Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Marking Hell

Poor blog. I wanted to tell you all about my new bike, my new job, and the metamorphosis of Miffy – but it will all have to wait. I'm in marking hell.

This is a twice a year phenomenon. Exams must be written and marked, reports must be written, deadlines must be met, nervous breakdowns must be had. At the moment I'm still in the exam phase. Over the next two weeks the rest of the process will be gone through, by hook or by crook. Holy crap, there aren't enough hours in the day (or night!) and I'm sooo tired already. Remind me why I wanted to be a teacher again? Clearly I have a masochistic streak a mile wide.

This is the time of year when, theoretically, all my hard work comes to fruition and my lovely students prove what a wonderful teacher I've been. This is when they make me proud by doing so very well in their end of year exams, and I head into the holidays basking in the rosy glow of accomplishment. As I said, that's the theory.

Sadly, in reality, my fruit crop this year is a little bruised and full of fruit-fly. Sigh. Bad apples and too-cool bananas abound. Some are just immature and unripe by exam time. Peaches and star-fruits, bless 'em, are few and far between. My rosy glow is more of an embarrassed blush as I read some of the young scholars' answers ('Where did they pull THAT one from?')and I am more likely to limp into the holidays shattered, battered and broken.

And I'll go back for more of the same next year. What was that I said about masochism?

See you next time I surface!.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Hines Reunion 2010

Hineses Hineses everywhere, and what a lot to drink! (apologies, S T Coleridge!)

My family is a bit fragmented – small in number, we are spread across several cities – indeed, across a couple of countries. The latest Hines Reunion, following the successes of Brisbane 2002 and Christchurch 2006, took place in Canberra – in late October rather than at Christmas, for a change. There was mischief and mayhem, camping and chaos, hugs and hilarity and a cast of thousands! (OK, maybe not quite thousands – but there were three generations of us gathered...)

The Christchurch and Brisbane contingents joined Mick & Jayne for a camping extravaganza at Lake Burrinjuck while I spent the week banging my head against a brick wall. Erm, I mean, developing young minds (!) By all accounts, it was great fun (the camping, not the banging of the head).

Pater Peter, Jayne & Mick enjoying a barbie and a few bevvies

Jayne & Deirdre - champers and chat

Ingrid, the Bird Lady of Burrinjuck - with friendly locals

Did anybody else notice how many of these photos contained glasses of something that looks suspiciously alcoholic?

After returning to Canberra, Graham & Deirdre set up camp in my backyard, and Kylie and Felix arrived from Perth. There was much barbecuing and yes, more wine... My liver will never forgive me.

The Big Event, however, was on the following Saturday – a sort of Halloween/Christmas hybrid – Hallowhistmas, if you like – at Kate's place. Kate's wig got a workout:

The wig as she is supposed to look...

...appropriated by Boomerang Boy...

...and Felix...

...and Mickey...

...and Graham!

as did the stash of Lindauer Fraise and many bottles ofwine... and Graham's silly sunnies, bought in bulk and distributed with desperation:

Dad, Diana, Betty

Dad, Diana, Graham, Betty, Mickey, Jayne

There was a bit of mad hattery:

Ingrid, sans parrots

Senor Chris

Here's to your elf!

And from youngest to, erm, most mature (in vintage only!), the occasional reflective moment:

Kylie - the youngest (but apparently the most sensible) of the revellers

Diana & Dad ('The Patriarch')

A good time was had by all – rather too good, if the headaches on Sunday were any indication. Ow ow owwwww!

Mark the Miffy-Friend and sleepy Betty at the end of the HUGE day

Eventually, though, people had to return home. Home for Dad, Diana, Chris & Ingrid is in the rather wobbly city of Christchurch – so they had to go and make sure nothing had fallen down in their absence. Kylie and Felix had to return to their new house and dishwasher in Perth (bloody capitalists!) and Graham & Deirdre packed up the campervan and trundled back to Brisbane, to retrieve their lovely dog from doggy prison and go back to work.

And here in Canberra, life returned to normal – or rather, to whatever passes for normal in Hines households! Happy Reunion, folks - thanks to all for a great time!