Living in NZ has been mostly great. We miss our family and friends, and great Middle Eastern food, but all three of us have found things we absolutely adore about living in NZ. Mark is doing challenging and interesting work, and living a short walk from work has been great for us spending time together as a family. Mark gets to see Inigo both in the morning, and in the evening – in Sydney he was usually asleep by the time Mark got home from work.
Mark has also found a new choir to sing with, an octet that has paid gigs, and they are flying him down to Wellington for a gig next month. Exciting stuff.
Inigo has two rocking schools. Freemans Bay School is a lovely city school with loads of green space, a kitchen garden, the freedom to go barefoot and climb trees, and the ability to just be him, without the pressure to conform to anybody elses idea of normal. The school is very child centered, and Squishy is loving the freedom and personal power he gets from taking responsibility and ownership of his learning process. Its not perfect, but he is a much, much happier wee beastie when Monday morning rolls around each week than he ever was about going to school in Sydney.
And then there is One Day School. A place where kids get to explore a new topic each week, with the freedom to apply their own initiative and resources however they see fit. Where the kids are guided and encouraged to explore the topic through their own eyes and methods. I cant speak highly enough about what this experience has meant for Squish. He was already a great thinker, but he is gaining so much confidence and passion for learning, that he is wanting to do homework so that he can have more time at school for his projects.
I have withdrawn from university again this semester because the exam period fell exactly in the middle of when Marks contract here ended, and the uncertainty about where we would be living was very damaging to my ability to focus on study. So I have thrown myself face first into the Auckland (and greater New Zealand) fibre scene.
I have joined Creative Fibre, and attended lots of different groups. I have learned bobbin lace, and loom weaving, and supported spindling, and how to use a hackle, a drum carder, and now I have even bought a double treadle spinning wheel. And last month I taught my first class – Unravelling Ravelry. Some of you may laugh at the thought of me teaching Ravelry (yes, you Emily!), but i have come a long way, and the process of putting together the class notes taught me a lot. The class went brilliantly, and I am happy to say that the owner of the yarn shop has asked me back to teach two new classes. Learn to Knit, and Continental Kntiing both coming up.
Our tenure in NZ ends in about six weeks, and we have not yet reached an agreement with Marks employers that will enable us to stay here long term.
The stress, of course, is huge. On the upside, Mark and I have weathered some pretty rough storms in the past, and we are very lucky that we are able to communicate effectively and present a united front. Well get through this, and will be thrilled at the outcome. If we have to come back to Sydney, we get to have Summer and Christmas with our loved ones, Squish will be able to go back to choir and piano lessons, Ill get back on track with uni, and Marks job will carry on, and Im sure he will find another choir.
And if we end up staying here, you can look forward to lots of pictures of our travels around this lovely country, and more fibery adventures, and the joy of packing up a three bedroom cluttered house to move into a tiny two bedroom apartment. Joy!
So, on RUOK day, how are YOU doing? If your glass is only half full, can I help you top it up a little?