Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cuba Duba

This rather cloudy Saturday we headed into Wellington to have a look at the Cuba Street Festival (or Cuba Duba as it appears to be known). 

If you have never been to Wellington then one of the must visit places is Cuba Street. Its a pedestrianised shopping area full of weird and wonderful shops selling everything imaginable from vintage clothing, army surplus, comic books and memorabilia. Plus an apothecary, fabulous cafes, bars and art shops. It always reminds me of the lanes in Brighton but is far less painfully trendy.

This weekend the street was full of art and crowds of people. There were many street artists and bands dotted up and down the street. Plenty of stuff to keep all of us happy and amused.

Thankfully, despite the threatening clouds the rain held off and we could still appreciate the art exhibits dotted around and above us.

Outside my favourite chocolate shop we came across a group singing opera. I'm afraid I am not sure exactly which opera they were singing but it did involve this chap attempting to climb the building at one point!

Eventually he climbed the building using the internal stairs and reached what I presume is the love of his love and they sung a beautiful duet.

These guys were my favourite group. The double base and guitar were awesome. Unfortunately by this point the kids were worn out and we had to head home before the evening entertainment started. My eldest is going to become a teenager this year so all the way home she moaned about how embarrassing it is when people over thirty dance in the street. All I can say to that is next year, this forty something, will be going to Cuba Duba again and dancing in the street with the rest of them!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Birthdays, rain and school

It's my youngest daughters tenth birthday this weekend. We had planned on going camping and inviting a group of her friends to come along. Unfortunately there has been some horrendous weather sweeping across the North Island this week and it has decided to hit Wellington at the weekend.

Everything in our garden (including our lovely stone kingfishers) is absolutely sodden.

So rather than going camping we are having a birthday sleepover at ours for Alice and four of her mates. Since its been steadily pouring since about 3am this morning her birthday will now involve copious amounts of fizz, pizza and playing on the X-box. Not as much fun in my opinion as camping but Alice seems thrilled with the whole thing.

Her friends have brought her some wonderful presents and the lovely notice board came with description of Alex's bottom already added!

The flowers at the beginning of this post were giving to me by the Board of Trustees at my daughters school. They were a thank you for being on the board for the past year. The Board of Trustees manage the school in much the same way as Governors do in the UK. They are responsible for hiring and firing staff, managing the budget and the policies behind the organisation. Its an awful lot of responsibility and work for volunteers and I am in awe of all the people who work so hard in these positions. I recently resigned from my Board as I couldn't do the job justice whilst working full time.

It's an odd situation where people who volunteer and are voted into these posts, then have the responsibility of managing huge budgets and making decisions that affect the future of so many children. Often these volunteers have no prior experience in education, running businesses or writing policies. I know its a struggle for a lot of schools to find any Board members, never mind ones that are actually capable of doing the job!

I certainly don't think I was particularly good at the job and only really put myself forward because I was interested in how the school was run and why certain decisions were made. I do question the wisdom of running schools in this way as you are dependent on the right people being voted in, and it not being a popularity contest. I guess its rather like any election - you're relying on the public making the right decision. And as recent events prove, the public doesn't always do that!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dog walks in the sun

During the week I get up, before the sun does, to take the dog for a walk.

So its nice at the weekend to be able to take the dog out whilst the suns shining. This weekend I took my camera with me to take a few pictures.

It was clearly going to be another hot sunny day - the sun just hadn't quite had enough time to burn off the clouds above this valley.

These guys were making a hell of a racket along the beach this morning. Don't know what they were discussing but it was clearly controversial.