already the memory of the pain is fading – it’s a bit like childbirth! I was pleased to finish in 7 hours – didn’t quite make it under 7 – I wonder if I could have pushed just a wee bit harder somewhere to make up those 55 seconds!?

a black bird with a white feather at its neck takes nectar from a flower in a tree. Blue sky behind.

A long soak in the hot pools at Wairakei was definitely the thing for our muscles after running yesterday. The tūī were out in force.

black and white head and shoulders of a young man from side on.

My wee man! Well, actually he’s my big son but he’s always been my wee man!

the yellow centre of a daisy and three quaters of its white petals spotted with raindrops

It rained today.

I was challenged to one of those challenges to take 7 photos of everyday life in black and white, post them but not give any commentary. I only managed this one! A view through the bus window as we wait at Christchurch airport to head into the city.

a hedgehog without any spines

This is quite sad – a spineless hedgehog. We spotted him on the way home from the pub, wasn’t sure what it was. Turns out it is likely to have mange and we should have taken him to the animal shelter but by the time we went back out he’d scurried away somewhere. I’m relieved – I’m not very good with sick animals, especially ones that I don’t own and have an attachment to. Just not that kind of person…. I feel a bit bad about that, but not bad enough to find it and take it to the shelter!

screenshot of a page in a book with sentences saying waht you shouldn't do in a marae

Okay, yes. I admit it. I didn’t manage to take any photos today so this is a screenshot that I sent to someone to show them what I was doing. Things you shouldn’t do on a marae…. learning te reo Māori means you learn so much about the tikanga or culture of a people as well. You just can’t separate the language from the culture…the language is the culture!

a group of happy looking people in a large kitchen. on the bench in front is food laid out for breakfast

Noho Marae is one of the essential ways of learning about a culture and its language. As part of my learning, we have had a couple of weekend noho and several day noho (stay). This weekend we had a cooking competition and this is Rōpu Rāapa (team Wednesday) preparing Parakuihi (breakfast) for 60 people.

a wee boy crouched down picking things up of the ground.

This wee poppet was helping his Nana pick up all the tinselly stars that had been shaken out of the tablecloths after dinner. It’s everyone’s mahi at the marae to clear up and keep the place tidy.

a red carved Māori pou stands in a field with grey clouds floating in a blue sky

Rangiriri is always a good place to stop to rest my eyes, wake myself up and just breathe on my way home from mahi in Auckland. It’s a place with a lot of history which is only just being remembered. It’s the place of a significant battle in the New Zealand Wars which had been conveniently ‘forgotten’ by the victors but which is now being given its rightful place in the history books and the awareness of New Zealanders.

golden buttercups in a meadow

Buttercups everywhere. Brighten up my day. There is something about buttercups that reminds me of my childhood – my Mum holding a buttercup under my chin to see if I like butter – the golden yellow that promises of summer….

red roses against a black fence

And I looked out and my Dublin Bay Rose has erupted! No matter how much we neglect this rose, over prune it or simply hack away at it, it just keeps blooming. Every year and often twice. I love it!

a band on stage. 3 members are sitting listening wjile a fourth is standing telling a story

The art of storytelling is in all our bones. I love going to listen to bands and hearing the stories behind the songs. We had the pleasure of hearing Shooglenifty this evening.

cityscape of Auckland from the harbour bridge

Heading north for Labour Weekend. The road was surprisingly clear. I love the cityscape view of Auckland from the Harbour Bridge.

beachscape. A man stands at the edge of the water and the golden sand.

So many photos to choose from today. Holiday weekend at the beach and it was a stunner. Golden beaches just an hour from the city – that’s the beauty of Aotearoa. We walked half the length of Pakiri Beach and managed about 10,000 steps!

We walked out from Ti Point around to this spot to have a picnic lunch and basked on the rocks in the sunshine as we watched gannets diving into the ocean to catch fish. The water called me and it was a bit hard to get into it off the rocks here so we wandered back round to a small beach where I floated, weightless in crystal clear water with starfish and sea dollars beneath me. Heaven! Tōku wahi harikoa!

a longhaired grey cat

When there’s been a day without photos, there’s always a cat!

a single chive flower amongst leaves

Chives. Simple really.

a young man on a roof cleaning out the gutters

My boy must have been really bored or he wanted something because I didn’t have to ask more than twice and he was up there, cleaning out the gutters.

Last day of the month. Tired, sick, hungry. I had to go to the information evening about my te reo class for next year. It ended up being great fun as Aroha showed us one of her teaching methods. “Te Ataarangi is well-known for the use of coloured Cuisenaire rods as a learning tool.  It’s  an effective language-learning technique that encourages you to speak.  It has supported more than 50,000 people to speak Māori in homes and communities.” When I looked further into it, I found that this is also a language teaching tool used by the British Council but more commonly used as a way of teaching maths. Fascinating!

September 2019

Ka puāwai ngā kōwhai he tohu tēnā kua aroaromahana. / When the kōwhai is in flower it’s a sign that it’s spring.

yellow kowhai flowers
a ewe and a lamb standing on the edge of a seaside path

Early morning run at Mauao. There were a few newborn lambs out and about and it was a beautiful morning. I am attending the Tauranga Start Up weekend and staying in our campervan at the foot of Mauao. So good to get out first thing in preparation for a day inside.

a bottle of wine and two glasses on a table

Ka inu māua te waina. This is a well-earned glass of wine!

young man sitting with legs out on the floorbuilding a lego model in a living room

Came home this evening to a boy building lego Starwars battleships. Some things never change. Kei te hanga ia tētahi kaipuke.

a cat in a basket looking uopn

That cat!

I can’t get enough of the landscape down in Te Rohe Potae (King Country). He ātaahua tēnēi whenua.

camellia blossom on the pavement

Camellia flowers adorn the trees and litter the pavements as I walk through Hamilton East.

sunlight streaming through pine trees in the Redwoods

I can’t get enough of this either. My happy place!

My last visit to Taumarunui to work with the most amazing educators. I will miss them and also this beautiful walk along the Whanganui in all its guises.

watwaterfall cascading over a cliff

I needed a break on my way home and since it had rained so much I called in at Omaru Falls to see what they looked like after the rain. Quite impressive. Needed my wellies though!

a drawing of a computer and a brain

I just couldn’t focus today and ended up drawing words! Roro = brain, hiko = electric so Rorohiko = electric brain or computer. I love languages!

It is local election time and this amazing young lady is standing for Mayor and for the Hamilton West Ward. I can’t vote for her as a councillor as I live in East Ward but I can vote for her as Mayor. She gets my vote even though I could have voted strategically. I believe in what Louise Hutt stands for and am inspired by her passion and integrity. Fed up of the status quo… it needs disrupting.

beer or coffee?

Beer or coffee? It matters not, it’s delicious! (It’s beer)

collage of images from a gathering

This week it was Te Wiki o te reo Māori and today I joined the start of the hikoi. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing as I had a meeting but I joined in with the waiata and bumped into old friends. Sad to have had to leave and not join the hikoi as there was so much energy.

cat in a box

That cat again in another box.

pink spring flowers on the azalea

Azaleas in full bloom.

cat on the back of the sofa in front of venetian blinds, tail in the air

I get visitations in my office sometimes!

It was a long, hard day and I needed these on the way home to keep me awake and alert on the road!

Singer with guitar in a venue.

Nivara Lounge is one of Kirikriroa, Hamilton’s iconic small music venues. Last night we went to listen to Tiny Ruins. Loved her music.

Whilst I often remind myself to look up when I am walking so as not to miss things (or bump into things), It’s also worth looking down too. These flowers are growing in the grass on the verge of the pavements. So pretty and a glorious splash of colour.

the word AKO drawn on apoage with other words made up from the letters around it.

I came across an article unpacking the word AKO as I was researching for some work today. AKO means learning and also teaching. The other words that are made up of the letters are all part of learning and teaching – challenge, enlightenment, enjoyment and deconstruction to reconstruct.

wavss rolling into the beach

First day at the beach this year after a long run along the railtrail from Waihi! Too cold and windy put poked our toes in – possibly warmer than Tiktapu!

yellow kowhai flowers

The blooming of the kowhai heralds the arrival of Tūī – it lifts my heart. I the UK I used to be lifted by the sound of the curlews but here it’s the Tūī.

cat asleep in a box

That cat in that box again!

voting papers

Voting papers have arrived for Local Elections. We have made sure this year that we know who we are voting for. Last time we were duped by the inadequate 150 word bios the candidates provided in the leaflet. Feeling much more informed having been to several events where candidates have spoken and been questioned on their policies and idealogy.

a plate of soup topped with green beans, toasted cheese and chorizo

Nigel is a master at creating amazing food from whatever happens to be in the fridge. This was the chicken soup I made earlier in the week from a roast chicken but he spiced it up with the ciabatta loaf, some cheese and chorizo and green beans. A whole meal in a bowl! Delicious.

two ducklings feeding on the grass

Double trouble! So many ducklings around at Rotoroa and in Hamilton Gardens. So cute!

a woman wearing a yellow coat , a striped tee-shirt and trousers standing on a soapbox, speaking

Soapbox politics! I have been to 3 out of 4 of these sessions and love the rawness and freshness of them. Two minutes to put your ideas across and then face questions from the ‘crowd’. There have never been many at these sessions but enough to challenge. I have been impressed by Louise in previous events but in this she was even more clear, her integrity was evident and she was coherent and eloquent. Got my vote!

woman striding across a beach in front of a lake in the early morning

This weekend was spent supporting Paula as she attempted to run/walk for 36 hours around and around Tikitapu. Personally, I have no idea why she would want to do such a thing! But here we are providing her with breakfast and walking with her. This was the first lap of the morning after AI had delivered a bacon and egg butty. She had been going all night! Bonkers!

ginger cat stretched out on a fur mat in front of a fire

Just a cat. Not mine!

lists of items to include on a survival  kit

Loved the variation of things that people deem to be important for survival!