We had a few adventures in April! The first day of April is my happy born day. It used to be in Spring but now we are in Aotearoa, I get to have my birthday in Autumn. I quite like that I have had the chance to have birthdays in two seasons! This year, unfortunately, I was all alone in a motel room – one of the drawbacks of travelling for work.
On the other hand, I get to see some beautiful spots on the road for work. This is the gate that leads up to Nevin’s Lookout on . the road between Tokirima and Ohura on the Forgotten Highway. On a good day you can see right out to Ruapehu. It was just a bit too cloudy on this day. There is something about a wooden five bar gate that reminds me of Yorkshire and I love the red berries against the glossy green leaves.
Another bonus of my job – when I’m not on the road I can have the best coffee in my local cafe, Grey Garden.
My wee boy is 19 years old. Today he came and asked me if I would play football with him. At first, I said no as I was trying to finish some work. A few minutes later, I saw him out in the garden so I closed my laptop and headed outside. I’m glad I did.
I am learning Te Reo at the Wananga o Aotearoa. Today we spent the day together learning a whole heap of things but one was how to make poi.
I love all the stages of tulips from the tight bud right through to the final petals dropping.
I use lots of images for my work. Sometimes, I can’t find what I want so I create my own. This was to introduce the 20 Questions game that I was using as an activity to illustrate how it helped develop questioning skills for kids and computational thinking.
On the road again. The dangers of so much driving and early starts is falling asleep at the wheel. I stopped at Rangiriri Pa on my way home today – just needed to blow away the sleepy dust and also take some deep breaths of fresh air. It’s a good place to walk and think and reflect on the wrongs that were visited on Maori 150 years ago and what we can learn from that.
Props for work – 20 questions for computational thinking.
Another of my creations to illustrate something for work. I have also been working on developing my pepeha for my Te Reo class and so this just sort of evolved. Think a degree of procrastination might have played a part.
My big wee man came out for a walk with me today. We climbed up to the top of Wairere Falls and looked out at the world. Then we followed the river back into the bush and found a quiet place to have lunch. It makes me happy to spend time with him. He used to spend hours examining water and rock pools when he was a wee wee man!
Up high again. The wind turbines at Te Uku are quite impressive and the trail is easy-ish so its a good place to get 15kms in with some elevation. Views are spectacular too.
Kirikiriroa in the sunshine. This is Garden Place, (Te Kopu Mania o Kirikiriroa) much maligned, it has had several makeovers in the 11 years we have been here and there are ongoing discussions about its role in the city. My view is that it is a fantastic space in the centre of the city and should be a place where people congregate, share food and drink and conversations. A place that is safe and welcoming for families, with community activities for all ages. If this were a city in Europe, there would be cafes and restaurants all around instead of dairies, Vape stores and touristy souvenir shops. It does have the newly revamped library which could be a real focal point.
Reflections from a workshop I ran today about Place-Based Learning and digital technologies.
We are never too old to play football! This evening both my boys were at home, it was a lovely evening so we wandered along the river to Hamilton Gardens. Took a football with us. This is the new underpass beneath Cobham Drive – I hope that the beautiful mural doesn’t get grafittied.
Easter. Nigel and I headed south in our campervan. First stop Mangatutu Hot Springs in the Kaweka Ranges. What a privilege to soak in natural hot water fed from a stream, birds singing as the sun goes down over the mountains.
The next day we walked into the springs at Mangatokaina. It was a beautiful walk with stunning views into Te Puia Hut, then on to the springs and back again. For more photos of this walk have a look at our Flickr album. This was my favourite photo of the day.
The weather forecast was poor; rain and winds. So we planned to travel south towards Wellington after stopping in Napier for breakfast. But the weather seemed to be holding so we decided at the last minute to divert to the Ruahines and tackle the ‘easy graded’ track to Sunrise Hut. So glad we did. Despite the sustained steepness of the track – 800m over 6km the view from the top was just incredible. Definitely want to go back and continue along the ridge to the next valley some day. We descended in darkness (with torches) to the sound of Ruru all around us.
The weather came today as we travelled south. In the pouring rain, we explored some classic Central North Island townships all of which have seen better days. Ormondville (probably best known for the Ormondville Murders) and Norsewood were settled and thrived in the late 1800s and 1900s. This railway station is still serviced and the station itself can now be booked as accommodation.
Dodging the rain in Eastbourne! Nigel and Chris.
One of the reasons for heading south to Wellington was a surprise that Nigel had planned for me. So Wednesday evening found us parked up in a campervan park in the centre of Wellington and then walking along the front to the TSB Stadium to watch Norah Jones! I love this statue and especially so through the misty rain with the lights of Wellington reflected in the water.
The rain stopped overnight but it was still misty. The harbour was as still as could be as we went to get our morning coffee.
Onwards and northwards. We went for a very wet walk in the Ruahines. Rangiwahia and Dead Man’s Track. Not many views but we enjoyed ourselves and not being able to see anything outwards meant that we focussed on what was at our feet. Lots of plants (see album). Another place to go back to and explore further especially in better weather.
On the way home we stopped for a break by the side of Lake Taupō. We sat for a while and watched this shag. He out sat us!
The last day of the month – back at work!