Sunday, November 29, 2009

I am going to Dubai next June. I wonder if Bin Hire lives close to Dubai. Maybe we could meet up for a coffee and discuss Jesus and Richard and effective waste disposal management.

I hear Dubai has a lot of great products and services at reasonable prices like coffee, rugs, swimming pools and assassins.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The first swim of the summer.

Yes, it must be getting warmer.

Today I stopped for a swim at Petone Beach on the way back into town. Like most swims that aren't at the height of summer, the water felt icy from the outset, but by time I was back in the car I was glad I'd stopped.

And I was reminded once again (winter always has a way of making you forget) of how sand gets everywhere, and how it seems to stick to skin.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A few random thoughts and an update on those kitties.

Firstly- Just because you buy yourself an expensive camera, it does not automatically mean you are a good photographer. Apparently you have to master these things. I realised this when I bought a guitar several years ago as well. I wonder if I buy a double bass what will happen?

Secondly- It pays never to assume someone is happy in their job just because they are cheerful. I was talking to a non-teaching colleague the other day and she told me she'd applied for another job. I was shocked because she always seemed cheerful and happy, but we hadn't ever talked much beyond the weather and how to catch the mouse in my room.

Thirdly- Going from living by myself to living with eight flatmates hasn't been as severe as I'd imagined.

Fourthly- I think Richard is getting bored. He even joined facebook, then closed it down three hours after agreeing to be my friend. I have taken the hint. I have a plan to egg and flour his car tomorrow.

Oh no, but he walks to school now. I'll just have to steal his shoes while his isn't looking. Maybe while he's teaching his least favourite Year 9 class.

And lastly-Regular visitors to this blog (I've always wanted to say that, although I suspect my regular readers may number 2) will remember that a while back I set out on the task of catching two feral cats and their four offspring who were all living around my place. Well, both cats were caught. I could be all nice about this and say they are in a nicer place. But I'm not. They are dead.

The kittens did not take too long to catch. They can't be too bright. I say this because they didn't seem to realise that the cage trap was slowly taking their family one by one and yet each kitten continued to fall for the trap. One kitten even escaped from the cardboard box I put it in, then happily entered the trap again the following day. Their fate is a lot better, they are cute after all and young enough to mold to our human ways.

If you go down to the SPCA in Newtown you might even see them there, waiting for a caring loving home to be stupid in.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hutt Valley women try to break the stereotypes of their kind by entering a beauty contest.

Oh yes the irony.

Last night I sat down to read this week's edition of the Hutt News. What I found on the front cover was an article about the newly crowned Miss Hutt Valley. Now there have been a wide variety of events reported on throughout my eight month residency in Petone, but none had me deploring quite like this one.

The winner, Miss Hutt Valley 2009, was one 22 year old Mary Cooper, who obviously stuck out during the swim, designer and evening wear sections. She believed she'd won "because of her professional approach and the way she spoke". Yes, that's what I thought looking at her photo too.

Furthermore, young Mary stated that she had been annoyed by stereotypes of Hutt women as having no ambition, and one of her aims now was to become a positive role model. She was beginning this journey by stating that she now regretted getting a playboy bunny tattoo, and plans to have it removed. "Everyone makes mistakes when they are young". Yes dear, they do.

Still, I can't blame the poor lass. When you grow up (probably) spending your weekends at Queensgate, watching TV and reading Dolly magazine it would be hard not to think that success and popularity are predominantly based on looks.

Often the young women that I teach talk to me about their struggles with the idea they need to be 'perfect'. The thing they find the hardest is that they know that they are being force-fed false messages, but they so often bow to the pressure.

I hope Mary will one day realise this.

As for me, I can't help but keep my stereotypes of the Hutt for events like this and last night's shooting in Stokes Valley.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Guy Fawkes and Trains (or, A Post to Cheer Up Richard)

On Thursday night I decided to watch the fireworks from the pedestrian over-bridge at Ava train station. There was a guy up there already when I arrived.
"It isn't as impressive as last year" he said, "but the kids love it". I looked around and couldn't see any kids so guessed that he meant kids in general, the city over.

A few minutes later a couple arrived with their boy who was about 5 years old.
"Look at the fireworks" his dad said.
The boy just stared. A couple of minutes later he spoke.
"When are the fireworks stopping?"
The father tried to get his son enthused about the explosive display, but he wasn't keen.
"When is the train coming?"
"I don't know" his father replied.
His mother, however, decided to have some fun.
"Maybe the train driver has stopped to look at the fireworks" she said
The reply was sharp and defiant, "they can't do that, it's not allowed, trains can't just stop, you're wrong"

Just as the fireworks finished a train pulled into the station and the boy suddenly felt that this had been a night worth coming out for.

Even though the fireworks were relatively small when seen from across the harbour, it appears that sometimes, explosive stuff just isn't as cool as the everyday stuff.

An update form the last post. The tomcat was caught on Friday night, about two minutes after I set the trap. I have been telling the kittens all weekend that Daddy eloped with a slapper from down the road. They seem ok with this.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here kitty kitty...

A couple of months ago I realised that two ginger cats had taken up residence under my house and in the carport. A fortnight ago it came to my attention that they had four kittens. Very cute. But like me, they have to go. So I called the SPCA. The friendly man is going to drop a trap (with instructions) around in a couple of days. The kittens (if caught) can be raised and fostered out. The fate doesn't look so good for their parents. I will aim to keep you updated on the kitty catching.