January 26 ’13
I’ve been reading some great blogs lately. There are many very talented people, all around the world and in my own back yard. And through the magic that is the interwebs I am able to share in and enjoy those talents so easily. Words that would have, until not long ago, languished unread in journals, notebooks and diaries. Beautiful words that have transported me to foreign lands and new experiences, made me cry. Witty drawings and observations of life that’ve made me laugh out loud. Insightful and thoughtful commentaries, and some of the most ignorant nonsense too, if I take the time to read the Comments sections.
And so I think I really must get back to it. Perhaps someone over on that side of the world might be interested in what’s happening down here in NZ. I miss the writing, I wish I had more formal training in the art. I have discovered that I’m afraid to use semicolons – I really don’t know how. I love photography, though I second guess myself constantly. I don’t know if I want to set myself any tasks or timetables now. I wonder if setting Portraits as an aim last year is what put me off. I’m finding that I just like ‘taking pictures’ for the fun of it. No constraints. I know I need to teach myself how to use off camera lighting, but maybe I’ll get to that in the winter. In the dark days when I don’t have so much glorious natural light to work with.
Last weekend we packed up the kids and headed south for a family day out with Gran, Greg and Daniela. Our initial plan for the day was to visit the sculpture gardens at Efil Doog in the Akatarawa Valley. It’s a gorgeous drive north from Upper Hutt through farmland and native bush, the road narrow and a little scary. Farmhouses and cottage industries are tucked in along the road, glimpses of the river splash along the valley floor. Daniela used to work at the property neighbouring the garden, so she’d arranged a visit for us. Soon Efil Doog will be closed to visitors, so we’re lucky and privileged to be able to experience this wonderful place.
Efil Doog Garden
The most unexpected creatures lurch out from behind trees, rise up out of the ground, float weirdly under the surface of ponds. The fantastical sculptures are a delight. Shirley’s collection of bonsai trees in their shade house are inspirational. But I think the kids were most enchanted with the wildlife – dragonflies, an eel, swimming spiders and frogs! Or maybe it was me who was enchanted.
This little frog was quite happy to pose for photos, and didn’t seem at all bothered when the dragonfly landed on his back. Continue reading
17-23 Sept ’11
The Lovely Man and I were offered three tickets to the South Africa vs Fiji game in Wellington. We could not say no. We traded the third ticket for a bed at my brother’s place in the capital.
BOKKE! FIJI! BOKKE! FIJI!
Walking from town out to the Stadium (not ‘Westpac’ Stadium, they didn’t pay for RWC advertising) the party atmosphere was ramping up. As the Lovely Man, Bro and I walked along the water front, we noticed a colourful clutch of rugby fans behind us. I dashed up a handy set of steps to get some shots over the crowd. And some of the crowd noticed the camera.
South Africa - Go Boks
There are enough South Africans in the country to support a rugby team, so the rest of us adopted Fiji for the duration.
Fiji supporters - BULA!!!
Dang, missed the focus in this one. But I love their outfits.
The fellow in the centre of this shot with the PaleToe hat gets around. Here he is, snapped by Richard Robinson for the NZ Herald at the North Continue reading
4 – 10 June ’11
To celebrate the Queen’s birthday, we get a day off from work and school. We decided a family trip to the capital would be great way to spend the day. The weather was grey. We experienced fog, thick fog, cloud, extreme low cloud, mist and a light drizzly rain. Must be winter…
From the web site of the Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society Inc:-
Built during World War Two, the Fortress consists of an underground network of tunnels, operation rooms and three gun emplacements. Society members take the public on a one hour long guided tour on Open Days. You can also wander around yourself with the help of a free history pamphlet and map. The experience is fascinating for people of all ages and gives adults and children alike an insight into the measures taken to protect New Zealand during World War Two.
We managed to arrive a little early, not realising that the Open Day didn’t officially start ’til 10am. But the door was open, and we were invited in as the first visitors of the day. The volunteers who comprise the Restoration Society were dressed in various period military uniforms, adding to the atmosphere.
The Open Day programme (Click in photo to enlarge)
Map of Wrights Hill tunnels
It’s rather a maze down there. All the tunnels and stairs look the same, luckily there are plenty of signs to assist the directionally-challenged, such as myself. We spent two and half hours wandering the passageways and tunnels. It really is an interesting place to visit. I’m glad we got there early. By the time we were ready to leave the crowds were building up, and my does it get noisy in a warren of concrete tunnels filled with yahoo-ing children!
Wrights Hill tunnels, Wellington underground
Photography in a dimly lit tunnel is …. not easy. I’d taken my 18-125mm with me, knowing that I would need the wide angle in tight spaces. However this left Continue reading