Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Another Scout mum just asked me what exciting things have been happening in my life ... I told her I had just cleaned our bathroom floor... that really is about the level of excitement around here folks!

The youngest does get invested into scouts tonight - considering I used to be a leader, he has been hanging around that den since he was about 2 years old!

We've survived a term with the same child navigating year 7 at a very academic school. That has been A LOT of hard work for us all. The 3rd one to give up on Spanish, which is totally un-acceptable to the school. I'm not dealing with trying to deal with that...

The other one has navigated high school pretty well and just gotten on with stuff. Must say I virtually ignore that school and whatever may be happening there...I trust the kid to do all his school work/homework and I turn up twice a year to interviews and that is the sum involvement.

I am attempting to save money and use up everything in the house from wool to stationery to bathroom stuff. Except winter uniforms need to be bought, scout camping stuff, curtains, possibly a new fridge/freezer - it never ends.

I am pretty settled at school and working a lot of un-paid hours; had IT stuff sorted; would dearly love to drop my other school board stuff, but being one school board member down currently would not go down well...

Think I have sussed out university workloads finally with this 5th paper - sheesh - and enrolled for semester two with a "Medieval Women" paper - not my thing, but this is the last compulsory paper I have to do...

Think I should get out and about more and be more social... I just want to knit lately!

Saw "our" television commercial on the actual tv last night - tres exciting!

Love this new dishcloth knitted in one sitting at the bach yesterday -

And that's the news folks. Better quiet than a drama I think!

Monday, 27 April 2015


An over night stay at the bach at Karekare on Auckland's west coast. A place I should head to more often, as it is good for the soul. Lots of walking, talking, eating and knitting with the husband. Kids all away doing other stuff. Great 24 hours.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

lest we forget - ANZAC Day 2015

A new teacher (who is a bigger knitter/crocheter/wool fanatic than me) shipped up this crochet poppy just like that at lunchtime yesterday. I LOVE it! Also wearing the Australian poppy, as it was not until today, at the RSA, that I finally found someone selling the NZ poppy.
We had a very moving ANZAC service at school yesterday - these are a few photos -

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Back to normal and ANZAC Day books

School hols have been over for 3 days now. It is back to normal. I think I have already worked 8 hours over time (un-paid time) already over the past week or so!

It is 5pm and I have no idea what is for dinner. Yes, so really back to normal!

Half of the school is doing ANZAC (Australia, New Zealand, Army Corps) as a topic, which I love being an ex-cub scout leader. (ANZAC Day is April 25 - 100 hundred years ago this Saturday when kiwi and aussie troops landed on Gallipoli for a long 8-9 months campaign).
I tell classes that if they imagine 100 students around them, then only 15 out of that 100 returned un-injured. The rest were wounded or killed. Out of 8500 NZ soliders around 2800 were killed. As such a tiny country we were hit hard.
I also tell students about our pacifists like Archibald Baxter. They need to know not everyone agreed with the war. And they also know that boys 1-2 years older than some of them, lied about their age to fight.
It is such a meaty topic.
My favourite book is this one - it has a lot of information - I think every family with school students should own it -

And this is my favourite picture book. Two brothers exchange letters - one is a lot younger and left on a farm in Otago, while the older one is fighting in the trenches in Gallipoli. It is VERY moving and I have cried several times reading it to classes. (the first time I had tears rolling down my face - the year 7/8 students really "got it". )This is the book that I really think "hits" the students and they realise the impact of war. And makes them realise the pain and what our soldiers did for NZ and Australia. Students do freak out at the hand in the water too.

There is so much information out there and a whole lot more fantastic books and web pages. Australia too has an incredible wealth of children's books on the topic.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

What to do

School holidays are fab. I have pretty independent boys, who for some days, I have barely seen. They are out and about on trains, buses, with friends, at baches etc, so I have a lot of free time.

My days seem to revolve around cups of tea, knitting, sewing and more knitting and a bit of reading. (we saw the genius Paul Kelly in concert on Sunday - such an amazing treat!). And a few pretty full on days at university for lectures on Pasifika education in a New Zealand context. I have had some pretty intense conversations with my lecturer (one of the top school maths researchers in NZ) - I have huge worries around maths in NZ and namely how it is being taught... one of my boy's schools say few are turning up in year 7 with the standard of maths they like and most students seem to have big gaps... They (along with my lecturer) detest the NZ numeracy project and have flicked over to NSW (Australia) maths. My lecturer puts it down to the teaching in multiple schools... all interesting.

Writing an essay too has been time consuming, but that is around tea, knitting and sewing. The days away last week and being at uni are enough for me to be out of the house. Love being home and pottering. New roman blinds for two other bedrooms have been ordered and we have also booked a holiday in Hong Kong in January, 2016 - boys will not know until Christmas Day and that will be their gift! Can't help it when the husband e-mails and asks "is this a good deal?". "Of course dear - YES". And love it when an 11 year cooks pancakes and delivers them to everyone in the house - this child will never starve.