Monday, November 29, 2010

The air was alive

No, it's more like the air was half dead, heavy with something odd.  There seemed to be something contagious in my work area and we all felt it.

The first greetings of the Monday morning were bright and cheerful but within about 15 minutes there was a negative charge circulating in the air.     Was there a carrier or was it simply in the air?

Wheels seemed to be falling off left, right and centre - not literally; you know what I mean.  We all ran into obstacles at every turn.  My phone was out of order and that seemed like a major catastrophe.  By mid morning I couldn't form a coherant sentance and at one stage couldn't understand a word a colleague said to me.  We all seemed to be talking at cross purposes. We laughed about it but everyone was acknowledging that we were having a weird day. 

True, we had received one message none of us were particularly pleased about but we are a positive bunch and would usually just shrug off something like that.

My old boss from 'upstairs' popped in and said she too had been having a crazy day, and most unlike her, she looked a bit harrassed. 

My current boss even had a hair out of place!  I kid you not - a first time for everything!

As I was looking forward to getting out of there and making a list of all the things that had been left undone, I decided it was something in the building.  But no, I had to stop at a store on the way to pick up something we had ordered and, honest to goodness, the young lady who served me looked like she had been coping with the customers from hell all morning and was taking the approach that I was another one of them.  

I was awfully glad to get home and overcame the temptation to thrust my head into a bucket of water.  Don't ask me why I thought that would help, but the very thought restored me.

Until........... yes, until two of my grandchildren came running in off the school bus with a tale of misbehaviour and tears on the bus.  

It's got to be something in the air.  I pray it's just the weather.  Our first hot, humid day.  The air is heavy and oppressive and for all the world it looks like rain.  And we are seriously in need of rain.

Just now I hear a few sprinkles on the roof.  Can almost smell that delicious aroma of rain on dry earth.  

I'm glad I said almost, because it lasted as long as it took me to type that sentance. 

Gosh, I hope tomorrow is a better day!  

Friday, November 26, 2010

FSO - Store Fronts/Favourite Shop

My photos for this week's shoot out are not from my town but from Napier where I was visiting last week.  I've visited Napier once before, briefly.  One could easily spend many days happily photographing just the shops and buildings.  It is known as the Art Deco city and has the most comprehensive collection of inner-city art deco buildings in the world. I can believe that!  It is larger than Whangarei, my nearest major town, and is sooo much more well presented.  I commented to my host that Napier is like a beautiful lady, all decked out in her best finery, make up on, beautifully groomed whereas in the north...(I had to think for a bit)...well, half of us have not even had a haircut.  Napier is tamed and refined.  We here in the north just rely on our natural beauty and don't go to much trouble.  

Our topic this week is a combo -  Main Street/ Store Fronts and Favorite Shop/Store (suggested by NanU)

I saw so many beautiful shops but the one building that really took my fancy was a bank.   

As we approached it GB asked me if I'd like to go in, photographs were permitted.  Am I ever glad I said yes - although I was careful not to be obtrusive and avoided getting staff in any of the photos.  Who would have thought in Napier it's OK to take photos in a bank but in nearby Tarradale you get busted for taking photos in a supermarket!  It's true!

The bank was impressive from the moment you stepped through the doors.

 





It even looked good reflected in the windows of the bank over the road.

I was amused how the reflected view changed when I took a couple of steps in another direction.

I'll never get this posted if I have to choose just a few more favourite shops and buildings, so I've thrown together a selection.  Not sure if I should have included the old prison but I figure perhaps the inmates had been 'shopped'. 

To see lots of store fronts/favourtie shops from around the world, just click here

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Five nights and 485 photos later, I am home from a wonderful mini holiday.

I've spent time with my two daughters, seen photos of my grandson (to be born in mid-January, it's amazing what they can do with modern technology!), attended a baby shower for grandson to be, had two very scenic flights to Napier and back and spent time with my great friend, GB.

I've only had time to flick through my photos.

I met the neighbours:

Saw the sights from up high:

and down along the beach:
 
There was street art:
 

Churches:

Wildlife:

Buildings and Shops, lots of fabulous buildings and lots of shops:


But right now I'm too tired to add more.  I'm sure I will over the next week or so.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Temptation

I think this is a topic I’d rather write about than try to capture with the camera.

And time is short.  I will be away from Tuesday afternoon till next Sunday, so am preparing this in advance and will have to resort to the archives.

We have a couple of roadside apple trees in the area which tempt children:
apples
and birds:
bird and apples

A girl can be tempted by all sorts of things:
cake
Cake

make up
make up

and as we get older nothing changes much, there are still temptations at every turn.
coffee
coffee

wine
wine

home made bread
bread (ahh, the smell of freshly baked bread!)
(I’d include chocolate but could never take a photo that looks as good as it tastes!)

Boys have their temptations, too.  This one likes to show off on motor bikes he should have long outgrown.  Maybe the temptation here is to never grow up!
danny shows how it's done

some temptations end badly:
and undone

Sorry, Doreen, I know you said we shouldn’t include harmful or hurtful but it was so funny even his pride wasn’t hurt. 
To see what tempts the rest of the team just pop over here.

If I find anything else tempting in my travels, I will pop them in at the end - if I have the chance.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bev’s Colourful Friday - Lavendar

My friend, Bev at Kainga Happenings is hosting Colourful Friday this week, so I thought I would join her just this once.
 
So, literally, here is my lavendar when it’s fresh:
mine

and when it’s past it’s best..  Same camera, different angle, maybe different time of day but what different colours!
dying

I sometimes think things are pink or blue rather than lavendar but I’m sure there is a lavendar colour in here somewhere:
in a pot
or in this one?
in a pot2

My blue hydrangea (a gift from Bev’s sister, Chris) looks lavendar when it first blooms:
Hydrangeas

I don’t know what these are.  They are in a garden not far from where I live:
mkmea

These are in the same garden:
mkmea garden

I’m not a crafty person like Bev but I did manage to find some lavendar tones in this hand knitted winter scarf. 
scarf

FSO - Over your Head

Friday again!  Where did that week go I wonder?  I spent a lot of it looking up but what we mostly see when we look up around here is just the sky and it hasn't been horribly interesting this week.

First thing that came to mind was the roof over my head, that's pretty important.  So to start, here's my son and his offisider making sure I have no leaks in that roof.


And then I was stumped.  I looked up a definition of over your head and confirmed 'if someone is in over their head, they are out of their depth in something they are involved in, and may end up in a mess. ' So, you've been warned.

Jami avoided being in over her head by remembering her water wings:

Wish to were so simple to keep me out of a mess sometimes!

On Wednesday I went looking for something constructive to look up at.  There are no high rises in Whangarei but a side gate to the new Events Centre was open when I went past so I snuck in to grab a shot.  It looked sort of weird without a soul in sight.  I could picture it packed with football fans, imagine the cheering; the silence was sort of eerie.  If there are any ghosts of sports fans lurking, they didn't show themselves. 



Rugby football fever generates a lot of hot air in this country.  I presume this is some sort of air extractor:

 Next door to the stadium are the cricket grounds.  As I was preparing for a photo, a groundsman came running up to warn me the water sprinklers were about to come on about a foot away from where I was standing.  Oh, oh, that would have been something I didn't want over my head!  So I moved to get my Romeo and Juliet shot.  I think they may have been a bit over their heads in love.  Darn, that was head over heels, wasn't it?  Never mind, there is a balcony!


 A short 4 km drive took me to A H Reed Park, then a quick walk along the canopy walkway provided me with something wonderful over my head.  This is a reasonably young kauri but still worth looking up at.  


Then I remembered this photo taken right on my doorstep of my grand-daughter looking up at another kauri in 'our' forest that I look out at daily:

This is another common sight - pampas grass growing on the banks along the side of our road:

Yesterday evening, desperately seeking inspiration, I wandered outside with my camera thinking perhaps I could get a shot looking up at the mountains, but they were shrouded in rain and mist.

That's it!  I give up!  I'm going to have to look up to higher power!

I wonder what is "over the heads' of the rest of the team.  Be assured there will be some terrifiic photography of the unexpected if you care to follow me here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One of top three

On Friday I posted a photo of Ngunguru, which is about 30 minutes on the other side of Whangarei from where I live.  I have that photo on my desktop at work as it calms me when I get a bit stressed.

Today I learned that the Tutukaka Coast is one of the top three coastlines in the world, according to the prestigious National Georgraphic Traveller.   Ngunguru is on the Tutukaka Coast, the settlement before you go up over the hill to Tutukaka.  

The coastline was named equal second best with the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales and pipped for the top spot by the remote, austere Avalon coast on Canada's Newfoundland.

To be honest, it’s not my favourite part of the Northland’s coast but who am I to argue with National Geographic?  Maybe it’s not my favourite because I’ve never been satisfied with photos I’ve take there.  

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few with you.  If you heard that report, too, you will be able so say you know a little of what it looks like.  Only a little, mind!

tutukaka
Tutukaka

 Tutukaka

IMG_0135
Tutukaka Marina

ngururu
Ngunguru

your turn now

GB about to climb through the gap that allowed access to lovely hidden bay.  I believe this access is now closed to the public for safety reasons.  I don’t think I’d be up to the climb around the rocky headland to reach this bay now so I’m glad I have these photos as a memory of it.

Wild Cove
the hidden bay


And while I’m bragging about the beautiful place in which I live, did you read or hear that  New Zealand is the third-best country to live in the world, according to the latest United Nations index?  Norway first, Australia second, NZ third!
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10685680