Tuesday, November 28, 2006

From my god-daughter: Catherine Hannagan

Some people obviously have too much time on their hands, it would seem, and thank goodness you do – or something like this would never ever get done!!!

I couldn’t possibly give any excuses related to the office relocation I’m trying to manage my way around tomorrow as that might be used in evidence against me – and I couldn’t have that, could I?

The first Hannagan born in the 1960s is living in Maungaraki (overlooking Petone, Somes Island and the entire Wellington harbour) and working “under cover” for Victoria University, managing a group of people collectively known as ILANZ (International Languages Aotearoa NZ). It is under cover because we look like a separate entity, are not based on campus and most of the university doesn’t know we exist – which can be a real advantage at times! We are a team of 10 in total, five from overseas (China, Spain, Japan and Germany), who provide support for the teaching of international languages in NZ schools. It’s a logical continuation of my career in French, German (and occasionally Maths) teaching and my five years as National French Adviser to schools. While the job no longer involves enough travel – either within NZ or overseas - to soothe my itchy feet, it does keep me in regular contact with the world beyond these shores and provides me with an every day “Robbie Burns view” of kiwis as others see us.
Great fun!

I have been living in this, the first house I’ve ever owned, for just over two years and am loving being a house-owner. I’ve discovered the latent gardener in me and am learning lots of those little delights that others have been experiencing for years: how to replace the lining in a wood burner, crawling round in the ceiling trying to find where that leak is coming from, trying to locate a kitchen sink that fits exactly into the hole that the disgusting, old one came out of… You know the kind of thing. In my “spare” time, when not in the garden, I love to swim, kayak, walk and read, and my Nana(McCabe) would be delighted to know that I have also recently rediscovered the joy (and occasional frustration) of knitting. My plans always include travel. I love the Pacific Islands and have had the pleasure of working in several over recent years, as well as holidaying there. The next major project, however, involves a canal boat and a year or so on the waterways of Europe…in 2008, I hope.