Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Update 38

1 Family stuff: Keegan has been successful in gaining a cinematography position/apprenticeship in Auckland - exciting times for him as he plans to relocate and begin to fulfil those dreams. Samantha and San Franciscan Jessie staying with us. Samantha Mary (pictured left with friend Flo) is about to restart work at New World for the summer. Jade has had two exams so far - biology was a bit eugh, English was okayish apparently. Jacky has ended with the wallys at Skinforme and is relaunching herself into hospital nursing on a casual basis. It's been a stressful couple of weeks all up!

2 Nature watch and a weather report: cold in the mornings (rain and grey skies this morning frinstance), then hot when the sun burns off the clouds. That kind of combination means that everything is growing like crazy. All the animals are keeping the grass under control, mainly because we've closed five paddocks off for hay which we'll do in December/January. We donate three paddocks to the farmer next door in return for him cutting and preparing two paddocks that will give us over 200 bales for 2009.

3 Currently grooving to: new Snow Patrol is on high rotate.

Lots of photos in this post. First some pictures of our bedroom - not to be kinky - but to show you the bedside cabinets that a student at school made for us. Isaac is part of our wood technology year 12 class and I was his client for the year. His brief was to match our bedroom furniture and create two bedside cabinets. He's done a fabulous job! We're really happy with them and here they are: Roger and Deirdre have just returned from their northern hemisphere excusion (like Steph and Dunc; Team Taylor this year - a trend!)and supplied a picture which I hope they don't mind sharing here (in return for some more Purdy archive material). First of all - the Marbecks. I'm a bit disappointed Rog isn't modelling the knotted hanky look but you can't have everything I suppose. Okay so to the archives, or more specifically Samantha's archives. First up a picture taken at Planet Hollywood in London. I took my A level students (yes this was pretty much my whole class!) to see the Globe and do some theatre workshops. Samantha tagged along for the day and loved the Globe. My teacher friends thought I was insane taking students on a trip (no one ever does - too risky!). But I'm glad we went. The Globe is amazing and well worth a look. Next is a video of us on the tube, no idea when and why but cinema verite at its best folks. Note the Harrods' bag held by Mrs Purdy!!

On the way back to NZ we stayed in Anaheim for a while to experience Disneyland (really is the happiest place on Earth). This is Jade and me walking back to our hotel - the Anaheim Hilton. Here we are at the Pirates of the Carribean ride.
Fanfa at Disneyland.

In California we fell in love with the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) - here is yours truely looking content, about to launch into my second (okay, okay - third) helping of divine IHOP pancakes.And that's right I own a lot of Beatles shirts!

This picture celebrates one of our rituals whenever we went into London to shop or sightsee. The NZ icecream shop in an arcade off Oxford St was run by some eastern European swarthie types and who knows if it was really NZ icecream but it tasted great and made us think about NZ.

We lived at Western Rd in Leigh-on-sea for about 2 years. One of the advantages of this location was its proximity to Hadleigh Castle. It was our popular destination for walks. This picture is of 'the Africa tree' which was on our walk to the castle. Why was it called that? Jade named it so and that was that. It was a great place to sit, watch trains in the distance, look for squirrels, and think.

While in Harrods Jacky visited the (I thought rather tacky) shrine to Diana and Dodi. I found Harrods too cluttered and it was a real mish finding a toilet and then finding the troops again. And no music department!!

To finish here's one of my favourite sequences. Just before we all left England to fly back to NZ Samantha and I took a fond last look around my favourite part of London. Tottenham Court Rd contains the best music store in London - Fopp - and is the gateway to Soho and all the other superb music stores in London. The weather was appropriate for our mood. I can vividly recall the instant these photos were taken.

More archives (less Wozza hopefully) next time! Love and peace - W

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update 37

A sigh of relief first up - the senior prize-giving happened yesterday - the year's most formal assembly for the school and all went well. If you want to see my speech it's at my Principal blog.

I haven't done a weather report for a while now and it's hot - hot enough to boil a monkey's bum in fact. The last three days are like God decided to turn the Stratford thermostat up to 'HOT'. With hot comes radiation/sunburn (everyone is whitey white white because of our ludicrously long period of no sun) and burning hot cars, a search for shade, and rolled up sleeves (I refuse to wear short sleeves and a tie - does NOT look good!). The animals at home are all clinging to shade and water now becomes an issue. The water-tank will run down and down without any rain to speak of and we'll need to go to the well again.

Lack of water reminds me - Samantha is home for the summer (I'm the only male at home - therefore the only one to take short showers). She did well at University in between the various protests and social events and will head back to Victoria next year. Jade has finished school for the year (all seniors finish with senior prize-giving) and has her externals starting next week - first up biology. Adam and Keegan will be joining us for Christmas which will be great.

Having a bored Samantha at home ("There's nothing to do here" in yer best whiney voice and I see you nodding Pat) has meant the bonus of some video footage that she's posted on youtube. She's promised the next one to have some of us. In the meantime enjoy.

Currently grooving to some vinyl - Hendrix's Band of Gypsies - great music for sunny lazy days.

Take care everyone - see you next time (only four more weeks of school to go and then summer holidays - yeh!!!).

Love and peace - W

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change has come!

It was hard not to get caught up in the emotion of Barack Obama yesterday and especially towards the end of his speech with the quiet litany of, "Yes, we can"s being repeated back to him by the audience.The resonance with Dr Martin Luther King was clearly there. Dr King's dream has, amazingly, come to be -

"when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Looking at the audience at Obama's victory speech - it was that mix that Dr King dreamt about.
It did all feel like a surreal deam actually - could it really happen? A country that less than 50 years ago was segregated and viciously racist - could that turn around so much that a black American could be called 'Mr President'?? Well apparently yes - it could. When I turned on the TV this morning I was half expecting a different result. This little post is my chance to say - Wow! And thanks for providing some much needed inspiration in 2008.

Lots of random thoughts today: Bob Dylan's songs about 'Hurricane' Carter and Medgar Evans; Dr King's - "I have seen the promised land"; Rosa Parks photo; the Rodney King beating/video; the movie 'Mississippi Burning'; The Rev Jesse Jackson with spontaneous tears of joy; Rod Steiger in 'In the heat of the night'; Apocalypse Now's Beverly Hills bridge scene (Willard "who's in charge here?", black soldier "aintchu?")- not sure why but it's there with Hendrix' 'There's a red house over yonder' inside my brain for some reason; us (Jacky/Jade/me) watching the victory speech yesterday in a kind of awed state...

One of the best images of the victory speech was at the end when his running mate Joe Biden and his family joined with Barack and Michelle Obama and their daughters -Dr King again -
"I have a dream that one day, ... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

Only fitting that I should add Dr King, Rosa, and the Obamas to the inspiration page.

Love and peace and hope - W

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Election

You may not have seen this clip - I caught it by accident on some CNN coverage of the election. There is a longer version as well - go to youtube and search on 'don't vote'. It's slick and cool and hollywood man. I hear polar bears can swim!

Some election stuff - Obama and 'Ah you've done it again' have spent over $US1 billion on their campaigns! And the campaigns started about 2 years ago!! That's a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of energy.

Fingers crossed that the people do the right thing and all the pundits/pollsters are on the money!

Love/Peace - W