Yesterday Tina and I conducted the first of 3 Blogging Workshops. This is an iniative of Norfolk Tourism, to encourage Norfolk Island people to tell our story, and to "put it out there" on the net.
It is not hard to say great things about Norfolk Island - and we can produce beautiful pictures to back it up.
But when you are just a small and remote place, it means you have to try a bit harder to get the message out.
We had seven participants yesterday, and there will be a different group each week. Anyone is welcome to come back again to ask more questions or smooth out any wrinkles. By the end of the 2-2 1/2 hour session, every single one in the group had set up their own blog, and were working on their first posting. There was a wonderful feeling of achievement and anticipation of future opportunities for putting stories and messages out there. Each blog will be quite different, as every person has different interests and skills and agendas. But every posting will enhance Norfolk Island's profile, as well as give satisfaction to the bloggers.
During the session, Tina showed my archives up on the screen, and the fact that I began blogging in January 2006. I have noted that this was 374 posts ago!
Now there is such a thing as "blogger's block" - you have times when you are not sure of what to write about, but you also realise that people who follow your blog may lose interest if you do not update fairly regularly.
It helps to have a grandson. Especially if I use my blog to keep his other grandparents in New Zealand fuelled up with love and pride in a little boy they see less frequently than Bernie and I do.
On Saturday, we went to "arter on" while William was having his riding lesson. "Arter on" is a Norfolk Island dialect expression meaning "to gaze on with love and pride". And that is just what all the parents and grandparents were doing during this class. with a group of mainly 3 year olds experiencing enjoyment and building up confidence riding the ponies!
At this stage the little ones are just being led around, but they are being encouraged to get to know their horses, to feel comfortable on them, experience "balance", step over small obstacles,and they even get to do a bit of trotting.
There are adult helpers, and older pupils all helping out with leading the little ones, so they all have one - on - one guidance and instruction.
Look Mum - no hands!
Colleen, who owns and manages this lovely little riding school, is fulfilling a lifetime dream.
She has been riding herself since she was tiny, and now her small grandchildren are among her pupils. In recent times, she has been able to purchase a property adjacent to a block of family land. This gives her a lovely big area for lessons and events. The new property has a big shed on it, which serves as a great clubhouse for the students, as well as a wet-weather learning area and storage facility. There is even a kitchen and toilet, and when the shower is hooked up, Colleen is planning camps for the kids.
Alongside the shed, a number of stables have been constructed. The ponies are so gentle and well-behaved. Perfect for an equestrian beginner!
Colleen is just one of many people here on Norfolk Island who put an enormous amount of time, skill and personal resources into making life richer and better for those around them. I know the kids will agree with that!
Thanks for the up date Mary we are so lucky to have such a lovely grandson and looking forward to meeting our new grandson in the near future, wonder if he will be as adorable as William, I bet he will be
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