Tag Archives: Photography

Mid-winter feasting

12 July ’13

Mid-winter –  a time to hunker down and keep out of the weather.

There is not much going on at this time of year, at least not much that we want to brave the weather for. And not much to blog about.  I’ve been spending weekend afternoons trying out new recipes.  We’ve enjoyed golden syrup dumplings, creamy leek and chicken pie, a delicious bacon and pumpkin pasta, and a melt-in-the-mouth  lamb curry.  Winter is the time for the comforts of home and comfort food.

Bird on a branch

Wax-eye in the kiwifruit canes

Last weekend we made what’s going to be one of our last visits to Trev’s place at Mangaweka.  While we were there we noticed a flock of wax-eyes enjoying a little mid-winter feast of their own in the kiwifruit canes.

Bird eating fruit

Wax-eye feasting

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.


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).


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!

ANZAC Air Show 2013

04 May ’13

Last weekend, almost on the spur of the moment, the Lovely Man, Jacob and I attended an air show.  I’d seen it advertised a few days before, we had no other plans so figured “Why not?”  It was the Vintage Aviator‘s ANZAC show, held at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton.

Saturday morning at home was very windy, so we had doubts as to whether the air show would go on – little planes made of wood and cloth surely can’t fly in a howling gale.  From the Vintage Aviator’s website:-

“Our primary aim is to build WW1 aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards they were originally made over 90 years ago.”

We kept checking the show’s info line, but it seemed they’d forgotten to update it past the 12 o’clock “assessment of the wind” schedule.  So we decided we’d head on over, if nothing else it would be a pleasant drive.  Amazingly as we headed south down the eastern side of the Ranges the wind slowed and dropped away, it looked good for flying.

I enjoy air shows.  I’m not a plane fanatic or a petrol head, but I love the challenges that photographing planes in flight bring.  It seems to me that I’ve been attending air shows and taking photos of planes for as long as I’ve owned a camera.  Here’s one I found that I took with a little Kodak Instamatic in 1987.

Aerobatic plane

Ohakea Air Show 1987

Twenty five years on, same air field,  and the same plane to0, I suppose.

Air show

RNZAF 75th Anniversary Air Show, Ohakea, 2012

 There’s something awe inspiring about the roar of powerful engines skillfully controlled by the clever men and women who fly them.

Of course I wasn’t expecting so much of the powerful engines from WW1 planes.  We arrived in good time, so had a look around the planes parked on the grass.


One thing I noticed, if you want to see an array of  heavy duty cameras with big lenses, head to an air show.  Man, was there some fire power hung around the necks of a lot of people!

Once the show got going we were treated to a display of precision flying as pilots Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

14 April ’13

Autumnal, it is one of my very favourite words.

I am starting to think the the Weekly Photo Challenge person and I are on the same wavelength.   I’d been thinking about this week’s blog, and decided that I’d write about the change of seasons, the clocks and the weather.

“This week, we want to see photos that represent change. Depending on where in the world you are, this could be a winter landscape blossoming to spring, or vice versa. It could be a picture of a place you’ve left behind and hope never to return to, a photo of a place you hope to reach, or a snapshot of where you currently stand in a journey. Perhaps you’ll capture your child on the cusp of a developmental milestone, or the sun just about to flip the switch between night and day.”  –  Michelle

 I guess the season is changing in the other direction in Michelle’s part of the world.

At 2am last Sunday the clocks changed back to regular time, adding an hour to the day and giving us all a sleep in.  As has happened before,  the weather seemed to take this as a cue to switch to winter mode – or at least autumn.    We stacked fire wood and I was inspired to  make  a crock-pot curry for our dinner, a sure sign that winter’s on its way.

Stacked Fire Wood

Stacked Fire Wood

It has been pleasant to have the fire going in the evenings.

After such a stunning summer the sudden drop in temperature has been a bit of a jolt.  I’ve been wearing jackets to work, and even broke out a merino jersey once or twice.


Winter wardrobe

My fav corduroy jacket,  fine merino jersey and the beautiful
orchid scarf that my brother brought me home  from his trip to Asia.

The recent rain has encouraged the toadstools out of their summer hiding places, they’re popping up all over.

Toadstools on the lawn

Toadstools on the lawn

The Lovely Man and I went foraging for mushrooms this morning, but couldn’t find any on public land that we felt would be right to take.  Those on people’s lawns and in farmer’s paddocks are off-limits.

My spring bulbs are beginning to push their leaves out of the ground and the leaves on the maple trees in the front yard are starting to change colour.

Red maple leaves

Autumn leaves

All in all, much is changing.  Not for the worse or better – just different.   What’s changed in your life recently?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

07 April ’13

It must be fate.  I’ve just discovered the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – this week’s topic is colour (yes, I know I spelt it the American way up there in the title – it has to be like that to match the criteria for the Challenge) and I just happen to have those vibrant chillies sitting in my Bulgarian bowl.

So here’s another shot of the chillies taken on my kitchen table in the last of the afternoon light.  I think they look fabulous.

Green and red chillies


F-stop                        f/5
Exposure time       1/200 sec 
ISO speed                ISO-200
Focal length          50mm

I don’t know if I’ll participate in each Challenge, but this one seemed too serendipitous to ignore.



Autumn’s Bounty

06 April ’13

This season is truly plentiful.

Though I’ve been lamenting the poor crop of tomatoes this year, we’ve been blessed with lots of other goodies. Our strawberries just keep on going, and the courgettes have done well after a slow start.

Strawberries and yellow courgette zucchini

Summer colour

As I’ve written previously, the wild blackberries seem to have had the best season ever.  We collected pots and pots of them, transformed their sweet goodness in to  jams and desserts.  I still have some in the freezer – blackberry gin anyone?

Weighing fruit

Blackberries by the Kilo

While up at Mangaweka last weekend the Lovely Man and I found a patch of blackberries that were still fruiting well.  Lacking anything to stash the berries in we simply stood in the sun and ate our fill.  Yum.  We also discovered that one of the old pear trees, a tiny little thing with a split trunk clinging to the hill side, is utterly laded with the biggest pears I’ve ever seen.  They’re not ripe yet.  I hope 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

An anniversary in review

26 March ’13

An attempt at a restaurant review x 2 …

The Lovely Man and I have been married for 21 years.  We decided a dinner out was called for to celebrate this milestone. Our anniversary fell on Thursday, but we already had commitments involving a guitar lesson and a parent/teacher conference.  Friday worked out better all around.

After checking out some menus on line, and tossing up between a restaurant we love and trying some thing new, we settled on the Village Inn Kitchen in the Hokowhitu Village.  We had been to the Village Inn many years ago, but it’s now under new management so figured we should check it out.  Who knows, it could become our new favourite!

Walking across the road toward the restaurant we could here live music.  Turned out it was this guy, Benny Tipene, playing in the courtyard.  Have a listen, he’s really good.

A group of ladies, who turned out to be from Rotorua, appreciated his music. “We don’t have anything like this up there”, one declared.  Somehow that seems unlikely, but I’m sure Benny appreciated the thought.

We were greeted by a friendly waitress who was more than happy for us to sit outside and enjoy the evening with a drink before we sat down to eat.  However she did leave us hanging with out taking our order.  Full of apologies she finally remembered us and brought out dinner menus.  Then a wine list.  Eventually we got our drinks.  My Gewürztraminer was delicious.  (I didn’t note the wine maker at the time, and an attempt to contact the restaurant through their website’s contact form has been unsuccessful.Edit – as luck would have it, four hours after publication I got an answer.  2010 Whitehaven Gewürztraminer – thanks, Lydia)  The Lovely Man opted for a Peroni, the beer we’d discovered and enjoyed in Europe.  Our waitress took our dinner order and left us to enjoy the atmosphere.   It was indeed very pleasant sitting out on the veranda as the sun set on another beautiful Manawatu evening, listening to Benny play his guitar.  We moved indoors when a cool breeze started ruffling the leaves on the trees.

We had our pick of tables, it was a slow night for dinner.  I’d chosen the Prawn Cocktail to start, the Lovely Man just went for a simple bowl of Fries with Aioli.  Our entrées arrived promptly.  I loved the glass that my cocktail was served in. But the dish itself was better.  The tiny prawns were smothered in that pink sauce we all remember from the ’70s,  only better.   It was complemented by a salad dressed to perfection.  The whole thing was gone before I remembered to get a picture.  Which just goes to show that Jem Beedoo is not entirely correct.  The Lovely Man’s fries were crunchy and floury, just as they should be – I had to steal a few to  mop up the remains of the sauce in my cocktail glass.  The portion of fries was too many for one person for an entrée, it really should be offered on the menu as enough for two.

Crunchy chips at Village Inn Kitchen

Crispy fries and aioli

Our mains arrived, again in good time.  However out entrée dishes hadn’t been cleared, so serving them was a little inelegant and  awkward for the waitress.  The Lovely Man had chosen the Strip Loin – he’s a steak man through and through.  It arrived cooked perfectly rare as requested.  He declared it excellent and exactly to his taste, a winner.  The sauce, while tasty was maybe a little 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