Autumn update

It has been a while since I have caught up with this blog – I really ought to try to get into the habit of writing shorter and more often, I suppose, but somehow it just doesn’t happen. Work comes in waves, and whilst there is always something to do, there are times when I am absolutely flat out and just keeping up with day to day tasks like the washing and tidying up is a struggle! I have just about finished planning for the Year 12 camp that goes in the first week of next term and Year 9 Camp is done apart from a few ends to tie up. So I find myself with a little bit of breathing space to catch up with the rest of the world!

Autumn is well and truly here; foggy, damp mornings turn into glorious blue sky days with a crispness in the air that wasn’t there just a few weeks ago. The sun is still hot, and it is still very pleasant to sit out in it but you definitely need a jumper handy. The last week has also seen some exciting downpours, and one day we swung from black, heavy clouds and torrential rain to clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine just about every half hour! The clocks have gone back which has given us some respite from the dark mornings that we were starting to wake up to, but it won’t be long until that is the norm for a couple of months at least. Not looking forward to that!

There is a lot to do in the garden; the warmth and the rain over the last few weeks has meant that the weeds have run rampant, the courgettes have mutated into giant marrows, we have feral cucumbers invading every flower bed and the tomatoes have all split their sides and are spilling seeds everywhere! We are going to try to put some winter veg in this year but need to sort out the summer crops soon and tidy up the beds so that we can sow afresh. There is also something nasty that is biting me to bits everytime I go anywhere near the garden so the incentive to do any real work is very low – I spend all my time afterwards itching and have read weals all over my torso! I had the same thing happen to me this time last year so there must be a specific bitey thing that affects me at this time of the year!

I had a great morning with Aonghas today. Through Scouts we were invited to join the Hamilton Hot Air Balloon Club at their club day at Innes Common by the lake in Hamilton. Rather early on a Sunday mornin for my liking but we arrived at 7am in the semi darkness and they showed us how a hot air balloon works and what you have to before you can get in the air. We helped unpack the balloon, put the basket together, fill the balloon with air and then get it upright using the hot air. Fascinating stuff. We then had a chance to go in the balloon on a tether – that means it is still connected to the ground (well to a couple of cars!) with long ropes, but we were probably about 100ft off the ground. They do that as part of the training for trainee pilots; they have to learn how to adjust the amount of hot air they have to put in the balloon to control the altitude, also to read the wind and air current flows as well as the weight of different people in the basket. It also gives them practice at taking off and landing. They are looking for new, young members of the club to train up which is why they invited the scouts along. Aonghas was quite frightened by the noise and the heat of the burner, but he conquered his fears and decided to go into the balloon. Once he had made his mind up and was in the basket and up in the air a smile grew from ear to ear and he ended up getting back in for a second go! Needless to say he has put his name down to find out more! Pancakes in the French cafe for a late breakfast rounded a good morning off and he was a happy boy!

Lachlan has been busy with Outdoor Education activities. Kayaking at the beginning of term; 7am every morning in the University pool for 4 weeks and then kayak camp down at Taupo was followed by Scuba Diving on Mayor Island last weekend. They had an eventful 4 hour boat ride out there where most of them were sick, and the girls tent fell down in the wind and rain overnight but all seemed to have had a good time. Lachlan is apparently an “air pig”; he gets through twice as much air as anyone else! Mountain biking this week and then who knows what next term! He has started playing football again and played in his first match for the Claudelands Rovers yesterday – a 7-0 drubbing but they are playing in an adult league and held their own pretty well in the second half. Lachlan got 2nd Player of the Day and he played well so was quite pleased with himself. Aonghas has been selected for the 2nd XI hockey team at Berkley and is first reserve for the first team – not bad when you consider that he is competing against Year 7s, 8s and 9s for a place. He is also hoping to trial for Waikato Reps again this year. He too is going to play football; he trialled a couple of weeks ago and is waiting to find out what team he has been selected for. They are both competing in the Waikato Secondary Schools Mountain Biking competition on Wednesday so we will see what that brings.

I am looking forward to the holidays at the end of next week; the first 3 days we are working at the V8s to earn some money for Lachlan’s trip to Cambodia and Vietnam in December, but after that I am hoping for spome lazy days catching up on sleep/reading/housework/garden….! May even get chance to write some letters and get the birthday cards and presents sent that have been sitting here for a couple of months!  Who knows?


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