Archives for the month of: October, 2014

sponsored puppets

I woke up early this morning to pounding rain on the window. A very unusal sound. Normally I wake up to the chickens clucking away, right under my bedroom window, demanding their breakfast. It was early too. I checked on the chickens by looking out the window. The sad little bunch was up and had found refuge under the chicken coop. Lately I have struggled to get up in the morning. It is not like the old days when I would jump out of bed and sit for an hour writing on my blog before breakfast, then go on and do my honest job. But today, after I checked the chickens, I stayed up and thought I would do a spot of early work. To my surprise I found Harvey and Push Push stitting on the studio table having what looked like a deep and meaningful conversation while looking out the window admiring the wonderful red blossoms on the bottle brush tree. Harvey seemed to be peeved off. “Can you imagine?” I heard him say to Push Push. “She has forgotten to remind me of Mr XL’s birthday. She really doesn’t fulfill her obligations to the sponsors.”

“She didn’t forget my sponsor’s birthday in September!” Push Push remarked.

“You can say what you want. She is a slacker! I wish we had the old days back!” At this moment Push Push realised that I was standing in the doorway and signalled wildly at Harvey to shut up. Harvey turned round and said: “Get real! It’s true and she knows it herself!”

“It’s not quite that bad” Push Push tried to appease. But I had to agree with Harvey. He is right and I promised to do better. “Ah well, I know you promises” said Harvey and hopped back into the art cupboard. “You better keep your promise this time” added Push Push in a motherly tone. “Everyone’s patience is wearing a bit thin.”

little skeleton

Last week I had this great workshop at Studio One in Auckland. It was supposed to be a holiday programme for kids from 10 to 14. Truth was the youngest was just 8 and I was a bit worried, that the age difference would be too noticeable. Surprisingly it wasn’t at all. They all played wonderfully together and came up with this lovely story not to judge a book by its cover. I am always amazed about their creativity. Isn’t this skeleton just gorgeous? It is made out of two shuttlecocks and pipe cleaner by thirteen-year-old David. We had so many characters in the end we could easily have made a few films…. But what I really like is that they come up with one story as a group and work on it together.

For me personally it was a wonderful break from the drudgery of school and it became very clear to me that I have to get back into the swing with my puppets. I have three projects on the boil and have to make up my mind which one I am starting first. Life is definitely too short…

And here is the film we’ve created.


At the moment I am fighting a terrible cold. I seem not to be able to shift it at all. That adds to my stresses at work or maybe I can’t shift it because of what’s going on at work. Personally I try not to get involved in the stress-mongering. As a  part-timer I have the luxury to be able to move away and do other things when people get their nickers in the twist, unless of course I have to teach. Unfortunately the last two weeks I had a full-time teaching laod and had no time for myself.

Our school is a relatively new outfit. We don’t have management on site. The managers are somewhere down country and someone from the higher ranks is visiting us every one or two weeks, but not necessarily the same person. We are only a handful of people at our site and pretty much everyone who works at the office believes we should work as a team. Unfortunately one person is a control freak and makes everything their business. If there are some brownie points to be had, this person steamrolls everyone else and hogs the communication channels. I had asked management to proivde us with an organigram as they see the structure in our office, so that we all know where we are standing. I was surprised to hear that they are not willing to give us a firm answer at this point. My conclusion is that we are dealing with a weak management and I have my suspicion that they tell everyone a slightly different version of what they want from us.

This week I have some time off to do a holiday puppet workshop at Studio One with kids between nine and fourteen. I am so looking forward to a good laugh. I will do me wonders.