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Friday, 15 July 2011

Done, Down and Out

We survived.

It's been the longest and dreariest term I can remember.


Thanks to the rugby-mad Kiwi government and Trevor Mallard in particular (when he was in power with Labour) they altered all the terms this year to fit in with the Rugby World Cup (RWC).

National Standards?

Naaah.  Go the All Blacks and have a cheese and steak pie, she'll be right mate.

Sometimes I pine for the gentle sophistication of Bonny Scotland.

The swirling mists, Haggis and Deep Fried Mars bars washed down with Diet Irn Bru.  The witty and philosophical discussions in the pub of a Saturday night.  The give and take of detailed and educated political discussions.  The razor slash down the face for "talkin' down tae ma Burd". 

As I said, compared to young, innocent New Zealand, the Scottish culture is multi-faceted.  Every Scot KNOWS we will always lose at soccer; as long as England loses as well, then that small satisfaction keeps the cockles of our hearts warm and cosy.  The whisky helps as well.

But New Zealand is Rugby-obsessed, and there wasn't even any real discussion about the school term changes, it was accepted that everything would be sacrificed on the altar of RWC success.

The weather has also been a bit odd.  We haven't had that much really cold weather, but we've been having periods of chilly winds and then it gets warm again, and this has really opened the floodgates of every infectious disease known to man.

They've got WHAT?
We haven't actually had an outbreak of Bubonic Plague yet, but it's just a matter of time.  We've certainly had all the rest.  Rheumatic Fever, Influenza (in at least 5 variants) Cryptosporidium, various zoonosis, Measles, Chicken Pox, and continuous streaming colds, permanently dripping noses, hacking coughs and so many types of diarrhoea and vomiting that I've lost count.

But the paddocks are looking good. (For non-Kiwis, a paddock is not a field to keep cattle-beasts, but a place to play the Holy Game of Rugby)

But we survived.


I genuinely believe that it was only the regular and repeated infusion of blessed usquebaugh that kept me trudging on.  Thanks to Valley Girl for a very much appreciated donation of a 1.125 Litre bottle of Grouse and to the lovely "The Mill" for reducing the price of a litre of Ballantynes to $26 (about £12.80) so I could keep the stocks at a reasonable level.

I'd just like to mention that if the All Blacks do not win this time, then they shall be ever damned.  I don't mind (too much) the sacrifice, but it has to be worth it in the end.

On a final note, I've just seen on the Interweb thingy that the ENGLISH rugby team has elected to wear AN ALL BLACK strip as their alternative playing strip while in NZ.  I think they've just gone mad.

Completely off their heads
Mad as a meat axe
Daft as a chook


  1. Yes - all teachers especially those at NLHS deserve a medal! Well done for hanging in there and not dying.. but only just. I have been relieving all week at my old alma mater. The troops there have been badly hit by endoftermitis and other nasty bugs. I have even been battling illness myself just to cover my commrades. Today the staffroom at lunchtime was a revelation. I noticed a particulalry "chilled Out" vibe amongst staff present, particulalry the younger ones. Busy planning end of term parties. One then proceeded to strum his guitar melodically. That, along with the warm sun streaming through the windows and the relaxed atmoshphere nearly sent me to sleep. It was shear bliss, before we headed off back to the trenches for the last spell of this infinitely long term. I did notice a few old salts fumbling to stuff envelopes with their form classes reports which were due out today. One elderly gent, also a Caledonian immigrant, was mutering under his breath about needing a whisky. He reminded me of you TSB in many ways. One of the staff weas leaving today. He is a former pro rugby player from the UK and is now going to work for the RWC during the tournament before heading back to pommy land. Bloody rugby!Another young teacher was also leaving to do OE. It is so hard to keep the young ones here in teaching. Such a pity as I am sure they made an impact on the students. And so continues the game of muscial chairs we call teaching. Have a well earned break all ye educators.

  2. Ah the best - and worst - of both worlds TSB. Breathe easy, relax, take that water of life outside to the garden of an evening and tell yourself that life is good, holidays really are forever and that England will be forever stuffed in any paddock.

    Enjoy the break.

  3. Ha, the English wearing black! I don't think anyone down here will care. We'll take it as a compliment. Well, to be fair, the All Blacks wore white as their alternative strip for years.

  4. Valley Girl: I agree, I've already got the VD and bar. Yor old Alma Mater? Youv'e been teaching at Rimutaka?
    Alistair: Thank you. Are you still in deepest Germany? England is always stuffed.

    Richard [of RBB]: What colour was the guitar?I'm sure I saw a kid with a blue/purple guitar at 2:00

  5. NO not Rimutaka! The closest I've ever come to that place was when as a Year 11 we were filming outside the perimeter fences on a handheld camera for an English Film project. IN the days before video or digital cameras. Can't even get that close nowadays before security will pounce on you. It was called Witako back in those days and just a small place. ANYWAY TSB have you meet the locals down the hill yet
    at HMS Rimutaka? Well there is always a job there for you after teaching. I know the Superintendent of Training. I've been told they
    say ex army and teachers make excellent guards.

    Regards my alma mater - hint - Douglas tartan kilts. However, my great great grandmother was born in Launceston Tasmania. NO they were not convicts! Papa was a man of the cloth, a Presby Minister. So I can say I have some Australian blood, technically. The rest is primarily Kiwi, lots of Scots, then English, Irish and god knows what (still trying to figure that out, but those who know are long gone).

    My take on the Poms wearing black rugby jersey's
    - it's a pyscho ploy to remind us we are still
    connected to old mother england. Like how all the commonwealth countries used to be coloured pink on world maps. THERE endeth my History lesson for today. Sorry I'm getting carried away - I got to teach History classes this week. Used to be my best subject at high school. Also father was a career History teacher. So I am truly stuffed!

  6. Please stop and rethink. The scots are the educators. They have akways been. They always look cool too unlike us Anglo Saxions with big bent noses.


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