Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No more excuses...

AK is back!  This morning the alarm went at 5.50 and I was at the gym at 6.15am.  Until the middle of the year this has been a regular event but the last six months I have been very remiss and have not made time for the gym.  The welcome back was amazing.  That alone was worth waking early for.  The session was exceptionally hard.  Time trials - ten minutes on each of the cross trainer, bike, rower and treadmill.  My times were very slow and there is every likelihood that I won't be able to walk tomorrow but I did it!  I feel so great for having made the effort.  I have really missed the exercise and the company.
I am back now - no more excuses...

Always looking for the best...

When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves. -- William Arthur Ward

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The way I try to live my life...

You have not lived a perfect day, even though you  have earned your money, unless you have done  something for someone who will never be able to  repay you. -- Ruth Smeltzer
It is very easy to do something for someone when you know the favour will be returned.  The challenge is doing, giving, or sharing when you know it can't be returned.  That is when you truly understand your power to change!  Recently I was at the supermarket when a young Mum did not have enough money for her groceries; she was only $10.00 short.  She was very embarrassed and tried to phone to transfer money, but nothing worked. The checkout lady put her order on hold and served me.  I was privileged to get cash out and hand it to the young mum and walk away.  When I got to the car I felt quite emotional. I do not know the feeling now of not having enough to pay for thegroceries.  I do, however, remember times when it was very tight.  I was surprised by the emotions that filled me.  I really wonder what we can do to encourage our learners to give away to others.    I think it is important to give and keep on giving, and I plan to build giving into our learning programme for 2012.

Monday, November 14, 2011


"Believe with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference" - Colin Beavan 

I think this saying encompasses most of what I want my learners to believe.  How you live your life makes a difference to everything: the people you meet; the places you go; the risks you take; the challenges you accept; the way you greet everyone you come into contact with.  The key is believing, and knowing that every difference is up to yourself!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Educamp Invercargill

Today, we are here at #educampinvers. Great journey down, with a few geocaches, including a failed one at Clinton... Maybe we'll stop and find it on the way back if it isn't raining?  (Oh Yes, successful find on the way home)

So here we are in Invercargill...
I just adore the concept of educamps.  We are here because we WANT to be here, talking about what we WANT to talk about, sharing because we WANT to share!  Pure Magic...

Twitter stream hashtag #educampinvers
Google doc for sharing - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LxRhUPhvj3AtOpt6KN0oSfQBrM63BcMexOZXftwBdMA/edit?hl=en_US
We are here from Invercargill, Mosgiel, Dunedin, Kapiti, Hamilton and skyping in from Nelson... YAY  Magic morning sharing and learning.  Awesome lunch with us all together at EAT in Windsor, then back for a tour of Myross Bush School.  It is incredible to see the transformation that has taken place to bring older buildings into a very exciting, stimulating learning environment.  Touring the school with Principal Tim was amazing...

Another magic quote...

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away 
from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so 
that we see ourselves as we really are. -- Arthur Golden

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reflection on my latest Twitter Tour...

Reflection on this last leg of “Twitter Tour 2011 North Island”
How can I begin to explain the magic of the new connections, how can I begin to mesh it all together.  One true highlight of this journey was finding out that I have been accepted for NAPP (National Aspiring Principal’s Programme for 2012).  This really took me by surprise and is an awesome next step in my journey.   I am really excited about this journey,  and extremely excited to see that I know a number of fellow tweets who are travelling the same journey.  Reconnecting on this journey in 2012 with you all will be magic. 
Back to this tour… what a privilege it has been to have this time of leave.  What a privilege it is to be able to head off into the sunset on an adventure.  What a privilege to meet such amazing people along the way.  You are all very special to me and you have all played a part in shaping me and my views for teaching and learning for now and into the future.  I have loved the opportunity to talk with you all, share your stories and walk in your footsteps for a while.  The holstee manifesto, my motto for now, really is shaping me.  

I am living my life, living it to the full and making the most of every opportunity to reach out.  Thank you to you all.
A special thank you to NZ Discount car rentals 080017951795, Jo Bolton for the magic of a $19.95 a day rental car.  Without your company I simply could not have afforded to on the road for the length of time I have this year.  

Thanks to all the schools, teachers and learners I have met along the way – you make me shine.  Thanks to all the wonderful relatives I have connected with and shared meals with and stories along the way.  I am exceptionally privileged to have such a large, close, extended family.  To everyone I have come into contact with, thanks for the memories….
In closing,
Life is a game - play it
Life is a challenge - meet it
Life is an opportunity - capture it
I am playing it, meeting it and capturing it!

Tuesday - day 14 on the road....

Fortunately I got a decent sleep because at 6.30am I was awakened with two cannon sized party poppers and I was showered in ribbon, confetti and tinsel…… What a wakeup.  

After breakfast and a quick pack up it was off for a last walk around the Cambridge lake and a visit to Sue’s shop where I bought yet another Christmas present to me from Grant…. He really is good at picking things I love!  A great drive to Auckland in time for lunch and shopping, return the rental and off to the airport…..homeward bound finally…

Monday, marvellous Monday...

Up early to head to New Plymouth, arriving about 11.  What followed was a marvellous tour of Pukekura park and the waterfront, so etched in my memory from childhood trips to Taranaki. 

Back to Christine’s for lunch and time to meet yet more cousins and have a wonderful family lunch. 
A true highlight of this year has been reconnecting with so many of my relatives. 
As we headed out of New Plymouth we decided to visit the stunning Te Rewa Rewa bridge.  It sure is worth a visit...

Off we go heading north for Cambridge. It really is a stunning drive up along the water then we headed in land from Awahino.  A very refreshing stop at the Fat Pigeon in PioPio refreshed us and off we headed again.  

A couple of stops to prepare me for the Halloween rematch and off we head, eventually arriving in Cambridge at 5.50pm.  Waiting at the door with my ipad filming for the R and R attack, I am surprised when Simon opens the door and tells me the kids are not there.  Totally relaxed, I stupidly let my guard down and returned to the car for our bags.  As I returned to the door, two little imps launched themselves on my in disguise and bombarded me with confetti and party poppers… and so the rematch began.  Around the yard, over the trampoline – oh what fun. 
Dinner time was a welcome treat for me as I had hid skeletons in their salad, and spiders in their beds.  Much hilarity later and off to bed we went.  

From Mountain to the sea...

Today is my last day here in Taranki with Mum and Doug, so off we go on an adventure.  Driving over to Kaponga, first stop Hollard’s garden – what a sensational garden this is.

It was threatening to rain and I really wondered if we should perseverce past the first walkway… Well, I sure am glad we did.  It is the most magical garden.  Right throughout the garden is the story of the owners and their development of this land from farmland.  It really is a show garden with the most amazing rhododendrons I have seen in  a long time.  So many of the white ones are so highly perfumed and it is quite magical to walk through.  Down the back of the garden the rain really starts to pour down and we sought shelter in the garden gazebo for coffee and cake and a talk to the gardeners.  What an amazing place.  So glad we made the effort.

Onwards we head up Mount Egmont.  This is an amazing scenic drive through stunning bush.   We had a picnic lunch at the Dawson Fall’s carpark then clambered down the hillside to view the magical falls.  STUNNING.  

Back down the mountain just in time to arrive at Stratford for the 3pm showing of the glockenspiel – finally mananged to time it right Regan.  What an amazing clock and a great show.  

On we headed to Eltham for an ice-cream.  There really is something so magical about an ice-cream stop on a Sunday drive. 

Back to Normanby and over to Ohawe beach.  After a walk up the river mouth to talk to the whitebaiters we walked down to the sea.  

Simply amazing.  I just love beach – the different scenes, driftwood, stones, black sand and water… I really do need to put living at the beach on my bucket list.

Finally home for dinner, game of cards and a well earned early night.
The journey from mountain to sea is simply magical….

Stunning Saturday...

Awake early and all set for another adventure as I had north today…
First stop Owlcatraz!  I have always loved owl stories, legends, movies and sounds.  I love hearing the owls hoot in our garden but have never seen one, so when I heard about Owlcatraz it was a must visit.  Well, it certainly was everything I expected and much, much more…  I love the story of the starting of Owlcatraz and the recovery from the storm of 2008 when 600 trees were toppled.  It really is a taste of paradise and I am so delighted to have come face-to-face with owls.  The owl enclosure is AMAZING.  I cannot believe how cute they are…

Next stop Winchester School to meet my long time twitter friend @KiwiNomad08.  Thanks a million for a sensational tour of the school, scrumptious picnic lunch, lagoon visit to the coot’s nests, tour of Massey and hill jaunt.  

It was truly magic to meet you.  I can’t wait to check out your travel blog and follow your travels next year.  Thanks again for a magical Palmerston North time.

Next stop was the Plaza to meet my cousins.  It was amazing to meet Brad, who is over from Sydney for five days.  I really realise how privileged I am to have such a huge, close extended family. 

I finally arrived back in Taranaki tonight, in time for card games and watching the fireworks displays.  What a magical day.

Yet another quote....

"What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now." --Buddha

Another quote I like...

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. -- Alan Alda

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Quote for today...

I have been travelling around gathering quotes and saving them up... I think I might just drop them in here occasionally...
I love this one from dailygood.org

Success is ultimately about connection, not perfection. -- Whitney Johnson

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday in Raumati Beach

Pancake for breakfast at Wild Olive was a great way to start the day, followed by a magic morning greenscreening.  

We even managed a walk to the beach at lunchtime, the beach is that close.  

An afternoon of completing painting backdrops, and the class are poised for creation of their legends next week with alpha key, voice overs, and credits.  I can’t wait to see the finished projects.

After school and off we headed for an adventure in Wellywood.  First visit was Amesbury school, the new school in Churton Park where our dear friend Tara is teaching next year.  Despite a thorough search we couldn't find you anywhere Tara?  :)

Next up was a visit to the Fowler Centre,

 The wharewaka (the progress of which I have been watching over the past two years...)

 ...and Te Papa where I found enough luggage for my next journey...

 Good on ya...
 Followed by a wonderful Paella Tagine at my favourite Wellington restaurant Casablanca!
 ...and rounded the evening off with coffee at Ernesto in Cuba Mall.  Thanks for a great night in Wellington Jo and Liz!
 ...and as we headed back into Raumati Beach my little rental clocked over another thousand making it 2000kms on the road in 11 days...