Kids on bikes

Took the boys to a mountain bike track in Hamilton at the weekend (well they took me really!) Lachlan shouts back “The next bit’s easy, Dad”. One slope and three steps (who the puts steps on a bike track??) later, I’m under the bike with just the one sore shoulder and one painful leg, oh and just the small amount of blood leaking from the grazes! Here is a vid that I’ve put on Flickr to test their new video capability.

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Back to work!

You can tell I’m back teaching again – no time to write blogs! Just starting my second week and have met all my classes. They all seem pleasant enough, some who are keen to work hard, some who will be happy to coast and some who need a kick up the proverbial! Kids the world over, I guess. It has been fairly frenetic as I have to get three week’s worth of work organised to leave for when I am on leave to go back to the UK for Stephie’s wedding. That, on top of planning and preparing and getting to know the classes. Fortunately yrs 11, 12 & 13 will be having their NCEA practice exams while I am away and will be on study leave for most of the time, so all I have to do for them is sort out the copying of exam papers. And, as usual, I have not taken my dear friend Sue’s advice to heart and have still not learnt how to say “no”. On top of all that work I have agreed to go on a navigation exercise which involves a two night bivvy in the bush with the Outdoor Ed class this week! Well, it sounded like it would be a good crack and I can’t resist a challenge! Just hoping for good weather – could be a couple of chilly nights!

Any way, enough of work, what did we do in the holidays? I’ve already told you about our fishing trip – that seems like months ago now! For the rest of the holidays the boys and I explored a bit more of Hamilton and generally “chilled”. We discovered Waterworld which is a huge swimming pool complex with 5 swimming pools (indoors and outdoors), water slides, outdoor splash area with fountains and jets of water to play in for the under 8’s, as well as outdoor picnic and barbecue areas. Looks like it’ll be really neat in the summer but the outdoor area is closed now. They had this massive inflatable

torpedo that the kids could run along and then slide off the end. It looked great – I was sorely tempted to have a go but what if I had fallen off at the start and made a complete fool of myself!? A couple of Dad’s did and were greeted by whoops and hoots of laughter

from all the kids! Managed to book the boys into swimming lessons there – it’s a bit of a drive out of Hamilton – about 20 mins but there are so many lessons there that they could both have lessons at the same time which makes things easier in their crowded sporting calendar.

Part of Aonghas’ homework was to climb a local Maunga (mountain) so we headed off to Maungakawa at the weekend. A little awkward to get to along lots of narrow lanes – you really feel like you’re out in the Wops though Hamilton is only 30 minutes away. It was a lovely walk up through the bush, lots of birds seen rather than heard, and after the welcome rain and ensuing warmth the ground is bursting with mushrooms (see flickr for Nigel’s mushroom photos). It was certainly a good work out for the old legs and got the heart rate up. Eventually you arrive at a very small clearing in the trees with the biggest trig point I have ever seen. Climb up to the top of the trig point to a stunning view across the plains to the Kaimais. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy for a decent photo and the sun was starting to go down, but beautiful nevertheless. On the way back down we had a great viewing of a Morepork – we had heard them when we were up at Cook’s Beach though couldn’t see them – but it was too dark to get a decent picture.

The boys (including Nigel) had a couple of days out on their own whilst I got on with some work but I’ll let them tell you about those!

So, I’m looking forward to going back to the UK in a couple of weeks time to see my little sis, Steph, get married. Wow! But first – 2 nights in the bush and a whole pile of organising to do! Better get to it!