Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Small Town Uniformity

OK, this one is a bit of a bleat. I live in a small rural town. For the most part I like the lifestyle and convenience of living here. I am not too far away from the city to get my fix of that when I want it, so I really have it pretty good.

However, I really don't understand the "uniform" mentality that seems to go on in small towns. I know I'm generalising and would like to know if this is common to all small towns. Why is it that there is such intolerance of diversity and anyone who is being unique? Why is it seen as important for everyone to think and act the same? Why can't people just be accepting and inclusive of all aspects of their community? Sometimes I feel like I am living in the past where rules were rigid and difference was unacceptable.

I think that this mentality is instilled from a very early age. It is amazing that all the main primary schools in this area insist on a uniform for the students. I tried to rebel against this when my children were young, but it was made very difficult for me as it was always my children who would suffer if they were not in correct uniform - I had many battles over this and had to allow my children to decide. I recall one time when my 5 year old was kept in class until everyone else had gone because he was not wearing uniform. What they did was, at the end of the day they said.. "now everyone who is wearing the correct uniform can leave..... Now those of you with some of the uniform can go......Now those with the school colour on can go...." Leaving the few (including my little boy) without anything like their uniform to be 15 minutes late leaving. I was parked outside waiting and getting very anxious as he did not appear (usually he was one of the first ones out the gate). What kinds of adults treat children that way? The kinds that go on to treat all people that way... they think if people are not with you they are against you, instead of just not in agreement. Anyone who dares to be different and not fit their mould is an outcast and marginalised.

Well I could go on and on... but what I'd really like to know is if this is common in other small towns. Please let me know

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life according to Camille - 2

Life's a party

I love to party. I love to laugh and I love to have fun. You may have read that I am learning guitar at the moment. This is so I can walk the talk on my newest life philosophy which is:

Every house should have a guitar and every person should learn to play 6 songs. Then wherever you go you have a party!

That is all...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Life according to Camille - 1

The Basket:

People are forever trying to work out the point of life. What are we here for? What happens after we die? Is there a God? I think it is very simple really. Imagine when you are born you are handed a basket. You can make this basket look like anything you want - there are no rules around it. You can make it as large or small as you want. Now the point of your life is to fill that basket with experiences. Everything that happens to you, good or bad, put it in the basket and move on. The nice thing about having the basket is that every now and then you can stop and look in the basket and reflect on the things you have collected. The other nice thing is that when you don't have time, or simply don't want to, you don't have to spend time on what has happened - you can just put it in the basket until you are ready to look at it - if at all. There are no rules around whether you should ever look at these experiences, it is entirely up to you. But they all belong to you and are part of you. They may get buried in the basket by other things, never to be seen again, but they are still there somewhere. My goal in life is to have a full basket when I die.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Home Alone

We, Thrash & I, are home alone and loving it! It has been a while, the kids have grown up and are off living their lives - both happy and successful in their own way, which makes me very happy. We have had a few hiccups with getting to be by ourselves. Friends in trouble, needing a place to stay and us having a house big enough to accommodate them. But now we are alone!! I love going home and lighting the fire. Helping Thrash in the kitchen. Playing my guitar. Knitting. Being in a room with just Thrash and no-one else. Pottering around, cleaning and not cleaning, tidying and not tidying, pretty much doing whatever I please.... I am happy!

Back again

It has been quite a while since I posted here. No excuses, no apologies. Since I last wrote I have completed 2 knitting projects and am part way through a third. One day I may put up some photos of my garments. I still struggle with the looseness of my knitting and because of this I have been trying to wash-shrink a dress I completed so I can wear it well. Some things are good too big but dresses aren't one of them.
My other new obsession is playing the guitar. I have bought a guitar and with the help of various websites and numerous talented friends I have been learning chords and diligently practicing. The hardest part, after mastering changing chords, is strumming. I have given up on trying to "learn" to strum and am now just trying to hear it in my head and get something translating from there to my hand - every now and then it works, but that is fairly rare. I'm hoping that it will happen eventually. In the meantime I continue to torture Thrash with my attempts. He doesn't seem to recognise the songs I play, even when it is one I have been playing for a while. I'm not sure what he is hearing (or others for that matter) but it isn't what I hear. Of course I hear exactly what it is supposed to be, like I said earlier - I hear it in my head.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tiresome travels

Thrash and I have just returned from our business trip to Auckland. It was a very successful trip but very tiring! Here are some highlights and some lowlights from our trip.

We drove up to Auckland via Hamilton - a potential lowlight which actually became a highlight for two reasons: one was the lunch we had at a restaurant/bar/cafe called Gothenburg. We ordered a selection of tapas which we thoroughly enjoyed, I highly recommend this restaurant. Our second highlight was our meeting which was the reason we didn't bypass Hamilton as we usually do - needless to say it was very successful.

On to Auckland - we stayed at the Waipuna Hotel where we have stayed previously. We stayed in a suite as we required space to work while on this trip - we tend to travel with numerous computers and various IT paraphernalia as we never really escape our daily workload. The highlight of the Waipuna was the room - we had space to spread out and Thrash & I had our own areas to "plug-in" and work without disturbing each other any more than usual.

The service at the Waipuna is rather interesting - ranging from none to overly much! When we arrived with all our luggage and equipment we needed a trolley to take it to our room - we loaded the trolley and proceeded to try to push and steer it into the lift, out of the lift, down the corridor and into our room - nowhere was there a porter to assist us and we definitely did not have the skills required to do this without banging and crashing into walls, doors and cupboards along the way! - a lowlight. Once in our room we checked everything out and Thrash typically checked anything technological including the TV - would it allow us to plug anything in? How does it work? What channels? What movies are on offer? Lo and behold it tells us we do not exist and therefore cannot use it! - interestingly enough this is the second time in two weeks this has happened, the last time was the Museum hotel in Wellington, but that is another story. Thrash contacted reception and they sorted the problem out for us - good service! After settling in (about half an hour) we get a tentative knock at the door - I open it to find a women standing there holding out a card and a chocolate, welcoming us to the hotel.... interesting.

That evening we ordered food in our room, we were tired from a long day travelling and meeting people - we only wanted something light so we ordered a Ceasar salad and something else which neither of us can remember so it can't have been that great - however the Ceasar salad was a highlight - it was very delicious! We had breakfast the next morning in the restaurant, we wanted to order from the a la carte menu - something which I think the staff found rather odd - we were asked several times if we would prefer to have breakfast from the buffet which we did not. We both had eggs benedict which was just fine - coffee wasn't so great though. The restaurant at the Waipuna is an area that has "overly much" service. While eating our eggs benedict one waitress approached us and asked if we wanted toast with that???? Unusual to say the least. Also when we dined there for dinner that night there were at least as many waiters as there were diners so they were falling all over themselves to be helpful, even though most diners were eating from the buffet! Water was being poured left right and centre, plates were being cleared the moment the cutlery was placed on the empty plate, the waiters were lined up hawkeyed watching the diners, ready for any move that might indicate they were required. Amongst all this, we once again were an oddity as we ordered a la carte. The waitress who took our order was prompted by Thrash to ask how he wanted his steak done and proceeded to ask me if I would like my lamb medium rare also - Thrash's steak was a disaster however my lamb was OK.

I hate being in Auckland - the traffic is insane and it takes forever to get from A to B. the day we were leaving we had to travel into the city for a meeting at 9am - having guaged that this would require us to spend a long period of time crawling with the traffic on the motorway we changed the time of our meeting to 9.45. We still took half an hour to get there but it must have been a lot better than the earlier time - how do Aucklanders live like that?

We had two nights in Taupo which was less stressful than Auckland - less traffic - really good coffee at the Streetwise Coffee 2 go in Taupo! We stayed at a motor lodge beside the lake - not as good as the suite at the Waipuna, but we had privacy and some space to work.

The biggest highlight of our trip? Getting home!

Another trip next week, then the week after that - ho hummm. Looking forward to November - I think we may get to stay home for at least 3 weeks!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Now if I could just do that again

Don't you just hate it when you miss an opportunity to do the right thing? Or even the smart thing? I don't think I am that great at thinking on my feet, but now I know what I would do next time. Last Saturday a friend and I went out for breakfast, well when I say breakfast I mean we had not long been out of bed and were hungry - it was midday when we arrived at the cafe. We asked if they were still doing a breakfast menu and they agreed to do eggs benedict for us even though they were now doing lunches - very thoughtful. We ordered that and a coffee each - collected a glass of water each and went to sit at a table.

There were only about 4 other people in the cafe - it was quite a small cafe though. We decided against sitting at the table in the window as it would be too cold and we chose not to sit at another small table near the counter - there were two tables pushed together and we sat at one end (utilising only one of the tables) of that. Our coffees came and then our meals. We were part way through our meal when a group of 4 or 5 people arrived at the cafe. The waitress then came to us and said our table was booked and could we please move to the window table - we said we didn't want to sit there as it would be too cold. I have to say at this stage we were absolutely stunned and did not respond appropriately - what we did do was pick up our meals and move to the table by the counter then return to the old table to collect our coffees and water. What we should have done was say no - we are eating and possibly suggested that they move the table we weren't using to connect with the one by the counter (requiring moving it by about 3 feet) for the newcomers to use.

I am embarrassed that we went along meekly with this outright rudeness and were not assertive enough to say no! And I am stunned that any establishment in the hospitality (check out a definition for that word) trade would treat any customers this way!

The name of the cafe? Misty River Cafe in Waipawa.