Month: October 2011

Tessa Aitchison – Artist

This is the website of my daughter, the artist Tessa Aitchison.  Her work is beautiful and minimalistic.  Shades of grey, subtle and moody.  Amazing that Tessa with the bright red hair, the black clothes and fabulous taste in shoes would be producing work which is white and shades of pale.  The work is beautiful and if you live in Wellington you should go to the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery on the waterfront and have a look at the Collideoscope Exhibition.  (These works are available for sale, contact her here!)

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Best simple idea – and recycling too

This is just the most simple, and practical and why the heck didn’t I think of this idea I’ve seen in ages.  Those little bread holder things drive me crazy, all those plugs plugged into all those multiboards – oh yes I know the safety thing, don’t lecture me cos I know.  The fact of the matter is that there are four plugs plugged into the multibox behind my tv.  One for the tv, one for the dvd player, one for the stereo radio thing and one for the elderly video player which should go to the place that you send elderly video players, and would, only I don’t know where that is.  Anyway I pull out a plug and then wait to see which thing turns off, cos I can’t figure out which plug is which.  Those days are over.  I will now have to go and buy bread just for the taggs.  I’m very impressed with this idea.  It came to me via the Core Education Facebook page but they got it from here.

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A love story starring my dead best friend by Emily Horner

First book of the school holidays and it was a great choice.  This is a great cross-over novel, meaning written with appeal to both teenage and adult readers.  Emily Horner has a great website with lots of good stuff about this book and a thoughtful blog as well.

Cass is desperately missing her friend Julia.  Julia was killed in a car crash and it has rocked all her friends and her boyfriend, but Cass and Julia had one of those friendships which was deep and complex.  A finish each others sentences kind of friendship.  Julia was obsessed with drama and was writing her masterpiece when she died, the friends decide that they should put on the show she wrote.  This creates lots of difficulties because it isn’t exactly  your standard school musical, the title is Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad which is enough to set alarm bells ringing with the school staff.

In the meantime Cass sets off on her bike, to complete the journey to California that she and Julia always planned to make, bringing Julia’s ashes with her in a tupperware container.  The bike trip is beautifully written.  The relationship she has along the way, the feelings this brings on and the mechanics of the relationship are written in a realistic way. Tentative and scary, but also with comfort. The lonliness of being on the road, the dangers from big trucks, people you meet and dealing with the memories of someone you love who has gone from your life, dealing with your emerging sexuality and also love, lots of love in many forms, all make for riveting reading.  This is a wise book.  I know my girls would have loved it when they were teenagers, but it is also a book I would give them now.  This book has lots of the feeling you get when you read John Green or David Levithan and I’m really looking forward to reading more by Emily Horner.

 

 

World economic collapse explained:

Everything you ever wondered about in terms of world debt and who owes what to whom is succulently explained in this sketch by John Clarke and Brian Dawe.  You can probably find the succinct answer to any other burning question on their other videos.  Everything from Immigration to the politics of the Rugby World Cup are here for your viewing pleasure or at least the Dawe and Clarke take on it.  Very entertaining.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

I’m doing a crosspost here, this is also posted on the school blog.  This book is so aptly named.  It is a wondrously beautiful book.  It is big, it is beautifully designed and it contains a really well crafted story, both in words and in pictures.  Wonderstruck is one of those books which will appeal to lots of people for lots of different reasons.  If you read books for a great story this book has one.  If you love art, drawing and design, this book has loads to offer you.  If you think books are things to be treasured then Wonderstruck is certainly one which people will want to treasure.  It is a book to buy as a present, it is a book to own.  But first you might want to borrow it from the library.  The first book by Brian Selznick is a poor battered thing in our library because it has been so widely read over the years.  There is a blog post about it here.

Wonderstruck is two stories, one told in pictures and one told with words.  It is the story of a young girl living in New York who runs away from home, and it is also the story of a young boy 50 years later in a small lakeside town.  You know that somehow the two stories will connect and when they do it is a moment of wonder.

Below is a video of the author, walking around inside the incredibly detailed drawings from the book.  This author is truly one of the great authors for young people today and I hope lots of our students pick up the book and take it home and spend time in the world of Wonderstruck.