Friday, 30 November 2012

Wainui Beach

This morning my daughter Lyra asked if we could go to the beach. My wife and I thought it was a good idea. We haven't been to the beach for a long time! There are many beaches to choose from. We decided to go to Wainui Beach, it's about 20 minutes drive from our house.  It's a long, sandy beach.  As you can see, the weather was great today!

Gisborne is famous for its surf beaches.  Wainui Beach is one of the best.  There are often surfing competitions in the summer.  This morning there were lots of surfers.  It looks like lots of fun.  I have never been surfing, I'm not a good swimmer! 

Lyra and Thom both love going to the beach.  There are always interesting things to do.  They usually get very wet and sandy!  It's too cold to swim in the ocean yet.  The water doesn't get very warm until January. 

I'm glad it's summer.  Spring went very quickly!  In about three weeks the school term finishes.  Children then have a 6 week holiday. 

Today was a nice start to summer!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Maori Culture Festival

Every November the "Turanganui Schools' Maori Culture Festival" is held.  Most kindergartens and schools have a 'Kapa Haka' group.  Kapa Haka means Maori songs and dance. 

This year, for the first time, my children's school sent a group of five and six year olds.  It was an exciting day for Thom!  He was a little nervous before the event.  Here are a couple of short videos I took.  The first one is a 'Taiaha' drill.  A Taiaha is a traditional Maori weapon.  The second video is a 'waiata'.  Waiata is the Maori word for song.

Every week I play the guitar for a school where I used to teach.  We had two performances last week at school and we are performing at the festival tomorrow and Thursday.  It has been very busy with practices.  I will see if I can get some video of our performance too! 

I'm sorry, no lesson today, next week I will have more time!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Saturday Morning

On most Saturday mornings I go into town to buy vegetables from a market held in a carpark.  Thom had run out of books to read, so we decided to go to the library too.  The vegetable market opens at 9.30 am and closes at lunch time.  You can usually find lots of fresh, cheap fruit and vegetables.  Also there are stalls selling things like honey, different kinds of cheese and meats.

When we go to the library we usually park the car by the river and walk along this path.  We often see interesting birds by the river, we saw some herons, ducks, geese and seagulls.  It's a nice way to spend time together.  We talk about all kinds of things!

When we got to the library Thom enjoyed choosing some new books.  Each evening when he goes to bed, my wife and I take turns reading to him.  He is enjoying some books called 'The Railway Rabbits' at the moment.  They are nice and simple!  We have nearly read them all, I wonder what we'll read him next? 


'run out of' (don't have any left)

It's a strange but often-used phrase!  Here are some more examples:

- I ran out of toothpaste, so I went to the supermarket to buy more.

- The video store had run out of copies of the DVD I wanted to watch.

- Answer the easy questions first in case you run out of time.

- I ran out of ideas so I couldn't finish the essay.

* Do you have any requests for lesson topics?  If you do let me know and I'll do my best to help you =) *

Friday, 9 November 2012

Athletics Day

Yesterday was Athletics Day at my children's school.  Children compete in races, jumping and throwing.  The children are divided into 'house groups'.  My daughter is in 'Yellow House'.  That's good because yellow is her favourite colour!  The children have colours painted on their cheeks.

Lyra is doing the long jump.  My wife took this photo.  She is a better photographer than me!  The weather was perfect.  It was sunny but not hot.  Spring is a good time for Athletics Day.  The children who do well at the school athletics day go to another school next week.  They compete against children from the other Gisborne schools.  It's called the 'Inter-school Athletics Day'.

Thom is doing the 'bean bag throw'.  The children have to throw a bag as far as they can.  The big children do shotput instead of bean bag throw.  The shot is too heavy for little children!
For lunch we had a 'sausage sizzle'.  I usually help by cooking the sausages.  This barbeque gets very hot so I had to work quickly! 

It was a fun day for us all.  I'm glad it's Saturday today so we can take it easy.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Guy Fawkes Day

November the 5th is Guy Fawkes Day.  You can read about the history of Guy Fawkes Day in Japanese here:  

...or in English here:

Children in New Zealand love Guy Fawkes Day because it's the only time of year that you can buy fireworks.  We went to a friend's house and had a barbeque.  There was a beautiful rainbow, it was very bright!

In this photo you can see my daughter Lyra with a 'sparkler'.  She had lots of fun.  Sparklers are quite safe so they are good for children.  When I was a child you could buy a lot more kinds of fireworks than now.  Many kinds, like rockets, are no longer sold because of the risk of fires.  Also because some people didn't use them carefully they caused injuries.

This kind is also popular, they are bright and noisy!  The children watched the fireworks happily.  Because it's nearly summer here it wasn't very dark.  My children go to bed quite early.  Thom, who's five, goes to bed at 6.30 pm.  Lyra, who's just turned 8, goes to bed at 7.30 pm.  They both get up at 6.30 in the morning.  In autumn we usually have a bonfire and light some fireworks then.  It gets dark early at that time of year!


Making adverbs with -ly.

'The children watched the fireworks happily.'

You can make many 'feeling' adjectives into adverbs by adding -ly.  This is very useful!

Some examples:

sad - sadly 
happy - happily   (be careful, the 'y' becomes an 'i'!)
angry - angrily  (be careful, the 'y' becomes an 'i'!)
nervous - nervously
excited - excitedly
hungry - hungrily  (be careful, the 'y' becomes an 'i'!)
shy - shyly (be careful, the 'y' DOESN'T become an 'i'!!)

This kind of adverb is usually placed after the direct object of the sentence.  If there is no object, put it after the verb:

- The children watched the movie excitedly.
- The dog ate the meat hungrily.
- Bill answered nervously.