Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Sunday 29 May 2016

Hooray for...

The Wool Warehouse and oh! my! goodness! me! Super, super cheap wool. Good grief - we pay around 9 pounds for the cheapest ball of sock wool in New Zealand. A country with millions of sheep. The wool is even cheaper from the prices displayed on the Wool Warehouse website,  as tax is deducted before it is shipped out to NZ. Even without the sale prices, it is super cheap for me. Needless to say, a grand order is on its way to me - should keep me out of mischief all winter long. I think my knitting mojo is back - I've knitted over half a pair of socks this weekend and also started and finished 2 dishcloths in 8 hours today! Exam study does that to me...

Winter is here! Rain for days, but enough dry weather to get some washing mostly dry yesterday. We have had huge amounts of rain this week.

For surprise gifts bought to me by a great friend - Crown Lynn plates. I adore them!
 And more gifts from another friend -
 washing getting dry outside (I LOATHE using a clothes drier and washing drying inside the house too!)
 A gorgeous knee rug my mum knitted me -
 woollens being brought out to wear -
 divine new supermarket bag designs
 the other side
 free goodie bags bought home as too many left over from chick flick night
 autumn leaves fluttering in on my bedroom floor
 and time for hedgehog winter flannelette sheets. Hooray!

Wednesday 25 May 2016


I'm tucked up in bed listening to the driving rain outside. It has been atrocious weather for 5 days now. This afternoon I nearly stopped driving as the visibility and flooding was shocking. I arrived home just in time for the most incredible hail storm. The youngest was freaking about the rabbit, but all is well.

Otherwise, I've been getting to school early in the morning and spending an hour or so scribbling university notes, then coming home to memorise stuff for exams.
Oh exams. One kid has just finished mock A level exams and has passed all so far; another has started his year 8 exams, and will do fab in some and dire (I mean really totally dire) in Mandarin.
There was an excellent programme on tv last night about the NZ education system and its failings.
I'm so not sure about exams. I think my university exams even are silly as I forget so much the day after... and it is a moment in time and you could be having a crap day and do crappy in the exam... when you truly do know a lot more, but either freeze or just can not remember.. I think we really do need to change how we educate.
I've been book buying and -oh- more wool buying from a shop which is closing in 3 more days..
Just a pity I am doing so little knitting these days....

and congratulations to Amy who won my stationery giveaway - I've finally e-mailed you!

Sunday 22 May 2016


Auckland is bursting at the seams. We have had 66,000 new arrivals in the past year and the schools, roads, building of new houses is NOT keeping up. There are over 43,000 more cars on the road than there was this time last year. The bursting at the seams is a result of central government being slack in my opinion. We can not keep living in a city where the average house is approaching one million dollars, on salaries which are 30% lower than Australia. We are now apparently the most expensive place to buy a house in the world relative to incomes. Godzone (as New Zealand is also known by) has 30% of children now living in poverty. Our hospitals are busier. We also have the horrendous track record of one of the highest rates of domestic violence and also child abuse in the entire world.
Our education system I won't gloat about either when 30% of our children fail in it. (the system needs changing and fast. Too many students need help, there are not enough staff to help these children - if you are an average child you do okay. If you are gifted, have any learning disability whether it be aspergers, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, irlen syndrome, are years behind (and there are thousands upon thousands of students year behind) etc etc, you have little change of getting the support you need from our education system. Not necessarily the fault of the school nor the child's fault either.

We need land opened up for more housing. We need more apartments being built in the city to house the newcomers. The rest of the country has to expect Aucklanders to leave this city and come into their city and buy houses (and we will push up their prices with our money) - it's not our fault our houses are worth crazy stupid money. The government needs to support regional towns a lot more and create jobs away from Auckland, to get people to move. That is the number one thing that stops me from leaving - I'm not sure I could get a job anywhere else.

So today we visited Hobsonville, one of the new suburbs of Auckland which the government is gloating about, that it is an affordable new suburb. (it really isn't). This is what new housing suburbs and schools will look like - the amount of new housing going up is staggering. There is a ferry service to the city. A new very swanky looking high school and primary school, cycle lanes, a very cool weekend Farmers Market (I only bought soap and tulips today), a new huge supermarket. We toured an open home, which I adored.... it is cool to go far from one's neighbourhood, to see what the future of Auckland looks like. One kid said it is far too far from the city for him and yes I think you'd need a car to get anywhere else. But it was pretty cool too.

Loved the yarn-bombed tree..

Monday 16 May 2016

what's a day like in my household?

I've been enjoying reading some blogs lately that give you a run down of a day in the blogger's life.
I thought I'd do the same.

Today - Monday 16 May, 2016.

Woke at 7am. Early for me! Husband has been up for half an hour. Lay in bed looking at daily school calendar; read e-mails and the NZ Herald newspaper on-line.
Got up at 7.30am and showered. Woke youngest kid up, who basically had time to get up, get dressed, pack school bag, use the bathroom and leave the house! Oh there was a slight mad panic trying to find fitness gear!  (it is very normal for him to have zero breakfast - this has been routine since he was 5 and drives me crazy! He may or may not make a school lunch - if I make it on the very rare occasion, I quite often find it left on the bench!). Eat my day in, day out breakfast of muesli and yoghurt while going on-line again to join up with Vintage Purls latest woollie club. Say goodbye to the husband and youngest; chase up the middle child who is very self sufficient ; leave the oldest sleeping who is on exam week. He quite often goes to school later, as his school/year 13 treats them like they are already at university, so he may not have to be at school till 10am and then could be home 2-3-4 hours later dependant on classes. He does not have to be on the school grounds if he does not have a class! I still get confused at his timetable and then he might go straight to work after school and arrive home at 10pm or so. Some mornings, if I'm at school early, I don't even see the boys until after school or the eldest until he has come home from work at 10pm!

I leave around 8.15am, pray for decent traffic (it usually is going south) and get to school 20 minutes later, arriving about 15 minutes early. I always grab fresh water and a cup of tea and settle down to check e-mails before the first class arrives 10 minutes later. A "busy" class this one; then the next class arrives. I spend my time reading with them, showing new books, returning books, organising the class librarians; getting students to deliver National Library book boxes to me from the office (13 have arrived and all need to be put onto my library system - a ton manually as not on the Australian cataloguing system I use; then issued to individual teachers. A long drawn out process , which will probably take the rest of the week to sort!); dealing with the IT guy and another new computer for me; having 17 kids from another class turn up who want everything from rainbows, to clouds, to air, to hang gliders, to birds, to flight, to earthworms, to how we breathe (all while dealing with the class in the library and the class that lives on the side of the library...); answering the phone; chasing teachers for urgent things; helping teacher aides... by 10.30am I am stuffed!

A 15 minute break knitting and taking another cup of tea back with me. Next class turn up; books everywhere by now, as I'm sorting National Library books for this teacher and helping our newly trained librarians. A 45 minute break with no classes, so I whip through stuff a lot faster and then lunch. Well kinda. I sit eating at my desk, processing more National Library books for the next teacher.

Then it is back to back year 1/2 classes for the last 1.5 hours of school. I end up leaving the poor things to their own devices as I discover a teacher is away from another class and her class has not ordered their Duffy books. I go and sort this out.
The bell rings at 2.45pm. I spend the next hour (unpaid) at a meeting as I am a house leader in charge of 150 students.

A busy day. I also hand out raincoats to all new children, run assemblies every now and again, go to other schools, have other schools arriving to check out the library (another principal is coming next week - I'm doing outside-school-hours sorting out their school library for them), fit new shoes on children.. it is NEVER boring and I've always piles of books on every surface and the floor...
Usually is covering of new books in there - that is a constant thing!

After the meeting I run into the local post office, library and supermarket (and score brilliantly with clearance items) and finally get home at 4.50pm. Boys are all home, in their bedrooms chatting to mates, gaming etc. Pleased to see the year 13 study notes/textbooks all over the dining room table.
I sit down for another cup of tea and read some blogs.
Husband arrives home around 5.30pm, we chat about our day; I go fold laundry; he starts cooking dinner. Normal process in this house too!

You'll notice I do not one scrap of housework in the mornings before school - we catch up on everything in the evenings! After dinner we usually all head to our rooms; we watch little tv (I'd watch 2 hours max a week and have no idea about any show nor who anyone is - yes - I was one of the few who had NO idea about The Bachelor or who they were or what night it was even on tv... don't care/not interested.). Boys do homework and take themselves to bed.. quite often I've fallen asleep before them anyway! Need to sort out a birthday present for this Thursday for the middle kid - he told me last night he was not fazed if he didn't get anything on his birthday - seriously - told him that could be the case as he has given me zero ideas what he wants and I won't buy anything unless I really know what he does want...

Now I'll do some knitting, or university work and drink the cup of tea my husband has just bought me!

My life really is easy; we have few family dramas; boys are very independent and get themselves to places; I no longer drive them here or there for anything or any activity as they take themselves (apart from Saturday morning soccer); I'm not hugely social (basically because work totally exhausts me and then university work totally kills me!) and I seem to spend half of Saturday cleaning up the house too. I am a homebody as well! We do not see our families very often either and do not catch up with friends a lot either.. I think our life is pretty simple. Basically I live week to week and collapse in the school hols! I'd love to know a day in your life. add your post in the comments.

Weekend early light - STILL warm and wore tees and shorts all weekend - crazy for mid-May!

Sunday 15 May 2016

lately with Pip Lincolne

Man the days are going too fast. Weeks back I was whinging and mad bout having one of the last university exams and only a 2-3 week gap between this paper finishing and the new one starting.
Now I'm actually quite happy that it is 6 weeks till the exam as I am weeks behind with study notes....
The hideous 5000 word report was finally submitted on Friday night and I've done little all weekend since. I even had a 3 hour sleep this afternoon.

Lately -

Making : a shawl, hat, socks, dishcloths
Cooking : dinner one night this week - well and truly surprised the husband :)
Drinking : water and tea (all I drink)
Reading: The Cherub Series
Wanting: not much!
Looking: at the autumn leaves
Playing: soon!
Deciding: what to do for our 20th wedding anniversary
Wishing: I had more hours at school!
Enjoying: being lazy
Waiting: for others (which drives me nuts!)
Liking: how easy my life seems to be most days
Wondering: why people do not think about others
Loving: 21-23 degrees still!
Pondering: whether to cast on something else!
Considering: winter wardrobe stuff
Buying: wool for my aunt and cousin for birthdays
Watching: Code Black (the one hour of tv I watch a week)
Hoping: the kid does okay with his exams
Marvelling: at the warmth still
Cringing: at me having to dance in front of the school.
Needing: more sleep
Questioning: lots of things
Smelling: new body lotion
Wearing: shorts and tees and sleeveless dresses still!
Following: the middle kid with books (reading same series)
Noticing: teens growing up
Knowing: too much to do
Thinking: how to get study motivation
Admiring: the husband and all he does for me/our family
Sorting: endless laundry
Getting: frustrated with other adults
Bookmarking: new knitting blogs
Coveting: books and glerup slippers
Disliking: the government
Opening: lots of snail mail
Giggling: at students and the things they say
Feeling: stressed but happy
Snacking: not much
Helping: others
Hearing: loud music from teen's rooms/ Skype conversations

Monday 9 May 2016


I actually feel on top of things today - a pleasant day at school (well trying to find information on-line around steam and in a context/level that my year 5/6 students could understand, has been a challenge... we've resorted back to good old books...); lots of books covered, but the new book piles just expands. Upgrade of library system is going well.

Essay plodding along - I will say that I find APA pedantic and a waste of time... better things to do with my life quite frankly!

Another car load taken to the op shop - I am really liking the not-so-much-stuff mantra and the house just looks less cluttered (we really don't own lots of stuff, but it was easy to get rid of multiple pairs of shoes from my wardrobe; anything that had not been worn in a year has gone; bikes; toys; camping stuff - if it has not been used in a while it has gone!).

Added onto that is the lowest credit card bill in centuries once again - my cash budget is going really well and we are saving half of our combined wages easily - just not buying stuff! One kid has his birthday in a few weeks and wants a new desk/chair, which is fine.

We don't do Mother's Day - I call it commercial claptrap - I get brekkie in bed all the time, husband cooks dinner all the time etc. Neither of us even rung our mums. The husband wanted to take me shopping, but I don't need or want anything, so I declined. I think the boys may have said happy mothers day, but that's where it ended.

Anyway, going through stuff, I found this stationery pack - it has 2 notebooks, 2 pens and a pencil case - just leave a comment below and I'll decide a winner next week - open worldwide!

Thursday 5 May 2016

Time flies

I did half this post last night. I am so tired. School is so loopy busy (I don't know any other primary school that issues 2-3000 books a month!); we've incredible piles of new books which sit there, as I am too busy helping staff and students with stuff too. I've a returns bin which is half full and has not been any emptier than that all week, as I try and juggle everything happening. I'm now on a leadership team at school, which is fab, but adds to stuff to do during the day. Tis all good, as I'm never bored, but trying to find stuff/particular things has driven me a bit crazy with piles everywhere.

I was surveying the library today (very messy) when one of my cool students came up to me and said " when my mum wants to swear miss, she says the word apple". That CRACKED me up and I'm still laughing. Poor kid is one of my star librarians, so he tidied things up.

It's a backlog of everything whether it is at home or school. Feels like the school hols were weeks ago already!

these pics are from the past weekend of K Road (Karangahape Road) - a long central Auckland road. the council shut the road to traffic this weekend and had a fab festival happening with bands, stalls, children's area etc. I discovered how funky the street was - I just usually zoom along it in the car. We rode our bikes up there - the council is trying to get people out of their cars and onto public transport and cycling. Car drivers here are not very good with cyclists...
a good few hours.