Bee awareness month

Colin – a happy Wellington bee

So I discovered today that it is Bee Awareness Month. I discovered this at the garden centre. Or center. Or whatever .  So bees are having a hard time (I think – I haven’t actually bothered to find out – see how chilled I am?) and we just all need to be more aware of them.

The garden centre had a really helpful poster showing all the varieties of herbs and flowers and stuff that bees really like. Plant heaps of this stuff in your garden, it seemed to say, and you’ll attract heaps of bees and basically they’ll have a great time.

So I guess the bees haven’t been having a great time and we and our gardens need to be more welcoming. We need to raise our awareness of bees. Significantly.

The weird thing is, I really thought they were doing ok as a species or insect grouping or whatever. There are plenty of them pottering around at our place and I just sort of assumed they were all okay. But those are just bees near me.

There are clearly bees elsewhere that are struggling and they are not finding stuff they like very much in people’s gardens and we as a people as a whole need to be more aware of them.

So this concerted effort has come about and hopefully we can lift the morale and confidence of our little companions. I think it’s still okay to steal their honey – but just everyone please be a bit more aware of who they are and welcome them into your gardens and maybe even your homes okay?


Man about the house – Part, the First

I am in my second week of gainful unemployment. I’m not really unemployed though. I’m actually just a very available relief teacher – the health of the corporate body of teachers in Wellington being rather more robust than is useful for me.

My daily routine in this strange and uncharted world begins with checking my phone as I wake to see if there is a text from the education job agency – really the agency for aimless and wayward teachers – saying there are jobs going today. And this morning there was a text. And the text said there were jobs!

‘Call them! Call them!’ my wife yelped at me, with no small hint of delight and fulfilment at the prospect of getting me the heck out of the house for the day. ‘No, no,’ I responded unruffled, like a chemically sedated duck on a winter pond,  ‘they will call me. That’s how the system works. I reply to the text and they call me back.’ Except that, of course,  they didn’t. So…. I eventually called them. And they had no work ‘that would be suitable for me today’. Curious. And annoying.

With the prospect of gainful employment for the day successfully dashed, my wife gently reminded me of the two loads of washing and lawns that needed attending to – only of course after I drop our two year old at school (I mean, really, can’t he walk at his age?) At this point I unadvisedly vocalised the lovely idea that it might be for me to go to the movies for the morning. But, as every husband has learnt, making such an intention plain will all too often expose it to the veto of one’s better. The smarter course is to refrain from burdening your spouse with such a detail (and happily implement your plan when no such veto is possible).

So household jobs having been finished, I then spent no insignificant portion of my morning convincing prospective employers that they should hire me.

Dear Employer,

I refer to your frightfully enticing position of Overall Process Coordinator as advertising in The Weekly Interesting magazine that I may or may not be a subscriber to.

I have spent seven years of my life working with stationery, office equipment, and other humans and I believe (in the very depths of my being) that I am amazing. 

Please contact me at your earliest, or latest, convenience and I will be dreadfully excited.

Yours adoringly,


Whilst writing such letters, and completing job application forms, I have of course been listening to musicals, and spending time with my pets (I notice THEY don’t have jobs, but no one mentions that – the inexcusable double-standards of our own society in evidence.). This morning it has been Phantom of the Opera and now it’s Les Miserables – and I must confess that it is touching me in a being-downtrodden-in-Europe-in-the 19th-Century sort of way.

Now I have just entered into the realisation that not all of my household jobs are in fact finished. It is true. The lawns await me.

Signing off for now brethren…. Be strong for me…..