Thursday, June 25, 2009


A movement is a motion, a change in position. To judge if you are moving or not you have to have something to compare to, a constant.

You have the perception of moving...are you moving or not? I'll choose a tree as my constant. Now am I moving away from the tree or is the tree moving away from me? Dumb question, of course I am. Therefore I am moving.

Age is like movement, a very slow movement, very much like when you are in a revolving restaurant. You know you are moving but you can't feel it. The only way you know you are moving is because the scenary outside is going around in circles. However how can you judge your age moving? The crows feet by your eyes? The protuding belly? Is it really down to physical appearance?

Many people say that you are as old as you feel, appearance has nothing to do with it. A great example of this is ageing sports stars that continue to show the young fellas how it is done.

The other day, I didn't feel old but I did realise that I was getting old. I had spent two days in a year 2 class and the children had gotten to like me very much in a very short amount of time. They respected me, adhered to me and liked me for the way I teach and how I interact with them. They gave me lots of hugs at the end of the day.

What I felt at that moment was, that they looked up to me, I am there to protect them, to teach them and to have fun with them. All of those things combined gave me a feeling of feeling old because I had a responsibility to them even if it was only for 2 days. I've had friend's children that love me and I spend as much time as I can with them but to them I probably don't protect them or teach them because they have mum or dad to do that. Attaching the teacher tag adds another dimension to myself and because of that the children respond differently.

I am sure that at different times in people's lives they will feel old. Different situations will make you feel old and you might not feel that way until you cannot sit down without groaning.

As to, did I like feeling older?

I very much liked the attention and the feelings that the children emitted to me. I don't mind feeling older as long as I can wake up in the morning without complaining.

Being around children gives you a lot of different perspectives but that is not to say children themselves are a good constant to gauge your age. I

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Whakarongo mai! Listen to me!

Today in the papers a pair of armed robbers held up a bank. They were apprehended soon afterwards. Not an unusual story, is has actually happened quite a lot recently in New Zealand (sad). However if you delve a little deeper into this story, it so happens that when the 'gunman' went up to the counter he had forgotten to put on his mask AND forgot his firearm (which was with his accomplice). He had to go back to where his partner was, get the gun and then proceed to rob the place.

No wonder it didn't take them very long to get caught since everyone in the bank saw his face!

What am I trying to get at?

The reason why these people are robbing banks is most likely because they are too stupid to probably hold down a steady job. In fact they are so stupid, they can't even rob a bank properly.

This then links to my next story. Perhaps something I wouldn't normally discuss in a public forum because I just don't like politics and I rather not discuss it but I find as I grow older and learn a lot more I find that I get passionate about more things and education is one of them. I have to speak up. Education is too important to let things slide by.

Peter Sharpels, a high profile politician for the Maori party who is advocating free entry into university. By 'free' he means that Maori are exempt from any prerequisites when entering university and not 'free' in terms of money. In retort, other MP's have rubbished his claim that this is setting up Maori to fail. Statements like 'they will pay 10 thousand dollars and not pass the course' 'they aren't normally qualified to get into university, let alone pass university.'

Now I'm not totally sure I agree with the above statements. I thought university helped me to re-find myself after my disastrous secondary school schooling. I said above that as you get older you learn more things, and if these Maori kids get the chance to go to university and they genuinely want to better themselves, then KA PAI! (good!) I hope they succeed in life.

However, that isn't what I want to complaining about. What I want to see are people like Peter Sharpels to stop thinking about the short term benefits. Think about the long term ones. Do you want lots and lots of Maori's failing at the 5-17 age group who will then fail in life? Do you just want them to get a free ride all their lives?

What about actually helping them at the lower level so they don't need that free entry into university? How about looking into ways of helping Maori whanau (families) and Maori tamariki (children) outside of the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori education system? (school's that are taught in Maori and have more understanding of the needs of Maori both physically, mentally and spiritually)

More additional help outside of Kaupapa Maori is needed.

MP's are too often looking for the instant gratification, that instant support of voters instead of thinking about New Zealand (their country) as a whole. Yes I know it is reality and all of them do it, but how can it change if people like myself just sit on their kumu (bum) and do nothing?

Kia Kaha Aotearoa! (Be Strong New Zealand!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Anzac Biscuits FTW!

My girl made some awesome Anzac Biscuits today. It was the first time either of us had baked anything sweet so it was extra exciting. We had flat thin ones and small fat ones because we didn't know what shape was the best (the instructions didn't really say). In the end, the small fat one was the better one because it was softer (that's my preference) but if you like it crunchy then make it flat thin.

The darker ones are just the underside of the cookies

Here is the recipe and instructions on how to make them (this makes about 10-12 small biscuits)

  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 50g coconut (flaked, dry)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

How to:

Heat the oven to 150C. Lightly grease two trays.

Sift flour, combine with other ingredients except the bicarbonate of soda, butter and golden syrup and set aside.

Cut the butter into small pieces, place with the syrup in a saucepan and melt together, stirring. Then remove from heat.

Combine bicarbonate of soda with 1 tablespoon of water and blend in with the syrup and butter mixture.

Gradually mix in dry ingredients, until you have a consistent texture, and spoon onto the tray in dollop sizes of your choice.

Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Cool slightly then transfer to wire cooling rack, and enjoy with a cup of tea!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

To read or not to read, that is the question

Finding it a bit hard these days to concentrate on reading. Its not that I am not reading, I am. However even when I am reading a really good book my attention will stray too quickly. I'll find something to do on the internet, troll through some forums or play stupid internet games.

I have written another 2 pages of my book tho. I think the word count is at something like 4K, another 900K to go. LOL

Also slowly getting a few hits on my site

I think I need to start reviewing newish books.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Word of the Day #16: Bedlamite

Pronouced: Bed-la-mite

Meaning: an insane person, a lunatic

Example sentence: I bet that man is a bedlamite.

Luckily I don't live in America

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I ate a whole Zucchini!!!

There have been three recent moments that has had me thinking about food and the evolution of food. Not in the sense of how food has developed over the years but how cultural foods have had to adapt once taken away from their home country.

"That's not real Italian food" Marco said
"What do you mean? It tastes great to me and it looks like Italian food"
"When you go to a Chinese restaurant do you think it is authentic Chinese food?"

This conversation (with my ex-Italian flatmate) was like an explosion in my head. How could I have not known? So naive!

"I ate a whole zucchini, I did well, I don't normally eat vegetables"

That is a quote from my friend Darryn who had dinner at my house one time. 

The next time I got thinking about this topic was at a recent dinner I had with some friends of mine. We were in a Chinese restaurant and it was packed...absolutely packed with.....Europeans. In my personal opinion, if the place's patrons are not at least half packed with Chinese people then that place is shit. But doesn't a packed house mean it has good food?

Sure, it has good food for Europeans, but why aren't their any (many) Chinese people eating there? The simple reason is because to survive (make money) in this industry the smart move is to cater to the majority rather than the minority. More Europeans equals more potential customers. 

It just won't do serving delicate subtle food. It just won't do serving exotic foods (such as stinky tofu, chicken feet or beef stomach lining). So therefore the Chinese foods have to adapt.

Sweet and sour pork is perhaps one of the most famous and well eaten Chinese dishes in New Zealand but is very rarely ordered at all by Chinese people. Braised pork, Braised lamb, Deep Fried Salt and Pepper and Fried Rice are on every Chinese menu in New Zealand. All these dishes have one thing in common.

Bold flavours. 

This thinking lead me back to the conversation I had with Marco. What are Italian dishes like in New Zealand? Pizza's from the chains aren't subtle, they have heaps of toppings, lots of cheese and sauces. Bold flavours. Pasta's are full of cream and heavy sauces. Bold flavours. 

When was the last time you went out for ethnic food that didn't have bold flavours?