December 25, 2006

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In the hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winters nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below.
Then what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleight and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in an instant it must be Saint Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prancer and Vixen,
On Comet, On Cupid on Donder and Blitzen,
To the top of the Porch, to the top of the wall,
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and Saint Nicholas, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he has flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to now I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

Banana Tropicana


1 banana peeled and diced
1 T honey
1\2 c low fat milk
1\4 c low fat coconut cream
1\4 c unsweetened pineapple juice, strained from crushed pineapple
1\2 c unsweetened crushed pineapple
2-3 ice cubes


1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Serve in tall glasses with cocktail umbrellas or garnish with fruit slices for that real tropical feel.

Photo of the Banana Tropicana above Christmas poem. Love Heli

December 06, 2006

What is Skype

Skype download

download Skype

Skype Store USA

Hey all. Could you benefit from this great programme? Skype is one of those programs with almost universal relevance because who doesn’t want to talk for free with their friends and family or save money on their telephone calls?

Not familiar with Skype? Like Google Talk, you can use Skype to chat with your friends online for free. Additional options include SkypeIn, SkypeOut, , Skype SMS, and Skype Voicemail.

Call ordinary phones anywhere in the world from your computer for the price of a local call with SkypeOut.
SkypeOut lets you call landlines and mobile phones around the world at local rates and users can buy credit in units of €10 or €25.

gives you a personal number so that friends can call you on Skype from their old-fashioned phones, wherever you connect around the world. A SkypeIn number costs €10 for 3 months or €30 for a full year and comes with free Skype Voicemail.

Skype Voicemail
lets you pickup messages when you’re offline, away from your computer… or just ignoring people. A Skype Voicemail subscription costs €5 for 3 months or €15 for a year.

So To recap: What is Skype?
Skype is a little piece of software that lets you make free calls over the Internet. Skype are revolutionizing the telecoms world by allowing skype users to make superior quality voice calls to other Skype users for free and to landlines and mobiles worldwide for the price of a local call.
Skype already had over 100 million downloads of skype software and every day over 150,000 new users join Skype's 33 million active users.

Skype software is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Pocket PC platforms What next?

Skype for Business

Click my links to install. And try a premium service such as Skype Out! Thanks for your support! Helena

Skype download

December 01, 2006

Christmas email

Hello everyone,

Christmas Greetings by e-mail.
Quick and easy alternative really if your loved ones have internet access!
Try,, and


November 29, 2006

My Affliate Links and Technorati

Well Today I Have been exploring some affliate links that I can add to my blog. I have to wait now to see if I will be accepted for commission payments.

Yes just accepted for first, see at top right of page - gaming consoles and xbox, playstation equipment. Well why not for Christmas!:)

I will also use Amazon for promoting books, information products and possibly audios and CDs. But the commission payment is not so high at only 8.5% of a sale price.

My Skype IN and SKYPE OUT links pay a bit better so please go for those!! Thankyou.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to create a PASSIVE revenue through blogging? I am trying to apply what I learn as I go, but I do still need a Name Squeeze page to build a email list of potential buyers of any promoted products. Meantime I just blog because it helps me organise myself better!

Also I have decided to post my blog with Technorati and have found this information about them (see below). Can you believe it 175,000 blogs go on line everyday!!
Technorati Profile
Thanks for reading mine! Keep reading! Favourite it if you wish. Look to the end of the post for nz photos or view them from the labels index at the right.


About Technorati
Currently tracking 60 million blogs

Technorati is the recognized authority on what's happening on the World Live Web, right now. The Live Web is the dynamic and always-updating portion of the Web. We search, surface, and organize blogs and the other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, voting, etc.) increasingly referred to as “citizen media.”

But it all started with blogs. A blog, or weblog, is a regularly updated journal published on the web. Some blogs are intended for a small audience; others vie for readership with national newspapers. Blogs are influential, personal, or both, and they reflect as many topics and opinions as there are people writing them.

Blogs are powerful because they allow millions of people to easily publish and share their ideas, and millions more to read and respond. They engage the writer and reader in an open conversation, and are shifting the Internet paradigm as we know it.

On the World Live Web, bloggers frequently link to and comment on other blogs, creating the type of immediate connection one would have in a conversation. Technorati tracks these links, and thus the relative relevance of blogs, photos, videos etc. We rapidly index tens of thousands of updates every hour, and so we monitor these live communities and the conversations they foster.

The World Live Web is incredibly active, and according to Technorati data, there are over 175,000 new blogs (that’s just blogs) every day. Bloggers update their blogs regularly to the tune of over 1.6 million posts per day, or over 18 updates a second.

Technorati. Who's saying what. Right now.

My Affliate Links and Technorati

November 26, 2006

Google Earth for golfing

American view of a hurricane form using google earth. I think this is hurricane Katrina but not positive. Nice time laps using NOAA data. This is probably the next pay per view version of google earth as I did not see this capacity on our version

Google Earth: Educator Perspectives

Short video
Nice and short but
Better range shown of google earth search capacity.
Mention historical comparisions, plus sketch up

Google Earth: A Classroom Tool

This short tutorial has a fly by focus on Canada.
Plus discussion of advantages of Google earth:
- Students can upload and install at home. There is a free version that anyone can access so that they can practise and explore. Needs Windows 2000 or xp.
-There is a vibrant educational communnity already using google earth. You can view their files or upload your own. There is a collaborative aspect of the google earth community.
You can intergrate the data with other social networks and software for example sketch up - This is now downloaded on the main PC we use here.

November 25, 2006

Schools may end up being cyber
By LANE NICHOLS - The Dominion Post | Thursday, 12 October 2006

Classrooms of the future will have computers in place of books and children logging on from home PCs for interactive lessons with overseas pupils.

Teachers will no longer be the main information source, acting more as facilitators who guide pupils between electronic information "portals".

This is how New Zealand's education system could look in 20 years, according to the first major report by a multimillion-dollar Government think tank.

But teachers are warning against letting children study at home without supervision or social interaction with their peers.

The Secondary Futures project was set up in 2003 to investigate how secondary schooling could cater for society's rapidly changing needs.

Today it releases the first of five reports outlining scenarios in which computers have replaced books, pupils are enrolled at several schools at once and learn at different sites.

Secondary Futures sought feedback through hundreds of workshops and analysed nearly 4000 submissions. The Students First report criticises the old "production line" schooling model – which sorts people according to job prospects – saying it has resulted in serious underachievement, particularly for Maori and Pacific Islanders.

It champions personalised learning, whereby teachers and pupils work collaboratively to build individually tailored learning programmes around a pupil's interests.

It questions the traditional school-day structure, suggests aligning social and health services more closely with schools and predicts a changing role for teachers.

Pupils will be "bombarded with information" from multiple sources. Teachers will assist them to filter relevant data from cyber trash.

"Face-to-face teaching will be complemented or sometimes even replaced, by online learning, e-learning, television learning and hands-on learning," the report says.

Pupils will not only learn in classrooms, but from home through online learning programmes and independent education providers.

But the report warns the transformation would require major attitudinal shifts that could clash with traditional notions of competition between schools and zoning provisions.

Secondary Futures chief executive Nicola Meek said many ideas outlined in the report were already happening in pockets around the country.

The report was a "mark in the sand" to get people thinking about the future of education.

"This won't be a one size fits all. These are some possibilities that might demonstrate how learning might occur."

Post Primary Teachers Association deputy general secretary Bronwyn Cross warned that personalised learning took decisions on what should be taught away from society and gave it to teenagers.

She questioned the wisdom of leaving pupils alone at home to study, which raised "care issues" and meant young people would miss out on important social interaction.

Heli's comment: For more on the benefits of blogging for educators and a disscussion of the issues visit:


playing tennis

NZ houses among least affordable
Monday January 22, 2007
By Anne Gibson nz herald

New Zealanders are paying some of the world's highest house prices compared to our incomes and Auckland ranks alongside London as one of the world's most expensive housing markets.

The third Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released today showed it takes Aucklanders 6.9 years of full annual earnings of $57,500 to afford the $395,000 median house price.

Auckland ranked 21st out of 159 cities surveyed, with the least affordable city being Los Angeles.

Christchurch ranked 31st out of 159, with its residents taking six years of $48,400 annual earnings to afford the $291,000 median.

Wellington fared better in place 47 with its residents taking 5.4 years (earning $61,400 annually) to afford the $331,000 median.

A survey author blamed tight land supply for New Zealand's housing squeeze, saying excessive land use regulation had strangled subdivision expansion and artificially pushed up prices.

In the past year, New Zealand house prices rose about 10 per cent, significantly more than the rise in people's incomes.

Most analysts expect Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard to hold the official cash rate at 7.25 per cent on Thursday - and give homeowners a breather from higher mortgage rates - after lower oil prices contributed to better than expected inflation figures.

Housing Minister Chris Carter told the Affordable Housing Forum in Wellington late last year that the Government had identified three new ways of solving the crisis - new uses of planning rules, special sector partnerships and Government-led development projects on surplus Crown land.

"People of my generation are deeply disturbed by the enormous difficulties our children face in getting into the housing market, and housing affordability is an issue preoccupying hundreds of thousands of young households around the country.

"The problem with supply is not that we haven't been releasing land for development as those who want to gut the Resource Management Act are fond of claiming," he told the conference.

Hugh Pavletich, Christchurch-based co-author of the survey with Wendell Cox in the United States, criticised councils for ring-fencing cities which he said was strangling the supply of land crucial for development.

"Houses should not cost any more than three years' annual incomes," he said, calling for more rural land to be freed up.

"Less than 1.4 per cent of our land is urbanised, so there's no shortage of land for housing."

The survey found Australians had the world's most pervasive housing affordability crisis, taking 6.6 years of full earnings to afford a house. New Zealand come in close behind, taking a median six years, followed by Ireland and Britain.

Canadians have the world's most affordable houses, taking only 3.2 years of full earnings to afford a median-priced place. Americans score close behind, taking just 3.7 years of earnings to buy a house.

The survey found many people living in North America were much better off than New Zealanders. Their housing markets are the world's more affordable.

Darren Gibbs, chief economist of Deutsche Bank in Auckland, said low incomes were one of the reasons for NZ's poor ranking in the survey.

"We have high house prices compared to low incomes and our incomes are low because we're not a productive country."

How many years to buy a home?

Number of years' income to buy house:
* Australia 6.6 years.
* New Zealand 6 years.
* Ireland 5.7 years.
* Britain 5.5 years.
* United States 3.7 years.
* Canada 3.2 years.
Source: Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Beach Haka

Home animation. Inspiring post. I want to make my own now!!. Visit my blog to see more every day

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Wish you were here in Hawkes Bay!! Or I wish I was there.

November 23, 2006

Italian newspapers online:
Copy and Paste to your Browser:
Te Voglio Bene!

Spaghetti Bolognese


1 medium sized onion, chopped
1T oil
500 gm lean minced beef
1 t dried basil
1\2 t dried oregano
2 cloves crushed garlic
400 gm can whole peeled or diced tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1\2 t sugar
Salt and pepper to season

300 g dried Spaghetti
Grated parmesan cheese to serve (fresh or dried)


1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Cook onion for 5 minutes until soft.

2. Add mince, garlic and herbs to the onions, then cook until mince is browned, stirring for about ten minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook over a low heat for 30-35 minutes until sauce is thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. About 15 minutes before sauce is cooked, half fill a large saucepan with water. Bring water to the boil. Add spaghetti and stir with a fork.

5. Boil spaghetti for 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente, which means soft but firm to bite into. Drain spaghetti in a sieve. Divide between 4 serving plates.

6. Spoon meat sauce over spaghetti.

Sprinkle over grated parmesan cheese and serve with a side salad.

Italy — October 1943–April 1945
The squadron commander decided that we must get some plonk and relax. We relaxed with a great little party, then settled down in dirty, rotten, wet, cold weather under some olive trees, waiting for the next attack on Cassino.

Rae Familton, 20 and 18 Armoured Regiments, A Fair Sort of Battering: New Zealanders Remember the Italian Campaign

November 19, 2006

Well! at my place it has been a novel and exciting week of reminiscence and outdoor action. I attended a great school camp as a parent in the greater Hawke's Bay at camp Tutira with a family member and thouroughly enjoyed the outdoor pursuits; namely a mud walk, uphill through fern strewn forest, climbing across fallen logs and using ropes to climb small rocky precipices with a great team of students and educators. Sampled and helped prepare the camp food, camp night entertainment, helped out with the camp cleaning and then walked some more great outdoor tracks. Great environmental and natural heritage education. Arrived on the final night only so was a bit spoilt in so far as I missed and my family member enjoyed the water activites the previous day. Great and hard work to organise a school camp for the school and teacher, well done, and thankfully a successful, challenging yet safe time.

Back also to hear written reports highlighting some not so great news about my home localities - a HB district health board report revealed my region to have some of the sickest people in the country, faring the worst out of 21 district health boards, with my locality leading mortality figures for breast cancer, strokes and suicide attempts than anywhere else in New Zealand. I am thankful to live here however and think Hawke's bay is a good place to be but I am concerned by this report.

I did try a lovely savy - savignon blanc - over the weekend whilst dinning out and for beauty and extra impact added a beautiful ripe strawberry to my wine glass to good effect. The strawberries are beautifully in season just now. I want to make more money on line somehow! I hear a blog is a must have and am enjoying the journey!

Best, go well and stay safe.

October 31, 2006

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Tuki Tuki valley, Hawkes Bay, NZ

One of my favourite local views from the top of Te Mata Peak, Hawkes Bay. Paragliders sail from here to the green fields below. Posted by Picasa

Apple orchard, Hawke's Bay

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Auckland - "sky tower" at centre

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New Zealand

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I came, I saw, I commented!

Veni, vidi, vici.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Caesar, 47 B.C

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