Friday, September 30, 2011

Being alone does not mean missing out

A birthday today for me, and for my little Hugo Dog -  Me, 40something, Hugo, 5 years old.
Ordinarily I celebrate my birthday in the school holidays, but with the Rugby World Cup dictating to the school calendar, September 30 falls within term time this year.
In terms of a work day, it was my second day working with my Y 7/8 digital photography group, so a fun day really. Someone had let slip to some kids it was my birthday (might have even been me) and the food technology group presented me with a Birthday Burger, as shown by the first photo here. It was accompanied by a chocolate milkshake. I was super full till dinnertime.
Speaking of dinner, I was home alone tonight - sad but true - but I was not going to let a birthday celebrating dinner pass me by. I swung by the supermarket after work to get Birthday Boy Hugo a treat, and picked up some stuff for myself as well.
Now the pictures are all uncooked, which might be odd, but  had a truckload of stuff to do this afternoon/evening and wanted to catch the photos before I forgot.
There is a rationale behind each of my choices here:
Morton Estate Bubbles - one of my most favourite tipples, and also synonymous with my birthday for a few years now. I had 3 glasses.
Pistachos - Nuts are a healthy snack, right?
Chicken Mignon - The only snail mail card that arrived in my letterbox was from my dear friend Mignon, breeder of my dogs, whose card was addressed to both Hugo and me - cute.
(Baked) Potato - a simple delight which I never cook. But I did tonight because another dear friend Viki cooked them the other night and reminded me what I had been missing. It was delicious.
Asparagus - To me my birthday always signals the beginning of the asparagus season. I looked for it tonight in the supermarket and was not disappointed! I ate the whole bunch.
Lemon Sorbet - I adore any kind of lemon dessert, and I love ice-cream. This is a 'good food choice' compromise. Sort of.

P.S Can someone help me sort out Blogger's photo placement? Drives me nutso...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

From Someone Else's Perspective

Second group of budding photographers working with me today. On one of their 'Assignments', shooting from different perspectives, a student snapped me, snapping her.

With her permission, it is my photo for the day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Read Right to Left

Overnight the flags of the countries competing for the Rugby World Cup appeared along the back fence of our school's rugby field. They had been hung by a neighbour, and after taking this photo today, I peeked over the fence and asked the kids playing in the back yard (from our school) if they were in any particular order.
Yes, they are 'Dad's' prediction of how the results will pan out. But only if you read from right to left! (I hope he is right...)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A first time for everything...

... and maybe a last.

Back at the beginning of the year I posted twice about the Boot Camp that was being run at Kauri Point Reserve, where I walk the boys.

I admire exercise enthusiasts who put themselves through an hour of relative public humiliation as they work to reach their fitness goals. Personally, as I have mentioned before, I prefer to be individually challenged, and to have my personal weaknesses kept under wraps.

But, as my P.T. (who I really like working with) also runs these sessions, and two workmates are attending, I decided to give it a go tonight.

My absolute HATE is running. I am not good or fast, and lack stamina (Translation - unfit in this regard). So 20 mins of running first up was never going to win me over. Thank goodness for the push-ups-on-toes to fail, at the end of each leg... that I can do. Then to include monkey jumps in the next circuit - my other HATE - in sets of 50!!! for goodness sake - well I was not impressed!

But I got through it without dying. And now I have a whole week to talk myself out of ever going again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Moment of Panic

I had one of these moments today when I realised it was almost 6:30, I had a meeting to go to, and I had left my camera at work.
Sometimes my commitment to a blog post a day is hard to keep going...
Fortunately I still had my trusty iPhone AND some light - bless you daylight saving - AND the first of my sweet pea blooms to greet the spring as a subject.
Not the best of shots, but still enables my commitment to continue!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whaddaya mean, no chicken necks?

My Smiley Reilly is the canine equivalent of a fussy child eater.
He would survive on a diet of chicken if I could afford it, and needs encouragement to eat something different. As it is, he is generally fed a BARF diet, which includes raw beef, green tripe, veal bones, veges and... chicken. Usually in the form of chicken frames or chicken necks.
If a couple of necks adorn the plate (yes, plate - he does not like to put his nose in a bowl) as a sweetener, he can usually be encouraged to eat whatever else is on the menu.
Tonight's canine culinary treat was cooked sheep hearts with rice and veges. Cooked with love. Stunk the kitchen out in the process as usual. Stirling and Hugo LOVE this bi-weekly concoction. Reilly needs encouragement to partake.
This look is as he realises there are no chicken neck accompaniments tonight. Duh, Reilly, that pink stuff is MINCED chicken necks? Eventually the penny dropped.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's all in the way you hold your tongue

For one reason or another, it'd been way too long since the boys and I had walked our well trodden path to Kauri Point Reserve, as opposed to taking a ride there by car. But we did just that today. 
It was a brilliant spring day, making the loss of an hour we experience tonight with Daylight Saving kicking in, pretty much a non issue, as we look forward to longer days, and evening walks.
We spent quite some time just moseying around in the balmy weather, which caused quite a bit of heat-releasing panting from the boys.
Though not completely evident in these photos, I am often amused at the differences in my boys' tongues as they pant. One goes in and out, in and out, another's curls up at the end, while the third forms a kind of cute tunnel in the middle. Bit like being a tongue-rolling or non-tongue-rolling human
Can you guess who does what?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Flying High

The school week at my work culminates with a Celebration Afternoon.
This week the littlest people lifted all of our spirits by having us join in their kite flying extravaganza. These photos do not encapsulate the full picture, which saw the rugby fields filled with smiling faces and skies above with fluttering colour.
The weather was kind and it felt like summer was on its way.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

cryptic symbolism

This rather battered orchid gifted to me today, has a weird cryptic symbolism for how the work day was for some of us.
Orchids are very appealing flowers however, and I would one day like to take some time to photograph them in sensible light with creativity at the forefront, as opposed to a snapshot of an unusual reminder of an interesting day...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Friends

What with injured dogs and crappy weather, t's been a long time between decent walks for me and the boys... tonight didn't quite pan out the way I had intended either, but we did get to the Botanic Gardens for a run. Lots of dogs out and about, from the very small to the very tall...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bing Bong!

It's the second night of Parent Teacher Conferences at my school. So high tech - to indicate the end of one time and the beginning of another, we play 'chimes' over the intercom...

In the past I have delighted in creating a different tune each time, but inspiration has failed me this year so it's just been a simple running scale when I've been the maestro...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanks for the invite, but...

It's always exciting in this digital age to find a handwritten, colourful, personally addressed envelope in your letterbox. I received one tonight, and opened it with glee... a birthday invite!

... to someone not me, for someone I don't know...

Happy Birthday Lesley, whoever you are! I am not sure if Lorraine can make it or not, sorry...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Channeling Glory

There is sure a lot of nationalistic pride oozing from World Cup supporters at the moment. Flags on cars and houses seem to be the most obvious way of letting everyone know who you are backing. I wondered why I saw my neighbours on the roof yesterday, and when I pulled my curtains this morning, I saw why.
I am too chicken to raise a flag of my own. I can't bear the thought of taking it down if we lose.
But maybe some of the luck and determination of the Irish from last night and and the heart shown by the Welsh today can rub off on Kiwis like me, to enable the black flags to fly till at least the end of the year. Or maybe another 4. Oooh no, best I don't get ahead of myself.
(But go the All Blacks!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bloggies and Doggies

We have recently purchased some Bloggies for school, and as I am using one next week my friend and colleague Lisa encouraged me to take one home to practice with. I know she knew I would find them simple to use, I think she was just hanging out for some doggie footage.
"Make Stirling do something cute" she said.
Well he wasn't very compliant with that request, so to incite some action I just uttered that one question that causes a cacophony in my house... "You wanna go for a walk?"
The footage downloaded, I then decided to trim it a bit, and Reilly and Stirling reacted noisily to their own recorded barking, as the end of the movie shows. That was a bit cute.
But to keep up with the photo-a-day promise, I do have one still image here, though taken with my iPhone as my camera I find, is M.I.A. I am really hoping I will find it at school!

Friday, September 16, 2011


That's the name I gave to this photo, one of my entries this month for MPS club night. It's one of the first photos I ever took when I got my 50mm fixed lens, and while I have always loved it, I thought it was a bit too simple to appeal to anyone else.
I really enjoyed the judge's critique style, though as he went through the set subject entries (which I had not entered) I felt that he was going to crucify my offerings this month.

Obviously I am still to learn the lesson I have been trying to teach myself all year, not to doubt myself or put myself down... as I received two 'honours' - for the seed head and my swans ('Courtship') - and a highly commended for my pic of Jaime Lyn.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pump Up the Volume

Tomorrow is Loud Shirt Day, a day when all are encouraged to wear the most garish tops possible, in support of ... The Hearing House and the Southern Cochlear Implant Paediatric Programme.
Our Student Leaders chose this as one of the organisations they'd like to support with a (loud shirt) mufti day, but the actual date clashed with... formal school photographs. So we held ours today instead of tomorrow, September 16.
The picture is a screen shot of a montage of some of the fabrics blaring out across our school.

In retrospect although it would have been a little chaotic, perhaps it would also have been fun to have our 2011 school photos in loud shirts. It would have been visually immortalised as "Do you remember the year when..."
Hmmmmm ... Maybe not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exciting Times Ahead

Definitely a 'moment' to post about today.

I have been sitting on the news for a couple of weeks, but can now excitedly, nervously announce that 2012 is shaping up to be a year of new experiences for me.

After 25 years of continuous service in a school, I have been lucky enough to have won a Study Award. This will allow me to be a full-time student for the majority of the 2012 year.

It's all a bit of a great unknown at present, but I am sure that by this time next year, when my research has been completed and my thesis written up, I will be desperately looking forward to returning to my school. Whilst having a year away is exciting, I am wondering about how I will cope with the lack of social contact! After all, isn't that one of the main reasons we go to work?

Hugo, Reilly and Stirling will love it though. And I am sure I will too. Once I get my head around what it is I have actually gotten myself in for!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Already Surpassing the National Standard

Our friend and colleague Kate brought baby Leah, now 10 days old, in to meet everyone today. A school staffroom is a hustling and bustling place at lunchtime, and teachers are not renowned for being quiet... Yet Baby Leah was not wanting to wake up to show us her beautiful eyes. (No matter how Mel tried...)

She did however, show us a tongue-filled smile. This does not, of course, ordinarily occur until about week 4-6. It could be argued that it's a reflex smile, but we all know that this baby is just incredibly advanced; already above National Standard as far as we are concerned!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Poodle Coiffure

I will let the title and photo speak for themselves. Not a lot more to be said!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Several times I asked myself why...

The weather forecasters were dead right about today - it rained. Not ideal conditions for an outdoor Dog Show, (in Ngaruawahia) and while I am absolutely knackered and I did not place, I am still glad I went. Even if I did have to question my decision several times throughout the day!

Damn You Auto Correct

My gorgeous sister-in-law Frances turned 50 yesterday. To celebrate, some of her nearest and dearest (like me :D) shared in the creation and devouring of an Italian themed Degustation.
Now addicted as I am to social media, especially FB, and addicted as I also am to my iPhone, I had to post about what was going on...
The iPhone is great in enabling status updates, but is over zealous in it's auto correct capability. There are some doozies here, if you'd like a laugh. So when I typed in that we were having a Degustation, it auto corrected to Dehydration. Could have been a premonition for either of my brothers, I imagine...
What I have not figured to do, if it is indeed possible, is to delete a comment from the iPhone...
While each of the seven course were delicious, the one pictured on the left had to be my favourite. Kingfish Arancini Balls and Kingfish mousse, created by my brother Rik and other sister-in-law Kim. Why 2 pics? One taken with my camera, the other with the iPhone. Can you tell which is which?

Friday, September 9, 2011

RWC - It's here!

I post having just watched the opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup 2011, wishing I had organised myself to be there. Oh well.
I was at school today however, where almost everyone chose to dress to support either the all Blacks, or their country of choice.

Some(one) even went so far as to get their nails done.
We have 6 stalwart SA supporters on staff. It's gonna be a long six weeks of sporting rivalry. Personally, I won't bother arguing. Que sera sera....

That said, here's a pic of my friend and colleague Maryn and her daughter showing us all how they think the Springboks are going to fare in the competition... HAhahahahaha HAHAHAhahahahaha (tee hee)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting things moving

Hugo this morning - waiting for the vet to open!
Dear wee Hugo. He has pretty much stayed on this bed for the past 24 hours  - apart from his 'day spa' at the vet's of course - recovering from a sore back. He just doesn't wanna move. Well, Doctor's orders are to rest after all...
The sore back has made something else not want to move. His bowels... so as well as painkillers, he's been prescribed 'something to help him along'. I hope when they do move, he will be able to move outside quickly enough!

Hugo this evening - under Reilly's supervision

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Here is New Baby Leah.

A princess if ever there was one.

Perhaps not the best time of day, or of her schedule, to catch a perfect shot, but there's no doubt she herself, is perfect.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Old place, new eyes...

As regular blog visitors will know, 'the boys' and I frequent Kauri Point Reserve on average about 5x a week. Multiply that by over four years of going there and you get a fair degree of familiarity with the environment.
Recently however, I discovered that there was a hidden path down from the Reserve to a part of the 'beach' I had previously never gotten to - though I suspect it is one of the paths Hugo takes when he disappears for a while. Tonight I ventured down with the camera to see what I could see.
This is taken as the last rays of sun glanced upon the Pahurehure Inlet at full tide, looking out to the Manukau Harbour.

As an aside, in our break from the habitual, poor little Reilly Boy did not know where I had gone and was frantically looking around the reserve for me when I emerged!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fathers' Day at my house

So, Fathers' Day today, and yes, I have a wonderful Dad whom I naturally think of whenever this day rolls around. But having no kids of my own, I can't celebrate alongside someone as most women my age and stage do.
But, dear readers, I realised today that I DO have a Dad in my house, and his son also lives here, so I (tongue in cheek) made Fathers' Day about these two. Little Reilly and his offspring Stirling.
Young Stirling's idea of a happy time with Dad is shown in the short clip above. Just like many Dads, it's pretty obvious that Reilly would just like some time out on this auspicious day...
A long walk this afternoon and chicken for dinner for this canine Dad. And cuddles tonight in bed too lol.

A Puddle of Puppies

There's nothing much else than can raise the 'cutometer' to the dizzying heights as much as cavalier puppies can.

These little darlings also have personality plus.
Macca, Dolly and Lulu.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bring it on!

We have some special visitors coming to our school next week. Special visitors from the Education Review Office. The E.R.O is, quote, "the government department that evaluates and reports on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services".
So we've been getting ready to assist them with their process. While much of what we do is 'housed' digitally these days, we've killed a few trees over the past few weeks to make what they may require automatically accessible to them, as opposed to asking them to navigate our systems...
I hope they are fast readers/processors/synthesisers! There's a lot to share about our fabulous school!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I can't fail now!

With 2/3 of the year gone and a blog post a day made, I can't fail now! No matter how tired and uninspired I am!

Hence the posting of another photo not actually taken today, but Saturday. It's the Ferry Building downtown at dusk - which explains the nice light and also forgives me perhaps for the lack of sharpness as it was obviously taken high ISO, hand held and on quite a tight zoom.

It's a lovely iconic building and I hope many people, visitors and locals alike, get to walk by it over the coming months.