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!

Leave a Reply