Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the season

Today the builder came to do a wee job and told us we needed to empty everything out of our bedroom and the children's bedroom, so we started dealing with that, but then a delivery truck arrived with an enormous, gorgeous outdoor table which was a Christmas surprise for me, so we started dealing with that, but then we realised that our backyard was full of bees.

After a day of moving everything out of the two messiest rooms in our house I got pizza for dinner, but to keep with the theme of chaos they gave me the wrong pizzas.

Now, we have gone back and collected the right pizzas and eaten, H & K's room is back together enough for them to sleep in, our room is still empty and covered in dust, the table is on the deck, the bees are hanging out in swarm like a giant strawberry in the neighbours' tree and I've mislaid my glasses.

Fa la la la la la la la la

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Special theory of evolution

A small figure in a nightie just appeared at the living room door and said pathetically:
"H doesn't believe that a long time ago people looked like gorillas and lived in cages."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Now it's time for a change

The problem with democracy is that people who don't agree with me get to vote. I hope three years of a National/ACT government will show them the error of their ways.

10 good things about the election
  1. I live in a democracy where I have the right to vote, I can vote without intimidation, voting is easy, accessible and popular*, and I am confident that all votes are fairly counted.
  2. Winston Peters is finally out of parliament \o/
  3. I voted in H & K's classroom surrounded by their, and their classmates, art.
  4. There'll be at least two more Green MPs in parliament.
  5. A fairy queen and a fairy princess came with me to vote.
  6. I am now represented by an openly gay MP.
  7. The way the National party got in was by backing most changes Labour have introduced.
  8. I'm told there is a better quality of political comedy under right wing governments.
  9. MMP continues to encourage diversity in parliment. For the first time there will be a Sikh MP.
  10. I got to use a big fat orange pen.
* 78% turnout of registered voters.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

Last night we huddled around a laptop and watched Obama make political history in America and then went outside and let of fireworks to mark political history in England. It's not that it is so much a small world as that we are at one end of the binoculars and the USA and UK are at the other.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Treating tricks

A couple of updates:

I have been to the neurological ophthalmologist (because I couldn't get an appointment with a neurologist [backstory here then here]) and he says that my jerky eye tracking is "asymptomatic" and I should only worry if it starts to cause me problems, e.g. nausea. Given that my concern is that it is a symptom of something else this is only partly reassuring. I am trying hard to be reassured as there is no advantage in worrying. He is also going to chat to a neurologist about it and let me know what they say.

My plan for world domination is progressing, this year we lured 99 trick or treaters to our door. Last year we had 70. I think next year I should cater for 130.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sometimes about penguins

I thought it was about time to post something about penguins. I tried looking for a weird penguin fact but the ones I found weren't nearly weird enough. This, however, is:

From here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Capitalism at play

H waiting for her first visit from the tooth fairy:

Yesterday she lost her second baby tooth. I'm pleased to report this time she just left a flower for the tooth fairy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Democracy in technicolour

In a couple of weeks there will be an election. I wrote this three years ago during the build up to the last election and I still haven't changed my mind.

The more I think about it the more I am unable to consider voting anything but Green.

I think they were unbelievably stupid creating contraversy around the Meningococcal B vaccination campaign.

But consider global warming.


I mean just for starters think about the Wahine Storm hitting Wellington every year. What about the effects of the sea level rising on the CBD? What about a changing climate on our agriculturally based economy?

Even social welfare spending is a trivial issue by comparison with global warming.

Now you can argue that global warming is a far bigger issue than the NZ government can sort out and that you should use your vote on something more personal. The problem with this is that global warming will get personal. If you believe it is worth voting at all - that your one vote might make a difference, then it is worth believing that your one country might make a difference too.

So - how do the parties stack up? Well, Forest & Bird did a nice summarised evaluation of the parties policies on this and other environmental issues and I'm afraid I don't have it in front of me and I can't remember it all but what I do remember is that the Greens were the only party with two ticks for global warming, Labour got one and National got none.

I am struck at this point by a profusion of silly slogans - Vote for the weather. Vote for the future. Vote for the continuation of the species.

Posted here 30 August 2005.
My favourite thing about New Zealand elections is that you vote with a fat orange felt pen, a clear sign of a serious democracy at work.

The next blank page

My referral was faxed through again. Outpatients booking at the hospital sent it to Neurology. Today I found out Neurology assessed it and cancelled it due to "insufficient information". In September. Today my GP found out when I rang and told her. I asked my GP to refer me privately. She is having trouble finding a private neurologist who is available.

There are many things I love about the New Zealand health system. The fact I, or any other New Zealand resident, should be able to see a Neurologist if their GP thinks it is appropriate without paying a cent is one of them. The underfunded administration is not one.


I've just set it up so I can post from txt. Neat huh?

Edited to add: it would be neat if it didn't have my phone number as the Title...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A blank page in the diary of my life

In June my optometrist recommended that I referred to a neurologist because my eye tracking is slightly jerky and has been for at least a year (ataxia). He also asked questions like "Have you ever had a head injury?" - No, and "Do you have a family history of Parkinson's Disease?" - Yes.

I went to the doctor the next day and she wrote a referral letter. 5 weeks later I hadn't heard anything back from the hospital so I followed up. The doctor wrote another referral and got the practice nurse to fax it through.

On Friday I followed up again, 12 weeks after first being referred, a different practice nurse figured out that the fax was sent upside down, i.e. the hospital received a blank piece of paper. I don't know what happened to the first referral perhaps it was not the first time the nurse made this mistake.


Fortunately it is not something difficult to live with and a delay in investigating the cause is unlikely to make any difference to the outcome as the scenarios I know of are:
  • the ataxia will never be explained, it is just a mysterious quirk,
  • when I was born I received brain damage which was so minor that it has not been picked up until now (I was a difficult forceps delivery),
  • Parkinson's disease,
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
Unfortunately I have spent 3 months with the last two scenarios lurking in the dark corners of my mind. Parkinson's scares me less than MS. I know too many women who died in their late 40s/early 50s of MS. But, la la la la la, there is no point in worrying, la la la la la, I just need to wait and see, la la la la la, I've probably always been like this, la la la la la, think happy thoughts, la la la la la.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Public service announcement

If you're in Wellington and have been meaning to go to a first aid course and not getting around to it then join me at the NZ Red Cross comprehensive first aid course on 15 and 16 October. You can book at www.redcross.org.nz or by ringing 499 5827.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Electric sheep

Last night I hosted a toy library working bee at my house. Early this morning I was part of a futuristic SWAT team with Barack Obama, Sigourney Weaver and some other tall thin famous people. In our shuttle we donned helmets and leather superhero suits as we prepared to take on someone with seriously overdue toys.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The consumption and development of brains

School holidays has overtaken my life but it is ok:
Yesterday as a 4 year-old chatted to me about playing Halo 2 (which is R16) on the xbox in his bedroom I was struck by the wide variety of options we have as parents. I expect he is better prepared than H & K for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Winter whining

Where have I been? What have I been doing? Well mostly I haven't been posting because D has commandeered my lovely little laptop and turned it into a thing that is plugged into a huge screen I can't sit far enough away from which makes a horrible high pitched whining noise. And we all had awful 'flu. And I have new lenses in my glasses and I think they are not quite right.

As we drove back from the library today H listed all the things she thought of in order from most to least liked:
  1. Mummy [:-)]
  2. lego
  3. Pony [Kay's new toy]
  4. star [??]
  5. doing sudoku with Daddy
  6. Big Pig
  7. Fimble [her buddy]
  8. pink
  9. chocolate [to eat]
  10. yellow
  11. purple
  12. indigo
  13. orange
  14. blue
  15. black
  16. grey
  17. brown
  18. clear
  19. ice cream
  20. bananas
  21. mosquitoes
  22. planes
  23. sun [because it makes her too hot]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Adventures of Pooh

I am in bed with my computer, taking it easy after a nasty tummy bug, not yet 100% but improving.

H is wanly watching a DVD clutching a container. She threw up last night, I'm not sure if it was the start of the tummy bug or just too much mucous from her cold but she is very pale.

D is looking after our nieces, H' & I, at their house. H' is not at school because she is convalescing after her own tummy bug.

S, H' & I's mum, is at school doing my parent helper duty.

Parenting is all about logistics.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Expecting someone taller

H & K don't like to compete with each other. They like to be first equal. If we offer a reward they like to receive it simultaneously even if one of them earned it first. This is particularly true of K who likes everything to be fair so long as she's first. I think that I needed a caesarian because K was so upset that H was being born first, if they could have come out simultaneously, or K first, they both would have been fine.

We don't have a height chart, marks on a doorway or whatever. Largely this is because I was too caught up in the present for the first year or more to look to the future and partly it is because having not started one it never seemed like the right time to start. Now I realise that for our family, for H & K, it is the right thing to do. Currently, despite information to the contrary K believes she is taller than H and H believes that she is the same height as K and everyone is happy. Who needs objectivity?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wrongo, zombie lips!

For a few years I have been telling people that it is now legal to park on the wrong side of the road here (facing in the opposite direction to the flow of traffic). I thought I'd read something about a law change to this effect in the paper. I was wrong, it is still illegal and you can be ticketed for it.

Now I know that one of my failings as a human being is an overdeveloped attachment to being right, so I hereby give you, my gentle reader, a chance to tell me what I've got wrong and I'll 'fess up or at least try very hard to understand your point of view and agree to differ.

P.S. Does anyone know where the quote "Wrongo, zombie lips!" is from? Trusty Google is letting me down.

Monday, June 02, 2008

If you don't eat your meat

We've decided to eat vegetarian at least one day a week. I was inspired by a snippet in New Scientist which said:

How to eat green

If you are serious about reducing your carbon footprint, going vegetarian for one day a week will make a big difference, says Christopher Weber of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who has audited the greenhouse gas emissions of our meals. "The differences between eating habits are very, very striking," he says.

Writing this I've done some more research. There is an article on New Scientist Environment which references Environmental Science and Technology (DOI: 10.1021/es702969f). The research is American and the detail would be slightly different here because we don't keep our cows in barns and transport grain to them but that doesn't stop them farting a staggering amount of methane.

If that is all too sane for you try this leaflet which was delivered to our "No Junk Mail" snail-mailbox just the other day. My favourite part is the second question on the second page:
QUESTION: Yes. Thank you, Master.
I am very happy to take questions like that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Topical treatment

Vasu Iyengar has been in the news recently for failing to diagnose a complication after surgery in time to stop it killing Moina Simcock. Vasu is busy hitting back, she is quoted on www.stuff.co.nz from a letter to the Health and Disability Commissioner: "I apologised to the Simcock family several times and did my very best to pay retribution ... It was not enough for any of you". Then as more complaints come to light Vasu is quoted saying to the Dominion Post: "patients will say these things to get publicity in the wake of what I have endured."

I find it offensive that she appears to think that apologies and a payment might be "enough" and that she is undermining all her patients' credibility. (Although I do realise that these quotes may have been deliberately selected to make her look bad.)

Vasu Iyengar was my gynaecologist until she:
a) diagnosed an incurable condition missing that I actually had eczema (optional gynaecological detail),
b) referred me to the person who specialises in that condition in Wellington without telling me that the person's role was as a counsellor,
c) wanted to treat my PCOS following a recipe that ignored my particular symptoms.
Thanks to Vasu I endured months of unnecessary discomfort. I would not recommend her to anyone.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Do not try this at home

Warning: the following post may put you off your food.

Every morning this week I have taken dried apricots out of the container and put them in H & K's lunch boxes. Some mornings I've eaten some too. This morning I put in three apricots, picked up the fourth "ready to eat" "moist & juicy" apricot and noticed it had a brown think on it. "Stalk," I thought. Then I looked closer... and closer... and said to D, remarkably calmly as I took the first three apricots, out of the school lunches "Can you come and look at this and see if you think it is what I think it is?"

There, nestled in the fourth apricot, was a moist and juicy rat poo. I used to have rats so I know a rat poo when I see one.

Fortunately I had a holiday job once as telephonist/receptionist for the Wellington Health Development Unit which at that time dealt with such complaints so I knew what to do. I put the apricot with poo in a clear plastic bag, found the packet the apricots came in and rang the Public Health Service. They came and collected the evidence this afternoon.

The apricots were imported ones packed in New Zealand. Is it strange to be hoping that it was a New Zealand rat poo? Somehow it seems slightly less disgusting than an overseas one importing who knows what foreign diseases.

I am thankful to my morbid sense of humour which is helping me enjoy the sheer awfulness of finding a ready to eat poo.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You can't make me talk

New Scientist published an interview with, Darius Rejali, a researcher who studies torture which got me thinking. The preview of the interview is on the New Scientist site, the full article is on a blog over here.

The bits which particularly grabbed me were:

Where do [methods for clean torture] come from?

The techniques migrate. Every time Americans have been involved in a war where there has been torture, those techniques have come back to local or private policing, since that is where military policemen get jobs. There is migration the other way too: techniques used by US military policemen in Iraq had been recorded in immigration and naturalisation prisons in Miami in the 1990s. Most often, torture techniques originate not in some deep vault in the CIA but in dark parts of our society where they are tolerated. They live in barracks and fraternities and university pranks and movies. Hence most torture is not sophisticated: electricity is about as sophisticated as it gets.


How often do interrogators obtain useful information or truthful confessions using torture?

The few statistical studies on this suggest the return is incredibly poor. There are several reasons. How do you know you have the right person? And even if you do, how do you know they're telling the truth? Third, torture can damage the brain, and anything that affects the brain's capacity to withhold information also affects its capacity to retrieve it.

If it doesn't work, why does it persist?

Myths and rumours. There is a perception that democracy makes us weak and only "real men" know how to do this stuff. People think torture worked for the Gestapo, for example. It didn't. What made the Gestapo so scarily efficient was its dependence on public cooperation. Informers betrayed the resistance repeatedly in Europe, and everyone knew this, but it was more convenient to say the Gestapo got the truth by beating it out of us. Public cooperation is the best way to gather information. After the failed bomb attacks in London in 2005, the British police found every one of the gang within a week. One was caught after his parents turned him in. They would not have done that if they'd thought he'd be tortured.

This left me thinking about how torture is portrayed and propagated by the movies and TV shows that I watch. 24, for example, actively propagates the myth that torture works. What can I do about that? Not much. I don't write movies, books or TV shows that propagate the myth that torture works but I do roleplay and I've been thinking what the implications of the article are for that. Maybe I should campaign for an effective torture free Kapcon. What do you think?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The read red red dog

H wrote a book today. It says:
The reb reD dog.

WAz A phtim Tem was A dog iT WoT And WoT one dAY The dog goT BLid iT one dAY goT reD.

Went THe dog evre BDee LAft And LAft The dog waz ree zAd BcZ TAy Woz LAFT.
And again with a translation

The reb reD dog.
The red, red dog.

WAz A phtim Tem Te was A dog
Once upon a time there was a dog.

iT WoT And WoT
It walked and walked.

one dAY The dog goT BLid
One day the dog got blind.

iT one dAY goT reD.
It, one day, got red.


Went THe dog
went the dog.

evre BDee LAft And LAft
Everybody laughed and laughed.

The dog waz ree zAd BcZ TAy Woz LAFT.
The dog was very sad because they [were] laughing.
My budding Beverley Randell.

We're all going on a ^ autumn holiday

We're off on the ferry tomorrow am, staying tomorrow night in Kaikoura, then down to Christchurch 'til Friday and back again. We're staying in Christchurch with lovely friends who have two older children who like entertaining H & K. The last time we went away for a week I remember it as the holiday of being vomited on. Hopefully this one will be better.

Who knows, while we are away I might even put finger to keyboard and release the blog entries milling about in my head. One is "Depilated/dilapidated" and the other is about dressing like a colour-blind old feminist.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Playhouse bunnies

Shhhhh... don't tell anyone (especially not H & K) but we have started talking about getting rabbits.

K loves rabbits. Whenever we have seen the local magician who does rabbit tricks she spends ages captivated by the rabbit in its cage afterwards. When we visit my parents she organises us to go and feed the rabbits that live next door. At school H & K are studying pets and so they've been finding out that some of the kids in their class have rabbits. K has started to dream of having a rabbit of her own.

If we do get a rabbit I think we'll get two. Preferably of a large breed to face down Andy. I'm thinking they'll mostly live in a hutch that we move around the front lawn but also hop around inside the house for exercise. Not sure if we'll go for baby bunnies or adults from the SPCA.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Deux billets doux

K talked me into buying her a fairy stationery set. The first thing she did with it was write a letter to the boy who lives three doors up the road. It said: "R__ I love you K__". She also enclosed a picture she drew and many of her most special stickers. I aided and abetted her posting it.

D was worried R's older siblings would give him grief about receiving a love letter. Actually someone, I think his sister and mother, helped him write a lovely reply.

When they were at crèche together R was the person H & K complained about most often. Now they are in school they don't hang out or play together, in fact they seem to have very little in common. It isn't a one off thing though, K wrote a letter a week or two ago which said "I love [cousin] xoxoxoxox I love [another cousin] xoxoxoxox I love mum xoxoxoxox I love dad xoxoxoxox I love R__ xoxoxoxox".

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It was a dark and stormy day

On the 10th of April 1968 there was a storm in Wellington which killed 54 people. A passenger ferry, the Wahine, sank killing 51 people. Two more passengers died as a result of their injuries after returning home, and one little girl died in bed at home when a sheet of corrugated iron blew through her window. The Wahine storm happened before I was born but I have grown up with the stories and here, for the fortieth anniversary, are three of those stories.

My father had recently returned to New Zealand bringing my mother with him. They were staying at my grandma's house in Eastbourne, just across the harbour from the centre of Wellington. My mother had been warned about Wellington southerlies. My grandma had even said that the front fence was getting pretty rickety and it would probably blow down in the next decent southerly and so, when it did, she was not particularly alarmed. It was only when she went for a walk on the beach and saw the lifeboats that she realised that there was something unusual going on.

My stepfather-in-law, DB, was working as a builder on a house in Seatoun, a part of Wellington which is very exposed. When it became clear that the wind was making working dangerous the foreman sent the crew home. The noise of the wind as he went home is something DB will never forget. So many sheets of roofing iron were flying past high in the air that there was no let up in their ghostly howling.

I know a lovely, vivacious woman and she has a friendly, capable daughter who is a bit older than me. They were on the Wahine when it hit the rocks. The woman I know, the everyday woman, stood on the heaving, rolling, sloped deck of a sinking ship and threw her baby to a stranger in a lifeboat.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Matariki stars

This weekend I played in an Ultimate tournament in a team originally called Meatloaf made up of Wellington women who failed to attend the women's practices and women from elsewhere who needed a team to join. At my suggestion the team was renamed Matariki.

is the Maori name of the star cluster also known as the Pleiades in Greek, Subaru in Japanese, or the Seven Sisters. "Matariki literally means the 'eyes of god' (mata ariki) or 'little eyes' (mata riki). Some say that when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother were separated by their offspring, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became angry, tearing out his eyes and hurling them into the heavens. Others say Matariki is the mother surrounded by her six daughters, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipuna-ā-rangi and Ururangi. One account explains that Matariki and her daughters appear to assist the sun, Te Rā, whose winter journey from the north has left him weakened." (Quote from Te Ara). I liked the parallel between a star cluster with seven visible stars and a team of twelve which would field seven players at any one time. Also, as Ultimate is a sport where wind plays a very important role naming the team after the wind god's eyes appealed.

On Saturday there was drizzle, frequent showers interspersed with drizzle, and then pouring rain which was gruelling. In the morning I sent my txt supporters "Wet. Wet. Wet. And lots of alien sporty women. Who have been fairly nice to me. Ok but I feel a bit lost." In the afternoon, which was wetter I sent "People friendly and much less intimidating now they are wet."

Today the weather was much nicer, just intermittent light drizzle and it was fun. We also started to gel as a team and we played the other two bottom ranked teams which was cheering.

I think our scores for the tournament were Saturday: 0-13, 1-13, 1-13, 2-13, Sunday: 4-13, 9-12 (the games stopped at 13 points or with scoring after a time limit). We came bottom of the women's pool. I didn't mind, we celebrated each point we scored with such enthusiasm that scoring at all felt like a win.

Thanks to everyone who organised it, talked me into going or provided childcare, practical assistance or moral support by txt or in person. Most of all thanks to all the other stars on the Matariki team.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


D's work has gone into receivership. I was pretty unhappy with the way it was so in many ways I'm pleased. However, it does mean there is a huge amount of uncertainty in our lives. I seem to be focussing my sense of insecurity and formless worries into the Ultimate tournament. This is good in that I have more control over it than D's work and bad in that I'd like to be looking forward to the tournament. Yesterday my angst was physical: I had the start of a cold, a sore right foot and left knee. Today at least my body is fine.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Key performance indicators

On Thursday we went to H & K's first parent-teacher interview and got their first school reports. They are doing so well at school. I am so proud. The report grades them A: almost always, S: sometimes or N: not yet, for a variety of things. For example for Reading they are graded on "Enjoys books", "Shows an understanding of the story" and "Interested in reading activities". They both got As for everything!

At the interview their teacher said she'd asked a few of the children in the class who they like to play with and many had included H and K in their answers. I am very pleased that not only are my children doing very well academically but they are also socially successful. The first is something I found easy and the second is not.

I feel this reflects what entirely splendid people I have the privilege of nurturing and how well we have muddled through.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wig out

The wonders of the internet - I began with a plan to pay my entry fee for the 2007-8 NZU WaM Nationals and ended up researching merkins.

NZU = New Zealand Ultimate (frisbee)
WaM = Women's and Men's
merkin = pubic wig

The tournament is scarey. I am in a team thrown together from people who want to play but aren't on any other team. So far I am the oldest in the team by 10 years. I fear I will be the slowest by 10 zippinesses too.

Merkins are less scarey if more bizarre and this site is kinda interesting.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Some mothers do 'ave 'em

The other day I offered H & K grated chocolate on their cereal if they got dressed efficiently (for some very responsible parental reason I'm sure). K asked for not just grated chocolate but also two lumps. I said I'd give her some grated and two lumps but it would still be the same total amount of chocolate as H so it would be fair. At which point H piped up "I don't mind if K has more chocolate than me."

How can someone five be so mature?

So I gave K a tiny bit more chocolate than H including two wee lumps and wondered off. Next thing I hear is H very politely thanking K who has spontaneously given her one of the lumps.

Repeat after me: Awwwww.

Aren't they amazing?

While I'm blogged about them I'll also fill you in on the rest of the answers H & K gave to the question "What do you want to learn at school this year?"
H: How to do all kinds of flips.
K: How to swim.
Then prompted for social responses:
H: How to make games that everybody agrees with.
K: How to make friends that will be kind.
Then prompted for academic responses:
H: How to read books.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Monday

On Monday I got a call from school - H had banged her head and could I come up and see her. I arrived to find a rather reduced H in the sick room with a bloody hat. It is always impressive how much head wounds bleed. She spent the rest of the school day colouring at D's work so as not to interfere with my busy schedule as an at-home mum.

H says she banged her head falling off a ladder in the play area. K says H fell of a handrail onto a concrete path (outside the play area). I'm slightly worried that the discrepancy might be caused by H blacking out but I think it much more likely that she was on the handrail and she knows that that is slightly naughty. My children tend to be over cautious so I try not to make a big fuss when they are brave enough to have accidents.

K was upset when I took H home. Being at school alone is hard when you're a twin. Then to further unsettle her her first baby tooth came out. It is a sign of maternal insanity that I am proud that my children are dentally precocious. First baby teeth at 5 months, first adult teeth at 5 years. D and I tooth fairied together.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh me! Oh my!

I ran.

I went for a run.

I chose to go somewhere for the sole purpose of running.

I wasn't trying to get from A to B.

I wasn't in a hurry.

It was just for fun.



I'm expecting further signs of the apocalypse shortly.


I went to the Crofton Downs entrance to Otari/Wilton's Bush and jogged and walked along the river. It was pleasantly cool and shady and the bush was beautiful. I saw a kingfisher, several tuis and was pooed on by a wood pigeon.

Before I do it again I want to make some modifications to my clothing. I wore my green sports fabric t-shirt which says "RUN" on the front (when I bought it it was the only choice that fitted and was a pretty colour). I'm planning to add a "T" before and "DLE" after so I do not feel intimidated by my shirt and cannot be accused of false advertising. My shorts kept falling down so it'll be some new elastic for them. Also my bra kept falling off my shoulders, at frisbee I wear a bra that gives less support and a skins compression top which gives lots but part of my plan with running is to wear clothes that aren't my frisbee clothes.

Here are some who like to run. They run for fun in the hot, hot sun. Oh me! Oh my! Oh me! Oh my! What a lot of funny things go by.

Dr. Seuss

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How do their brains work?

I asked K what she wanted to learn at school this year and she said "How to die." Leaving me groping forlornly for a response. Then she continued blithely "I mean how to swim."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Domestic Human

H & K have started school and I'm enjoying the luxury of not being on duty for kids or paid work during the school day. Instead I am busy catching up on a million things around the house. Last week I did mumble years of tax, this week I've been changing around H & K's room and wear their clothes are stored. I have weeks of house maintenance organisation, mending, sorting things out and emergency preparedness ahead. I'm enjoying having the house to ourselves after years of sharing it with a nanny.

Mother and housewife does not sit comfortably with me. I feel the need to justify myself, get D's approval and stress that it is only temporary. But it is fun!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fairy wishes

K no longer thinks she is a fairy. She does very much want to be a fairy. When she makes a wish it is to turn into a fairy. Today she got her first wiggly tooth, sadly it will be me that this turns into a tooth fairy.

P.S. School is great.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tenuous links

I have been re-reading My Year of Meat by Ruth L. Ozeki. It is a good and interesting book although not recommended for anaemic, carnivorous Americans. It is both a good novel and an exposé of dangerous farming practices. Sometimes it becomes too much of a diatribe and its Japanese characters tend towards caricature.

It quotes from Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, a blog-like diary written by a court lady in 10th century Japan. A fascinating glimpse of the past. In trying to find a good piece to quote I found this nice blog entry about it.

Which brings me to an unfinished list in the style of Sei Shonagon:
Things one should not put in the washing machine

A treasured watch inherited from ones grandmother.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Let them eat cake

On Saturday H & K had their birthday party. 22 members of their extended family came as well as 9 little friends (with 5 accompanying parents) and 9 big friends.

Last year they had an excellent party at the pool and I really like having party entertainment that comes with the venue and not having to cleaning up before or after. So this year I asked them where they wanted their party and we agreed on the zoo. We had it in the old elephant house where the flying foxes and assorted reptiles now live. We also had a 'contact visit' from Billy, the blue tongued skink, and Toby, the leopard tortoise. They were much admired and gently stroked.

A lot of the party food was different kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables: e.g. pineapple, watermelon, cherries, grapes, blueberries, cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks. So after the party we donated the leftovers to the zoo to feed their other animals.

Overall it was a great success although I was too busy anxiously fluffing around to enjoy it as much as I might have.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

School is ruthless

H & K start school on Thursday. The last couple of days we've been practising getting up and walking to school on time. I am looking forward to them starting school but also apprehensive. I remember the social battlefield of the playground all to vividly. School taught me that I was uncool, unpopular and too smart. These are not the lessons I want my children to learn.

I do want them to learn the joy of academic success, make friends, develop independence and participate in our culture. Here's hoping.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The midget's right hand

Impact of time out:
"This is my gun," said H. "If I shoot you with it you have to stop and think about what you did."

Friday, January 25, 2008


Some photos taken by H & K on my phone, captions in quotation marks are what they said at the time they took the photos:

"mummy's back"

"purple flowers"

"pretty flower"

"beautiful picture"

"my pushchair"


"Andy, smile!"

under the painting easel


cow teapot


Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm a little teapot

A friend just posted about being thinner and it has finally driven me to blog after a long hiatus caused by sunshine, too much TV and not enough cafenet.

I am fat. I have a BMI of about 40 which puts me on the borderline between "clinically obese" and "morbidly obese". I am fat because:
  • I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). PCOS has metabolic effects. These effects mean that I gain weight very easily and retain it when someone with a normal metabolism would lose it.
  • For a many years I was taking drugs for PCOS which had weight gain as a side effect. Although I have been off the drugs for over a year it is hard to lose the weight I gained (see above).
  • I like food. In particular I eat takeaways a couple of times a week, too much chocolate and slightly too large portions particularly of carbohydrate rich foods.
When I started playing Ultimate I was hopeful that I'd lose some weight. Since August I have been doing strenuous physical exercise for a hour a couple of times a week as well as less strenuous exercise a couple of times a week. I have got noticeably fitter and developed muscles I didn't have before but not any lighter.

I try and tell myself that fitness is more important than fatness. Certainly from a health point of view being overweight and fit is better for you than being unfit with a 'normal' BMI. I also remind myself that my blood pressure is excellent, I have no signs of insulin resistance and no other weight related health issues. But fatness is what you can see and our society is not kind to fat people.

Fat is the stigma I wear.