Thursday, October 18, 2007

Up and at 'em

Well it's been a fairly productive week. Liz and I got together over the weekend and made a start on the reusable gift wrap for our first stall. We're booked into a local market on the first Saturday in November, so I need to get on with finishing my Christmas cards, and Pixie hoods. I also got a letter published in the local paper! I'll copy and paste it at the end of this post for anyone wanting to read it.
Finally, I joined a boxing club in an effort to get fit. A local fella has opened a free boxing club just literally at the end of my street, so I've joined to do the training twice a week. I'm not going to be sparring, but he's keen for people to join up for fitness reasons, so me and my buddy Jude are going on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for an hour. We went for the first time this week, and we're both suffering now!! We did skipping, crunches, squats and lunges, cardio-boxing and various other "shadow-boxing" techniques. I surprised myself with how much I COULD do, but man I'm sore today, and it's on again tonight!
We're also going to make the effort to get the kids out to a local park on a Saturday or Sunday (depending on the weather) to have a game of footy or frisbee.

Roll on weight loss!

Here's the letter I wrote in response to an article about the little estate I live on:

Dear Sir/Madam

Following the article in the Franklin County News on October 4th about Brian Davis and his work in setting up a gym in Hamilton Estate, I felt compelled to write in.

Not, as you may think, to applaud Mr. Davis on his fantastic commitment to youth (which I do), but to voice my objection to the first 2 paragraphs describing Hamilton Estate as

“…a gang hang-out…an area where kids ape the American slums.

The streets are covered in litter and graffiti dots every available surface – fences, power boxes, even homes.”

I object most strongly to the area being compared to “American slums”, the area is green and bright, and dotted with small reserves, the houses still have decent sized gardens and the residents tend them most proudly.

The kids I have met have been polite, friendly and happy. I know all my neighbors well, and our children play together regularly. I have always been greeted by friendly faces when I walk around the area, and even given a few bags of peaches by one lovely lady.

I have seen graffiti I admit, but it has only ever been on unoccupied buildings, and is quickly painted over by owners as soon as it is noticed. The local rugby club building that Mr. Davis is making use of was only vandalized as no one was using it, and I honestly believe this will now change.

As for the “streets covered in litter” I have seen more litter in the stretch of Kitchener Road outside the netball courts than I have along my street.

In short, labeling Hamilton Estate as the “bad area” of town will only make the people who live there feel undervalued as citizens of Waiuku, and serve to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This little slice of heaven won awards as a model village when it was first built by the steel mill, and I for one am proud to be a resident of Hamilton Estate.

Yours faithfully
Louise Ratcliffe

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