Saturday, May 22, 2010

...and the coach really was a pumpkin after all ...

You may recall in the Cinderella story how the young scullery maid went off to the ball in a pumpkin magically turned into a golden coach. On the stroke of midnight  the coach once again became a pumpkin rolling sadly and unnoticed down the royal driveway. 
Today as I walked over the swampy summit my mind turned to this story as I thought of the recent events of this last week's budget announcements.

For a long time early childhood education was the scullery maid of the education system. For 10 short years it got to ride in the coach and go to the ball but since the budget of last May and now this budget the sector has once again been returned to scrubbing the flagstones and wishing it were a princess.  Since May 2009  there have been eleven things taken away from early childhood  and the latest news is a severe setback.  Not only has our funding been cut but also there is no longer funding to employ all fully qualified teachers. Apparently there is no evidence to suggest that a full complement of qualified teachers makes a difference to children's learning. 

I would beg to differ.  I have seen the difference.  
What is to be done? 

I guess if centres like ours wish to retain our full staff of qualified teachers our fees will go up. We probably won't pass on the next round of salary increases in July as anticipated which will further widen the gap between our salaries and those even of kindergarten teachers. Worst case scenario will mean we will cut staffing which will increase teacher workload.   Still we will work it out! people who work with little kids generally do it because they love it not because they get well paid for it or have great working conditions. 

On a happier note - it was beautiful winterish day here today. Leaving pigeon flat at the top of the northern motorway around 9 this morning a group of us then walked across swampy summit and down the pineapple track to the edge of the Ross Creek reservoir. It took us 3 hours so I'm guessing it was about 10 or 12 kilometres. It was a lovely walk. I really enjoyed it. No matter what life is sweet. 

here's to a sweet week . Marg

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Do what you love to do .......

These are some of the beans that got away. Hidden in the bean stalk they are now encased in green hides as tough as old boots - totally inedible you would think but Miriam suggests taking these and saving some for seed and making a bean feast with the rest. Apparently the flavour is so delicious - nothing at all like dried beans.  I just love how beautiful they are - nature sure has got a way with colours - green and purple together looks great and I do so wish they were magic. Then I could get rich the easy way.

I wanted to tell a story this week that I hope Doug and Rosie don't mind me telling.  Oh well it's a family blog so too bad.  When Doug and Cath lived with us last year we would often go out walking in the evenings. As well as admiring all the houses and gardens along the way the walk would also involve much admiring of lampposts.  Like this

and this .....

Being a linesman Doug knows all the nuances of a lamppost - all about their size shape, age and what different kinds of lampposts do. And may I add all of this is truly interesting information and if you'd been walking with him you would have admired them also.  Now Rosie who likes to live anonymously and as a normal human being in Wellington has so far managed to keep this lamppost interest under wraps but last week she reported that she was walking with her flat mate when she stopped to admire a lamppost.  If she had been with anyone else she would have been accorded freak status so she sent Doug an email blaming him for this curious obsession. This is his reply - which I found very funny

Dearest R Chops ,it may very well be true that you have crossed a line
> and become a hard wood power pole pervert.Brace yourself All the clues
> are there , you carnt fight it, like it or not it's all about DNA ,you
> are your gradads gran daughter. I can trace my obseson directley back
> to him and your only one step behind me. You have grandad to blame ,i
> mean thank. On the bright side you have access ,consider yourself
> lucky , unlike myself who lives in a land with only soft wood round
> poles , you however can enjoy every day contact with your square hard
> wood faverates ,should you choose to do so you can visit a lovely
> power pole daily, where as all I have are memories.Still with my new
> lap top and google street scene I to am able view the beauty of my
> favorates as and when ,but only on the Internet It's not the same
> Dont forget God has opened your eyes, you are now a member of a
> handful of select people,so select I'm the only other one. Now that
> your hooked may I surgest a visit to an Australian rain forest to view
> first hand these magnificent trees before they are cut down. REMEMBER
> your not a
> Tree hugger your a power pole lover!
> All I ask is you pat them,talk to them nicely before any photos are
> taken. Your friends will understand
> Love Doug
> Ps send me your bank details and if I'm not sacked before the months
> end I'll buy you dinner.

So here's to a  week of indulging your interests -  no matter how strange.

Cheers Marg

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day Margi Moo she said .....

Happy mothers day to all mothers out there - especially to my own mother and to my sisters and sister in law who are some of the most amazing mothers I know. 

Today Rosie sent me a text which said "Happy mothers day Margi-moo", then Tom and I went off for a lazy breakfast at one of our favourite places from a former life- Port Royale Cafe in Port Chalmers. A warm autumn day with no agenda after what has been a hectic and at times gruelling week.

Just what can one dollar buy you these days?  Hardly anything. It wont get you a ride on the bus, maybe it will buy you 2 fizzy lollies, 15 minutes parking in the central city, perhaps a k- bar, a single fresh tomato or maybe 3 grapes. So I know you will be very impressed with this salt and pepper set bought for just one dollar - yep just ONE!!  Isnt it wonderful. I bought it especially for good luck because Rosie was waiting to hear if she had been accepted for the USA exchange and the waiting was excruciating. I thought if I put these in the parcel they would be symbolic of a positive outcome. 
I've been away for work again but while I was away the message came through in capitals. I GOT ACCEPTED. So well done Rosie - you and your friend Liz are off to America for a semester at Georgia Tech University.That's so wonderful. You have both worked so hard for this.   Tom has been working hard too. Last week he passed his heavy traffic license and is just waiting  for the apprenticeship to come through. In the meantime he cleans bouncy castles and does dishes. But hey - work is work and pay day is always sweet.

This weeks parcel also went off with a tin of homemade chocolate chippie GF biscuits (Edmonds recipe book)  , GF pizza bases, jelly just in case there was going to be party with party food; and one homegrown carrot from my garden. Apparently it arrived complete with earwig!!  

Heres to week of knowing that being a mother is always worth it ( at least to me)

cheers Marg.