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.


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

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!

August 2019

Still winter. But Spring is coming. The daffodils are starting to brighten the world.

tee shirt, glass and bottle with Brave Brewing Company written on

You’ve got to be in it to win it! Surprise when we got to Hamilton Beer and Wine this evening to find I had won a prize draw I’d entered a few weeks ago and won a tee shirt, glass and flagon from Brave Brewing Co!

giant geodesic cube lit up in pink in front of the painted wall of the library

Kirikiriroa, Hamilton is fast becoming a centre for amazing pieces of art. We already have an ever changing array of beautiful murals brightening up the city thanks to Boon Street Festival. This week was the unveiling of a temporary installation of 4 intricately-designed geometric sculptures that light up and change colour. Hybycozo is part of the Boon After Dark initiative;

“We want to help people engage with art throughout their ordinary lives. Our vision is ‘art everywhere, everyday’ and having sculptures in Garden Place is a significant way we can achieve this.” 

two rain jacket clad women wave through a rain spattered car window at someone inside

Training continues rain or shine!

cat climbing up a cat tower

Cat training continues!

flag and poster at a march

Nigel and I went along to the protest against Fletcher Building to show our support for tangata whenua at Ihumātao. More information can be read here, and here and here. There are heaps of other articles out there; a Google search will find them!

rainbow over a park

A rainbow over Steele Park. Now mainly used for sports fixtures for the local schools and sports clubs, it has an interesting military history.

a bearded man sits with folded arms on a settee in a living room


two people talk in a cafe

I love people-watching in cafes and stole this photo of this young couple. This was a break in their conversation. I have grappled with using this photo as one of my choices for this challenge after listening to this podcast from the Digital Human series from the BBC. It talks of how in the age of easy photo and video creation, twitter feeds and facebook posts we unwittingly or even wittingly use other people to create our own stories. What right have we to do that? What right have I to publish a photo of someone else without their permission or knowledge? I have convinced myself that this posting is ok because I am making no comment about them, nor building a story about them, but I am still uneasy. Don’t post it then, I hear you say! But the photographer and slightly artistic part of me likes the photo, the framing of it, the suggestion of a story, the beauty of two young people…..

graffitti on a water tower

On the trails again…. true words those!

cat drinking water

Why won’t our cats drink the water we put in bowls for them but tie themselves in knots to drink water from the bath?

cherry blossom in the rain

Back in Taumarunui and the cherry blossom is out. Love the brightness against the mistiness of the rain and a flooded river.

rainbow in cloudy sky over the hillside

Rainbow over

Rainbow over Te Rohe Pōtae – King Country. Another time I was down here, a good friend and colleague died and I saw a rainbow a few minutes after I heard. This time, only yesterday, I heard of the death of a friend I haven’t seen for a long time but who had a special place in my heart.

badge with 100% on a computer

The course I am doing at Te Wananga has an online component and it’s really hard to get to 100%!

beer in a beer glass on a table

Another Thursday evening at “Three Beer Thursday” in Craft Hamilton. Played a bit of cribbage too.

box on a shelf over a door in a cafe

Amazing what you see when you look up in a cafe.

pallisades on a hill with a range of hills in the distance

This week is the celebration for the Kingitanga and I spent the day at Turangawaewae in Ngaruawahia today. I was lucky enough to get onto the history tour. Our last stop was Puke i aahua pā site. The story of the place is told in this blog post. We didn’t get out of the bus here so I went back on my way home. The palisades have been reconstructed to show what they would have been like 150yrs ago. Remnants of originals lie buried in the ground. You can see from the view what a commanding position it was. I also took this 360º image from the hill just above the palissades.

pale green flowers

Winter Roses. Hellebore.

dark coloured fluffy cat lying on a bed, paws in front

A cat. Just that!

patchwork fields from the air

I love it when I get a window seat and a clear sky! There was a bigger story to this photo to explain why I didn’t fly directly to Wellington and had to go via Palmerston North. Moral of the story – make sure you aren’t a minute late to check in!

harbour with a row of yachts against a blue sky and gentle water

Another trail run after work. This one goes from Titahi Bay through Whitireia Park and back round. A beautiful evening run with great views.

twoi elderely ladies playing games on their mobile devices in a living room

The Aunties!

a gathering at a dining table

Haggis and a wee dram!

windswept ladies

A wee wander out to Eastbourne. It was a tad windy!

reflection of a grey haired smiling woman in a mosaic mirror

I needed a profile pic!

man holding a basket with a cat in it

Cat in a basket!

sunset at the airport

Time to go home – a long day at work. Christchurch Airport.

white blossom

Blossom on the plum tree. Hope it stays in the rain and wind and the fruit gets to set.

young woman on a screen in a room of people

This was the start of a very interesting weekend!

July 2019

Winter in Aotearoa. The 1st July saw me in Porirua and I took the opportunity to explore after work. I walk/ran up through the bush and out into open hillside on The Colonial Knob walk which is part of Te Araroa Trail. It was good to get up high and blow out the cobwebs after a day inside. I cut the loop short as the light was fading and the wind was increasing. The rest of the trail is there for another day.

Looking out over a gortse covered hillside across to a city nestled by the ocean
a grid marked in white on a blue carpet with cones blocking some squares. Instructions on cards at the front

Children in this classroom were playing games that help to develop computational thinking. I watched a wee girl work out the instructions to get from one square to another, checking her initial thining then debugging and trying again.

a grey cat on a blanket

A cat. That is all.

a glass of beer on a table

A glass of beer. That is all!

three bottles wrapped up nestled on paper straw

Our local beer and wine store is offering gift baskets for Dry July. They look pretty tempting.

a group of people sitting in two lines opposite each other playing rakau

As part of my te reo Māori class we have to attend some wananga days on Saturdays. We had fun today learning how to use rākau – definitely took quite a lot of concentration!

Looking out from the top of a hill across a flat plain batehd in mist to a mountain ridge in the distance

One of my favourite walks and the view is always different. Pukemokemoke yesterday and today the Waikato River trails for another regular.

Looking across a wide river to the bank opposite
a yellow crane looms over building in a city. White/grey clouds scud across the sky

This was the view from the building where we worked today. Facilitating a design thinking workshop with teachers today and tomorrow in this inspiring space called The Grid.

misty morning at the wharf

It was a cold and misty wintery start this morning. Early breakfast at Wynyard Quarter.

a glass half full of dark beer

It’s the weather for a warming dark beer!

a white leather jewellery box slightly open to reveal its contents

He waka huia – a treasure box. I have been working on a project with some colleagues as part of a course I am doing on cultural responsive pedagogy. We are looking at the idea of culture and history being a taonga, or treasure and the idea of time capsules holding the stories of the past, the present and the future as treasures. I thought of using my Mum’s jewellery box which contains treasures from different generations as an analogy.

a wee bird sits on a branch in the foreground. Behind is a lake surrounded by mountains

Crater Rim track, Christchurch. Taking the opportunity to spend the weekend with Moira and Terry before our facilitator hui on Monday & Tuesday. I hired a car and drove out to explore the trails. What a stunning day and the views were amazing.

Sunday meanderings with Moira and Terry; first the Old School Collective which is housed in the former primary school at Waikuku for a coffee and a browse of the shops, then on to the Brew Moon at Amberley for a wee beer! Grabbed a takeout to share tomorrow.

3 people on swings which are framed in orange squares

I just love how Christchurch has incorporated so much fun in the re-design for all! We had great fun playing on the swing #chchswing.

a blue, yellow and green circular weaving

Part of our hui over the last two days has been participating in creating a raranga (weaving) together. It was part of incorporating hauora (wellbeing) into our mahi (work). I spent half an hour working on it and it reminded me of the sense of calm that I experience when I am absorbed in anything creative.

two young men sit in a cafe

Home after a few days away so I took my boys out for coffee. I spend my life trying to get photos of them together when both are smiling. They know this and conspire to ensure I am never successful. One day, I’ll write a whole post just with photos of these two!

artwork showing fenceposts with the letters that spell out EGMONT

He Tirohanga ki Tai: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery is an exhibition featuring both leading and emerging Māori artists, who have created a completely sovereign space, supported by Indigenous funds, to hold a conversation critiquing the Cook invasion, the ensuing colonial experience, up to and including the TUIA250 events.”

It is a powerful exhibition of confronting artworks and I spent my lunchtime browsing with Nigel up at the University of Waikato.

cocktail glasses lined up on a bar

Sometimes we end up at the WonderHorse – usually dangerous – and I love watching the cocktail masters at work!

limes and a lime meringue pie

Lime glut! I made lime meringue pie which was delicious! Also lime cordial and marmelade!

basket fungus

Went for a wander in Pukemokemoke with Nigel and there were loads of these basket fungus around.

cover of a book

Excited to browse this book – full of whakatauki and the stories that sit behind them.

two musicians on stage

I got really excited after I watched Horomono Horo playing at WINTEC – he is a master at playing traditional Māori wind instruments. He played alongside Jeremy Myall who creates music on the computer as Horomono plays. He also talked about the stories and skills that are passed down through generations and who has the mana to retell them. One of the other things he talked about was that we have to recognise that rangatahi might want to tell their stories in different ways – possibly digital and that given that storytelling has always happened in different ways over millennia, they shouldn’t limit them. I had so many questions then about how that fitted with tikanga, tradition etc… 

a page full of notes and drawings



We spotted these paintings all over the city – turns out it was from an art class that was run in the city somewhere! Love it!

tablet and coffee on a formica table in a cafe

Sometimes working in the cafe down the road helps me concentrate and the coffee is so much better than at home!

refelctions of hills in a clear lake

Trailrunning – training for Taupo 50km – I must have thought entering was a good idea at the time! Great to be out on the trails in such stunning scenery though!

sculpture in the sky

This sculpture is sort of hidden along the river trail through town unless you look up or out of the museum window!

green fields sloping down to the river. Fluffy white clouds in blue sky

Dodged the rain for a run along the Whanganui River. Turned around when I reached the field full of cows and calves. River level very high after the rain.

electric box with painting of eel on it

Art in the city.

boy playing computer games in the dark

Peeking! The life of a teenager with no responsibilities!

June 2019

Autumn Trees

Ko te Ngahuru tēnēi wāhanga. We dodged the Autumn showers today to walk around Rotoroa which is the wee lake in the middle of Kirikiriroa, Hamilton. It has struggled over the last 50 years as a result of poisoning to reduce the weeds that caught in the rudders of the yachts. A massive ecological disaster for a wee lake! But it is recovering slowly. Once upon a time children swam in the lake but now the water is too toxic. I wonder how long it will take….

blue sky over snowy mountains seen across a lake with white capped waves

Ko te Hōtoke tēnēi wāhanga. The mighty maunga of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngarahoe covered in snow seen across Lake Taupo. It’s definitely winter here. I’ve been practising adding the te reo I am learning by adding text to photos. This says ‘There is snow on the mountains. It’s very cold”

blue lake with snowy mountains in the distance

Same mountains from a different spot on the same lake. This is just such a beautiful place to run.

sculptures of cats and dogs on the wharf of a seaside town

More te reo practice! Asking where things are…. This is the Hairy McLary sculpture in Tauranga. The characters created by Linley Dodd are much beloved around the world and these sculptures just capture the essence of them beautifully.

woam playing a red guitar on stage amongst bright blue lighting

A midweek trip up to Auckland to see Sharon Van Etten didn’t disappoint. Definitely worth the drive in the rain to get there!

sunlight shining through trees in a very green park

I’ve been working in a school over in Tauranga which is on Cameron Road – there is a story behind that name and much dispute about how street names glorify or remember colonial opressors and hide the real history of this place. Gate Pa is the site of a battle between Māori and the British in April 1864. It is now a park and information boards tell the story.

Looking through the gates of the marae into the atea and wharenui

This weekend is our noho marae for my te reo course at Te Wananga. We are at Poihakena Marae in Raglan. Here we are waiting to be called on.

Stone sculpture on Urupa with ocean and mountains behind

We had the privilege of listening to Eva Rickard’s daughter, Angeline Greensill, telling us the story of Te Kopua today.

Te Wananga noho team photo

And of course, the inevitable team photo! The Wednesday Night Champions! He Pī Ka Pao!

Looking up through tall trees to the blue skys

This proverbKua huinga te tōtara i te waounui-ā-tāne arohanui.” translates as a great tōtara has fallen in the forest of Tāne meaning that someone of stature has died. This week, a third friend and colleague this year passed away. Feeling very thankful for my health and my family.

orange rose

This is my favourite rose and it keeps on blooming. The plant only ever has one rose at a time but I love the colour.

a bowling lane with pins being scattered

We’ve reconnected the Wii! Fun and games as a family!

silhouettes of two trees against the setting sun and evening mist rising from the fields

The evenings are drawing in and I only just got a couple of times around Pukemokemoke before the darkness started to fall.

The variety of gin that is around right now is incredible. Indiginous is a New Zealand distillery that distils gins full of botanics and spice. The artwork is pretty impressive too.

an embroidered linen pouch

Tidying up my wardrobe, (definitely a wet weather activity!) I came across this handkerchief pouch which came from my Mum. I have no idea of its story. Did my Mum make it? She was gifted at needlework but I think that the sewing on this is machine worked. So it is more likely to have been a gift.

two plates of food and home made flat bread

This Sunday we had the privilege of participating in a cookery class organised by a group called Home Kitchen. Local immigrant communities are invited to share their culinary culture and teach us how to cook their favourite dishes. As we learned how to cook Afghani chicken and bread we also heard about the stories and cultures of the chefs. And we got to share some delicious food! Home Kitchen also works with Yalla Yalla restaurant.

“Home Kitchen is a social enterprise focused on empowering former refugees to flourish by providing work and training opportunities whilst showcasing the diverse cultures that exist in the mighty ‘Tron.'”

a grey cat peers around the pole of a grey covered platform

Aonghas bought me a cat tower for Mother’s Day. Grey cat has started to show some interest!

I went to my first Seed Waikato event last night. Some interesting speakers telling us their stories of failure, resilience and success.

early winter morning in town. a wintry morning sun brightensa blue/grey sky

I love that brightness of a wintry morning sky as the sun rises.

frost laden grass along a wire fence.

It is Friday 20th of June. It is winter. It is very cold today. There is frost across the land.

Winter is here! I think the landscape down in Taumarunui and its valleys makes me feel at home. This morning I drove down through foggy valleys but when the sun burned through, it revealed a beautiful frost and blue skies.

driving in a T2 lane in the city

Excitement today as we were able to drive in a T3 lane in Auckland as we had 4 people in the car. Though it was a hikoi that we really didn’t have the heart for. Heading north for the tangi of our friend and colleague, Hazel.

Clock tower

Another clock tower – the basin in Whangārei. A long awaited reunion with old friends Chris and Ross who are now living in the winterless north after leaving Wanaka to monitor and educate about plastic in the Pacific on their ketch Sula.

A young man with dark hair and wearing a beige sweatshirt, sid e on

My big son came for tea tonight. I always enjoy his company.

My boys have gone back to basics with gaming – race tracks and dodgems! They keep asking me to play and so I do. It wears me out – so much concentration and my hands hurt from gripping the controller so hard!

Pathway trhough a city decorated with railway signals

Evening training run around the lake and along the railway pathway. Cold but clear. Love these sort of winter evenings.

a feather floating on water
frost on limes

Lime season!

It’s like Christmas but it’s not! Winter in Tamaki Makaurau. Dad’s evening out to see the War Horse. What an amazing spectacle!

The things I love about trail running is being able to stop and take photos and have a breather. I always keep an eye out for opportunities for neat photos. Feathers and leaves and water….

seaweed and white rock, shadows and sunshine

My first visit to the Kāhui Ako I am working with down in Wellington. I flew down on Sunday and spent the afternoon with Chris. Our walk out at Eastbourne was in better weather than the last time we were there! Beautiful sunshine although there was a biting breeze.

May 2019

Yellow doors wide open lead to a garden beyond

These are my favourite doors. They lead to my favourite garden in Hamilton Gardens. The Concept Garden has been inspired by two traditional Whakatauki and an old land use map. 

 Whatungarongaro te tangata toituu te whenua
 As man disappears from sight, the land remains

brown mushrooms nestled into  green moss and ferns

Autumn means mushrooms! These are nestled in amongst ferns and moss in the forest on the way to the Waihohonu Hut just off the Desert Road.

light clouds hang around a mountain both are reflected in a lake

Lake Tikitapu – Blue Lake. When I started running the lake was completely covered in cloud but an hour later the clouds had lifted. Just. A bit of a cheat – Northern Hemisphere 3rd May, Southern Hemisphere 4th May!

Day 2 of a weekend away with running buddies. Same lake, almost the same view! That’s Autumn for you. Actually was 4th May!

glassy lake with clouds and blue sky reflected in it. Bounded by pine trees

Day 2 of the weekend away again! The beauty of time travel. This is Rotokakahi or Green Lake. It is tapu which means no swimming, fishing or boating. https://www.rotorua-travel-secrets.com/blue-and-green-lakes-rotorua.html

ginger cat sleeps on a sheepskin rug

McCavity, McCavity….. cats just rule the world!

Boy holding a paper star

Working in a school to support teachers and students to learn about digital technologies. This boy adapted an origami activity to create this moveable star.

sculpture with māori symbols stands proud in the night sky

Every Wednesday I have my te reo class at Te Wananga in Glenview. This is one of the sculptures outside the building.

a pair of ice skates inside a glass of beer

Haven’t had a beer picture for a while! Being arty with skates and almost empty beer glass.

Praying Mantis camouflaged in feijoas

It’s feijoa season! Unfortunately, they all fell from the tree on the same couple of days and so we have a glut – frantically baking, eating, bottling!

Runner running along a path strewn with autumn leaves

There is something about the noise leaves make as you run through them. Though they can also be lethal – newly fallen leaves hide the slimy, wet, slippery old ones underneath!

a Mum flanked by her two sons. Laughing

Mother’s Day! Me and my boys – it took many photos to get one where we all looked remotely normal! They make me happy.

Grassy hills looking out to the ocean. A heavy bank of cloud across the sky with a tinge of orange sunset

After work hauora. It’s always good to blast the cobwebs of a day inside away with a hikoi up high. This is Papamoa Hills – it might become a bit of a haunt when I work over that way this year.

Two women in a restaurant with wine! Caption is Well behaved women seldom make history
No Comment!
Green eyed, grey haired fluffy cat staring imperiously from its sunny spot.

The most photogenic cat in the world. And she knows it!

Coffee and scone

The beauty of a day at home is the opportunity to venture out for the best coffee in Hamilton. Demi Urgos

Whakatauki in visual form on the wall of a school.

Ko te manu e kai i te miro nōna te ngahere, Ko te manu e kai i te Mātauranga nōna te ao. The bird that feeds of the miro berry owns the forest. The bird that feast of knowledge owns the world.

limes on a tree with blossom

I love how limes fruit and at the same time blossom is blossoming!

waterfall in forest

I’ve driven past the turn off to this walk countless times and today I decided to stop and take the time to walk to the Omaru Falls. Just as I got out of the car the heavens opened! It’s only a short way through winding forest tracks along a stream until you come to an area that has been felled after having crossed the stream on a swing bridge. A turn around to the right brings you to the edge of the river which you follow for a while. Then turn away from the river and climb to a viewpoint where you see this impressive waterfall. It can be heard from a way off but is still a surprise when you see it. It’s a shame that there seems to be no way down the the pool at the bottom.

Street in a small town in New Zealand. A street sign points the way down a road in front of a red brick building

Why is there a street named Chanwai Lane in a Central North Island railway town? After some digging I found that this street was renamed in honour of the Dong family who were Chinese fruit and vegetable growers and sellers, for their service to Taumarunui. Fascinating history.

rainbow over a grey rural landscape

There is said to be a connection between rainbows and angels. I received a phone call as I was driving along the road from Taumarunui. I pulled in to take the call. It was a from a friend to let me know that another friend and colleague had just died. It was expected but still a shock. I sat for a while thinking and crying and then something made me look up.

double exposure photo people and special effects
Editing photos with kids – great fun

I spent this afternoon working with some students using photo editing apps. They had a great time playing and creating images.

pink painted fingernails

We decided to paint our fingernails pretty pink in honour of Alannah.

Dark cloudy sunset sky over the plains of Waikato

After a big week of travelling and the sad news of Alannah, I needed to rebalance. Getting up high is my go to to find my wairua and balance hauora. Pukemokemoke is a favourite. Not far from Kirikiriroa and a short circuit gets you to this beautiful view.

Afternoon sun shining on a repurposed church

This old church is now a quirky Craft Beer bar! There’s something about Beer and churches….

View out over the ocean across vegetation and green fields

The Centre of New Zealand... so named because it was a central survey point in the 1800s. It isn’t actually the centre of Aotearoa but it is a pretty cool spot! It has an impressive trig point, and given that it is the most central and possibly the most important trig point, I did have to do a handstand. I asked a passerby to take the photo and he didn’t quite get it but here it is as a bonus photo for May.

woman doing handstand at a trig point
cover of a book

We had the pleasure of listening to Vincent O’Malley telling us the story of Wiremu Tamihana this evening at the University of Waikato. The history of Aotearoa is an interesting commentary on the evolution of British colonialism. Vincent talks about us needing to own our history, facing up to what happened, acknowledging it, accepting our role in it in order to move on and rebuild relationships.

young man behind a counter in a coffee shop

Boy at work. Aonghas has been working at Starbucks for the last 8 months or so. Chris and I went in to see him at work today.

wooden bricks of different colours on a table

This week at Te Wananga we have been learning about counting and numbers and colours.

Two sisters standing in front of ocean and a sculpture of a dog

It’s always good to catch up with the Aunties. Chris stayed with us and Moira stayed over at Tauranga with David and Keri. I took Chris over for the day and we went to the Hairy McLary sculptures.


Another family game to play!