How feminine are we?

I’ve been conducting some research on how feminine people think New Zealand women are.
Have your say!  Take a moment to consider these short questions and pop your answers in to a comment on this blog.  Oh, and if you’re enjoying my posts, click on the left to follow me!
I’ll post a link to the article when it’s published (you might even be quoted!!!)

1/ What do you think femininity is, or encompasses?

2/ On a scale of 1 – 10 (where 10 is very feminine), how would you rate NZ women?
3/ What do you think influences our femininity?
4/ On a scale of 1 – 10 (where 10 is very strong), do you think femininity is seen as a strong or weak trait in NZ?
5/ Do you think it’s important for women to be feminine? Why?
6/ On a scale of 1 -10 (where 10 is equal, or very feminine), how do Kiwi women rate in relation to European women for femininity?
7/ Can you think of any good, feminine, Kiwi role models? (if so – tell me who they are!!!)


Community Parenting – I stuck my oar in.

It was pretty busy the play park yesterday, my children always opt to swing first, but since all swings were busy, we headed for the slides and tunnels, then the see-saw, then we moseyed over to wait our turn on a swing.  Pretty soon a baby swing was made available for my littlest.  Miss Nearly 4 wanted a ‘big kids swing’ so she waited. I’d already noticed that one child had been on the swing for ages.  His parents seemed to have no sense that others were waiting.

Another baby swing came free and as a mother approached it with her small son, another adult rushed past, grabbed the swing, yelled across the park to her friend, who brought a little girl over and plonked her in it.  UNBELEIVABLE!  The usurped mother and I exchanged incredulous looks, but nothing was said.  Aha!  These were, it seemed the parents of the endlessly swinging boy…

As the father appeared I pointed out, politely, that two little girls (there was now a queue) had been waiting a long time for a swing and that it was perhaps time to move his son along.  A minute or two later I reiterated, a little more directly, that it was time for his son to give up a swing.  The child on the next swing nobly volunteered his – even though he’d been on for about half the time – sweet chap.  One girl now swinging, one waiting.  The father was talking to his son, who did not wish to leave his swing, gently trying to get him off the swing.  It went on and on.  My patience waned.  ‘Just get the child off the swing man’, I thought.  “Come on, time’s up,” I said.  Clearly we were going to be kept waiting until the stubborn child chose to get off.  So…. did I cross the line….?

I went up to the father and son, said “Come on dude, time’s up” and lifted the child off the swing.  “Yes, but not forcing it,” said the father.  ‘Actually,’ I wanted to say, ‘yes, sometimes forcing it. Who’s in charge here.  You or your small son?’   Instead I said something about teaching children to share.  And he walked away.

Was I right, or wrong?  Did I cross the line?

Working a haiku or senryu

I had one of those moments in the early hours when a poem comes to you and you dither between sleep and the desire to capture the poem – to reach in the dark for your pencil and notepad and scribble it down.  I didn’t.  But I managed to repeat it enough to myself in my half-sleeping state to have a vague recollection of it come morning.

Of course the precise vocabulary, the exact word distribution, left with the darkness and left me work to do.

Lying there somewhat fitfully I had made a conscious effort to release my thoughts and all tension from my head. At which point I realised just how much tension I was holding, and that was the moment at which the haiku arrived.

It was something along the lines of:

dense night
finally my thoughts
release me

But this doesn’t quite do it for me.  I tried:

disordered night
at last my thoughts
release me

And had these words on hand: 

torpid, impervious, scattered, shattered, kinetic,  unbalanced, wavering, unquiet, unsteady, disordered

Still the poem wasn’t saying what I felt.

these early hours
unsteady thoughts
at last release me

No, still not right.  How about re-ordering the lines?

unsteady mind
these early hours
at last release me

No, it wasn’t the hours that released me, the sense was very much of thoughts bouncing about in my head and keeping me a awake.  Sometimes I think I try to say too much in a haiku senryu – I try to cover too much time when all I should be focussing on is one tiny moment.  I closed my eyes and put myself mentally back in bed, to the moment before I let my thoughts go…

in my head a cricket
singing singing singing
this early morning

Now that’s a poem I’m happy with.

On Haiku

I love writing haiku.  Moments exploded into a nutshell is how I see them.  Like the hint of the song of a rare bird, the tiniest taste of something exquisite that fires a million thoughts.  Sometimes a haiku appears just like that – fully formed and ready to go.  Other times haiku morph and merge and turn into something unexpected, or with a change of line breaks the meaning is amplified.

I took the ferry today, to the city – it’s a good place and time to find haiku.

I wonder which works best?


leaving thoughts –
on the ferry our flag
twisted around the pole


leaving thoughts on the ferry
our flag twisted
around the pole