Odds and Ends

Whatever the weather…..

We have had strong, blustery winds blowing over us the last few days. Then the wind dropped, and we had a thunderstorm. It got me musing about my reaction to weather. I realised that, even after a few years away from classroom teaching, I still link weather and children. My job as a worker in the out-of-school-hours industry helps me maintain that link, but really it has come from 30 years of teaching.

Now I love those days when it rains all day, but it always makes me think of wet-day timetables, and makes me grateful not to be there. I remember the mayhem of rooms full of children who would rather be outside playing, the snatched lunch before dashing back to continue to supervise. Usually the kids would try hard to be occupied with lego construction or board games or computer activities or drawing; but for some of them it was just too difficult not to play rowdy games of hide and seek or downball in the corridor.

An Old Teacher’s Tale is that windy days scramble kids, and my experience says that it is true. Children seem to get blown around in the wind and come back into class like whirlwinds, as though they have brought the wind back in with them. Yard duty on those days was often taken up with sorting out niggles and complaints and injuries from falls.

I also think back to the day when a branch broke off in a gale force wind and fell onto a child below, breaking her leg. That was a traumatic time for all of us.

For many lunchtimes we had glorious sunny days and the playground generally was harmonious. Walking in the sun, chatting to children was pleasurable. However, always in the back of your mind was the next classroom activity to be organised, the meeting with the parent to plan, the pages to photocopy, the report to write.

Even those beautiful Spring days could have impacts on the kids. I remember one day in early spring. It was warm, but the temperature was only in the low 20s. We were outside for a Phys Ed lesson, when Jack and Mitchell were complaining about how hot they were. They wanted to stop the game and go inside, where it was cooler!

Of course in Summer the heat waves could go on for days. I knew that the morning lessons were important because by the afternoon we would all be tired, wilting and often cranky. In really hot weather the playground would be quiet, with the kids in the shade or maybe inside watching a movie. After lunch “Dead fish” was a popular game ~ and home time more welcome than usual.

As I said at the start, now days I look at this from afar ~ from the perspective of my comfy armchair, cup of tea and a good book!

How does the weather affect your life? Does it have any affect on your job, or can you only look at it through the window of an office?


MacKenzie Falls

Quite a few drops of rain have fallen while we have been in the Grampians. And the wind has blown, and it has been chilly. (Thank you for the heater, Denise 🙂 )

The rain hasn’t really stopped us from doing anything, but it has given us a good excuse to curl up with a few good books.

The other advantage is that it has made the waterfalls run. Because Australia is such a dry continent, waterfalls aren’t guaranteed to fall. But when the rain comes the creeks just love to gush over rocks and gurgle through crannies. The Grampians seem to be a rather leaky sort of place. It must be the geology. Water seeps out from crevices and mosses just love it. Boulders can be slick and low lying areas boggy.

The water was certainly enjoying itself at MacKenzie Falls. It was so satisfying to hear the falls and see the sheets of silver cascade down.

The falls were named by an explorer, Major Mitchell, in 1836. Interestingly he tried to find out their Aboriginal name, but couldn’t, and named them after his friend Captain MacKenzie. The Jardwadjali people called them Migunang wirub (black fish floating on top of water).

MacKenzie Falls (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
MacKenzie Falls (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The falls from the base (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The falls from the base (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

These falls are not the Angel Falls, but after 12 years of drought I still enjoy running water in all its forms.

Falls, by definition mean a drastic change in level — there were over 250 steps to get to the bottom. I didn’t count them on the way down, but counting on the way up helped distract my brain from the complaining legs!


After falling over the edge, the creek continues to burble its way down stream. Along the bank is a very inviting path, saying “Wander on some more. See where I go after this next bend.” It could have lead me the 7kms on to Zumsteins, but I was strong and resisted. Halfway up the steps I wished I had!

Follow me - just one more corner. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Follow me – just one more bend (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Texture on Thursday — beach

Summer is here — for half the world, anyway. During the heat the beach calls….

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