Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's the second week of the school holidays here, and I can hardly begin to tell you how welcome the break has been. Richard came into school with me on the last Friday of school and we skipped out early to drive down home for a few days. I only teach the first three periods on a Friday, and my whole plan for the morning had been 'henna tattoos* and a shared lunch' so it was a pretty perfect end to the term. Driving the 6 hours out of the city was exactly what I needed, being able to both physically (hello, sleep!) and mentally check out once we got there.

It's been almost 7 months since we moved, past the magic 6 month mark (I remember being told, when you move cities to not visit home until you've been gone at least 6 months lest you never properly leave) and in lots of ways it feels like we've been away from Vancouver for much longer than that. Things have definitely taken longer to fall into place than we ever expected, and there have been many tears of frustration and doubt. However, after a term of teaching under my belt, having real furniture in the house and getting our workshop and studio almost all set up, I'm feeling pretty settled. In saying that, all it takes is a look through Jeannette's instagram feed or to think about the streets of Chinatown to feel quite a giant flood of homesickness. I am happy in the decision we made to move, but Vancouver still holds pretty tightly on to the part of my heart reserved for 'home'.

As I was driving about running errands yesterday, I noticed a store that looked like it was in the midst of getting ready to open, that had these beautiful Japanese textiles hanging from the ceiling and my heart leaped a little at the thought of going to check it out when it opens. Then I realised there were actually all these great Auckland (and beyond) places that I've been meaning to check out or places I've loved for a long time but should go back to and share them with you all here. So, this is my goal going into the next 10 weeks of school. I aim to pour all of my energy into my students and teaching while I'm at school, and then set aside time for exploring, documenting, friend-ing, making. A bit of balance. I think this will both help me be the best teacher that I can be (and have less mini-meltdowns in the staff room), and also give me room to celebrate what is really a pretty great place to live.

Oh, and time will also be made for sitting in a striped lounger on the deck with a book when the sun comes out. That's essential.

*Our art unit for the term was based around the idea of tattoo as symbolism and expression, so that wasn't a completely crazy idea.