Marlborough Mid-Week : February 3rd 2016
stuff.co.nz FEBRUARY 3, 2016, MARLBOROUGH MIDWEEK 7 Mahjong classes for Marlburians ASHLEIGHMONK Put away that Monopoly board and knock over that Jenga tower, because a Marlborough woman is bringing back a classic game. Jocelyn MacKay hopes to bring back the Chinese tile game Mahjong, and will be holding a beginners’ course through the Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) in Blenheim. Jocelyn found she had a knack for the game when she was living in Vietnam. ‘‘I’ve lived in Vietnam for three years, so I learned to play when I was there and I learnt the Western style. When the Asians play, they don’t talk, and they go very fast,’’ she says. ‘‘I was teaching in Ho Chi Minh city and I found mahjong addictive. The school that I taught at had extra-curricular clubs to get the students to be doing other things after school than going home and playing their X-Box or watching TV. I taught them mahjong.’’ Whenshe returned toNewZea- land she decided to get a group of her friends together to play every week and says she loves when Thursday night comes around. ‘‘You get the fellowship, you Jocelyn MacKay wants to share her love of mahjong with other Marlburians, and will be holding a beginners course in March. get to play the game and learn strategy. And if you want to take it up another level you get the thinking behind it.’’ Jocelyn is a qualified teacher and says she wanted to start teaching mahjong, and REAP was the perfect platform to do that. ‘‘This is the first time it’s been done. We will run it for six weeks for the first term and if people want to come along in term two we can have a more advanced class. Six weeks is long enough to learn to play, but if they want to carry on they can build on the skills they have.’’ ‘‘The first week can be bit mys- Magnificent muralfor Mayfield ASHLEIGHMONK Students at Mayfield School will come back from their holidays to find a colourful new addition to the school grounds. Mayfield School principal David Nott enlisted his son Jono to paint a mural on the wall of a once-bland classroom. Jono, who has a fine arts degree from Massey University, started the mural on Tuesday, and with the help of several artist friends he managed to have the piece finished on Friday. ‘‘We get here early in the morn- ing and then paint until it’s too dark to see anything,’’ he says. Leo Gardiner, Tom Flaherty, Kerry Males and Jacinta Nott were among the team of artists working through the week to brighten up the schoolyard. David says the idea for the mural came from the children, who decided they needed a bit more colour around the school and went about designing the concept. ‘‘We talked to the children about the concept and they wanted their classroom trees, which are manuka, kowhai, nikau and pohutakawa, because that’s important to them. We also have wheels day once a month, so Jono is painting a boy on a scooter and a girl on a bike. We have an edible garden, so we’ve got the garden scene, too. ‘‘The kids will come back and it will be a big surprise because they weren’t aware that it would be done over the holiday break.’’ Mayfield School principal David Nott, left, with his son Jono who is painting a mural on a blank wall at the school with a few of his artistic friends. PHOTO: ASHLEIGH MONK/FAIRFAX NZ THE HOME OF GOOD BAKING $349 Win FREE milk for a year! TWO WINNERS PER STORE! Purchase 2 x 2L Dairy Dale Milk to go in the draw! Terms & conditions apply, see instore for further details. 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But that’s like anything, really.’’ The course starts in the first week of March and will be held at the REAP House on George St, more information can be found by calling 03 578 7848. Weta hotels along the Momorangi Forest Experience Track have been hosting plenty of sixlegged visitors. PHOTO: SUPPLIED Five-star luxury for weta ASHLEIGHMONK Where do weta make them- selves at home in the forest? In a weta hotel, of course. The Momorangi Forest Experi- ence walk, behind the Momorangi Campground opened on Thursday, and one of the features of the track is a group of weta hotels. Department of Conservation community ranger Wendy Sullivan says weta usually hide out in holes, but since trees don’t have a big selection of holes, weta hotels are perfect. ‘‘Basically weta hotels are an artificial house used for either advocacy purposes or for monitoring weta as a indication of how healthy a piece of forest is,’’ she says. The hotels are small wooden structures with holes for the insects to crawl in and get cosy, and Wendy says they are proving quite popular. ‘‘I noticed the other day that there were three weta in one hotel.’’ Wendy says one of the best things about weta hotels are that they are easy to make, and she encourages Marlburians to make one for their garden. Instructions on how to make your own weta hotel can be found on the Department of Conservation website.
January 27th 2016
February 10th 2016