Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Friday, 19 September 2014

a limit/ election

Yesterday i took a day off work. Just to be. Work is awesome. It is my university work and everything else that has been driving me crazy. My essay draught is back and I need to fix up the "slash and burn" from the writing assessment and want it in by Sunday night - not quite a week late, but late. I have vowed and declared that I will never ever put another assignment in late again. I think it causes even more stress. I have another summer paper to do and another two in my head to sign up for in 2015. Just waiting for 2015 enrolment to open on October 1st. School will pay for one too - yay!

So my day off was good for me. Sitting by the fire, catching up on uni work, baking a banana loaf, a bit of knitting. Only me at home - i love that! This past week has seen a flurry of knitting - finally have my orange socks finished - I know i started these a year ago - yikes! One discloth started and finished and another 3/4 done and another new sock started. This is the heather colour pair - a Cascades 220 wool - my first ever pair in 8 ply. I have woven in the orange merino which has some nylon in it, to give a bit of structure/ stretch around the heel. Loving them. Most definintely a boot sock. Love the garter stitch up the front of the sock. Might have to modify the pattern for some 4 ply wool too.

New books- Kristin Hersh's biography -we saw her a week ago - WOWEE. (and are seeing Neil Finn tomorrow night too. Yay. And TOTALLY gutted that I found out too late about Hunters and Collectors playing in November - wah. No more tickets. Really gutted. They are incredible live.)
and Kinfolk magazine - gorgeous and more a book really.

It is election day tomorrow - I have very strong views on politics - we were talking today at school about how we feel most kiwi parents are totally in the dark over the dire way education is heading in New Zealand. All I want is people to vote for our children's future - I'm not happy at people voting for themselves, but that is me.... I know my children will leave NZ after university. Things are getting so much harder for a lot of kiwis and thing won't improve if we get a repeat government. I like this A LOT -

Anyhow.. please vote at least. Have a good weekend - one more week till school hols - whoop!

Saturday, 13 September 2014


I cannot believe how crazy these last two weeks have been.

I single handely organised 4 authors to visit school in one day - a huge exhausting job but a brilliant day.

Essay writing - I have an extension. Great but will get me a bit more behind with general study.

I'm not sure much is being achieved - study every night but not enough. And feeling too guilty to do much else!

Little knitting all winter. (but a tiny bit of sock knitting on plane and a bit this week to try and stop me biting my fingernails. That did not work...)

A tip of a house. A TIP. Horrific. Floors need to be washed. Two weeks of laundry to sort. Laundry outside in the rain as drier can not cope with backlog.

An oven with a door which no longer closes properly.

Kid to hospital appointments - boy howdy do i like our health system. It has delievered much more than i expected for our aspergers (mild on spectrum) kid. The help is there.

Soccer prizegiving.

School interviews.


Music events after school.

No food in the house - baking after school yesterday to have something to eat.

New Jamie Oliver goodies from supermarket stickers. (any other suckers for this or the New World promotion?)

Two new gorgeous books - NZ Sampler book and a NZ cookbook (Thank you The Warehouse for cheaper prices!).

Now it is the countdown to school holidays in 2 weeks time. Last thing to do is really get that essay out...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Feilding op shops

I flew into Palmerston North early in the afternoon, so I could run around Feilding with my mother and look at the op shops. There are a few and they are all good. I left behind Crown Lynn as decided I did not really need it... but these are the items I did bring home for the sum of $8.80. A pair of pillow cases for $1.00. A Sheridan single sheet for $3. A Duchess bone china trinket dish in mint condition for $4 and 4 souvneir teaspoons at 20 cents each. Love them all. (had 18 degrees today and I have washed and dried about 7 loads of washing outside - yippee). Pillow cases on bed already. Husband not a fan of retro linen but I am. I rarely go to op shops these days as uni work takes precedint on a weekend... School hols are the only time I get to op shops usually. The Feilding ones were real treasure troves. Have you had any op shop finds lately?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Brain overload

I've spent 3 days down at Massey University for a "contact" course for my stage 3 NZ history paper.
It was full on. Lots of talk about colonisation, Treaty of Waitangi, Resource management Act, 19th century acts, Maori figures, Treaty settlements, agency, hegemony etc etc. Still taking it all in. it was incredible really. i thought I knew quite a bit, but have come home going no way.

Time away from my family. Time spent with my parents. That was interesting. (see them 3-4 times a year now). Time spent driving a rental car (an automatic - I'm a manual- stick shift- kinda girl...) and navigating my way round rural roads, a city I am not that familiar with. Lots of good things.

It is great to be home. Just doing home stuff. Haircuts. Too much laundry with rain. The oldest has gone to his first ever concert (Queen) with a mate tonight. An essay to still write (all day in lectures left me not doing a thing at night). The husband is away in the Solomon Islands though.

The best building on campus - oh I could have tested their wool for them. And in the epicentre of all things. (actually on the edge of campus.) Have you ever tried to find your car in an enormous car park?? I was getting a bit worried. then i get to the airport car park at 11.30pm to drive home, and again have no recollection of where I had parked my car - solution? Stand on suitcase (being short) and push your key to unlock car and you can see your car lights flash in the car park - ar found. Yay.)

My parents are collectors - there are collections of things all over the house, glass, wood, textiles, crafts, blankets, quilts, trinkets, thimbles,books, piles of books, magazines, piles of records etc - I adore their stuff. Great op-shops too in their town I'll show you the few items i bought another day.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The other (growing side) of New Zealand

I'm flat tack with university work, before heading down to Palmerston North/Feilding tomorrow for a few days.
Please read this - in today's Sunday Herald (biggest Sunday newspaper in New Zealand). Then read the un-edited version below.
I am at pains to show the rest of New Zealand the major major gulf happening in education - my passion. Particularly Maori and Pasifika students who are being let down. (Maori though in rural areas are doing well - not so in urban areas.)

“Posh” school versus Decile One School Fundraising

In reply to your headline “Posh school’s auction offers the stuff of dreams”.
Welcome to the widening gap in New Zealand education. How lucky the students of Diocesan School are.
They obviously attend a school which is well resourced and every single child who requires extra help receives it. The school has all the staffing and educational resources they require. They can fundraise for “new acquisitions for their contemporary art collection.”
Picture a decile one school at the opposite side of Auckland.
Fundraising. Few companies will donate anything to the school to help with fundraising. This is because the school’s parents do not have the money spare to go and support these companies. They may not have a car nor the petrol required to leave their suburb even.
There is no PTA. School staff do it ALL. During the school day sometimes. They will set up the stalls and man them themselves with a few parent helpers they can muster up. 30 Staff work for about 8 hours and raise $6000 – the biggest fund raising event of the year. The school is thrilled at this sum.
Picture the continuous sausage sizzles, cake stalls and mufti days held throughout the year. This money goes towards helping every single child go on a school trip. It means that the families who do not have the $2 required for the school trip will give their children the opportunity to go. It means that the $8 excursion may drop to $4 and many more of the children might be able to stretch together this smaller sum to go on the school trip. These school trips are of huge importance – going to the zoo, Kelly tarltons, One Tree Hill can be the first time these students have ever been to these venues and they offer huge educational benefits. Even just showing the child another part of Auckland.
We’d like the extra money from fundraising to go towards dictionaries, games, books, computers instead of trying to raise funds for school trips. Raising funds for trips means that we never get any money for “extras” within the school.
Diocesan is fundraising for mentors, art work and art scholarships. Oh for our children to have exposure to any of these things which don’t even exist and never will.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to fund via fundraising a few extra part time teachers to help our children who are below National Standards; to help the dozens and dozens of ESOL children;  to help the many transient children who come and go all year long who have major gaps in their education and can be years behind ; to help our dyslexic children who are told that they don’t need help – all over NZ special needs children are being let down by funding and being told they are too good to need help; to help fund teacher aids to work with the many 5 year olds who have vocabulary levels of 3-4 year olds.
We need to think of our children at the other end of the spectrum where they are not offered the same opportunities as the girls at Diocesan. Purely because of where the lower decile students live in Auckland, purely because of the lower family  income levels, purely because businesses have no interest in helping lower decile schools as they will receive little benefit for doing so, purely because their parents are working 3 jobs to try and afford the basics, purely because they work in lower paying jobs and do not have the contacts where they can donate airfares, trips, coffee machines, holidays, internships.
All I’d like really is the chance to offer students the same opportunities that exist elsewhere – having the money in the school to support every single child who needs it, to provide the extra personal to support these children, to be able to make sure every child can attend a school trip without the endless fundraising, to have a PTA so staff can concentrate on educating.
Many many New Zealand schools are in the same boat – many students everywhere need more opportunities offered to them and it should not be potluck on where you go to school nor the financial help your family can or cannot provide for your child’s school. This article shows very very clearly why the decile system is still needed – all our children need the same opportunities afforded to them. Some receive it more than others. Schools need a lot more funding.

Name withheld.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Slow Sunday

Today as been a very slow day. We have had the most stunning weather all winter - in tees and shorts on the deck.
I am so far behind with my university work that it has entailed the vast majority of the day reading and note taking. Everyone else ran away bar me and the year 11 student who has exams starting tomorrow. (a 3.5 hour English exam - Tuesday is a killer with exams from 8.30am to 6 pm - 2 x 3 hour exams and one 2 hour exam - YIKES). All down to his subject choices.

But there was a gap today for my first ever Lemon Honey make - looks good - the two tiny jars I made - just hoping it isn't too runny..

Then a bit of knitting and reading inbetween - I have a conentration span of reading/writing for about 25 minutes.

How has your weekend been? Sunny? Any jam making??

Friday, 22 August 2014


Friday afternoon. Hooray. I've moved mountains at school and dug holes at home...

One kid in bed with a 40.2 temperature - yikes.

One trip to the optometrist this morning - and an $800 bill for LENSES alone (progressives.) Yes - in the past I have been to specsavers and not that impressed.... And they will not put new lenses in perfectly decent good frames, of which I have 3 of.

Then a bill mid-morning for $650 for school exams - my was I naive. I had no idea about this.

And then another bill for $800 later in the day.

Crikey. A months pay gone in a day!

I am kinda happy though that last night (before I was aware of two of these figures), that I had ordered a bunch of DMC threads to start stitching the "Pretty Little London" cross stitch.
Go here to see the other amazing patterns available. I also bought the Amsterdam and Sydney patterns.

I do think I am dreaming as have an essay and a MONTH'S worth of study to do before I head down to university in a WEEK.... I have honestly been plodding away most nights, but the research for this essay alone is a lot of work.

I think it will be quiet weekend at home getting children well, enjoying the sunshine , doing a ton of loads of laundry and just staying put.