Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Friday, 3 April 2020

a week later

My goodness! I can't believe it was a week ago that I was last here. Plenty of hours to be here more regularly!

My days are filled with knitting....


This is my Northeasterly remnants sock wool blanket. I have no idea when I actually started this.... but it id getting a good working for hours again now! Still seems to be a lot of sock wool to get through..... another row has been completed since this photo was taken. I am using wool that Christina sent me years ago too - she has probably forgotten! Lots of different shades of pinks/reds especially.



I finished my "Timely" cardigan - knitted in 2 skeinz 4 ply wool (they have actually been approved by the government as an "essential business" - I've truly mixed feelings about this. I've plenty of wool at home and won't be buying any at this time.. i'm not sure wool really is essential. I know knitting is good for well being, but still....). I do love it. It' still like summer here in the north of New Zealand anyway, so I don't know when I'll wear woollens (I did plenty of that in Europe in my very limited wardrobe in December/January BUT wearing possum was FAR TOO HOT even in low temperatures I found for me!).

I spent quite a bit of yesterday putting together individualised packets of school work and fun stuff for students - it's been mailed , but how long it may take to get to their houses, who knows. I've had no mail for nearly 2 weeks and have only 3 letters left to answer.... My students have zero tech or internet at their houses - the great divide in New Zealand education.... I feel so stink about this, but can only post them work - when my stamps run out, that's it.... (not too keen on boys having to ask for stamps at supermarket....).

Oh what very strange times. Life will change. Every day we hear of people losing their jobs. I do feel very lucky and in a position of privilege being a teacher!

I hope everyone is managing to keep safe and has plenty of books, paper, wool, craft materials in their home.  Flour?!? We were lucky to get a small bag the other day!


Friday, 27 March 2020

Day 5 for me; Day 2 for the country

Well.... it takes sitting in isolation to get a blog going again! I'm on day 5 of isolation.
Last Friday (on a teacher only day) I woke up wheezy and coughing. I jumped in my car, drove to school, got there, looked at the small room where 15 of us were to spend the day and though NAH. Spoke to principal and drove home again! Made a doctor appointment for Monday.
Monday didn't go to school, appointment face to face cancelled, but had phone conversation with doctor. She said in no uncertain terms was I leaving my house for weeks/months until the risk of catching covid-19 was low.
Two hours later our lovely prime minister Jacinda gave all of New Zealand 48 hours to prepare for level 4 of lock down (on the Friday she had presented to the country levels of covid 19). Schools were given an hour and then into lock down. Over half the school hadn't even turned up - I had 3 students show! Schools were to be kept open for 48 hours for essential workers to find childcare.
No students showed up after the Monday at my school, so we just shut down.
Even a week ago NZ only had under 100 cases, none in ICU, no deaths, and about 5 in hospital. All overseas travellers.
There is now community transmission at a local girls school, with students from my own son's school having had connections with this school on a bus.

I'm gutted for my students - there is no way we even thought NZ would move so fast on this ( and I am SO THANKFUL we did !). Most of my students do not have devices, they do not have internet. parents don't have e-mail addresses. Most of them don't even have pencils and paper in their houses.
I will print stuff off at home and mail to them... but it probably is really only busy work, as lots of parents are ESOL and can not help their children. I'm gutted I didn't pile my students up with readers, like I normally do.....

I could ring them, but I think that will just upset me... I might e-mail the few that have e-mails today.

So I'm writing letters (have nearly run out of letters to reply to) - mail is still *apparently* going through, so I have been posting in mail box ever day - luckily I ordered new stamps a week ago, as post offices are shut, as well as mail order stamps. I'm knitting the sleeve on my Timely cardigan. I've sewn cushion covers for the wooden dining room chairs. I'm watching "Offspring" 10 years after everyone else. Everyone keeps to themselves in their own room.... we have space as the eldest moved out last weekend.

Keep well everyone, STAY AT HOME.






Wednesday, 29 January 2020

around the place

We've been to London and St Albans in the UK; to Zug, Zurich, Engleberg, Lucerne, Basel in Switzerland; to Munich, Horst and Frankfurt in Germany; to Salzburg in Austria and to Taipei in Taiwan.
WHEW!
2 of the older "kids" took themselves off to Salzburg, Vienna and Dublin by themselves.

Now we're all back here and it's back to reality, as school starts again tomorrow!

Just a *wee* snapshot of photos from all over the place....









 ^Salzburg
 ^Salzburg
 ^my old suburb!
 ^Salzburg
 ^ Munich
 ^Munich

 ^^ with the bro who lives in Switzerland

 ^Zurich
 ^ Zurich

 ^Zurich



 ^Lucerne
 ^Lucerne
 ^Lucerne
 ^Lucerne
 Christmas (only ME with self bought gifts) - everyone else went gift- less through choice!








 ^Basel
 ^Basel
^Basel

Sunday, 3 November 2019

this is the other part of New Zealand

this breaks my heart - a 5 year old not being present for 2.5 months already in his first year of school.
This shows a country where there IS poverty; families who are struggling to rent; struggling to have one million dollars to buy a damn ordinary house in the biggest city in the country; families who can not afford basic health care/ a visit to the doctor; families with little support; families with little money to buy a school uniform or lunches; families who actually work full time, but can't afford basics.
The answer might be to move out of the big smoke, go to a smaller town, but will they get a job, away from family support, go to schools who have language weeks, have another student in their school who speaks their heritage language etc etc.
I don't know how to help at all,; this is impossible to keep a student where they need to be academically and socially. It's a NZ wide issue, but i still think most kiwis are in la-la land over poverty/costs in the expensive parts of NZ for just daily things!
It's far from an equal society or even a society which offers the same equitable experience!
Things ARE improving with the government in power, but i also see daily battles and too many needing help, and there is not enough help...

teachers take the brunt for too much, as do little 5 year olds who have no say in being put in a postion out of their control.....

Monday, 21 October 2019

Long weekend in Wellington

My school board kindly gives us all a 3 day weekend once a year. I flew the hour down to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, to meet up with a friend from Christchurch (an hour south again). This dear friend actually used to be a penfriend of mine from Boston, MA, USA and we first met at my wedding 23.6 years ago! We've met in Boston, the UK and Australia over the years and she has now lived in NZ for 12 or so years.
This was the view from our air b'n'b - right on Cuba Street - the best location!





 I was so delighted to go and visit NISA - it's underwear made by former refugees in Wellington and I own quite  a few items of theirs. Such a good cause. https://nisa.co.nz/  Perfect for Christmas gifts - I've bought underwear for the entire family. Quite neat to see where they sew everything! I was part of their crowd fundraising event to get special machinery to enable them to be able to sew men's underwear.




 my favourite tea shop... TLeaf  Another great place for Christmas gifts...
 We went here for dinner... i'll psot photos of that another time... WOW !
 Nisa underwear i bought... all made here in Godzone.
 Wellington city... on a harbour - a fab walking city. Can't beat the cafes .













LOVE the city - i lived there while at Library School in the 1990s. It was SO fab to catch up with my friend April - another post to come! New Zealand travel is so goo d- my 3rd trip this year around my own country.