Thursday, October 13, 2011

Road trip

Driving along one of Wellington's narrow winding roads with a footpath on one side I saw a child standing on the other side smiling at me. A blond, tousle haired, wee boy who looked about two. There was no one around. I pulled over, thinking an adult would pop out of a car or up from a path any moment. No one except the child on the side of the road standing between the yellow lines and a fence.

I hopped out of the car and started across the road. Huge smile. Still no one else around and I'm thinking that he's probably been told to stand right there while they deal with a baby or something like that. I ask: "Hello, what are you up to?", "Is your mum around?" "Where do you live?" but don't get any answers. After a bit he points down the hill at a house. "Is that your house?". No reply.

The house has toys visible and an open door. It is not obvious how to get there from here. There must be a path but it isn't the closest one. I keep chatting, hoping someone will hear me and appear. We smile at each other a lot. I think he has escaped and is very pleased with himself.

Finally I hear a person in the house below talking as if to a child. I call out "Hello?" and woman appears. "Is this your little one?" Her face is a combination of relief and horror.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Not the figgy pudding

Christmas has been lovely with delighted small people enjoying presents. My mother gave me Richard Attenborough's Life in Cold Blood for my birthday and right now I feel a strong empathy with snakes.

Merry Christmas all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mars on life

The Martians are trying to communicate with me through Google Reader.

Today thinking with my hands yet led me to Symphony of Science which is fabulous and entertaining, it also has "The Case for Mars". Once upon a time, many moons ago, when I wrote this blog more regularly, I was thinking of posting something about why I think terraforming is a bad idea but then someone told me that first I should read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy and I haven't got around to it. I don't think there is a case for Mars, not for sending humans there and especially not for colonising it.

But it will probably happen because today my favourite webcomics told me:

Perry Bible Fellowship

xkcd (in rollover text)
"all [JFK's] arguments for going to the moon work equally well as arguments for blowing up the moon, sending cloned dinosaurs into space, or constructing a towering penis-shaped obelisk on Mars."

Further research is needed on the morphology of Martian genitalia.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Married life

This morning Ladybird and Little Bear got married. It was a grand affair: all the Sylvanians came and Ladybird and Little Bear wore clothes specially made for the occaision.

Tonight I helped them undress and put them to bed. Ladybird with K and Little Bear with H.

They honeymoon period wasn't very long. Perhaps they'll get conjugal visits.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In character

M - Weary and long suffering Mum.
C - Sensitive and slightly melodramatic young Child.

1:30am a couple of nights ago.

Noises off - creak of door, pad of small feet belonging to Child.

C: Mu-um
M: Hngft
C: I can't sleep.
M: Do you need to go to the toilet?
C: Mmm.
M: Come on then.

C and M exit.

A long time passes.

Voices heard from outside door:

M: Time to go back to your bed.
C: I want to be in your bed.
M: I know, but you need to go back to your bed.
C: I won't be able to sleep in my bed.
M: Why won't you be able to sleep in your bed?
C: Sister is crying.
M: Why is she crying?
C: She says her ear hurts.

M's footsteps rushing upstairs to her other daughter who despite being stoic is whimpering pathetically in pain.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Suddenly becoming in loco parentis to a 16 year-old is a fascinating experience. Sometimes it is just like parenting 6 year-olds but it is also very enjoyably different: he dresses himself every day without help and without being asked!

Today I took B to the Weta Cave and I started telling him about Peter Jackson's early movies: Bad Taste and Braindead. Suddenly I realised that they might be R18*. I'm pretty fussy about what H & K get to watch (basically G rated DVDs and some PG rated nature/science documentaries we watch with them). But also I know that I watched R18 movies at 16-17 and thought that the restrictions were mostly pretty stupid at that point.

So what do I think is appropriate for B? After some thought I think if I'd enjoy watching a movie with him it is appropriate for him to watch because I don't like movies that are both violent and horrible, and I'd find anything too explicit embarassing. Looking at movie ratings nearly everything rated R18 falls into one of these categories so I don't think I'll be corrupting the young lad soon.

*Actually they are all R16.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The web is burning a hole in my pocket

The internet is full of tempting things. Currently it is home harvest organic vege gardens, sport kilts and party in my pants pads that appeal to me. I'm trying to talk D around to the first, the second has exorbitant postage to NZ and the third is just rather expensive but maybe...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Seeing red

One of the many kinds of unpaid work I do at the moment is shelving books in the junior bookroom at H & K's school. There is one in the easiest level called What is Red? and I thought "Wow! I wonder how they explained what red is with such a limited vocab and structure?" Then I looked inside and found out that it meant what things are red.

I was left with the thought - what is the simplest book I could write that explains "What is Red?"
What is Red? (first attempt - you'll have to imagine the pictures)

Sunlight looks white.
Water can split up sunlight.
When sunlight is split up you see a rainbow.

Sunlight is made up of all the colours of the rainbow.
Red is one of the colours of the rainbow.

This white light is made up of all the colours of the rainbow too.
A glass prism can split up white light.
When white light is split up you see a rainbow.

This is a blue light.
A glass prism can't split up blue light.
The blue light is made up of only blue.

This tomato is red.
It looks red when it is in red light.
It reflects the red light.

This is the tomato in blue light.
The tomato looks black.
There is no red part of the blue light for it to reflect.

The tomato looks red in sunlight.
It reflects the red part of the sunlight.
Red is what we see when the red part of sunlight shines on things that reflect red.

Monday, September 07, 2009

True romance

The three most romantic things D has ever done:

Less than a year after D & I were married I went on a sea kayaking trip without him. On the first day, as I climbed out of the kayak in the surf, I felt my wedding ring slide off my icy finger into churning water. Everyone searched for it for hours but we didn't find it. That night I rang D and he said "I'll get my ring split in half." It was the perfect solution. I lost my original ring forever but I still have a ring from our wedding which I wear every day. Except when kayaking.

Two years ago D & I were getting ready for a wedding. I was getting dressed and he was ironing his favorite shirt. Then I came out of the bedroom and he gazed at me admiringly for so long he burnt his shirt. (I have blogged this story before, here).

A few weeks ago I was feeling self-conscious about my facial hair. I told D that I don't like it because it seems such a masculine thing. He said it isn't masculine, more matriarchal. Matriarchal I can handle.

Friday, September 04, 2009

We only bite the ones we love

As a child I was a biter. Some kids hit, some pull hair, some pinch, I bit. Chomp. I probably bit my sister more than anyone else: she was there more than anyone else.

For the last several years she and I have been going to the same dentist but he only just discovered we are related. When she asked about family resemblances he said:
I didn't think the bites were similar, no, no, Ruth has a bite like noone else on Earth.