Rory Gardiner's Webpage

03, Apr, 2010

Saturday 3rd April 2010

Happy Birthday Uncle Guy ...... 34 years young today!!

The week has somehow slipped by, and I let it.  I kept meaning to update Rory’s website but instead of clearing the deck I leapt into all the opportunities which were available.  I’m glad I did.  We have enjoyed some quality family time together, and created happy memories.  It is easy to keep running on the work wheel but time is precious.  We only get one chance at life.  I often ask myself if I were hit by a bus tomorrow what would I miss?  What would I regret I didn’t do?  What would I rather have done?  I let this guide me as much as I can.  We have all made it back to the Naki and this afternoon I found an hour to play catch up. 

Monday – Whaea Danielle was absent so school assembly had quite a different flavour.  It’s not until someone is missing you realise and appreciate the impact of their presence.  One surprise of the day was teacher Miss Devereaux.  It turns out she is a talented guitar player with a lovely voice.  The class day started with a spelling activity then the children wrote a description of what they were wearing.  Rory told me verbally and I wrote down his ideas so he could copy them into his book.  For the remainder of the morning the children completed a worksheet on butterflies.  I supported Rory as he worked through it.  At lunch Kody and Rory played with the race car set Miss Hallett had bought.  In the afternoon the children set up their homework books and worked on their profile posters.  Rory had a session on the computer.  After school Sam had his final swimming lesson for the term and Rory and I had a play in the hydrotherapy pool.

Tuesday – The writing exercise continued as the children wrote a description of what someone else in the class was wearing.  They had a Te Reo Maori test (which I took along with them).  The children’s spelling made marking amusing (and a challenge)!  There was a fire drill so we all filed out into the courtyard before morning tea.  The children completed their profile posters (their photos and poems have been glued on), and enjoyed doing some Easter activities.  At lunch Rory initiated a game with the balls out on the asphalt, playing catch in the hat with a number of boys.  He seemed happy.  I was proud of him.  After lunch the class worked on their handwriting, letter I.  Miss Hallett had produced a card for Rory so he didn’t need to copy from the board.  For the remainder of the afternoon the class had a music lesson.  Rory is having half lessons and using the glockenspiel which he seems to be getting the hang of.  For the other half of the lesson he worked on his homework with me.  When the children returned they did some planning in anticipation of moving into Room 3 on Thursday.  Rory was able to choose where his desk will be located (near the front).  After school Sam and I went for a walk to stretch our legs and catch up on what was happening for him at school.

Wednesday – We all took the day to support Sam who was entering the Northern Wairoa Schools Triathlon at Kai Iwi Lakes for Year 5/6 and 7/8 children.  The children were able to enter individually or as part of a team to cover a 100m swim in Lake Taharoa, a 4km bike from Pine beach up to the main gate, and a 1.5km run through the bush up to the ridge line and back.  Sam entered in the individual event for Year 5/6 boys.  He came out of the swim in 5th, was 3rd home on the bike ride, and 3rd home on the run but was piped at the finish line to come 4th.  There wasn’t a lot between the first four finishers.  We were very proud of the effort he had made.  His fitness has improved a lot since the end of last year, but there ia s limit to what we can do during the week due to our daily commute to school of two and a quarter hours.  Sam’s effort was commendable.  Dargaville Primary students did well.  The year 5/6 boys event was won by his friend Hoani, and his friend Conor got 2nd.  The year 5/6 individual event was won by Xanthea Nichols, the Year 5/6 girls team won their event.  After their race the Dargaville Primary boys were tired and hungry, refuelling with gusto!  As a family we went for a walk around the Lake to our usual sandy spot and had a swim.  The lake was warm and clear and it was a delight to be in the water.  The boys found some pieces of kauri gum on the lake bottom.  When we left we decided to head north and do a loop back to Whakapara.  We drove through Waipoua Forest, stopping to visit Tane Mahuta, and Morrells cafe for a nosey (and Sean had a coffee).  At Waiotemarama river mouth we parked up for a walk along the beach.  It was very low tide and there were rock pools exposed which we investigated, and Sean and Sam had a swim in one.  There were 13 NZ dotterel feeding on the rocks, in amongst Pied Stilt, Variable Oystercatcher, and Red-billed gulls.  We drove north to the mouth of the Hokianga harbour (the view at Arai Te Uru is stunning), and across to Kaikohe for dinner.  We finally got back to Whakapara at 7.30pm.  We had been gone for 12 hours! 

Thursday – I went to work at Council for the morning.  The Policy and Monitoring team had a morning tea shout to celebrate the end of consultation for the Futures 30:50 project, (my old boss) Kerry’s birthday on Friday, and Easter.  Jan had baked a delicious chocolate cake.  The boys spent the morning with Sean at Whakapara; playing the Playstation, building with the lego, jumping on the trampoline, shooting with their bows, and reading books.  Grannie arrived home at 2.30pm so I went out with Sean to check on a possum control operation he had done at Helena Bay, a coastal farm property.  The property has many beautiful coastal cliffs with old (dying) pohutukawa and puriri, and several private beaches.  It was great to see the new growth on the trees which Sean was responsible for.  He has killed a huge number of possums (you can see their tails sticking up in the grass).  The Russian owner is going to considerable effort to restore the ecological values of the property; fencing, reducing the number of stock, replanting, animal and plant pest control.  I collected some shells from the beach for Rory’s science table. 

Friday – Sean and I were up early at 4am, and the boys were up at 4.30am.  We got ready, finished packing and were out the door at 5.15am.  The traffic was very heavy heading north until we reached Auckland.  We made four short stops on the way for the bathroom, food and fuel.  Rory was a little upset during the stop at Mercer.  A little girl at the table next to us commented he looked like a monster without any hair.  Sean and I took turns driving.  The boys travelled well, playing their Nintendos, reading, and drawing.  We arrived at Nana and Poppa Honnor’s in New Plymouth at 1pm.  After we had had lunch, unpacked, and given Poppa his birthday present, we stretched our legs on the coastal walkway.  It was hot and sunny.  Sam used his Ripstick, Rory walked a bit with Sean and I then rode in the buggy.  There were a lot of people using the walkway, walking, biking, running.  It was great to see lots of families outdoors spending quality time together.