I have a love - hate relationship with this time of year. I am looking forward to the break over Xmas, but the winding up of the academic programmes creates a heavier workload for us all. Final tests and assignments to be marked - practical assessments in a range of skills to timetable. I know I have to keep checking what I am doing and where I should be and what gear needs setting up or tests printing. We know it is just as hard for the students doing it all too.
There is also the sadness associated with finishing the remaining four classes on campus and knowing we are going to lose many wonderful people that we have got to know. We love having the whirlwind of November award dinners, class parties, final field trips and other sweeteners that enrich these final weeks. Watching the students embark on their new careers is exciting - seeing them leave has often resulted in tears.
On a positive note we get to interview some of the current and returning past students to fill a class for next year - and there are many brand new applicants to meet and select as well for other programmes. Life goes on. I can say my life has been much richer for the fun I have in my teaching career. I didn't start this new phase of my life until I was 40 and it has been everything I hoped it would be.
Two days in Wellington this week to meet up with many other vets and vet nurses who also teach into veterinary nursing and animal care programmes. It was a fun and noisy group, sharing ideas, planning the new programmes, comparing standards, socialising over a Mediterranean dinner at Osteria del Toros. There were so many people to catch up with ! Actually, a few of them are still up there as Wellington sea fog rolled in yesterday and trapped many overnight. We were one of the lucky few whose plane was able to land ... so we got off- very late, but we got home.
Airlines are hoping to have the backlog of flights cleared by tomorrow after fog disrupted flights at Wellington Airport throughout today.
Thousands of passengers had their travel plans disrupted today, with scores of flights delayed, cancelled, or turned back.
Thick fog rolled in this morning, burned off about 1.30pm, returning about 4.30pm and then on and off through the evening.
Wellington Airport spokeswoman Briarley Kirk said about 5pm that most flights had been grounded but the fog was rolling in and out so they would keep monitoring the situation.
Earlier all flights in and out of Wellington Airport were grounded by the fog, and some managed to get out while the fog was clear, but others didn't.
Passengers were told to re-book for tomorrow if their travel was not urgent.
Wellington Airport is advising travellers to check with their airline or on the airport website for the status of their flights.
A Jetstar spokesman said about 6pm that it had cancelled four Wellington flights and expected to clear the backlog of passengers by the end of Saturday.
An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said that today's weather conditions had caused around 28 return flights to be cancelled, affecting about 3650 passengers.
It was interesting to see that Wellington is experiencing traffic delays due to roadworks too. Probably not on the scale of Christchurch though.
Check out this blog post from Christchurch Daily Photo...
and we have a special app that we can use to work out a route to get anywhere ...
TomTom has some traffic statistics...
We are still trailing Auckland for congestion but apparently our roadworks will be even worse next year ... and last for three.
Another round of birthdays - my birth mother was on the 4th and we had a lovely chat. My dear friend's daughter has hers today - she is 15, so will go and see them, before a student barbecue tonight and as it is mine this week too I have a few dinners and lunches planned.
A real cluster of fabulous Scorpios -
Later in the month it will be Jaz's birthday too so they are planning a party - a 70's theme. Why have I already got so much of this in my wardrobe? We must be having a revival of this look....
Next month we are expecting a pre Xmas visit from my Vancouver based brother Alistair who is visiting Perth for work and will fly home this way with his partner Janka, and then after Xmas both his sons - Blair from Vancouver and Nick from Parisare coming here too. It has been a fair while since we have seen any of them over here so this is a real feast! Lots and lots to look forward to...