Wednesday, January 31, 2007

progress report


We are very pleased to confirm that your Expression of Interest has been selected from the Pool for further consideration.

We will conduct some preliminary checks of the information you have provided to determine whether your claim is accurate. Following this checking, you may be invited to apply for residence in New Zealand.

We wish you all the best with your Expression of Interest.

Woo hoo! Yipee! Stage one got through - now to see what happens next....

On the renovations front I now have about 2/3rds of my new kitchen! The electricians have started wiring things in so I'll soon be in the much anticipated position of being able to turn on the lights as I enter the building rather than once I've bumped my way across the room to the far side... The architect wants to be able to say we have a functioning kitchen in Monthly Meeting on Sunday, well I'm not holding my breath - maybe I'm being selfish here but personally I couldn't give two hoots what gets said to MM, I just want my new kitchen to play in and to be able to serve breakfast to the B&B guests in a room that isn't a building site.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Piglet for Peace - the sequel?

Calling all Brits, including ex-pats!

There is a petition to No 10 to drop plans to replace Trident Nuclear Missiles

Please pass the word around.

I had a scrawl through the 'most recent 500 signatories' when I signed and was really chuffed to see so many names I recognised from the Quaker teenagers Summer School (NYFSG) I've helped at over the years.

A few years ago I remember some of us sitting in the staff room somewhat worried about this generation of Quaker kids - there seemed to be very little political awareness or activism and a lot of apathy towards issues which we had come to consider went with the territory of being a Summer Schooler. Just where were the t-shirts? The button badges and jewellery declaring your affiliation to Greenpeace, Amnesty International and so on? For that matter where were the clothes that weren't mainstream fashions? They seemed to be very much in the minority as opposed to the majority. At least they were still playing The Beatles so there was hope....

It appears that all was not lost after all. But what is going to adorn the button badges this time round?

Monday, January 29, 2007

photo exhibition

ok, for those who were kind enough to help me out with this one last year, my photos that got chosen in the end for the exhibition are above! The first ever Wellington Flickr Users Exhibition is at The Paramount Cinema, Wellington 7th-28th March if you happen to be passing....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

free translation...

One of the 'side-effects' of going to international Quaker events is that issues previously just warranting a few column inches on the inside pages of newspapers take on far more relevance when you know someone whose life is, or might be affected by the events of the world. Be it a natural disaster or the political climate which means families have to scrape around for funds to pay for an operation that many more fortunate ones of us can get courtesy of the national helath service.

Whilst many of us aren't in a position to send anything direct to those in need other than our prayers and an email we can make efforts in our own lifestyle and actions to help more indirectly. Whilst I'm not sure right now if what I'm doing will help Kenya or Peru specifically, at least I feel as though I'm doing something to redress the inequities of the world.

But I guess I shouldn't undervalue the emails and prayers. The WGYF email list has had a fairly steady stream over the last 18 months of prayer requests for those in need. What has also come through strongly has been the appreciation for the responses. Only a handful each time reply to the list, more I know reply to the individual and more still read the message and hold the request in the light, quietly and unassumingly. Knowing that those prayers are being said around the world has brought comfort and strength, and reinforces the knowledge that we may have all scattered but we're still together at heart. Thankfully we have those who translate messages for us back and forth betwixt English and Spanish to include as many as possible.

But sometimes an email comes direct, not through the list and good ol' rescues me from ignorance as my Spanish is pretty limited to put it midly. However either it doesn't seem to like Central American Spanish or it's the typing of the emails... making sense of the English is sometimes as challenging as the Spanish. But I had to smile, despite the seriousness of the email, at the latest one - it basically got translated as 'I give thanks to God, and send my greetings. I don't want to tire him but I hope he answers our prayers quick.'

Not quite how I would have put it but our Friend spoke my mind.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Oh dear, it's the Tebbit cricket dilema time...

Initial reaction on seeing the headline 'Flintoff holds nerve to seal win' was 'yes!'

Then I scrolled down to find 'Flemming laments batting failure' and all of a sudden victory wasn't anything like as sweet.

Couldn't they have drawn?

And then both beat Australia?!!!

Still, it is good to see Freddie back on form =)

(and no I never did get round to checking what happened in the Ashes whilst I was at Summer Gathering - please may I remain in ignorant bliss a bit longer? Thank you)

same old pattern, new resolution

Ok, ok, so it got a bit quiet on the NZ Quaker blogging front - but given that so many of us were at Summer Gathering with hardly enough time to draw breath, let alone hook up and type (and Leith doesn't seem to have come out of hibernation yet) what do you expect? But my excuse for taking so long to catch up again is I got home to find my modem as dead as the Norwegian Blue nailed to his perch. After a lengthy phonecall to Telecom persuading them that it wasn't pining for the fjiords or anywhere else I finally got a brand new shiny one... and then promptly ran away to hide in Newtown for a couple of days and cut myself off from the world.

I got home from Summer Gathering and started filling in the diary with all the extra bookings I'd had thrown at me whilst there (except the one I forgot! Thankfully I still had space of sorts...) - it was only when I looked at it all on the wall planner though that I realised that I had about 50 bed nights booked in over the coming two weeks - gulp.... I was exhausted, desperately needing copious quantities of sleep and a chance to recharge my decidedly flat batteries.

Ask and it shall be granted and all that... moments later a regular reliever walked past the window so a quick run round to the backflat and voila, a weekend off sorted. Marion offered me the use of their flat to hide in and then all I had to do was last until Friday.

Maybe I had learned a lesson after all. As we were planning Summer Gathering I'd realised that I had rather a lot on my plate, I know me - I keep going, keep going... and then crash. I knew from past experience I needed someone to boss me around and make sure I took time out, get help if I need it and get some sleep (as my WGYF Management Committe had sussed out, hence my fantastic support team)... but all the usual suspects for such a role were either not going to be there, had too much else on their plate to be worrying about me or weren't turning up until almost the end. So I gratefully took the sleeping tablets and just tried to manage....

I thought I was doing ok - but I wasn't. Sure there was always someone there when I needed a shoulder to cry on but it was a case of dealing with the symptons not the cause. There were those there who I could have (and should have) turned to but didn't, I eventually realised it was from trying to protect them from having to deal with things they might not want to either. But I don't think I did any of us any favours.

By the time Fran had given me a firm talking to and Sarah did turn up, to pack me off to bed instead of a session, take me to play on the trampoline, go for a walk and reassure me that things were ok I wasn't much use to anyone.

At WGYF one of the lessons I thought I had learned that was that the right person is always there when you need them, even if you don't know it - just accept who is there and it'll work out for the best (Louisa, you're a star!). Yet there I was chosing to think I knew better, that it was more important to protect others, to not risk rubbing someone else up the wrong way and rekindling old stresses (I just couldn't face risking turning that clock back a year). But now after sleep and time to think things through a bit more coherently I know I have to trust others to make those judgements for themselves - to say no if they don't think they can take something on, to decide whose needs they feel able to look after. I don't have to make those decisions for them.

This coming year looks as though I'm going to have plenty opportunities to see if I can accept that lesson; after all if you keep doing things the same way you'll end up with the same results - and I don't like burnout. So my New Years resolution/goal is to try to trust others to make their own decisions and follow what feels right, rather than what my worrying on behalf of others head tells me. Hopefully I'll do somewhat better than last year when I aimed to stop hitting the snooze button....