Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Weapon of choice

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič - @specialdaddy on Unsplash

Books are my listening and viewing devices, my undersea cables, my hearing aids, my best friends in troubled times and my weapon of choice.

Lynn Jenner (from Lost and Gone Away).

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs (Qui-Gon Jinn)

Start again.

I'm still reflecting on some lessons from Chasing Great - the film about All Black captain, Richie McCaw.

That list he wrote before each game began, each time, with 'Start again'.

I love that.

I referred to it at our first assembly of the term - a new start!

Achievements are great and they are important for a time, but they mean little to the present situation where you have to prove yourself all over again (and again and again...).

Being mindful of the past and future is fine, but not at the expense of the moment - yes, Qui-Gon again.

In that way you are always aiming to improve.

Richie's list always ended with G.A.B. (Great All Black). A reminder of his goal (he barely dared to dream it and write it down - such was his humility).

Dare to dream. Write it down! Keep it!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

All the cats are at the High School rockin' (Jerry Lee Lewis)

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
Phew! The holidays are over and it's back to school! 

Life returns to normal.


Yes, normal. Most of the year is taken up with work days - that's the norm.

Yes, after ten weeks of school routine I need something different but two weeks off becomes this weird land.

The first few days are always detox days, although I never get used to longer sleep ins during breaks. I'm usually still waking around 5am.

When I'm doing home stuff (clearing out blackberry and dead trees, rebuilding chicken coops, hanging new chandeliers)  I get guilty hot flushes that I'm not checking my emails or my phone enough. And the emails mount up!

So being back in harness is accompanied by a sigh of relief in many ways.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

I'm just sitting watching flowers in the rain, feel the power of the rain making the garden grow (The Move)

Photo by Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash
Week two of Term Break and I have been seeking refreshment in work around the house. That includes gardening. 

I'm not alone in finding that getting your hands dirty is a very therapeutic activity.

It takes my brain away from school stuff and centres it on getting rid of dead wood, weeding, trimming trees and generally fixing up gardens that haven't seen any tender loving care for a decade.

Frinstance: Maple Grove has some way out of control old rose bushes that demand full on concentration. even so - I was still snagged a number of times yesterday. 

All of this stuff: rose branches; dead cabbage tree and fern fronds; Macrocarpa branches; weeds etc - all went onto a large burn pile which has been burning/smouldering for three days now.

Like taking rubbish to the transfer station, tidying in this way is very cathartic.

As English poet,Alfred Austin, would have it: The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Every little thing she does is magic magic magic (The Police)

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash
Every one rowing together in a co-ordinated way can be a powerful force.

It's something greatly to be admired, and aimed for because it gives a concerted effort towards a common purpose..

Some, but not all, All Black teams have had it. The last notable time was in 2015 during the world cup under Richie McCaw's awesome leadership.

Some Arsenal teams have had it - the 2003-2004 'Invincibles' team was the clear example, but too often they have not even been all in the same boat.

Some schools have it, but this is an even rarer situation, in my experience. All it takes is a couple of staff either not contributing or worse, facing the opposite direction, and the boat feels like it's caught a crab.

Personally I've only experienced true alignment twice. Once at Macleans College under the headship of Colin Prentice. 

And now.