Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Sunday 31 March 2013

Easter Sunday

Perfect day.
Easter egg hunt. (14 year old too cool to participate!)
Dinner at mother in laws (still do not like wine).
Gorgeous wee rose pot plant from husband (still do not like chocolate! Pity it isn't spring here as tulips are my fav but these roses are gorgeous! And the box too!).
Husband very very happy with his big pile of chocolate (including mine!)
Gorgeous new wool to knit a few pairs of Toshette fingerless gloves.

Saturday 30 March 2013

City Walk

We went into the city today (actually only about 5 minutes drive from home!). Empty.
First stop was a wool shop - I just had to build up my 10 ply supply :) - have knitted 3 gloves now.... Pic tomorrow of the wool.

We caught the bus from Britomart up to Symonds Street to have a look around the Symonds Street cemetery. I have drive past this hundreds of times over the years and thought it would be a a fascinating look at Auckland's oldest cemetery which was established in 1842. It originally had 4 sections - Anglicans, Jewish, Catholic and a shared Presbytarian and Methodist section.
It was closed to burials in 1886 other than existing family plots.

Due to development of the Auckland Southern Motorway in the 1960s , over 4100 bodies were re- interned in two memorial sites.

The whole cemetery is really neglected and a lot of the graves are in total disrepair and there is a lot of vandalism plus the look of vagrants hanging around.

For the historical value I was really appalled at it and might even ring the council.

Many important people and early colonists of our city are buried there, but impossible to find most of the graves due to the disrepair.

It is in quite an amazing location on 2 sides of a major road and underneath the huge Grafton Bridge.

It was fascinating reading some of the graves with families losing several children in one year, shooting victims etc.

A different family outing but the boys were fascinated - I have done a lot of "granny hunting" over the years as my mum is really into genealogy - I have spent hours in graveyards in England and Scotland looking for relatives graves for mum! We should really go and do the same in NZ cemeteries for the boy's grandfather and great grandparents.

Friday 29 March 2013

Toshette Cabled Fingerless Gloves

Every year I set myself a crafty goal. Last year it as hats (both knitted and sewen) and the year before knitting socks and sewing a shower cap. (all achieved - socks well and truly!)
My goal this year was to knit myself a pair of fingerless gloves!
Even since my sister-in-law Tracey (who lives in Switzerland!) sent me some gorgeous wool, I have been looking for a project to knit something with it! I did start a cowl, which is still on some needles, but I think I may un- do it now and knit another pair of these!
Cables are a big step up for me! I attempted them a year ago when I had tonsillitis (yay no more getting that again!), but somehow they turned out back to front???!!! It is on a cowl which I still wear and kinda looks cool both inside and outside out!

Anyway I sat down this morning and several hours later I had finished my first glove!

I am stoked - so happy and delighted with myself for how well they have turned out! And it was easy! I did have to teach myself the backwards loop cast on method too, but a you tube video sorted that out !

I think this pattern might be knitted over and over again as they would make a great gift!
I just need a wee stash of 10 ply wool....

The pattern is on Ralvery - look under Toshette fingerless gloves.

I am part way thought the 2 nd glove - I will let you know if a 50gram ball does a whole pair.

Happy Easter Everybunny!

Good Friday here.
One of 3 days of the year where our road is empty of parked cars. We are 50 metres from one of the biggest Westfield shopping centres in NZ. (we call it the Evil Empire.)
What is on the agenda? Baking home made bread rolls and the home made hot cross buns are rising currently.
Some housework.
A new tea towel bought in Australia.
And the beginnings of a new pair of hand warmers - taking it slowly due to the cables.
Gorgeous wool sent from my dear sister-in-law in Switzerland. Knits up beautifully!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

New Zealand School Board of Trustees Elections

In New Zealand every single school runs itself. They make their own decisions re what they teach within the NZ curriculum, when the school will close  for things like parent / teacher interviews,what they pay their support staff, if they want to employ extra teachers paid for by the board, when they start and finish the school year (within a period of set dates) etc. It is fantastic. There are o overpaid school administrators and schools can basically do what they want within reason!
Every school is governed by a school board of trustees. Within a state school, elections for this board are held every 3 years. 2013 is election year.
I have been a member of a school board as one of the 5 elected parent representatives for the past 3 years. It has been the motif credible experience. We meet every month for a 2-3 hour meeting with the school principal and a staff representative and gooer such things as the school budget (schools get money and how they spend it is entirely up to them!), curriculum matters, test results, learn about professional development teachers are undertaking , building matters, resourcing matters - you name it everything! I have a huge knowledge of how schools and especially (the horrible and to me pointless) NationalStandards work .I know all about how the Ministry of Education works (whether for the good of a school or not) and the blasted Novopay system (new pay system implemented  last year and most schools have had teachers under or over paid or not paid at all. Currently there are 18,000 pay issues to sort!!!)
Anyway nominations for elections open on May 2nd and close on May 16. Contact your local school, talk to current board members and go and nominate yourself - it is the most rewarding thing you will possibly do while your children are at school! You will learn a lot and be involved in the running of a school which really is a amazing thing! I don't believe any other country in the world runs their schools like this! We really are unique. (do write a bit about yourself, what you would like to achieve, what skills you bring with you etc. Schools need a wide range of people to nominate themselves.)
I am standing again and openly will be re- elected!
My highlight was changing the 40 plus year old grey school uniform that once every pupil had to wear in NZ. The students have gone into their smart new uniforms this year.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

"They would taste better if my throat didn't hurt"

Kieran has pharyngitis ! Much like tonsillitis but without the gucky stuff. He has been swabbed for strep throat but we need to wait and see.
I had half a day off today and will take the entire day off tomorrow. I have run out of sick leave. No pay now for days off.
Maybe I should move to Finland. A friend told me that they get up to 4 days off per child per illness.
What a dream that sounds.

I came home and made sweet corn fritters and Kieran liked them but said "they would taste better if my throat didn't hurt."

3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
440g can cream style corn
Black pepper

Sift flour, baking powder , salt and pepper together.
Add egg and mix to combine.
Stir in sweet corn.
Heat oil in pan and drop spoonfuls of mixture.
Cook until golden on both sides.
Serve hot.

Goes perfectly with homemade peach chutney and lettuce from the garden!

And the next new rose in the garden :)

What can I do tomorrow? Perhaps an entire day of scrapbooking?,??

Monday 25 March 2013

Genius Michael Morpurgo

The English children's author Michael Morpurgo is in New Zealand at the moment. He is my most favourite author of all times and every adult should know and read his books as well in my opinion. (start with "Kensuke's Kingdom").
He was giving a free hour long promotion basically of "War Horse" which will be in the theatre in NZ in August. It is currently in Sydney and has run in London for 3-4 years now.
Michael stood on stage and read "War Horse" for just under an hour with one of the actor's playing an accordion and singing in between readings.
It was totally memorising and inspiring. It makes me want to go to school and read and read and read to students! Would have been amazing PD for the teachers at my school to see him In action.
Afterwards we queued for just under half an hour (which was nothing to me!) to meet him and have a chat. I told him I was a school librarian and that we have many of his books at home and many, many at school including class sets. He was very interested to hear about Christchurch and the school libraries down there affected by the quakes. A lovely guy; very chatty and he took the time to have a decent chat and photos with all his fans. Kieran asked him about his favourite books - he reads a lot of poetry.
He is a cricket fan and England are touring NZ now and it looks like the Black Caps, our Ntional team , just might beat England! We weren't allowed to mention the cricket to him!
I loved his enthusiasm and his dialogue and emphasis when reading out loud.

I highly recommend you all run to the library or a bookshop and borrow/ buy some of his books!

Poor Kieran fell asleep in the caron the way home and is still sleeping with a rocketing temperature. He is exhausted after his weekend with the scouts tramping and camping. A day off school tomorrow I think.