Monday, December 29, 2008

I've got book vouchers, what should I read? Just to enjoy or to become a better Susan, I don't mind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

We'll be having a New Year's Eve Party: 4pm for kids until fools' hours. Iris says to dress in an M&M colour.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spent a lovely hour reading to Hazel in Borders: Dickens' Christmas Carol with Quentin Blake's pictures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The kids are watching Midsummer Night's Dream, I am reading Five Children and It.
You may wonder why Iris is perched naked on the roof of the car writing Xmas cards, so do I.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Iris had a whole day at school today, not the school she'll be at next year as it happens, but still, a whole day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Mummy, I'm going to town right now, to the place that is not the $2 shop... and I can't get there by myself!" 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Farewell Playcentre, that was big a day as our wedding.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pop Quiz (2). 1. What is the best thing about Summer?


2. What's a really yummy green tea and why?


3. What have you not yet tried that you would like to discover an astonishing talent for doing.


4. If you could change your walls as easily as your computer's desktop how often would you change them?


5. If you could just be somewhere else for an hour where would you go?


6. If you were putting up to twelve books for browsing on a shelf in a peaceful cafe what would they be?


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We're almost out of ink.

Which makes it a good time to buy a printer. I want to be able to scan and photocopy at home. We are choosing between the Canon Pixma MP520 (Playcentre's) and the HP Photosmart C8180 (Ruth's) I suspect either would be fine. You may research them if you wish and come up with a recommendation while I attend the school helpers' morning tea. 

Damon will sit in the house with a computer while Iris watches DVDs. She is responding to important change with her current best coping mechanism. I'm sure that once she's literate I'll be able to take her and a book places when she's in this mood but at the moment I'm a bit wistful that when Playcentre was on the phone and asked her to come in to help make my leaving present she wouldn't). 


Monday, December 08, 2008


I walked into Yoo's Hair Sketch in Palmerston North an hour before closing on Saturday and asked if she had time to perm my hair, she said to come back in quarter of an hour but I got excited talking to Sean about Thailand and memetics and was twenty minutes late. I apologised and she asked where I was from, saying that I wasn't like a kiwi client.

Kiwi clients don't come late and don't want hair like this:

Why-ever not?

Hazel says it feels like "soft noodles".

Friday, December 05, 2008

I am a lake of calm, over the cool dark waters you will hear the rich song of my grandfather's violin playing Silent Night.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Slow motion cinematographic convention in action scenes is a depiction of Flow.
Today Iris is wearing a size 0 Stretch-n-grow. It fits like a sprinter's suit.
A light inside her head is on. No, white regrowth under black hair.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I left my phone out in the rain. Sometimes it's fine, other times the buttons are all number 6.
Now I'm wondering where they're up to on the dance learning area achievement objectives. 

First tooth lost on stage!

While Hazel was dancing as a Licorice Allsort B on stage her first tooth finally came out! She tasted blood and subtly put her hand to her mouth. She thought she better not hold the tooth in her hand because she might lose it, so she kept it in her mouth, carefully, until it was time to exit. She told some Gum (girls who looked about 15 to me) and she told her to tell an adult. The Gum and the adult (whose daughter was in Hazel's PIN group and so has known Hazel since she was 3 months old and had no teeth at all) asked Hazel several times if she was all right "which I was" and kept the tooth while Hazel went back on and did her finale and bows. 

What a trouper! How did she know that the show must go on? 


In the Lynley Anne Ward School of Dance 2008 Show Hazel, Iris, H and K were in Group B; they were a Licorice Allsort and 3 Gummy Bears in The Chocolate Factory. They've been learning their dances all this term. The family only spent about a month working up to it with weekend rehearsals dotted here and there in the busy schedule of parental mountain biking, ultimate frisbee, role-playing, family visits, brunches, shopping, and barbequeing. 

But these last 4 days were dedicated to the show. On Saturday we lived at the Memorial Theatre; the girls had theatre rehearsals, a setting one with lights and props and effects starting to go in. I, from a drama background, was struck by the cavalier attitude dancers have to words. It seemed to me that Grandpa Joe (Felix Sampson) was being directed to make up things to introduce some scenes as we went along, right on the day of the first show!  Even though I often start with how a character moves in order to work out how to get inside their head and find out what might come out of their mouth I was amazed that of course he remembered his lines beautifully, they seemed in-character and it worked well. 

Almost immediately after that was the Dress Rehearsal. It's hard work, waiting, always alert for your cue, thinking about all the other dances, working out what the director is asking for and willing the dancers on stage to give it. By the end I was ready for a snooze but Hazel and Iris wanted to see the show and, as there are two Group A shows and two Group B shows, they were able to do so on Saturday night. 

We were swept off our feet by the beauty of the transition from backstage to front-of-house. I always am. Is there more magic in a show where I know intimately what it has taken to make it or one where it's all a slick mystery? Not sure. We were amazed at how many of the dancers we know. We saw some of our best loved bigger kids and our babysitter Siobhan Enright perform with wonderous grace. 

On Sunday we took things quietly, and on Sunday night Grandma, Ruth and Damon came to the show. I was on duty as a supervising parent. I had a lot of good ideas for things to bring but only managed a a Paddington novel (successfully read aloud to make a calm atmosphere), a packet of biscuits (not chocolate because it stains), and some little mouthful muesli bar-lets (which can be popped into the mouth without harming the lipstick). I did not bring the water jug or the grapes, crackers, and cheese I had bought for the purpose.

I was most surprised at myself when I found myself giving a wonderful pep talk to 13 agog Licorice Allsorts

"I saw the show last night and I saw the Group A Licorice Allsorts. I looked at them and I thought Wow! these guys are great! but I know that the Group B Licorice Allsorts are even more amazing! You people know your dance utterly, you own it, and you can go on that stage and do it with as much vivacity and verve as any dancer in this show, and all the adults in the audience will be thinking I wish my child was a Licorice Allsort, they're so lovely!" 
"Yes, Edward?"
"Is my lipstick all right?"
"Yes, you look great!"
"I'm scared."
"Well, do you know what they call people who are scared and then go on and do the thing they're scared of anyway?"
"Brave. That's what courage is, it's feeling the fear and doing it anyway, it's being nervous and putting on a beautiful smile and reaching your energy out past the ends of your arms and legs and zapping the walls with your star jumps!"

We'll have the DVD of that show (possibly before Christmas) and I think we'll have a movie party with the girls some time when things have settled down. 

Last night I was in the audience when the kids were on; they were wonderful of course. Relatedness is a funny thing; Hazel wasn't in the front of her group this time but she was the star of that scene for me, and then these little tiny Gummy Bears came on and the whole theatre said "awww" and I perceived my nieces and my Iris as obviously the Gummy Bears with the wiggliest bottom wiggles and the most beautiful smiles and I felt a little sorry for all the people who were thinking that their Gummy Bears can hold a candle to mine. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ballet Mum affirmations.

  • I am the lake that dancers' energy is drawn from. I remain calm and positive at all times. 
  • I am the ground that their feet dance on. I read all the email, I arrive on time and I bring all the right stuff. 
  • I know the past and see the future. I buy my tickets early and I bring food, drink, and hairspray to share. 

Interview with a Licorice Allsort

What's the best things about being in the show? 
Your dance is usually fun. 
Your costume is normally cool. It's like you make friends with your costume. 
And this is about Lynley Anne: that she knows every child and thinks about each individual child and what they are doing and how they do it (not just a group) and it only takes her a few seconds to know their name. 
And she chooses good stories and makes up good dances to go in the stories. 
She chooses the people to do the best dancing for them; she chooses the right dances for the right people. 

What's the best thing about dancing on stage?
You feel like you're the most popular person in the whole world and everyone's paying attention to you because you're a great dancer. 
It's also a way of expressing your emotion about how much you love dancing and how much you love people and want to impress them with what you can do when you're dancing. 

What's important to you about being a dancer?
It's fun and I have the best teacher. 
I'm attracted to Jazz [more than classical ballet]. It's part of how I am. When babies are born they have a bit of their mother, a bit of their father, and a bit of themself: it's part of that bit in the middle. 

What were the best and worst things I did while you were doing the ballet show? 
Best: you supported me and helped me to know that I could do it. I knew that you and Daddy would love me whatever I did, but that you would be proud when I did my best and it was very good. 
Worst: you didn't tell me where the lunch boxes were and I was hungry.