Saturday, September 26, 2009

Life takes over.

I have decided that one of the signs that you have truly begun to settle in somewhere is when you are rushed off your feet and have no time for things like blogging. The last few weeks have gone by in a blur of school drop offs, coffee mornings, application forms and late nights.

J has really settled in well at school. Her new teacher is very nice and she is beginning to make good friends amongst her new class mates. I think the transition from Kindergarten to School has been harder on me than it has on J. I have transformed into one of those very pushy Mums who wants to be involved in the school so they can keep an eye on their precious first borns. I have now volunteered to help out in the classroom and come in to do reading with some of the children. I really need to get back to work!

I think, from what I can tell so far, that school in NZ is not all that much different from the UK apart from the fact that they are far more relaxed about access to school grounds and the classroom environment is slightly less formal. I can just wander into the school at any time to help out in the classroom and no one stops me. There is no intercom or high fences as you see in many inner city UK schools. J has been told just to stay behind the red line in the playground, that is all that stands between her and freedom!

It is however a bit disconcerting when you come to pick up time. They are all just released from the classrooms and no one checks whether parents are there or not to collect the little ones. J has been instructed by her teacher to return to the classroom if no one is there at pick up time. At this stage however I am making damn sure I am there on time as I am not sure I trust her entirely to return to the classroom and not panic. I am probably worrying unnecessarily. The fact is that everyone outside the school knows each other. Its such as small place that in two weeks I recognise everyone waiting at the school already, so hopefully if J ever wandered off there are plenty of people who would look after her. The trust, freedom and responsibility that is placed on these children at such a young age can be a bit difficult for someone coming from the UK to get used too.

Spring is apparently here but its not coming soon enough as far as I am concerned. We have had two winters consecutively and now we are desperate for some proper sunshine. We have seen fleeting glimpses of summer but not enough yet for us to try out our new tent. So the last couple of weeks we have made do with some good local walks.

Pauatahanui wildlife reserve is on our doorstep and is a great place to see wading birds and other wildlife. I didn't manage to get any decent pictures of birds this time so here is a picture of A with some sheep we met on the walk.

There are hides dotted all around the reserve which are ideal places to spot birds from - providing you don't shout out every time you see a duck.

Pondering the complexities of life.

Looking towards Whitby.


  1. I always wanted Mum to stay behind the red line but she never would!!

  2. I love it that the Kiwi kids have so much freedom. It reminds me of how things used to be when I was a (suburban) kid in the US (ie, when the world was a smaller, safer, more trusting place).

  3. Haha, our kids have just been told to stay behind the red line too! It's weird, because during the day back home, the school gates would be locked and you had to go through the office and get signed in etc to visit. Here, the gates are open all day. Having said that, after school there is a second bell 15 minutes after pick-up. Anyone who has not been picked up is then rounded up and taken to the office and the staff call parents to come and get them. Kind of like that. I'm never late though, because my daughter would panic if I wasn't there.
    It's kind of nice volunteering, and the teachers really appreciate it. Unlike home, the kids always make thank-you cards, and at the end of the year, there is a morning tea for all the regular helpers. It's a good way of getting to know their friends too.