31 May ’13
I put my hand up to help out with transport for Billy’s class to go to an exhibition at Te Manawa. Body in Action is a fabulous, educational exhibit that teaches kids how our amazing bodies work.
Room 1 at Te Manawa
First stop, after the obligatory photo on the museum sign, was the classroom. Here Barbara, with the help of Vanessa, demonstrated how food is processed through our digestive system. I have to say that bread and tinned spaghetti looks pretty gross once it’s been mashed with “saliva”, whizzed with “stomach acid” and “bile” then squeezed out through a stocking “large intestine”.
Barbara and Vanessa “digesting” spaghetti on toast
It was all too much for poor Gabby, who had to leave the room.
Next we all trouped up stairs to the “Body in Action” exhibit. The kids had fun testing their sprinting skills, playing ‘guess that smell!’, working out puzzles and trying to ring the bell on the hammer game.
Sprinting to beat the clock
My group of boys had a game of Gut Run. Doesn’t that sound delightful!? It’s a dice game through the digestive system, complete with gurgling and farting sounds. Just perfect for boys.
To win, one must pass out through The End. Of Course.
It’s a fun, interactive and educational exhibit, thanks Te Manawa for bringing it back to Palmy. Spending a morning with Ashhurst School’s Room 1 was a pleasure, and it beats working.
15 May ’13
I’ve been “collecting” rural graffiti. The urban stuff just seemed too easy, so I set myself a challenge to find and record the spray-can art in the countryside. Some I posted in Peace, Love and Vegetable Rights.
On Saturday the Lovely Man and I went for a wander down at the Manawatu River bridge, I took my camera. Underneath the bridge there’s quite a collection of art works.
Some of it is so uplifting….
Maybe a young person can translate….?
Is that a mushroom on the end?
A few month’s ago, the day we spent at Feilding Steam Traction Society‘s open day, I gathered a few more images. These two are under the bridge at Menzies Ford on Colyton Road.
It’s not often that you see such an anatomically correct heart pierced with arrows. I wonder if the heart-shaped letters that make up the “CV” are a reflection of the real-to-life heart below.
This one’s my favourite from under the Ashhurst bridge.
I’m not sure what it says – but I like it. I love the sparkles, and especially like that the artist has painted on the ‘runs’ that we’re used to seeing on old-school graffiti. Has the quality of paint and spray cans improved so that it doesn’t run any more?
This is an on-going project. I’ll post more of my finds at a later date.
26 April ’13
25th April, ANZAC Day,
the day that New Zealanders and Australians
remember and commemorate those men
and women who have made sacrifices in war.
“Somewhere between the landing at ANZAC (cove) and the end of the battle of the Somme, New Zealand definitely became a nation.”
– Ormond Burtons, stretcher bearer and infantryman
As the years have passed, so too have the survivors of those first battles, the original ANZACs. But their spirit, the values that those survivors brought home with them are to be admired and passed on to the following generations.
On ANZAC Day we recite the Ode of Remembrance, watch the flag lowered to half mast to the Last Post and raised again to Reveille, sing hymns and anthems, lay wreaths. We remember.
ANZAC Service, Pohangina
Sharing these ceremonies in the company of hundreds of members of our community, including our children in the commemorations is all a part of keeping that ANZAC spirit alive.
Many children and young people attended and were involved in this year’s services.
Laying wreaths at the memorial in Ashhurst
Jacob recently joined the Palmerston North Cadet Unit, the Cadets participated in a number of services around the region this year. They marched and layed Continue reading
22 April ’13
Sunday before last I was given the opportunity to take photographs at the annual IHC picnic organised by the Fitzherbert Lions at the Ashhurst Domain. This is an event that the Lions Club organise to give the clients a fun day out, and also to give the carers a day to relax and know their charges are well entertained.
The Lovely Man was going to be driving the Fire Engine, giving the ‘guys’ rides around the park – always a hit with everyone, young and old. He invited me along in my capacity as unofficial “Official Photographer” for the Ashhurst Fire Brigade. At first I was thrilled, and started thinking of shots I could get. But once we were in the appliance and heading to the park I began to have doubts. I am not at my best with strangers in social situations, and the idea of strangers with special needs was beginning to feel daunting.
As soon as we arrived I was adopted by the sweetest little lady. She kept coming up to me and taking my arm, never saying a word. But she stroked my arm and nodded that, yes, she would like a ride in the fire engine. A real sweetheart.
A sweet little lady
Loading people with physical as well and mental disabilities up in to the truck is a bit of a mission, but there were plenty of strong and willing helpers on hand. The expressions of sheer happiness on the client’s faces when they returned from their rides made all the effort worthwhile.
One chap named Micheal seemed painfully shy, I could not get him to look at me for a photo. The look of sly delight on his face as he climbed down from the fire engine was priceless.
A Shy Smile
Micheal’s friend was telling me all about how they are fund raising to get to the Special Olympics in Dunedin. He told me about his flight to Nelson, where he won medals for weightlifting. The men’s carer told me that this gent is indeed a Continue reading
4 March ’13
Blackberry – yes, we know it’s a weed, but those little glossy berries are just so delish. The hot, long summer seems to have produced a bumper crop this year. So we discovered when we went for a drive on Saturday.
Cat was staying with a friend, me and the boys (large and small) went out for a drive to the river. There we spotted a man blackberrying. “Ah ha!”, thought we, “That looks like a fine idea.” After we’d checked out the little creek that runs down to the river – the reason we’d gone down there in the first place – we headed on over to the berry canes.
Billy and the blackberries
I can’t remember the last time I saw such a huge crop of blackberries. Juicy and sweet, they stained our fingers as we sampled the fruit. Warm and fragrant in the sun, the memories came flooding back of the blackberries we’d found in Ostia Antica last year.
Blackberries in Ostia Antica, Italy
We went home for lunch, then headed back with pots and containers to gather some of nature’s autumn bounty.
Boy in berries
It did not take long for three of us to gather enough for a cook up. And all the scratches were totally worth it. We had enough to make a berry crumble to have Continue reading
11 Feb ’13
February 6th, Waitangi Day, our national day. Or it should be. It seems to me that this day has come to symbolise the trouble that divides us as a nation, rather than a celebration of our oneness. I think that the vast majority of us choose to ignore the silliness and jostling for position that goes on up North. It has become an embarrassment.
But anyway, we get a day off work and school. At least those of us who do not work in retail get a day off, so we made the most of it.
Te Manawa, our local museum, had the job of hosting the city’s celebrations for the day. There were stalls and entertainment, live music and of course the museum and art gallery exhibits.
I was fascinated by the Google Earth carpet in the Te Awa – The River exhibit when we visited during the museum’s open day after its major refurbishment. I still find the carpet rather cool. There’s now an interactive map which shows how the stop bank and flood-way systems protect our farmland, towns and city from flooding along the Manawatu River. We had a little bit of a play with that, and I explained to the kids how it all works. Later, as we wandered around the other exhibits we found a tiny replica movie theater that happened to be running a reel about the building of the flood gates. Good timing, and really interesting to see the history behind the model we’d played with.
There’s also a bronze (I think) statue of a horse on display. This horse used to stand in the foyer of the DIC department store building, now the city library. When I first saw the statue last time we visited it brought back memories of trips to town with my Nana, or maybe it was Grandma, when I was very small. That horse used to delight me as a little girl, and I swear it used to be seven feet tall!
I hadn’t taken my DSLR with me to the museum, but I grabbed some pictures and shot a little video with the Canon P&S.
We watched the International Pacific College drummers perform – there is some energy there! I could feel the drum beats in the air, the vibrations in my bones, just awesome.
The the Manawatu Chinese Association brought out their lion. What a character he is, apparently Chinese lions don’t like lettuce. Who knew?! Both these groups were excellent, and well appreciated by the crowd. Continue reading
22 – 28 April ’12
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
April 25th every year sees the commemoration of those who have sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedom. In Ashhurst the community gathers under the spreading oak trees in our town center. We share hymns, prayers and songs to mark the solemnity of the occasion and we are drawn closer. And these achingly young men stand head-bowed and silent in memory of their fallen comrades.
Exposure time 1/250 sec
ISO speed ISO-200
Focal length 50mm
There has only been one ANZAC day in recent times where the weather has been bad. It seems that Mother Nature wishes to encourage us out in to the glory of her autumn sunshine each year. This does provide a bit of a challenge – bright sun light and dappled shade. And I did not feel that I could use my flash at this solemn occasion – I get enough dirty looks just having my camera there. So I’ve boosted the brightness under the brim of this soldier’s hat to lighten his face.
15 – 21 April ’12
The rugby season has gotten under way, so I decided to take my camera down to Lincoln Park on Saturday to practice some action shots. It was a gorgeous afternoon (again!), the autumn light golden. The blokes in the senior teams were giving it their all.
Exposure time 1/320sec
ISO Speed ISO-200
Focal length 125mm
1-7 April ’11
On Sunday Ashhurst School held a Gala to raise funds for the end of year camp. The weather was perfect and there was an amazing turnout. Locals and out-of-towners turned up to enjoy an old fashioned country fair.
This little girl was having a wonderful time whizzing around on the playground.
Exposure time 1/200sec
Focal length 125mm
ISO speed ISO-200
It’s just been announced that the Gala raised a whopping $10,000. What a fabulous effort, well done guys!
11 – 17 March ’11
Having a hard time making myself use my strobe, especially in public. Here’s Matt being presented with his Three Year Certificate at the Fire Brigade’s “Christmas Dinner”.
Exposure time 1/80sec
ISO speed ISO-320
Focal length 50mm