Things I Love
My husband, Phillip: He’s eight months younger than me, Dunedin born and bred and has an amazing heart for others. He is a diplomat and is slow to get angry (but can get cross if pushed). He’s a peace keeper and people look to him when there are tense negotiations. He’s the pack leader and the dogs always ignore me when he’s around. His occupation is IT manager but he’s now studying part time doing a degree in Social Work – particularly Human Services. He loves comics, watching movies and DVDs and is always the chooser of the music in the family. He’s a great dad and the girls are lucky to have him.
My Children: as different as chalk and cheese. Intelligent, articulate, strong-willed and sure to make an impact of the world – each in their own way. Mackenna has inherited her grandmother’s passion for shoes and Brianna has inherited her grandmother’s talent for art. Mackenna is studying to be a vet at Massey University and Brianna is studying an Agricultural Science degree at Lincoln University, looking to get into animal welfare.
My whanau: my mother and sisters are very cool. I have a number of half siblings whom I adore as well as stepbrothers and cuzzi-bros (people who grew up with me as family) and my foster parents and their off-spring. Whanau indeed! I am blessed.
Friends: I’m pretty good at keeping in touch with childhood friends and friends as a grown up. FaceBook and the internet help with this. I am blessed with a wonderful group of (mainly) women who ignore my failings and are part of the ‘cheer Tania on’ brigade.
Teaching (especially English): How cool is my job? It’s wonderful to have students I’ve taught in years gone by still keep in contact. I’ve even had a number of ex-students come to be my student-teacher as they’ve gone on to train.
Watching Movies, DVDs and great TV programmes: It’s all story. Great stuff. It’s why I don’t dust or garden. Too many times I can be found, instead of being at church, sitting in my pjs watching a DVD.
God: I became a Christian at the end of my first year at university but always believed in one form or another. How people can cope with the crap life dishes out without the big guns behind one, I have no idea. I am grateful that Jesus stands, with his arms crossed in front of his chest and before me, to defend anyone who might point finger and say: but she….
New Zealand: what a wonderful country we live in. Mountains, native bush, beaches – wild west coast and gentle, east coast. Rocks and reefs and places to swim and scuba dive and sail and sit on the shore. Skiing in both islands and surfing on either coast. Clear, cold South Island rivers and warm, murky slow moving Northland rivers filled with eels and taniwha! From the sand fly plagued West Coast to the dry extremes of Central Otago, from the bustle of Auckland and Wellington to the laid back buzz of Whangarei and the Coromandal, New Zealand has it all.
Animals, in particular, horses: I was lucky enough to grow up with horses (my step-father did not believe in motorbikes for the farm). Brianna and I 'share' our horses, Dan (who is now just a paddock mate) and Sam. I’ve always had a cat (or two) and we have two border collies.
Music: I took up learning the piano as an adult (when Mackenna did, aged 5) and managed to pass my grade four before being Head of English took up all practising time. And, I love listening to it as well.
Reading: I have, often, two or three books on the go at once and my dream day is curled up on the sofa with a cuppa tea or coffee and a book.
Writing: of course
Learning new things:I am currently learning te reo me tikanga Māori from Otago University. My favourite saying about myself is not to say who my mountain or river is but this: I whanau au ki Ōtautahi engari i tipu ake au i wīwī i wāwā. (I was born in Christchurch but I grew up all over the place!)
Good Food: fresh bread, blue cod, lamb, vegetables…hmmmmmm
What I hate: Flying in planes (or in any other contraption which lifts into the air), spiders, flies, gardening, a messy house, brussel sprouts, being late, injustice, people who are mean/judgemental/ egotistical/false.