Rory Gardiner's Webpage

02, May, 2010

Sunday 2nd May 2010

We send our condolences to Madeline, Mark, Kaye, Conor and Zac Wily this week as they lost a husband, father and granddad.  Our thoughts are with you at this sad time, and we send our love. 

Sean got the Pest Management Officer position with Taranaki Regional Council!  Receiving the news was a bit of an anti-climax as we had waited, and waited, shelving our excitement several times.  But it is a HUGE relief.  We are all proud of Sean.  Note  ... in the interests of accuracy he placed 8th in the Cape Brett Challenge, not 10th!  We had planned to move south at the end of the school term (first week in July) but we have had serious discussion this weekend.  I am keen to go as soon as possible.  I have been ready since the start of the year, and my contract finishes with Council in two weeks.  Sean has had an extra four months of field work in Northland which he didn’t expect to get, and has no outstanding contracts.  While it was the right decision for the boys to go back to school at Dargaville Primary this year the school day lasts nine hours with the commute.  Now we are leaving summer behind it is harder to do, and the lack of daylight hours leaves us little time for anything else.  There is nothing holding us in the north except Grannie and Grandad Gardiner.  We love them to bits but they understand we need to make a fresh start, and soon.  It is overdue.  It is likely we will move during Queens Birthday weekend.  We plan on staying with my parents in New Plymouth until we can find ourselves a home.  We think we will settle in Inglewood and have started looking at homes there. 

Today we spent the day outdoors hunting goats with Sean at Mangakahia.  On our way up we stopped at Kawakawa bakery for their famous doughnuts.  It was a fine and mild day.  Sean dispatched 17 goats, 10 on a steep slope across a gully.  While he and Sam went after them Rory and I went for a walk.  There were a lot of empty kauri snail shells in the drain beside the track, the animals having drowned during heavy rain.  It was neat to see two live snails on the track.  Rory delighted in throwing rocks at puff balls bursting them in explosions which released clouds of grey spores.  We saw a male tomtit up close.  Rory though he looked like Batman with his black hood and cape.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun.  On the way home we made a slight detour to show the boys Ngawha geothermal springs.  The spa is in the middle of nowhere, and very run down.  It is almost like you step back in time 50 years.  The pools are still open, and people were bathing.  The area smells like Rotorua, with a strong sulphurous odour (hydrogen sulphide).  We walked down to the edge of Lake Waiparaheka.  The surface bubbles as carbon dioxide gas is released through vents on the bottom of the lake.  Yellow sulphur dusts the lakes edge and surrounds the bubbling vents.  Huge kauri logs lie on the lake edge smooth and red.  Small pieces of kauri gum dot the black peat soil.  It is a fascinating and special place. 

Yesterday (Saturday) Sam had soccer in the morning.  His team, Kamo Black, played Onerahi, the only team they lost to during 2009.  It was a close game with Kamo Black driving the play.  Through great team work they finally managed to score a goal in the second half to win 1-0.  The rest of the day was a quiet one at Whakapara.

On Friday Sean was at school with the boys while I went to work at Council.  In the morning the children worked on their written language, learning to understand words using their senses i.e. taste, smell, touch.  Before morning tea the class was allowed out onto the playground structure with Rory.  Rory has only been on it once this year.  He gives it a wide berth as it is usually full of noisy boisterous children.  Adam, Kyler and Brodie helped Rory through the various obstacles and he was happy to be getting a turn and managing largely himself.  Maths followed after morning tea and Rory worked with Kyler on the exercises.  At lunch time Sean made Kody, Korie and Rory some paper planes which they flew around the asphalt.  They captured the attention of a number of children so Sean’s skills were in hot demand.  After lunch the children had a session of art, working on their alien face creations.  Sean made more paper gliders which he gave out at the end of class as treats.