Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Between the Bars

I'm back from a brief downtime. Bit starved for inspiration so thought I would continue the Elliott Smith theme.

I have just read Lea's blog on the struggles she has had with being understood by others as she learnt to cope with Bianca's leukemia.

It made me think of the importance I hold on friendship. I have missed the contact with my fellow bloggers who have their highs and lows to share.

Those of you who have followed my blog realise that Lea is a loyal and valued friend of mine. We have shared a lot together in the last 6 months. Of recent times we have shared an interest in Elliott Smith, a new passion for Lea but one I have had for about 6 years. Sometimes we g mail as we listen to some of his concerts and discuss the merits of his songs.

Last week Lea recorded some of my covers of Elliott Smith. I have already posted the links for Angeles and Waltz No 2.

Here is another of our favourites called Between the Bars. Click the link below to have a listen!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Waltz No 2

Here is Lea's favourite Elliott Smith song that I recorded 2 nights ago. Those of you who heard Angeles and liked it should absolutely love this song. It is probably his best song out of about 50 amazing songs.

Unfortunately I can't sing as good as him but I'm quite pleased with my version of his wonderful song Waltz No 2!

Click here to hear my version of Lea and my favourite Elliott Smith song!

Would love to hear your opinion of this song!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Elliott Smith

About 6 years ago I stumbled upon a song I loved on an Uncut complilation called Memory Lane by Elliott Smith. I directly bought one of his albums on the strength of that one song. Now I'm not usually that impulsive to buy albums based on one song but this decision was pure magic.

From that point on I became obsessed by his music and his life story which was sadly only 34 years. He struggled with his upbringing and fame and turned to alcohol and drugs in order to try and cope in a world he found confusing.

I love the raw passion and honesty in his music!

I have just recently renewed my connection through introducing Lea to his music. She has become a convert and we discuss his lyrics and our preferences.

Lea has recorded and downloaded some You Tube videos of my music and suggested I record some Elliott Smith songs. I sing quite a few of his songs at school and I've only today recorded one of my favourites called Angeles.

It is a great song! Please take the time to have a listen on the link below!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Nothing Will Be The Same

With Kate's departure I'm in a reflective mood.

According to Jo, Kate is really excited to be up in Palmerston North for University. She is quickly settling in to her new home and has trained with the local swimming club. They are a competitive squad and Kate hopes to continue to swim with them. That will be so awesome for her.

As for me I need to let go and be thankful that she has ambition and desire to pursue her studies. I'm sure she will pursue a career that is rewarding and meaningful. On the way there I am sure she will make lots of friends and grow into a person that will be a productive member of society.

Here is an old poem / song I wrote quite a few years back on friendship. It has some connection to my current feelings on Kate leaving. 

Nothing will be the same

It saddens me you have to go
While away will miss you so
What the future holds could never know
Time may tell…reveal…show


Without you nothing will be the same

If I could would do it over again

Childhood memories come flooding back
You always managed…had the knack
Of getting your way…the very last say
Whether indoors or out at play



In you a true friend I’ve found

Would struggle to cope if you weren’t around

Close we were through the early years
So much fun enjoyed…happiness shared
Gave me comfort and dried my tears
When needed…always there



Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Seems Only Yesterday

Saw the big girl off to Uni today!

Kate did a morning session at the pool and I videoed her doing her final training with the Raumati Swimming Club.

I felt extremely emotional as I said my good-bye to her! I know she is just up the road but I will miss her being around.

It certainly feels like the end of an era and does seem like only yesterday since she was a young girl.

Here is a song I wrote for her about 13 years ago!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tiring Tuesday

It has been a tiring Tuesday but finished on a high note with my best ever Cycle Race time.

We cycled on our usual 4 x 10 km [25 mile] course and I managed to keep with all but 2 of the riders until the last 30 seconds of the race. Finished in my best time of 59:04! I'm definitely starting to feel like a cyclist and I'm really enjoying the challenge and riding with speed in a group.

Jo reminded me today that I need to celebrate those things that make me happy.

The trials and tribulations are made all the much better by having the support of loved ones and friends.

This poem / song I wrote is dedicated to those people who truly care and are there with a listening ear!

Be Glad…Rejoice

Be glad rejoice all as one in voice
Now’s the time make the right choice
Fill your life with happiness…peace
Let your sorrows departing cease

Don’t ever despair I am here
Unload your cares on me to bear

I know life’s challenges cause some pain
Are weighed down and crumple under the strain
Falling stumble now and again
Wondering how long can remain sane


I will comfort in me you’ll find
Someone who’ll rest and ease your mind

Though hard have listened unheard a word sound
Have looked for answers but few were found
In circular motion gone round and around
But now no longer no need to feel down


Monday, 20 February 2012

Someone Once Said

Today has been an interesting but challenging day. There have been positive and negative interactions that at times weaken the resolve. Teaching demands can at times be overpowering and there often is a sense of frustration as these expectations increase.

However I have found testing reading extremely rewarding as I begin a new year with a new group. I really enjoy being released from the classroom and having one on one quality time with my children. I love giving them the encouragement to be their best and the reassurance that they are going well and are going to continue to grow in their successes.

Here is a poem / song I wrote that reflects some of the drama that life can throw upon us!

Someone Once Said

A little voice inside forever it cries
You'd give it away if you're prudent...wise
There's a point to it all...the occasional lie
That keeps it together but too frequent ask why

All about you is lost you count the cost
Your failings speak loud 'midst a hostile crowd
They readily claim you're not quite sane
But you block out their voices time and again

Someone once said good things come
To those who patiently wait...for the sun
Will slowly appear...all become clear
As dark clouds disperse...finally disappear

It's a hard road you've travelled...where does it end?
The questions you ask...much further? When?
Any high points or is this as good as it gets?
Keep searching for meanings undiscovered yet


Apologies if the mood of this post is rather conflicting but we are complex beings and our days are filled with good and bad and certainty and confusion.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Saturday Sojourn

The Wellington Harriers Masters had one of their last summer runs yesterday.

The hosts were Andrew and Julie in Churton Park. Andrew took the running group and Julie the walkers. There was a large turnout probably enhanced by a sunny summer's day.

Andrew took us up in the hills where there is being developed a new sub division. Bit sad how a lot of our scenic land is lost to cater for our ever expanding population.

It was a most eventful run as we discovered unknown tracks even unknown to Andrew. This brought great amusement among the group who began to question why we hadn't brought supplies with the likelihood of not making it out alive. I didn't think my six mints would be sufficient!

After some experimental cross country manoeuvres we eventually found a way out that brought us in to familiar territory.

Both the running and walking groups enjoyed their outing and were well rewarded by ample food and beverage.

Thank you Andrew and Julie for being great hosts. We never doubted you Andrew!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

We're Much Deeper

Here is a light - hearted look at love and romance from a male perspective.
I hope both my male and female audience can have some appreciation of my slant on relationships. As we all know the genders don't always see eye to eye on all the important issues in life such as sport, television, sport on television and social brotherhood.
Hope you get a chuckle out of my poem / song that has unfortunately not yet been recorded. My sport and new television has not allowed for it! 
Apologies to anyone who finds certain comments in any way offensive. The content is to amuse only and not to be taken too seriously. 

We're Much Deeper
'After one thing' the ditty they sing
Lord knows we're much deeper than a one night fling

Next to useless...single tracked minds
Narrow...self-centred...what's yours is mine
Trust us...will do...even visit in-laws
During commercials...undividedly yours
Are not our only pass-times...honest...we care
An occasional least once a year
Loose change to remote you can share

Want romantic...look no'll see
There's no-one more charming...sentimental than me
I'm your man...tender...thoughtful through
What you need...just ask...will do for you

Misunderstood now for so long
Time to speak out...stand up...right wrongs
We've played your game...continue to lose
Look from our point of view...try wearing our shoes

Friday, 17 February 2012

Don't Stay Away Long

Thank you for all the votes so far, if you are able please click here and vote for me in the Wiggle Athlete Search.

This is a reflective poem / song on our eldest girl, Kate's upcoming departure to Massey University next Wednesday. She will be studying Human Nutrition.

It was not specifically written for her as it was done several years ago. I'm sure many of you can identify with friends and family leaving whether temporary or permanently. There is a sadness and a feeling of loss!

I know Kate is going to be just up the road 100 km [60 miles] but it is hard even for fathers to see their baby grow up and leave the family home. I do expect we will however see Kate regularly as I'm sure it will be a big move for her after being in the family home for 19 years.

Don't Stay Away Long 

It seems so short the time we've spent
How quickly passed by...came and went
With grateful wishes sent
Bid you farewell...heartfelt meant

We'll miss you while gone
Don't stay away long
Walking life's highways you journey on
Come back soon...where you belong

A tower of strength your presence brought
Deeply relied much you've taught
Sharing together we've greatly learnt
Knowledge gained...respect have earnt


Although with sadness we say good-bye
Believing and hoping...only a short while
We'll be waiting here with welcoming smiles
When weary from travelling long distant miles


Come back soon where you belong

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Doing the Hard Yards

My cycling coach, Bob has been putting me through my paces!

I have just completed a gruelling 10 hill sprints of 17 - 20 seconds each. Bob was following me in his car taking my splits on a 5 lap circuit of 2 hill climbs on Campion Rd and Weggery Drive in Waikanae Beach.

This is the first time I have done such a session. I was really happy as I managed to consistently do the climbs within half a second of each other. Campion Rd was less steep but longer than Weggery Drive.

Just awaiting Alice to finish her coaching at Waikanae Pool before heading home for a cold refreshment!

That's it for today! No photos! Just a story of survival from a demanding bike ride after a long day in a tiring week.

An early night for me beckons!

Hope your day was rewarding!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Hill Race

Yesterday evening was Kapiti Cycling Club's annual hill climb from Reikorangi up the Akatarawa mountain.

After an initial 2 km [1 mile] flattish sprint there was a 6 km slog up to the Akatarawa Summit.

The race was staggered at mostly 1 minute gaps. I was seeded 6th so I was the sixth last to start at 18:30 from the first rider.

Last year I was a bit slow on the flat section so this time I set off quicker to ensure I didn't lose much time to the faster riders. I was confident that I could race up the mountain quicker than most.

Although as always racing is a challenge I felt strong. I was thrilled on arrival at the summit to see that it had only taken me 20:49 which was 1:30 quicker than last year. I had the 6th fastest time with the top 5 all being top under 20 cyclists.

Click here for the results!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sweet Success

Just a short post today as I have an uphill cycle race this evening and will be home late!

Once again I want to celebrate Alice's success in a recent triathlon.

A week ago Alice competed in the Waikanae triathlon. She competed extremely well and caught the eye of the local press. They were in awe of her achievement. The headline and report says it all.

Not a bad effort for a 15 year old! Go Alice!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Know You're Not Alone

Thank you for all the votes so far, if you are able please click here and vote for me in the Wiggle Athlete Search.

This post is dedicated to a very special caring person and a loyal friend.

I first met Lea at the beginning of 2011 when I started teaching her daughter, Bianca! She quickly made her self known to me through regular communication on how we could work together to provide a great year for Bianca. This proved extremely easy as Bianca was a diligent student.

I was priveleged to get an invitation from Bianca to her 8th Birthday Harry Potter Party. I saw first hand Lea's attention to detail. It was a wonderfully organised party and the invited children and myself had a fantastic time.

Since then I have been fortunate to be involved in several of Lea's projects.

I had the opportunity to accompany Lea and Bianca to the Oncology Department of Wellington Hospital and perform to the children there. Click here for Lea's report.

In October I performed with some school children at Lea's organised Funrazor. Click here to see Lea's post. It was a marvellous fund raiser for the Child Cancer Foundation. It was a special occasion for me as I was able to play for her a song I had just written ot a poem of Lea's which I called This Little Girl of Mine. Click here to see the You Tube Video. The song is in celebration of Bianca's recovery from Leukemia.

In December Lea started collecting up lyrics from songs I had written and by January had completed a special book of my music that I will always cherish. Check Lea's post here and my post here.

I have really appreciated Lea's continual encouragement and interest in my music, running and cycling. It has been wonderful to share my music with her and have recently introduced her to one of my favourite singer / songwriters that she has also grown to love.

Here is a song I wrote for her on the train to Wellington in December last year. Please have a listen as it better does justice to showing my gratitude to her for making life a lot more interesting.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Cycling News

Thank you for all the votes so far, if you are able please click here and vote for me in the Wiggle Athlete Search.

Apologies to those of you who are getting tired of my cycling stories but today was a special day as it was my first inter-club competition. I will keep it short.

I travelled over with Finlay and Bob in Bryan's car to Featherston in the Waiarapa. We first registered and prepared ourselves for our pre race warm up.

From Left - Bob, Bryan and Finlay

I started in Break 2 but our group was quickly caught by Break and Scratch. I was happy with my ride as I was able to keep with the pace until the last 500 metres. Finlay had a great ride and finished in the top 5. Bryan passed me in the last 100 metres but on time was well ahead as his break group had started 7 minutes behind my group.

There was a huge group of riders and at times I found myself feeling rather intimidated and concerned for my safety as riders came around me from all directions.

This is definitely a different ball game to my running competitions.

The good news for the day for me was being kitted out with top, cycle shorts and socks by Bob who runs the clothing company Elite Bike Gear. Support his business by going to his link. Click here!

Proudly wearing my new cycling gear

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Cycle Challenge

Thank you for all the votes so far, if you are able please click here and vote for me in the Wiggle Athlete Search.

The Kapiti Cycling Club president, Bob Pratt organised a low key Cycle Challenge Time Trial on Waitangi Day. The challenge involved 3 of us including myself!

The challenge was on a regular training course that we call the Aka Block. The distance is approximately 100 km [60 miles] over hilly terrain.

At 7:20 in the morning the 3 cyclists and Bob assembled at the Railway Station, Paraparaumu. They were given their briefing by Bob and I was given some guidelines in to how I would get the best performance out of myself.

The challenge was that I would ride with my training buddy, Bryan Perkins and an elite Junior, Finlay Brazier would ride solo starting 10 minutes after us. Our plan was that Bryan would set the pace on the flat and I would keep the pace honest on the hills!

Bryan at a recent Tuesday night race

Bryan was a competitive cyclist as a Junior and has recently come back in to the sport after a long break! 

We were both excited about the challenge but both knew it would be a tough ask as Finlay is quite a lot faster than us. However we had some confidence in the fact that we could work together and with the day being a little windy we would be able to rotate to ensure we would get some respite. No such luck for Finlay!

At 7:30 on the dot Bryan and I set off. Bryan was on Bob's bike as his own bike had suddenly developed a crack in the frame. Bryan set off at 35 - 40 km / hour [20 - 25 miles] along the flat highway section and I tucked in behind until we hit the climb up Paekakariki Hill. Bryan and I are evenly matched on the hills so we were able to sustain a steady pace to the top!

Finlay had started on his own at 7:40 and Bob followed him in his car for a bit before catching up to Bryan and I towards the top of the hill. Apparently we had managed to take out a small amount of time on Finlay.

Over the other side of the Paekakariki Hill it was an extremely fast descent and we arrived at Pauatahanui at 45 minutes riding time, the fastest I had done by a margin!

Bryan and I kept up the pace heading up the Haywards. Bryan was experiencing problems with the back wheel and Bob replaced it as I slowly continued and waited for Bryan to catch up. With a new back wheel Bryan picked up the pace and on arrival at the Hutt Highway we had extended the gap to Finlay by another couple of minutes.

The ride to Upper Hutt was difficult with a head wind. Obviously not as hard though for us as it was for Finlay as he had to do it all on his own. I know this was a frustration to him as making up ground into a wind is exceedingly difficult.

Bryan and I met up with another Kapiti cyclist, Derek Ward who joined us for a while. We arrived at Upper Hutt in about 1 hour 30 minutes which was a great time considering the wind.

We now started the make or break part of the course. We knew that Finlay would be making his charge up the Akatarawa Valley and with little wind to concern him would likely take considerable time out of us. We later found out from Bob that in fact Finlay had closed up the gap by 4 minutes having lost some time earlier. 

We worked together well up the hills and fought with tiring legs to maintain a consistent pace. Bryan remarked that if we were still ahead by the summit that we would probably hold Finlay out.

Relieved but still a little anxious we reached the summit with Bob waiting at the top to advise us that we still were holding a comfortable lead on our chaser.

However we knew we could not be complacent or slacken off as there was still another 30 minutes riding ahead. We flew down to Reikorangi and kept pushing hard through to Waikanae knowing there was only another 10 minutes of hard fast riding to complete the challenge. 

With a quick look at my watch at Waikanae I knew that I was on for my best time ever. Bryan and I helped each other along SH1 at speeds well over 40 km / hour [25 miles] and stopped our watches at 2 hours 51 minutes.

This was certainly a challenging but exhilerating ride and Bryan and I were thrilled that we had maintained the 10 minute lead we started with.

I know Finlay was disappointed but the wind factor was huge and for him to ride solo and still do the same time we did supporting each other was a top effort.

Thank you Bryan, Finlay and Bob for making this a most memorable and rewarding experience!  


Friday, 10 February 2012

Fitness for Kids

You will notice I have put a brand new video clip on the side.  It is a great way for you to get to know me a little bit better.   I have used this video in a competition entry for the Wiggle 2012 Athlete Search.  Please could you click here and vote for me.  Every vote counts!

Now for today's entry:

As an athlete, parent and teacher I am a great believer in the importance of regular physical activity for kids!

Obviously there are many ways of improving fitness but in my mind as a runner of many years there are not many forms of exercise that can be organised as easily as runner. You don't need any fancy gear but only some space and a willingness to put your body through some discomfort to enable it to become stronger. As long as it is progressive and continues to build on a base fitness stamina will develop as it is challenged to respond to increasing levels of activity. I think running is the purest form of exercise!

I know there will be people out there reading this who will have contrary arguments and I have some of my own on the merits of other forms of exercise. I'm sure swimmers and cyclists might argue that their sport is better because it gets similar benefits with less impact on the body.

This post is really to explain how I bring my philosophy on fitness to the school environment.

As teachers we have a responsibility to ensure we provide regular opportunities for children to improve their fitness. A brief swimming programme allows chidren who would not otherwise get to a pool to enjoy swimming and it's significant benefits. There are locomotive skills taught, gymnastics, team sports and related ball skills but I like to give children also regular running that allows them to improve their stamina through sustained walking / running.

This brings me finally to the trigger for my entry today! Every start of the year I commence what I call the Cone Run. It is a simple concept! On our top field I put out 10 cones spaced evenly around the outside of our school field.


The distance is about 300 metrs [200 yards]. The challenge is to walk / run for 5 minutes seeing how many cones they can achieve! This fitness activity is really popular and effective as it is self monitoring, measurable and allows extra challenge for those who want to extend themselves. The children keep a chart to measure their progress over time. Regular Cone Runs throughout the year leads well into the Cross Country season. Goals can be set for competing in School and Inter - School Competition and participation in other harrier and fun run events. Can also often be a good lead in to participation in Duathlons and Triathlons!

Today Room 1 started the Cone Run programme and most children really enjoyed their first efforts!

At the start of the run

Top of the Field

It is exciting for children to set themselves challenges to improve their fitness! I look forward to seeing their growing stamina and the sense of achievement and well being that this brings!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Parent / Teacher Interviews

Today is Parent / Teacher interviews and I am looking forward to meeting with the parents this evening of the children I am teaching this year.

This meeting is extremely important to me for informing parents about how I run my programmes. It allows me to explain to them the routines and structures I'm putting into place to provide the best learning opportunities for their children.

The best parents can do is to support teachers in what they are trying to achieve in the learning process. All children are different and although it is really early in the year teachers have had time to observe the work and organisational behaviour of the children. It is the best time to ensure that parents know what is being put in to place for the children so that they have a successful year. Any problems that the teachers have noticed or questions from parents can be talked out.

As a parent I am critically aware of the importance of having a positive relationship with your children and the teacher is an important cog in the wheel. Parents and teachers need to ensure that they are singing from the sang song sheet and that children will have followed up at home by the parents the teacher's expectations.

This meeting is a fantastic chance to start building a constructive and valuable learning year for the children. I enjoy the interaction with parents and being able to communicate the successes and advise the possible improvements that will result in the very best achievements and a love of learning for the children.

What are your experiences of teacher interviews? What do you like teachers to talk to you about and how?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

I've been tagged!

Lea [click here for her blog] recently tagged me in a Randomness-11 post.  I promised her that I would be a good sport and participate :-).  So here goes:

First the rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in your tagger's post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers YOU tag to answer.
5. Tell the bloggers you've tagged that they're it.
6. Oh, and no stuff in the tagging section about "you're tagged if reading this". 

11 Random things about me:
  • I'm always singing
  • I love Elliott Smith's songs
  • Don't like tripe
  • Being a dad is amazing
  • Studied to be a Catholic Priest in my teens
  • For a fitness nut I enjoy an occasional beer
  • A running friend once told me I was an awkward looking runner
  • I'm really just a big kid
  • Song writing has changed my life
  • Being a teacher has been most rewarding
  • I'm going to live forever young
 Now to answer Lea's questions:
What is the movie you enjoy watching the most and why?
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest as it has great dialogue and story 
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Coffee or Tea?
When you were at school, what was your favourite subject? 
I loved Latin as I had a great teacher and I enjoyed the challenge
What is the one thing you hope to achieve this year? 
Win a National medal in Cycling
What have you done / achieved (to date) that you are the most proud of? 
Competing for New Zealand in Mountain Running
What did you like most about today? 
Teaching the children under my care
What happened in 2011 that surprised you the most?  
That I could be a competitive cyclist 
Favourite Colour?
Black or blue
If we had to do something together today what activity would you choose for  us to do?
Listen to our favourite music with a bottle of wine
I now tag these people: 
George - All about people
Ellie - Ellie's Place
John - Don't unplug your hub
Here are your questions:
  1. What is your favourite past time?
  2. Where is your place of retreat?
  3. Favourite Food?
  4. When are you at your happiest?
  5. What is your greatest desire?
  6. What is your proudest achievement?
  7. Did you have a favourite teacher?
  8. What have you learnt about yourself recently?
  9. Who is your favourite performer / artist?
  10. What are your goals for 2012?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Journey

After a tiring day of school and a hard 40 km / 25 mile bike race the energy levels are low!

I decided to take an easy option tonight and dig out a poem / song I wrote about 10 years ago of my life thus far.

For those of you who have some time to read it you will find out some more about me!

The Journey

Born the eldest...keeping the peace
Must take your share...responsibilities
Tension at home...feeling the heat
Too busy resolving to find your feet

Religion was found to soothe...reassure
Caught up in its mysteries...salvation cure
Guiding the thinking...implanting the hope
Lighting the upward slope

The informative years proved lonely alone
With few but acquaintances and frequent at home
Most friends social misfits as always attract
Girl trouble in absence...confidence lacked

Travel brought challenge inspiring and new
Away from mundaneness...broadening the view
Breaking the boundaries...the borders so vast
Arriving home safely three years having passed underway
Priorities changing...the ghosts at bay
Secure...locked routine...the calm
Grows fuller and deeper away from harm

Any thoughts / comments / questions would be greatly appreciated and I will get back to you!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Sunday Smorgasbord

Last night we were invited to a summer bbq at friends of ours Lisa, Brian, Brogan and Hollie.

I met Lisa when she was working at Waikanae School. We have been friends with the family through our involvement with swimming. Brian like myself is an I.O.T [Inspector of Turns]. Hollie swims with Kate and Alice.

Lisa had prepared pre dinner nibbles!

Lisa showing her bbq skills.

From Left - Jo, Alice, Holly, Jacob and Brian

There was plenty of frivolity!

Time to feed the hungry multitudes!

Thank you Lisa, Brian, Brogan and Hollie for your hospitality. We had a great time!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Running Photo Story

More technical issues with ordering my photos so yesterday's run is all over the place.

Hope you like the photos I took! Sadly due to the misty rain it is hard to appreciate the beauty of where we were running.
A fine group of keen athletes about to depart!

This photo was taken at the top of our main climb

A couple of the boys are approaching Campbell's Rd

Which way do we go pack leader?

One of our elder statesman wondering where the next rest stop was!

Gordy is showing off his renewed athletic form!

How am I looking team?

Approaching the mist!

This downhill's great!

Some of our struggling group can be faintly seen on the right!

Nearing the end now. Looking forward to the finish line!

A contented group having done their exercise, hydrated and fed!

This post is not formatted like I want but still trying to get the hang of the new setup!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Summer Saturday Saturation

As a member of the Wellington Harriers Masters runners I took my turn to host a so called summer Saturday run here in Raumati South.

The last 3 years I have been blessed with beautiful sunny weather but sadly today was an exception. To be honest it wasn't that bad as it was warm rain, humid and no wind.

We met at Mc Kay's Crossing to begin our excursion in to Whareroa farm up to Campbell's Rd, into the Maungatukutuku Valley and back to our starting point.

There was a dedicated group of 12 who took on the rain. Most of the runners / walkers were from Wellington and from the response I got really enjoyed taking on the Kapiti hills and enjoyed our local scenery. For most of the group it was a totally new area for them.

The after match function was at our place where Jo had prepared burgers and salad. We had the barbecue going and there were liquid refreshments to replenish lost energy and calories!

Check out my post tomorrow for more photos as I can't get to grips with the new format I'm working with. Photos aren't going the places I want them to go and I'm giving up for today.

Hope you are not facing similar frustrations!

I look forward to taking them on another run in this beautiful area on a better day where they can appreciate where we have been and the surrounding beauty

Friday, 3 February 2012

Never Go Away

Love makes the world go round! All you need is love!

This post is dedicated to all the special someones that are close to me and make my life meaningful!

Often we do not express to those important people in our lives how much we appreciate them.

Recently Jo lost her very best friend through cancer. She was fortunate to spend some precious time with Rosslyn at her home in Fairlie prior to Christmas. Jo helped her with organising presents for her family and Rosslyn was most appreciative and grateful. Sadly 12 days later cancer ended Rosslyn's short 56 years!

Make sure you tell those special people in your life that you care about them and value them!

Click the link below to listen to my song Never Go Away that honours those important friendships and relationships!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Getting in the Groove

After several weeks holiday my new class of children and myself faced the daunting prospect of setting routines and having an understanding of the expectations for the year.

I am excited about the prospects of teaching these children placed under my care. I have confidence in my ability to inspire and motivate children to learn. I'm encouraged by the way they have responded to the introduction to glossary and our singing today of Be Your Best!

The first 2 weeks are always the hardest of the year as we get to know and understand each other. I am really impressed with the way the children have started the year. I look forward to making a positive difference to their lives and seeing their growth!

That's all I have for you as it has been a tiring day and my energy reserves are low!

Hope you all have had a rewarding day!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Be Your Best

Today I returned to school after a long holiday break. It was a day of preparing for the arrival of a new group of children.

For me as a teacher I look forward to the challenge of reaching all the children I teach and making a huge difference in their lives. I want to switch them on to learning by sharing in some of my passions and discovering in themselves their immense potential.

It is a huge challenge to try and have all children to switch on to what I do. Ultimately all I can do is my best and I want from the children that they do the same.

A few years ago I wrote a song called Be Your Best to reflect some of these thoughts.

Please click below to listen to the You Tube version of this song. Lea has added the lyrics to sing along!

Any feedback on the lyrics that spoke to you would be appreciated!