Notes

Jake is now 3 and half months old, doing very well, is super cute and has a lovely temperament- so its clear he takes after Ingrid!

In the last few days Jake has had his first ride in a taxi, first flight in a plane, first trip to the Waikato, first time at the seaside and first trip past an active volcano!

Had a few days off with Ingrid’s family up in Cambridge; relaxed and with good sunny weather.  We also had a trip to Raglan to see the world famous surf, which was of course non existant!  It did perk up in time for sunset and it all was very pretty in the end.

The GWS (aka the Legnum) proved a bit of a bust as it turnd out to have many things wrong with it that would be too expenisve to fix- so i sold it for a tidy profit on Trade Me. Shortly afterwards, Luke and Kristen gave us their reliable and problem free 2002 Galant station wagon which is even better!

Life at the Sallies is going well and not only have i helped form a social committee at THQ but i have also become a fire and earthquake warden. Really hoping i don’t have to carry out those duties though.

West Ham have been solid but unspectacular in their start to the new season although i still despite Sam Allardyce’s negative tactics; Wellington Lions have been playing some nice rugby, Bristol won’t get promoted to the Premiership if they concede 39 and 52 points in their opening games and the Blue Jays…? Well they have had a season of bad luck/awfulness/nightmares/ in equal measure.

Have been wearing my speical one off Chiefs rugby shirt that i won in a comp. Its Kane Thompson’s No 8 shirt as worn in the match vs the Blues earlier in the year and was the charity round shirt for Plunket.

Film review – How Far Is Heaven

How Far Is Heaven film imageCo-directors Chris Pryor and Miriam Smith spent a year living with the community at Jerusalem/Hiruharama on the Whanganui River.

Jerusalem is where Suzanne Aubert established The Sisters of Compassion order over 100 years ago.

Today, only three nuns remain.

Through four seasons, the film follows the community and especially the journey of Sister Margaret Mary, the newest Sister to Jerusalem and a regular volunteer at the local school.

Through the nuns’ engagement with the local community, especially their relationship with the children, we see the complexities of life in Jerusalem. There is a mix of Christian and Maori spirituality, where people only really go to church for Midnight Mass at Christmas, and yet prayers to both God and the taniwha are the everyday norm. Jerusalem seems to be a place where there is great joy in the simplicity of life, yet all the while there are dark undertones that hint at the poverty and harsher realities in the small community.

Everyday life is seen mostly through the eyes of the children, which makes for some fascinating insights. The children are asked what their dreams are; their replies are fairly simple- be a woodcutter, kill a pig, go to Australia to visit. While Sister Margaret Mary encourages them to dream bigger (finish high school, go to university, get jobs outside the area), its clear that for many of the kids, life both now and in the future, is in Jerusalem. It begs the question, do they plan to stay because they love the village or because they don’t know anything else and are ill equipped for life in the ‘outside world?’

Pryor’s brooding cinematography shows this part of Whanganui at its finest. Coupled with an emotive and haunting score by Rachel Shearer, it matches the rhythm and mood of the village through the seasons and mirrors the flow of the river itself; sometimes languid and gentle, sometimes forceful and destructive.

This is a beautifully reflective and challenging film, raising many questions about the nature of faith and life in Aotearoa today.