Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some photos to amuse you in my absence

Now believe it or not, I took this photo a few years ago at the Moeraki Boulders. Somehow this pine cone had wedged itself in between the rocks and waited there until I came along! How cool is that. I have to say this is one of my favourite pix.

This photo below is of our 11 year old, taken on the Manly Ferry in Sydney earlier this year. I love this one too especially in the black and white! I loved Manly, the name itself is a showstopper.

So, am about to fly off again this time to Palmerston North and on to Wanganui (where the debate is raging about adding an "H" to the city's name).
Apparently there is a Ministry of Names and they have nothing else to do but consider place names, street names etc and then (with expert use of tax-payer funds) set about changing things - usually to annoy people as there appears to be little else involved!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

She's back

As they say, reports of my death are grossly exagerated! And no, Owen, I haven't run off with millions (more's the pity).

I have been touring our wonderful country doing some training stuff and it's really nice to have slept in my own bed for a few nights. Make of that what you will!!

I will post some photos of my travels when I finally get back from them, am away again in the morning for a couple of nights. The Stud loves that, it means he can have the TV going as well as the stereo blaring. The neighbours can always tell when I am away.

We also had a family weekend away in Invercargill, attending the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival - it was fun in an"I hate Oysters" kind of way. However, more photos on that later too. below is a photo taken at the Kakanui Beach which is about 600 meters from where my mum lives and this is what happens after a storm....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Old stuff

I was fossicking about on Owen's blog the other day...the one about dolls, anyhoo that got me thinking about my old dolls.

Before I was born (I know, I should say WAAAAAY before I was born) in 1955 my grandparents sailed off to see the world since their sprogs were old enough to be left home alone. My mother had just got married and her younger brother stayed with Mum and Dad while Nana and Grand-dad were away. Well, for whatever the reason when they were in Egypt (Port Said) to be exact my grandmother stumbled across a doll. The doll stood about the size of your average 3 year old and she just had to have it. She told me she bought it for her first Grand-daughter. (I have mentioned that I have a waaaaay older brother haven't I?) I quite like the idea that she lugged this huge doll about for months before coming home to New Zealand. I guess Customs must have been easier to navigate back then!

As it turned out, that doll had to sit in a cupboard for QUITE SOME YEARS before she gave it to me, the first grand daughter. I promptly named her Sally (the doll, not Nana) and proceeded to pull her eyelashes off (again, the dolls not Nana's). They never grew back. Even after I took her to the dolls hospital to have her plaster-type arms and legs fixed a few years ago. I don't think the lashes are ever coming back. She used to have this fluffy sort of gold "hair" which was glued to a bit of cardboard onto her head. Obviously that hair is long gone, but the woman who restored Sally to her former glory has done a great job all the same. What do you think?

Of course, I often thought I shouold have given her a more exotic name considering her voyage partly round the globe but Sally it has remained. These days she spends her time sitting in an old rocking chair in our bedroom, unsmilingly because the same evil child who pulled out her eye lashes also poked in her paper teeth playing dental nurses back in about 1968!

Well, back when Adam was a cowboy (I figure if Mike can post female pix things on his site, so can I!) it was also quite ok for young kids in New Zealand to have a Maori doll. This is a photo of mine, I named her Pania as I have always been particularly struck by the Maori legend of Pania and the Reef. The feathers on her cloak are real and altho' sparse, they fell out with time rather than suffering the same fate as Sally's eyelashes!

and as for NZ music month....

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Well we knew that would be the outcome

He's dead.
The Napier Gunman. No doubt there will be a lot of what ifs and maybe's over the next few weeks. the discussion about arming police will continue. The worrying thing about that is having a Tory government. Shoot first. That way there are limited questions after.

On a different tack, my niece and I have been having fun with photos. The idea is that each fortnight we have an exchange of "pix" on a certain subject. Last fortnights was circles. I submitted this photo.

I haven't heard back. I spoke to my brother. My olde rbrother. His daughter (my niece is just 15) and he told me she was banned from the PC.
Turns out she has been wagging school. She was also babysitting and left her charges home alone, they were 4 and 2 years of age, whilst she went to comfort a friend "only a few streest away".
Where is her brain at? She is NOT from a disadvantaged family. She has 2 parents at home who love her and care for her. yet, she wags school. She sleeps around. She is rude to everyone. She has no "bad" history, no secret hurt.
What do we do? I have tried to "help" by getting into the phtotragpys thing, it is something that we both enjoy. Yet, when she visited at Xmas she took to smoking (ordinary)ciagrettes and drinking, when she thought we weren't watching.
I don't understand what this is. I am terrified my own scowly teen will head off down this track, but if she does I woould at least like to have an idea why!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Kiwi crazy month as well

This is about as nuts as things can get. To those of you who think NZ is clean and green you're relatively correct, but if you think we're any less screwed up than the rest of the world - think again!

This story has been unfolding over the past 24 hours or more and is nonetheless tragic for the apparently senseless loss of life for yet another Kiwi worker going about his lawful business. Of course, in this case his lawful business was someone-else's UNLAWFUL business. I am wondering what has happened to the other Policeman's dog, which apparently is still trapped inside the police van. Hopefully she has just hunkered down, waiting for rescue.

The usual debate will now rage about whether or not to arm the police yadda yadda which then goes round to the topic of how then the crims will get bigger guns too...and in 12 months time we will have changed nothing. I need to tell you that even though I have an enormous amount fo sympathy for the dead policeman's family, friends and colleagues, I'm admitting being cold on the idea of our Police having guns at the ready. From what I have seen of this in the bigger world, this just leads to more tragedies of Shakespearean magnitude more often than not. I also struggle with the media excitement over this, given that over 100 workers each year in this country loose their lives on the job without the same level of media interest. Some argue that this is because when a Policeman get's shot it is a deliberate act - hence the hysteria. My response to that is well, when an employer flouts the health & safety laws then that too is a deliberate act and in all too many cases a similar outcome - death.

Any senseless death is a tragedy, some of the "heroic" deaths I struggle with too - you still end up dead and is the world really a better place? Not usually.

However, what do you think? This song is for all those fallen in the way of duty for whatever reason, wrong place wrong time, war time, capitalism....

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The well-fed happy and lazy

According to todays paper, us Kiwis are happy, well-fed (read: FAT) and lazy. We think of food and drink in a similar vein to the French apparently (hooray! the braincells haven't been lost to just any ol' cause)

As for myself, well I do a bit of eating. I have posted enough recipes here to prove that. I also have done my share of drinking...well, maybe I'm still working on that one. I think sharing is great and I'm prepared to do my bit. Line 'em, bar keep, and I'll do the rest.

Sleeping? Now thats another world altogether. I reckon that sometime in the past 13.5 years I have lost the art of having a good kip. I blame the crotchfruit/offspring/sconegrabbers/curtain 'em what you will, but kids are not good for one's ability to sleep. Even now, my sprogs are happy to sleep thru the night which since they're 14 and 11 (sorry, nearly 12) is something I am grateful for, no even now I find that once I'm actually awake - I can no longer go back to sleep and stay that way for hours. I have to get up and drink tea at 8am on a Sunday because of this design fault. The Stud can sleep for Africa. Why is that??

Now, in keeping with the NZ music month (and visit this site for photograph month, Chris is an old friend of mine. When we lived in the same city he very kindly let me use his darkroom and in exchange for a bottle of wine or two would happily show me how to develop the black and whites which I loved doing so much. I was even a model for him altho he says model, I suspect maybe he meant horrible example! However, check him out as he's a Kiwi who has done good).

The music video is obviously from the 80s...

Friday, May 01, 2009


Today is the first day in the ninth year of NZ music month. Apparently each year the research boffins note that during May more NZ music is sold than in any other month. D'oh.

So, in honour of that fact I will post Kiwi music this month (more than I usually do) and I have decided that I will also claim it as NZ photography month (since I like to add my 2 cents worth when I get the chance). Hence the above photo which I took of a rather curious duck at Corsair Bay. This wee bay is very sheltered and only takes about 15 minutes to get to from our place, it is a favourite destination for picnics in our household! As you can also see, once I had taken the photo I played with it slightly and I really like the effect! If you click on the photo you see it in bigger detail -What do you think? (Nobody tell me I'm quackers please)

Here is a group I'm quite liking at the moment, even tho' I'm not entirely sure why. They are a bit "poppy" but some of their other stuff is good and I like the fact that my girls sing along. They also remind me of another group but for the life of me I can't recall just which group! Perhaps someone out there in cyberspace who has been kinder to their braincells than I have may be able to think of it.... Midnight Youth - enjoy!