The Word

What words can you see in this word target? I am too lazy to find as many words asĀ  I can. I prefer to find the 9 letter word. But it has been years since I looked at these crazy language games.

This term I have returned to the classroom. That is right that fabulous space where I play teacher and a group of students come along to learn. Together we enter into this journey to learn about our subject, about the world and about ourselves. I had forgotten how amazing this job is, how complex, multifaceted and demanding. My head is spinning with stories, ideas and experiences. And somehow I have come alive, again.

I am thankful for work that challenges and energizes me. Privileged to be working with young people and delighted that my own little people have risen to the challenge of the new school routine with their Mumma around. Life is busy. Life is good.

If you have been reading this but secretly also calculating what the 9 letter word is, it is wallpaper. Enjoy. x

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Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is sweeping the world. What is it you ask? Haven’t heard of it? This interactive game for your smartphone engages players with a hunt for Pokemon in ‘real life’. It uses Google maps to take players on a journey through urban and rural landscapes on a large scale treasure hunt. There are incentives along the way to win more and collect extra Pokemon paraphenalia.

According to David Theriault the game draws on the knowledge that players use their phone for everything; to communicate with friends, blog, game, shop, view. This latest game makes the most of the smartphone as a learning tool.
Recent media reports have noted a new phenomenon and had to explain sudden mobs of people gathering around public spaces with their phones. Each one is finding Pokemon.
There is rumblings of large scale meets to walk together to find Pokemon and some say this has had responses in the thousands. So is it any good? My kids have enjoyed it with their big brother. And I can see the benefits of a game that gets players moving outside and perhaps interacting with peers. Have I got it? No. Not yet….

Miss Jean

My daughter asked me the other day would I miss wearing jeans?

Yes, I said emphatically. Yes I would.

I am returning to work. Regular paid work. Not the flexible kind of a researcher or consultant. And as a result I have to wear regular work clothes.

My interpretation of professional dress has certainly changed over the years as my style, my budget and my commitments have changed. But what is true is that I will miss my jeans. They have become my uniform. I wear them for comfort, I could walk miles in them, I wear them summer and winter. In fact when I really stop and reflect I am always on the hunt for a new and better jean – more shape, more whiskering, lower waist, higher waist. And I love a vintage jean for that slightly worn in feel of the denim. Could it be that jeans are my happy place? Maybe.

I need to find my work wear equivalent. What do you wear to work?

So What?

This first image of Linda Burney, newly elected female Indigenous MP in Australia is engaging. The pointed finger and her stare, one eye slowly shutting. I saw the image on Twitter and can only assume it came via a media outlet in the days following July 2, 2016 election. What is she saying?

The second photograph capture a girl alone – lost, lonely or walking alone. Away from everyone and everything. What is she thinking?

The final picture is taken by the official White House photographer, a candid image of Barack Obama running in a hallway with a dog – his dog? What is he doing?

Images are powerful. Each one tells a story. What is your story? What makes you STOP?

Holidays that Heal

Holidays are time to unwind and relax. If you have been following this blog over the years you will know that holidays and I have a strange relationship.

When I first had children I kept planning holidays that looked like grown up vacations, with plenty of books, time, wine and a good balance of exercise and recreation. The reality of early wake ups, afternoon naps, nappy changes, food and needing to entertain kids (in a strange and sometimes hostile environment) made for a grumpy mummy and a less than good holiday.

As the family got older and grew in number we discovered that beach holidays worked for us. There was always something to do at the beach. The beach. Swimming, long walks, collecting shells, whale spotting, fishing, rook pool gazing, sand castle making……there was everything for everyone. Now we have young adults in the family there is surfing and stand up paddle boarding too. Not to mention the endless photo ops for everyone’s social media feed. Apparently selfies and sunsets are the go. Just saying.

So this last week has been a holiday for all seven of us. And we had what the little people call a real holiday, we took a plane somewhere. We live 3 hours away from a capital city so flying anywhere takes an enormous effort. The road trip to get to the airport is momentous. Then there is the flight and the hustle for the the best seats and being the first to collect the luggage from the carousel. But you know what? It worked for us. All seven of us could carry our own bags and hand luggage. There were no nappies or needs for extra snacks. I was hands free on our journey and for a moment I did relax. A glimpse of what was to come.

We had a great week in Sydney. There was sun and warmth and lots of walking around beach cliff tops, meandering in local cafes, ferry rides and the odd museum and gallery. We spent time with family and dined with old friends. And we had time to read. And reflect.

My man had told the family in jest that this holiday was about ‘healing’. We all laughed at the time. But I think that is what the holiday did for us. We all had to work together to accommodate seven individuals with different desires and needs, we lived in a new space, navigated public transport and learned to slow down.

And as we immersed ourselves in a new place and allowed time to soak into us, creativity is reborn, new dreams, ideas and hopes.

Here is to more holidays that heal. S x