Longest Placename…


Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu…

…is the longest placename in New Zealand, maybe even in the world with its 86 letters. It’s roadside directional signpost has been ‘nicked’ many times over the years. I found this sign among the exhibits in the British Car Museum (in Clive, Hawkes Bay, NZ) – obviously donated by someone who ‘found’ it.

What does it mean? The place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as ‘landeater’, played his flute to his loved one.”

Of course, locals simplify it to Taumata Hill.

Enter a caption

Brought to mind by the photo challenge of the week: NAME








Teaching the 3 states of H2O

via Photo Challenge: H2O

Immediately, a memory of a lesson on the ‘three states of matter’ arose. It was a science topic for the (NZ Intermediate School) Year 7 class. As we’d done, by the end of the school year (approaching Christmas and the eight week summer break), every other topic in science, I had left it to the end-of-year, for no particular reason.

We discussed the solid state, the liquid, and the gaseous. I demonstrated the difference between water as a gas and a vapour, not wanting them to think steam is the gaseous state.

I held the last science lesson over until the afternoon of the very last dismissal, letting them know they had to pass a practical test in that lesson.

At five minutes to three, I sent a runner to the school office for Mrs. X’s science test kit. He returned with a chilly bin (‘Eskie’, in Aussie), in which were thirty-two ice-blocks.

The practical test was to turn them from their frozen state to a liquid as rapidly as they could. They would pass the test and be dismissed for the holidays as soon as they’d completed the test.


Excited cries of delight as they saw the brightly coloured packages of lemonade flavored ice locks, ripping off wrapper, slurping and sucking. They all passed the test and were dismissed one by  one, although one early finisher stayed back until the others had all passed through the door.

He blew me away (and made me laugh uproariously) when he commented…

“I know how we turn that liquid into gas, Miss.”

I waited for the expected punchline…his cheeky grin showed something was coming.

“We’ll fart it out as gas!” he called as he turned and ran from the room.

~ ~ ~

Only in the last moment of the school year could he get away with that…but I would’ve laughed at any stage in the year – in the staffroom!


Since when is a 3-letter word offensive?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Three Letter Words.”

An entire post, without using three letter words.
Really? I could understand “An entire post, without using four letter words”.
Somehow, I didn’t know there were offensive three-letter words…
My education in that ‘school of life’ seems to have been somewhat deficient!

I cannot even think of a single offensive, rude, crude or rough three-letter word.. Where do I find these armaments in one’s vocabulary of insults? Is there an Internet site that lists them? Probably. However, this family’s Internet Service Provider screens every website address before letting it download to computers here, so I won’t be able to investigate by that channel. What about an Ebook? From where could I purchase a copy of “Vulgar Three-Letter Words”? If, that is, it exists. Which I doubt.

Whoever is able to tell me a source of such an educational treasure, please leave a comment below to tell me what it is? Also, where I will be able to purchase or download it from? Thanks, y’all!

SUFFFERING SJOGRENS’ – no adjectives

Write a poem or short story  describing someone or something
without using any adjectives.


She had aged beyond her years.

Sand. It felt like sand everywhere. In her eyes which could not weep. In her nose which could not recognise odours. In her mouth where without saliva, all food turned to sand and grit, and taste-buds sensed only the taste of nothing. In her place of pleasure, sand scratched and grazed, erasing the pleasure, replacing it with pain. In her joints, sand grated where cartilage should have smoothed movements.

It was as if she’d swallowed  Silica Gel. She was drying up from the inside outwards. Her skin would soak up quantities of moisturiser, without any change effected.

Now, her dryness was affecting her teeth. Without saliva, decay was rampaging from tooth to tooth, almost in pace with her dentist pulling them. As do sufferers of “Sjogren’s Syndrome”, she had a mouth that made her appear to be a Meth addict. She’d resolved to never smile. Her cheeks were beginning to hollow. Her hair was like bristles. She refused to pose for a camera, not while looking as if she were to drop dead as the shutter clicked.

Oh, the dryness. The sandiness. The grittiness. Oh, how she wished it would end.

(c) Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2011