Tag Archives: People

When in Rome…

July ’13

Last weekend I took Billy the Kid and Cat to see the Roman Machines exhibition at Te Manawa.  Billy has been a huge fan of Roman militaria for many years.

When we arrived we discovered that the statue of Charles Monro outside the museum had been “Yarn Bombed”.  He’s dressed as a Roman Gladiator – in pink!

Charles John Monro

Charles John Monro

We found the Machines easily enough – but got distracted by a Roman game laid out to try in the entranceway.  It’s a game very like noughts and crosses, only the grid is bigger and it’s played with counters (in this case gray and white stones).  The kids had fun playing a round.

Board game

Roman Noughts and Crosses

I note that the basket holding the counters looks rather less Roman, and more like an object from closer to home….

Admit One

Roman Machine @ TeManawa

After the game we moved on and bought our tickets.  There were several other families already checking out clever wonders of the Roman era.  The exhibition has a range of scale model replicas of the devices that the Romans invented, many of which are still used to this day.  Cranes and catapults, water pumps and pulleys – all fully interactive.  There’s a scale replica of the form used to build stone arches.  Billy and Cat had a go at building an archway, carefully placing the keystone at the top.

Roman stonework

Building an arch

Each part of the exhibition is accompanied by interesting details that tie it back Continue reading

Your body is a machine!

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.

Palmerston North Museum

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”.

Te Manawa Classroom

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.

Te Manawa

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.

Te Manawa

Gut Run

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.

The Boys are Back… again.

23 May ’13

It’s rugby season again.  So in to town we went on Saturday with Grandad Trev in tow and umbrellas at the ready.

Rugby

A new season, a new team

Jake was almost busting at the seams to get back on the field, the boy really loves his rugby.  Last year, his first year playing for Boys’ High, Jake’s team won their first game of the season.   Sadly his team didn’t win this time.

High School Rugby

PNBHS Chiefs vs Blues – That’s Jake with the ball

But the boys had a great time all the same.  I love photographing these games –  the action, the facial expressions, the moments of agony and triumph – all priceless.

Jake and our neighbour, Paddy, have been playing in the same team for years, since they were little tykes at primary school.

Ashhurst Rugby - Turboman!

Ashhurst Rugby – Turboman!

 Jacob’s second from the left at the back, and Paddy has the ball.   Aren’t they adorable?!

Jake had his growth spurt ahead of Paddy, so now Jake’s the lifter and Paddy’s the liftee (I may be making up words here).

Rugby

Lifters and liftees

This is an example of what happens when two Boys’ High teams meet – one side has to turn their shirts inside out.  This time around it was our guys who played ‘white’.  It’s a step up from playing ‘shirts and skins’.

Well done to the Blues, they deserved their 14-5 win.

Rugby handshake

“Cheer mate! Cheers mate! Cheers mate!”

Watch out, Blues – it’ll be our turn next time!

As we that are left grow old

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.

Cemetery rememberance service

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.

ANZAC day

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

A Shy Smile

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.

Happy faces

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.

Fire engine ride

Delight!

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.

Ride in the fire truck

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

Any Dream Will Do

19 April “13

Last night the kids and I attended a preview performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at the Regent on Broadway.  That’s Broadway, Palmerston North, New Zealand.  And we really enjoyed it. This was a ‘family and friends’ complimentary performance/final rehearsal type deal, Mum’s in the cast.  (Thanks for the tickets, Mum!)  We are far from a regular theater goers – though each time I see a show I ask myself why we don’t go more often.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

I always enjoy any excuse to visit the Regent.  I have fond memories of sitting with my school friend and watching movies in the Stalls, with the whole floor to ourselves.  Anne’s Dad was a good friend of the theater manager, back when it used to be a movie theater – we had the Stalls to ourselves because all the other patrons sat in the upstairs Circle seating.  The manager used to tell us the story of the Lady in the Blue Coat who haunted the theater,  a benign figure who had been seen by many people over the years.  All very cool for a pair of teenage  girls.

Since the theater has been restored it is more beautiful than ever. It surely must rival any theater in the country. From the Foyer and the Grand Staircase to the Auditorium it is olde worlde opulence at its very best.   Dear old Palmy has a habit of hiding its light under a bushel, so to speak.  The city has a reputation around the country  for being provincial and rather backward.  In fact we have a thriving and vibrant arts community, if only some of those ‘others’ would bother to come and have a look around.  As a child I recall seeing The Sound of Music, Annie and Chess all at the old Continue reading

Eggs and Bacon

02 April ’13

We’ve spent almost every Easter break for the last 13 years at Mangaweka .  The weather has varied from sunny and warm, crisp and frosty to wet and miserable. But every year, whatever the weather,  there’s always been an egg hunt.  One year the neighbour’s dog came over after the Easter Bunny had set out his eggs and scoffed the lot.  That was not a good year.  Another time there was a map with clues.

Rabbit map

An Easter hunt

And every year the kids have got bigger and bigger.

Egg hunt, Mangaweka

Easter hunt 2008

We wonder… “Are they getting too big for Easter hunts?”  Nah, we’ve always decided.  Besides, the Easter Bunny has loads of fun setting them up.

Egg hunt, Mangaweka

Easter Hunt 2009

This year there were clues framed as riddles leading to locations all over the Continue reading

Food and Culture

19 March ’13

The Festival of Cultures in Palmerston North has been getting bigger and more popular every year.    The “boys” and I headed in to the Square just before midday so we could sample the delicious foods and call it lunch.

The first culture we encountered was the Rosewood Morris dancers, the very same dancers we saw at the Medieval Market in Levin.  They’d roped in a bunch of onlookers and were trying to teach them some moves.

Festival of Cultures

Morris Dancers in the Square

We didn’t see any food on offer though.  I wonder what Morris dancers eat… Bangers and mash?  Yorkshire pud?

We moved on in search of edibles.  We found it in spades.  Cambodian pork fried bread, rice and beef stew from the Philippines,  sticky steamed buns filled with pork and relish.  Oh my gosh, international culinary heaven!

Festival of Cultures

Boys chowing down

A dish of rice, noodles and beans in a tasty red sauce from the Congo was served to us by a lovely lady in a fantastic headdress.

Festival of Cultures

A lady of the Congo

Now in search of drink to wash it all down with we shunned the overpriced cans of fizz and went for a delicious and refreshing cup of homemade lemonade. Perfect.

While that we’d been sampling these tasty treats all manner of people in costume and customary dress had been wandering about.  These girls in bright dresses Continue reading

Lantern Parade

16 March ’13

For the last few years the Palmerston Festival of Cultures has kicked off with a community Lantern Parade.  We went as a family a couple of years ago – I don’t know why we didn’t attend last year, we must have had something else on that weekend.

There are many different beliefs about the origin of lantern festivals, however, it is likely to have had something to do with celebrating and cultivating positive relationships between people, families, nature and the higher beings that were believed to be responsible for bringing or returning the light each year.

Billy (with a bit of persuasion – it’s hard to prize him away from a ‘screen’ sometimes)  came with me to check out this year’s parade.

It’s the Chinese Year of the Snake, so the parade was lead by a fabulous snake lantern named Gerald.  Not a very Chinese name, but I guess he is a Kiwi snake.

Lantern Parade

Gerald the Snake Lantern

Amongst the community lanterns that followed Gerald were the zodiac lanterns from the previous years.  I’d love to know where these fabulous paper creations Continue reading

Relay for Life

14 March ’13

Every year since 2001 the city of Palmerston North has held a Relay for Life to raise awareness and cash for cancer treatment.   It is also a time to remember and celebrate those who have fought cancer, the survivors and the people who lost the battle with this devastating disease.

Jacob was invited to join the Palmerston North Cadet Unit team to take part in the Relay.  His friend Brittany is a cadet, and they needed some more bodies to make up team numbers.  Jacob jumped at the chance to be involved, and we were happy to support him.  Sounds like he’s made a bunch of new friends.  Jacob took his camera with him  and got a couple of shots.  Here’s one of the group relaxing between laps.

Chillaxing

Cadets at Relay for Life – Credit Jacob Loach

The Lovely Man and I drove in to town on Sunday morning to check out the action.  Lots of tired bodies in a tent city was what we found.  No sign of Jacob though, and we didn’t have any idea what their tent looked like.  After wandering around a bit, considering sending him a text, we fluked locating the boy.  He walked past us with a large sheet of cardboard on his head, taking it to the recycling bin.  “Hi Dad!”  Well, that solved that problem.

They were packing up their tent and gear, so we walked about a bit to see how other teams were getting on.  Runners and walkers, young and old were doggedly completing their circuits of the relay track.

Walking laps

Relaying for Life

The people wearing sashes and leis are cancer survivors.  Kia kaha.

Young girl running

A young relayer

We even managed to find Waldo. Continue reading