Language, laughter and a moment of reflection

Kia ora koutou!  It’s been Māori language week in Aotearoa New Zealand, giving everyone a chance to pick up a few words and practice some phrases in te reo Māori.  Where I work it is taken seriously, with lunchtime events (many with kai – see below for translations) and competitions, including ‘best decorated lift bay’ which the division I work in, won for the second year running.


Kiwi with puāwai

I had intended to write quite a bit about this at the start of the week, but it hasn’t been a particularly good few days in many ways, and thoughts turned to other things.  On Thursday, I went as usual to my excellent Pilates class.  Our teacher had had a wonderful day, working on a project that as she said “would have been my dream as a young girl”.  It got me thinking about what would have been mine.  Well, it certainly wouldn’t be doing the job I am doing, but some aspects of my life do reflect some of my dreams and aspirations as a child.  How wonderful, I thought, to be able to be doing what you always wanted, feeling fulfilled and joyful as a result.


A place to sit and reflect

As the four of us lay on the floor doing our pelvic floor exercises, wondering how many repetitions of clams we might be asked to do, one of the ladies remembered a New Zealand childrens’ radio programme, a story time for small children on Sunday mornings.  She remembered a particular song, started to sing it, and the other two joined in.  Our teacher (much younger than us and Australian) and I, laughed and applauded the impromptu burst of song.  It was such a fun and spontaneous moment that lifted spirits instantly.

And so today as I thought about what to write, I reflected on the things that my 10 year old self would approve of – living in New Zealand, married to a Scandinavian (I was obsessed with Noggin the Nog when I was 4), doing Pilates and Xtend Barre, still going to see dance, still owning a dolls’ house, enjoying cooking (I made my first souffle when I was 11) and a few other things too.  I wondered what advice she would give me, turning round that cliche of what the older self would tell the younger self.  What do you think your 10 your old self would say to you now?


Pōneke Paraire


Kia ora – hello

Kia ora koutou – hello everyone

Aotearoa – New Zealand

kai – food

waka – canoe

whakapapa – geneology

puāwai – flowers

Pōneke – one of the names for Wellington

Paraire – Friday


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