Category Archives: Jono


Everyone needed something or other in the clothes department so off we went to Ferrymead for a fossick. Everything here is $2 and it’s right near the beach so you can run around in the fresh air when you’re done. I usually buy things to chop up and today was no exception. Two shirts awaiting their fate.


Tootal – Man at Ease. Crack me up. The girls had some brilliant luck boot wise … 2 brand new pairs of lace ups. Our home stay girl wore hers that afternoon to the mall and got some insane number of compliments including one from a complete stranger on the bus who’d been looking for a similar pair ‘forever’. She was open-mouth mad when told they cost $2 from an op shop!

The most fun, though, was Jono who was on the hunt for suits and jackets. His year level do Formal Friday at school and he’s a bit sick of his one (vintage Canterbury) beautifully tailored navy suit. He was fizzing when he found a 3 piece gray pinstripe (also vintage Canterbury, perfect fit) 4 ties for $2 and a black woollen pea coat. Back at home he had me take photos from all angles.

“Pensive? Damn, I was going for thoughtful.” (Name that movie!)

Everything you see is op-shopped. Except Jono. I got him the hard way. He’s worn the black coat every day since. I know that’s only 2 days but he’s worn it to umpire a cricket match, visit his best girl, drive to work and today at school. Score!

He also has a nice collection of pastel-ish formal shirts. And when anyone asks him where he got his gear, he takes great delight in saying … “From that thrift shop down the road!”

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Filed under Jono, Thrifting


Once my kids reached high school I encouraged them to continue with end-of-year acknowledgements for their teachers. Individual gifts were usually replaced by cards and special words of thanks, simply because of the large number of teachers they have every year. So few high schoolers ever bother that any card or gift I received was always treasured – truthfully, the number was so small I still have all my cards from 20 years of teaching in a drawer of my china cabinet!

So it warmed my heart when I came across my eldest boy, who is signing out of school today, fussing with paper and string at the kitchen table.

Good old Pinterest.

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Filed under Jono, School


For the last month our oldest boy has had his photo on the big board outside his school. It made my morning to have him twinkle at me when I had to stop at the traffic lights on the way to work.

There is a new photo of some clever musicians on the school board now and the old photo… has made it’s way to our house! It stretches across one whole wall of the living room. Anytime you feel like a twinkle from Jono, you can just wander downstairs and there he is in all his 6 foot, school uniformed glory. Best of all, he doesn’t tackle his brothers and you don’t have to feed him. Ka rawe e tama.

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Jono: “Can I borrow the car? I’ve got a History thing.”

Me: “What History thing?”

Jono: “A quiz thing. A History quiz. I don’t know.”

Mum: ” You can borrow the car if you win.”

Jono: (rolls eyes) “OK, whatever.”

Not only did they win the Canterbury Schools History Cup but by a record-breaking margin. The team that got second was almost 40 points behind them.  Jono got to bring the Cup home because he had a car. The other two didn’t want to risk it on the bus.

They’re very proud of their History Cup. It was pulled from the earthquake rubble of a fallen school and it’s dents, wonky stem and sellotaped-together base only add to the historical appeal of this prize. The History Cup is a survivor too.


Filed under Jono, School

Working Man.

Not long ago, Jono got his licence. Actually, on the morning of his birthday he was first in the licence queue. As a result, our insurance premiums skyrocketed. Jono got a summer job.

He spends his days in the company of some hard-working school friends making, among other things, fresh berry ice creams and sundaes and generally charming the unsuspecting public out of their hard-earned cash. Last time I bought an ice cream from him, I had to take out a bank loan to pay for it.

I’m jealous. My first summer job was picking berries in the ferocious Canterbury heat and I spent afternoons trying not to melt under a raspberry bush. Jono has a walk-in coolstore.


Filed under Jono, Summer


Jono has gone.  Off to his jolly hockey sticks tournament in the North Island. I was allowed to come to the airport. But no Public Displays of Affection. Or Else.

I did manage to sneak some love into his suitcase though. Two boxy bags, larger versions of this boxy bag, made from a neutral-coloured curtain remnant. One is for his toilet gear and the other his little medi-bag filled with stickies, strepsils and sneezle-stuff. Hope he doesn’t need that one.

We were at the airport in plenty of time and there was much slapping of backs, jeering at hair cuts and comparing of grungy tee shirts hidden under the regulation team track suit. Half the boys seemed to be wearing slippers, appropriate given it was before the crack of dawn.  Gear was checked in and overweight penalties paid. Some boys appear to be moving to the North Island. Do you really need that many tee shirts for a week? As they were wandering back to me, boarding passes in hand,  the Mum-In-Charge said “You can go through to the Departure Lounge”. As one, the boys changed direction, melted into an amporphous red-and-black blur and drifted up the stairs. No last words, just the coolest of waves over the balcony and that eyebrow thing he does, so like his father.

Who’s gonna make my coffee and watch NCIS with me this week?


Filed under Jono


 Something I thought I’d never see. My sports-nut son, my running, jumping, dribbling, kicking, sliding, tackling mile-a-minute son… singing. In a choir.

But the evidence is there – Jono in the male voice choir at his school’s recent 50th Jubilee celebrations. Beautiful in his smart winter uniform. Earnest in his presentation of acapella numbers. Of songs in Zulu, Maori and Samoan. Wonderful old hymns. Show songs from Superstar, Westside Story, Joseph and Les Miserables.

I was happy to be sitting in the back row as an occasional rogue tear escaped. And so thrilled that our choice of high school continues to offer him chances to be more than just ‘that sports guy’. I’ve never really liked the word ‘well-rounded’ , it speaks of too many plum puddings but ‘well-rounded’ he is becoming and we are so pleased.


Filed under Jono, School