Monday, September 05, 2005

Spring arrives, and the netball season comes to an end

Spring arrived a little early in Oropi this year, as it did in the rest of New Zealand, and the first of our daffodils at the end of the lawn opened yesterday, right on cue.

Usually ours come out a little later than many elsewhere in the district as we're just that little bit higher and cooler. The tulips, however, have not fared well, probably because it just didn't get cold enough this winter. In many ways it's been a similar autumn/winter season to our first that we experienced in 1999 shortly after settling here, in that it's been dryish and not too cold. Also the autumn colours were almost non-existent, which was a little disappointing but that's one of the trade-offs, I guess. The last couple of weeks have been particularly nice weather, and it's been good to spend time outdoors. The last Friday of August was Daffodil Day, and in New Zealand this is used as a fundraiser by the Cancer Society - the school (Oropi School, that is) held a "hat day". We spent a good deal of effort and time looking for designs, planning, and than constructing the hats, but in the end it was a very successful project. Hannah in her Egyptian head dress (see below) won the prize for "most original" in her class, but I think the other two were pretty good too. The picture below shows them with three of their classmates - Anya, Louise, Rhiannon, Camilla and Louisa. Camilla's hat consists of origami birds flying around a blue sky with cotton wool clouds!

Camilla and Louise are dressed in their "sports uniforms" - actually just a T-shirt - because they had a day of fun netball with nine other schools in Tauranga - boys in the class played soccer and rugby. I provided transport, logistical and sideline support - in other words I was chief taxi driver, bag minder, clothes hanger, orange boy etc. The twins played netball for the first time this year, and have not only enjoyed it but excelled. Camilla has become chief goal scorer for the Year 6 team, while Louise (shown in the action shot below) has been active in the defense and midfield.

More to follow ...

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