other random acts of leisure!

150th Anniversary King Movement NgaruawahiaLooking back at my posts I guess you might be forgiven for thinking that all we are doing here is relaxing and having fun!  “It’s all just one long holiday!” I hear you say. Well, it does seem like that but we have punctuated our leisure time with quite a lot of hard work!  I have just taken on the challenge of being our school’s “Teacher IT Coach”  (Yes, Sue, I know I said I would learn to say “no”, but the habits of a lifetime are hard to break!)  So, the pressure is on to live up to the title and make sure that I sound like I know what I am talking about!  Good job I thrive on challenges!!??

Talking of challenges, Lachlan had a great time at the Rotorua Moon Ride; he managed 7 circuits and averaged 25 minutes per lap which was apparently pretty good.  He definitely impressed some of the more experienced riders in the MTB club.  He came back absolutely exhausted but very happy and pleased with himself.

I had a great time on a fishing trip to the Coromandel with my former sunset on the Coromandelcolleagues at Hillcrest High – another successful session with our full quota of 9 fish each – all Snapper – delicious!  I had been rather apprehensive the week leading up to it as there had been a severe weather warning for the Coromandel.  Visions of being uncomfortably nauseous both on the bus and the boat troubled my sleep, but luckily the day dawned calm if a little misty.  The ocean was like a mill pond, thankfully, and the misty day turned into a beautiful evening.Aonghas & Adam

I have also started playing hockey again – mad, I know, but training for the Duathlon has given me a bit of fitness and confidence to have a go.  My shoulder is still a bit dodgy but I am taking things steadily (really!) and just playing it by ear.  Lachlan and I have also joined the local squash club – after a 20 year absence from playing it has been good to get back into it!  Just like hockey though – I know what I want to do but the body can’t quite get there!  In my mind I am still that fit 20-something who can outrun anyone – well a girl has to have a dream!

The first week of Term 2 I was lucky enough to spend 3 days at the Turangawaewae Marae with my Year 11 Form.  Home of the Tainui and the Maori King.  The former Maori Queen was once a “Dio Girl” so the school has a strong link with the Tainui. It was an amazing experience and a very special one, we spent a day doing cultural activities to find out more about the Maori culture – flax weaving, Poi-poi, rakau sticks, history of the Marae, and exploring the symbols used in the artwork and carvings. It was fascinating and the girls all surprsied themselves by really enjoying it.  The Marae can sleep about 500 people in large, communal sleeping areas,  and they are experts at feeding large numbers too!

That week was the final week of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the King Movement so the place was very busy!  On the Saturday I took the boys and Nigel back to Ngaruawahia to see the Waka salute to the Maori King.  steering the wakaThat was a very moving experience – the sound of the Haka as the waka come down the river is impressive.  You can well imagine the feeling of fear that the war cries would have caused when the Haka was performed in anger!  I feel very priveleged to have been able to spend time at the marae, meet some of the people who live there and find out just a little about the culture.  We were even more priveleged to be allowed to climb up Taupiri – a very sacred Maori burial ground. Joseph, one of the teachers at Dio, who’s family live on the pa, told us the story of how it became a tapu area.  I am always fascinated by legends and tales of how places get their names and the history surrounding them.

Well, back to work – Year 9 and 10 reports are due in a week’s time so I guess I should do something about it!

A Weekend Fishing

Well the term is over and it is time for some relaxation. We hadn’t planned to go away this weekend but when Rob and Lorraine phoned to see if we wanted to go up to their caravan we thought it was too good an offer to miss. Nigel decided to stay at home so the boys and I went up on Friday and came back Monday.

I had planned to get away sharpish on Friday as Lachlan’s school finished at 1.15 because it was the end of term and also because the V8 Supercars were in town. We had a letter from the Primary School saying that, as parents we should make the appropriate decision about whether to pick our children up early from school on Friday because of the V8s, as traffic was expected to be a problem. I suppose it also gave parents a get out clause if they wanted to take their children to see the V8s, which I guess many parents did as the school playground was definitely quieter than normal at 3pm! However, Lachlan was invited to go to the V8s with his friend Lachlan and his Mum (though I found out later that Lachlan’s Mum didn’t in fact take them – I’m sure this will be the first of many half truths I will be subjected to as the Mother of a teenage boy!)) and some other friends. So he was under strict instructions to be back by 5pm and did pretty well as he arrived pedalling hard up the driveway at 5.10pm! I think he rather enjoyed the independence of being able to go off with his friends to such a big event and was really buzzing when he got back.

Rob and Lorraine’s caravan is at a small place called Otauto Bay just north of Coromandel Town.
View Map

The journey went remarkably smoothly – the boys watched The Pirates of the Caribbean on the DVD player as I negotiated the steep, winding, coast hugging roads north of Thames by turns dazzled by headlights behind me or blinded by those ahead! On occasions being taken unawares by the sharpness of the bends as a yawning abyss loomed! However, just one toilet stop and a false alarm sick stop for Aonghas and we arrived safely three hours later. The last section is on an untarmacced section of road so it is a tad bumpy and when we got to the Motor camp I was a bit unsure of exactly where to find Rob and Lorraine (especially since the notes I had from Nigel actually had the wrong place name on!) – no cell phone coverage so I left the boys in the car to scout around the Motor camp until I found them!

Not much time to look around as it was quite late so we had a drink and headed to bed. The Motor Camp backs directly on to the shore and there is a short walk on to the beach to get to the shower block – a pleasant walk in the middle of the night! We woke to a beautiful morning and a lovely view across the bay but it was too windy to go fishing on the boat. Lorraine treated us to a cooked breakfast – scrummy – and then we packed up a picnic and headed along the coast to go fishing off the rocks. The road is pretty rough in places and hugs the coast so there are some spots where there is very little to separate the edge of the car from oblivion! We stopped at a pretty little bay called Fantail Bay but we had no luck fishing – there were quite

a few white horses on the sea and the lines kept getting caught in the seaweed so eventually we gave up and tried again a bit further along the coast. Still no joy so we had lunch and went back to watch the V8s on tele in the caravan! Rob’s nephew Nick races in the V8s so we spent our time trying to spot his car amongst the many speeding flashes on the screen! He came 11th in his race which I gather is ok for him – he generally comes around 12th or 13th. Later that evening as the sun went down over the bay we had another go at fishing off the wharf -Aonghas caught a couple of tiddlers and Lachlan nearly had the catch of the weekend but … it got away! Rob got quite excited as Lachlan’s rod bent under the strain of a big fish but it disappeared under the wharf, lost the hook and swam away to freedom!

Next day Rob woke us up early to say that the sea was a bit calmer and did we want to go out on the boat – the answer was a resounding yes from the boys – I’ve never known them get up and dressed so quickly on a cold, very early morning! I have to admit to being quite excited myself as I have rarely been out on a motor boat! We packed up some provisions, made sure we had plenty of layers on, and off we went out to sea! Well not very far – we were within sight of land the whole time but it was quite bouncy as we picked up speed – quite exhilarating! Rob stopped the boat at a seemingly random spot but he appeared to have a reason for his choice – years of experience I guess! It looked promising when Aonghas got a bite 30 seconds after putting his line in the water! A snapper, but a bit small so back it went into the sea! A couple of minutes later he got another one and this was a decent size! But it seemed our optimism was short lived as it was a good half hour before Ernie caught another and that was too small as well! We continued to bob up and down on the water as the sun warmed us up but the fish just weren’t biting. Ernie and Aonghas had a few more nibbles and the bait was taken a few times but otherwise nothing. Rob decided to move a bit further along and let Lachlan have a go at driving! He was in his element – we chugged along for a bit going round in circles until Rob explained about how to fix on a point to aim for and then he cracked it! I even started to relax a bit and then Rob thought it was safe enough to crank the speed up a bit, and there we were racing along with my 13 year old son at the helm!!! Sorry Lachlan, but I was a bit nervous! The new fishing site was no better – Ernie bagged a Gurnard but the wind started to pick up and the waves started to toss us around a bit so Rob decided that we should call it a day. We all got a bit damp on the way back as Rob speeded along and the spray came over the boat but it was great fun. Aonghas was reluctant to hold his first fish – “it’s disgusting – all slimy!” but eventually plucked up courage to have his picture taken! Lorraine cooked our meagre haul for a snack before tea and it was delicious – even Aonghas enjoyed it! That was the end of fishing for the weekend – typically the wind dropped on Monday morning when we had packed up to go home but, hey, that’s life! The boys really enjoyed their go at fishing and are dead keen to go back – they even wanted to buy fishing rods on the way home! We had a lovely time in Otauto, heaps of thanks to Rob and Lorraine for putting up with us and especially Rob for all his patience with two exciteable and (sometimes restless) boys!