Friday, 30 November 2012

And another rendition

I found this when looking too. I have heard Anna's voice before and wondered who it was, now I know. A wonderful talent especially given the circumstances. Check out this before watching, totally amazing:

An impromptu performance of Anna Grahame singing Bathe in the River with Don McGlashan during TVNZ rehearsals for TV1 New Years Countdown. Hollie Smith was late for rehearsal so Anna Grahame was lucky enough to step in without notice - hence not wearing any shoes/make up!

Memory lane

I had a wander down memory lane this evening. I was listening to my music and a Don Mc Glashan number came on. I search Youtube for it to share and found this. I love Hollie Smith and this was one of my favourites for a long time. The movie Number 2 is outstanding, a lovely slice of New Zealand life. So here is Hollie and some scenes from the movie. It's only a few weeks and I'm on my way home for my family fix, I can't wait.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


What a week, the word multitask takes on a whole new meaning in my life at the moment. I'm not the best at multitasking. I prefer to start something and get it finished, or even almost finished, before starting the next task. This week that would have been a luxury. Monday started poorly after too much of a Sunday evening after racing.

Racing went okay we finished 4th overall, it was exciting especially the leg where I lost control of the spinnaker, the pole not wanting to go where I needed it to. We were in second place at the time, close to first. By the time we got sorted we were out the back but still upright. The celebrations after were fun, lots of discussion and sparring over who hit whom and why. They went on for a while, too long for a school night. My Monday muscles told me I'd worked hard.

After some consultation on Friday, the bill to amend the law was finished. The cabinet paper was written, the changes made and off it went to the Minister. I think it went to Cabinet today, a job finished after months of work. Today I was at the Ritz, presenting to a large group of people on a forum panel. Public speaking, not my favourite task. I got to speak to individual and small groups as well, in my element talking education to business folks.

The after party was nice, advertised as cocktails, I enjoyed a nice Wither Hills. The best of New Zealand wine, standing on a balcony enjoying the evening and eating yummy canapes. So my week consisted of HR in welcoming and inducting a new teacher and her family to the island; diplomacy in a multiagency meeting to set up greater collaboration; finishing the law project, almost; public speaking and generally networking; writing presentations and preparing information; and educating parents in a 2 hour evening workshop. I think that was enough, may be why I'm feeling a little tired now. 

Monday, 19 November 2012


Oh dear, I was playing around on my blog this morning and checked the comments spam folder. Apologies to people who have posted a comment that I've not posted or replied to. I'm in the process of sifting out the advertising ones and those that are genuine. That may take some time. I suspect any with a website link go this route, I must check the folder more often. So please keep commenting and I'll keep writing!

I was having a play because it's Sunday and I have some down time, some brain break time, some laying in and reading time. It's lovely actually. I'm off sailing this afternoon, race 3 of the J22 Winter Series. It promises to be exciting, the wind forecast to be lively. Excellent.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cruiser racing - Blue Runner

Some tight racing
Out in front

Spinnaker flying

What a weekend out on the water. Jen got some  good pics of us racing. The water was an amazing blue with the sand being kicked up by the rough waters. It may not look rough but the winds were quite fierce at times and the waves washed over the bow. Jen was on Yahoo Yahoo, our closest rival. We got really close at times, almost touching once. Thanks for sharing these Jen, much appreciated.

Some of the fleet

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Pirates Week....arrrah

Yes, the pirates here really do walk around going arrrah or some such similar sound. Jo and I went to Sunset House for dinner after today's lively sail and there were piles of pirates. I wonder what a large group of pirates are really called, a crew of pirates? I think a pile of pirates sounds much more likely. The pirates we saw are a regular part of Cayman's Pirates Week. They come from Seattle every year in their very piratey outfits and go around harassing (in a good, friendly pirate way) people out and about in Cayman.

I've had a quiet Pirates Week so far, Friday evening's amazing fireworks display settling things off in typical fashion. The street were full of folks, locals and tourists, enjoying the cooler weather and the festivities. Yes, the weather is cooler, very much cooler. It's too cold for me to swim at the moment and even the North Sound water is chilly. A few rums were had, a few tales told then it was out onto the high seas for me.

Sunday was cruiser racing, the last in the series. We celebrated at Kaibo for a while then sailed home. Today we took the J22 out for a training sail. The northerly winds have been too fierce for us to go out often so this afternoon things calmed a little so we took our chance. Mike did some training with us, very helpful. I'm not sure how many gibes we did with the spinnaker flying out front but my arms are feeling it now, the joy of being foredeck.

This short week, great having Monday off, should be a social one with an invite to East End's Heritage Day celebrations on Thursday. Pirates Week is also Heritage week and the day off is for Veteran's Day, thanks Carol for the information . All the districts have their heritage celebrations, a celebration of being Caymanian. The food, the music, the dancing and of course the rum. I'm not tempted by the turtle stew but fish soup, conch and lobster Caymanian spicy style will go down well. Photos may follow.

Good night from Cayman

Food for thought

While I'm not a particularly political person, injustice has always upset me. One of the best things about living like I do, moving around in different circles, in different countries, is that I get to dispel some of the myths about the lives of others. I can do this because I've had conversations with people from different cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds and people from different cultures living in different countries. Very enlightening if you take the time to listen to their stories, more enlightening if you can relate in some small way.

The man in this clip can most certainly relate to what he's talking about, what he's lived, what he's ashamed of and is working towards improving. This clip is a little over an hour long, one of the most humbling hours I've spent in a while. I actually miss talking about the Middle East, about Muslims, Suni and Shiaa, about Palestine and Israel about the current and past histories and troubles with the people who have historically struggled, been misunderstood and vilified. Hearing such an honest view, an insider view, and listening to the possible solutions was enlightening.

I've been to Israel, well to Jerusalem and the countryside between there and the Jordanian border. My visit left me with food for thought and I will write about it here when I've unpacked how I really felt about it, how it impacted on me and my later conversations with a group of Palestinians from Ramallah in Wadi Ram, Jordan. There haven't been many places in the world where I've been afraid, Jerusalem was one of those places.

For now, here's Miko Peled speaking earlier this year in Seattle. Thanks for sharing this Kate, my fellow traveller and photographer. It got me thinking.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

An afternoon off

Yesterday was fun, an afternoon off, time out on the water. A nice play and lots of gibing just for fun. Dave and Helen have just bought a J22 and we took it out for a shake down. It was interesting sailing on a different boat with things in different place, luckily the wind was light. Drinks, chips and postmortems when we'd packed everything away and then off to Debbie's art exhibition opening.

Glad rags and a bit of lippy, a different look to the shorts and hat. Debbie is a very talented artist and has also made art her business. She owns my favourite shop on island, Pure Art. There's always a cheery welcome at Pure Art and there's heaps to choose from, small and large gifts, home wares and of course the most amazing photographs and art works.

After the exhibition opening, some of us trotted off to the quiz at Lone Star. Fun, food and a beer, a great end to the day. I was quite exhausted this morning after packing so much into the afternoon and evening. This weekend promises to be interesting. Cruiser racing on the open seas was to be the order of the weekend, that's now been changed to a North Sound one due to the high winds.

It's also Pirates Week a festival that lasts for this long weekend and through the week and the following weekend. It's Heritage Week next week, a week to celebrate Cayman culture, food, music and history. There's a piece on this on the website linked above. So if last year was anything to go by, it should be a fun week or so of food and drink and partying.

Steel pan fun on one of last years floats

Sunday, 4 November 2012

New blog

My team and I have set up a blog to share information and hopefully engage parents in discussion about their children and education. Although it's not quite as developed yet as we would like, it's time to share it. We are currently writing a series on the literate child, how children learn to read and write and how parents can support them on this important journey. Our hope is that we can begin the discussion on best practices in literacy learning and most importantly how we can support children to naturally acquire these life skills.

We will also be sharing resources, links, ideas and fun things for families and children to do. It's a work in progress, your comments, contributions and engagement at would be appreciated. Lets support children to get back to enjoying their childhood, to have time to play, do and be in their own time. As David Elkind said way back in the 1980s in his book The Hurried Child, we force our kids to grow up far too fast, hurrying children through their childhoods and depriving them of the right to play. I was impressed with his observations in the 1980s, I continue to be impressed with what he has to say and it is much more relevant now than it was then.

Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, writing and count.
Childhood is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Hobbit

I can't wait to see the latest Peter Jackson movie! I love the book and have read it to my kids, we had a special, illustrated version. An excellent bed time story. Enjoy the lovely glimpses of home, my mountains and the countryside I know so well.