Te Karaka: Cool stuff and keeping in touch with te reo

Computers and MatarikiI have long been a fan of the official Ngāi Tahu magazine Te Karaka , but have only recently come across it online.

If you haven’t visited, you should! The articles are interesting, informative, and well written and full of gorgeous images.  I love the range of books that are featured, from adult to children’s material and based on the kōrero from the reviewers I picked out a couple I intend to get my hands on to take home to read to my tamariki.

The other highlight for me was that the reviews were written in Te Reo Māori and in English. Tau kē.

You can stay in touch with Ngāi Tahu and Te Karaka online:

Have you come across any unexpected taonga (treasures) online lately?

Kaitakawaenga, Maori Services

The DIY approach to names

CoverNames have always been DIY to a degree, but they used to come from a traditional pool of existing names. Now many parents choosing completely original names for their children, although it is still true that a library can never be to too thin, too rich, or have too many baby name books.

However there is another DIY name tradition in our family which originated with an Irish woman of our acquaintance who had her very own DIY approach to names. For example, she called Hydrangeas, Hygeraniums and Rhododendrons, Rosiedenderons.

This turned out to be an excellent game for cold winter afternoons – create you own plants and animals out of already existing ones. You can also start by drawing an animal, with a piece donated by each participant and then name it.

Choosing a name for a child is of course a solemn and important task, but pets give one a whole canvas for the creativity of DIY. There are books of pet names and websites with such things as literary cats to guide you, but the best fun is had from making up you own.

I like my cat names to reflect their nature. I had two cats called Mack and Mabel because one was had a white bib and always looked neat and demure and the other had a wild look in his eye that reminded me the mad Scotsman in Dad’s Army (Mack was short for MacTavish).

My current cat unfortunately bears a name designed only to expunge his original inappropriate name which, like Morse, he will never now divulge. It had to be close enough that he could still answer to it so it’s Jimmy, when it should be something closer to The Terminator. He’s a killing machine when it comes to birds and isn’t above taking on the odd human. We won’t mention what happened the arm of the man who rescued him from the roof on Feb 22nd. He recently upset one of my neighbours when she hissed at him to get rid of him and he turned around an hissed back. I’m pretty sure if he could talk he would have said “go on lady, make my day ” (wrong film I know, but you get my drift) The only thing that Arnie would not approve of is his tendency to flirt outrageously with men, which ruins the macho image just a bit.

What is your pet’s name and why did you choose it? Do you know any musicians with pets called Bach, Offenbach and Debussy? Or Sci Fi fans with cats called Schrodinger? Let me know your favourites.