Friday, 24 June 2011


Hats off – or on – for Hats, our theme chosen by JarieLyn.

I’m not a hat person and I don’t know anyone who is except for a lady I work with who likes to take advantage of cold weather to wear a head warming hat at work.  I promised I wouldn’t show all of her face.

reg lady
The rest of my hats are from my Dress Up Box.  All grannies have a Dress Up Box, right?

Oh, except for this one which is my sun hat.   Somehow I don’t think I look quite so cute in it.

I enjoy watching Georgia play her way through all the hats and, like any good model, choose a different personality to match each hat. 

Some hats are just too plain, so she adds her own bling:

black and crown

If you love hats I’m sure you’ll enjoy checking out the rest of the team this week.

Monday, 20 June 2011

New friend

Meet my beautiful new friend.  I think I'm happier about her presence as my lawnmower than she is.

I have an over abundance of beautiful lush grass.  Can't call it lawn because it's way past that.  Between a lawnmower (of the mechanical variety) that is proving difficult to start and the wet weather I can't remember when my lawn was last mowed. 

So little Mini has been relocated from my son and daughter-in-laws yard to mine.  So far she's just stood on the top step outside my back door and looked longingly inside.  Occasionally she looks at the grass but has not been tempted. 

She's so cute and even lovelier to touch than she looks, so soft and wooly.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

I’ve been bitten

One thing I’ve learnt is that it is hard to take a photo of the inner inside of your elbow.  Inner inside?  OK, I’ll try again.  When I look at the inside crease of my left elbow, on the right hand side, a little towards the back is a nasty red inflammation and in the middle of the red inflamed area is a blister with lots of tiny blisters around it.  I can see the profile of the blister but can only see the whole area by holding my arm up to a mirror.  But I’m a two handed photographer and the one handed results show zilch.  I got the best result with the half turned inside out elbow resting on the armchair.  Who would have thought my skin could be
 such a pretty colour, it's actually a bit redder than this.

spider bite 

The question is what bit me?  I had no idea but have been doing some investigation on line.

When I lived in North Queensland I learnt to always check my shoes before I put them on and I always gave my clothes a bit of a flick before I put them on.  But I’ve long forgotten those precautions against spiders.  Change that to I had forgotten…the bath towel and clothes flicking will become part of my routine from now on.

On Tuesday morning when I was towelling myself after a shower I felt a pin prick on aforementioned elbow.  It really did feel like a pin prick and because I’ve been doing a bit of sewing lately, I searched the towel for a pin.  How would a pin have got into the towel?  Anything is possible when there are children around.  So I thought it must have been a spider and forgot all about it.

It wasn’t till Thursday afternoon when I left soreness when my long sleeved blouse rubbed against my elbow that I even looked at the area.  I got such a fright!  The nurse at the Health Centre at work gave me an antihistamine pill and some cream which soothes it. 

New Zealand is relatively free of things that bite and cause harm.  There are three species of spiders in New Zealand that should be avoided - the Katipo, the Redback and the White-tailed Spider.  From what I’ve read it is likely to have been a White-Tail.  They don’t build a web but wander around looking for prey.  Guess I was prey of the day.  And their favourite hiding spots are in beds and in towels and clothes. Like us, they like to stay warm.

The consolation is they are unlikely to cause necrotising arachnidism.  Now that’s a relief.

Friday, 17 June 2011

FSO–Fishing and/or boating

New Zealand has one of the highest boats per capita ratio in the world with an estimated one in eight persons owning a boat.  Auckland has the highest but I live a good three hour drive from there.
So finding boat shots is not difficult.  Trouble is I think most of the fishermen must be out on the water in those boats.  Or at places best known to fishermen, not me.  So I have just two shots of fishing, taken along the same stretch of beach on different days.


When it comes to boats, there are all sorts, just choose your favourite type.  Oh, and look, there's a flag.  Didn't notice that last week.


There are tiny boats used to get to the bigger boats:

And you usually don’t have to look far to even find dead boats.  I've posted the first of these two before, just love that boat.


Working boats:

working boat leigh

Traditional boats (called a whaka)


I could go on and on but will spare you.  Can't wait to see what the rest of the team has to show us this week.  They will be here.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

And the winner is ....

Disco Inferno...Shayde.

The competition was tough at the Weartable Arts Show.  There are some very creative people around here.

Our little princess looked charming as a music box ballerina and was a bit of a crowd favourite (especially in the family row of seats)

Krystal and her friend looked great but I didn't get a decent photo of them together.  I always have terrible difficulty getting photos in this school hall, no matter how close my seat is to the runway.  Flashing lights don't help either.  This shot isn't very good but I love the look on Shayde's face as the second placegetter's name was called and she realized she had won.

My best shots of the night were of Georgia and her Best Friend Ever, Archer as they watched the proceedings.

Their birthdays are just days apart so they were the new kids at school together and have been inseparable ever since.  Archer and his sister Niamh had worked together on their entry in the Hat Section and were delighted to come third.  My fault his hand is blurry, I shouldn't have waved at him.

The school's Kapa Haka ( traditional Maori performance art) group opened the show.  I love the way the little one couldn't resist a peek at the big screen.

So, that's Wearable Arts for another year.  I wonder what the theme will be next year?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Nearly ready

At the weekend, the girls put the finishing touches to their Wearable Arts costumes.   This was their second to last fitting, and now the last of the pins have been removed.  Add black singlet and black tights, add a few ribbons to their hair and Krystal and her friend will be all set to go.

 Work is nearly finished on Shayde’s “Disco Inferno”

 Shayde didn’t fuss about about all the pins but found the fingers tickling her armpits a bit much!

shayde 1
 Even with the top finished, there was still more pinning to be done.

 And more discussing about what goes where:

 And, then, the question is … can she walk in those pants??

 We will find out on Wednesday night.

Friday, 10 June 2011


This Friday our theme is Flags. The words around this theme focus on the United States where they have National Flag Day, June 14th.

I’m tempted to flag it because New Zealanders are not a flag waving people.  Mention the flag these days and someone will want to debate whether it should be changed, whether it reflects New Zealand as the nation it is today.  And I certainly don’t want to get into that debate.

But I got lucky yesterday.  We had international flags flying at work last week (I was too busy to take photos) and at the end of the event the flags were shoved into a basket and had become crumpled.  I offered to bring them home and hang them on the clothesline to get out the wrinkles before we store them away.  I pegged them up as they came out of the basket.  China beside Wales.  The Chinese flag featured a dragon during the Qing Dynasty, so there is a connection.


Great Britain beside Japan.  There are no rules in my back yard.

on line

I really like the flag of Argentina although I think the smiley face is taking a few liberties with the sun.


And here’s my flag of my homeland, Australia


The remainder are a few I’ve taken around the north.


Te Kohanga Bay

And finally, a very practical flag.  I made my grand-daughters these flags to wave above their heads in an effort to distract an attacking magpie during their nesting season.

You will find the flag photos from the rest of the tFSO team here.
magpie flag1
You will find the flag photos from the rest of the FSO team here.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


I’ve often wished my folks had made me twins, one of me to quest and roam, the other me to stay at home.  Yesterday afternoon I changed that to the other me to save me from myself.  

I set out for a walk knowing there would be lots of mud after all the recent rain, so I wore my old, old shoes that are usually saved for lawn mowing.  It was a lovely day, some sun, some cloud … and quite warm.  

Above the paddocks down by the creek I saw something I’ve never seen before.  I was on the lookout for the resident pair of Paradise Ducks hoping they were still around as it is still duck shooting season.  

They flew into my shot as I was taking a photo of the poplars looking so silvery against a blue patch of sky.

 But at the same time I heard more sqwarking and honking behind me and there was another pair, flying much lower.

 Then I found myself a spectator in some form of aerial combat.  The higher flying pair were definitely trying to send off the other pair.  I’d like to say they dived out of the sun but stealth didn’t play any part in it.  I think it was more about maintaining the height advantage and making the most threatening noise.  All four disappeared from sight but I could hear them for a long time as I continued on my walk. 

A couple of minutes later I found a beautiful cow pat.  Call me nutty if you will, I thought it was lovely, almost a perfect shell shaped.

 So the signs were looking good for a great walk.  Should have known it was about to turn to custard.  I should have turned around and gone back home the way I’d come when I saw the herd all milling around the gate when they saw me approaching.  No, cows, I’m not coming to move you to another paddock.  Look closer, I’m not the person who does that around here.  


But what did I do?  Instead of taking right hand turn, I went to the left thinking I’d take a photo of them from that little rise behind them, knowing they would probably follow me along the fence line.  


But I always think this is a pretty part of the farm and I rarely take a photo from here.  However, having taken my photo I actually thought for a minute.  If I walked back that way the cows would march along with me back to the gate and then the other way when I turned left.  And I realized they would make a mess in the paddock.  It’s very wet underfoot and my son will not want his grass trampled into the mud even further. 


So I decided to take a bit of an across country path.  Could I get from here to that track going up the hill over there without disturbing the cows even further and without falling into a drain or being zapped by an electric fence?  I could see two drains and lots of marshy ground but decided to give it a go.


I very nearly did.   I thought if I walked half way across this swampy part on that old rotting log, I’d make it the rest of the way easily.  I’d forgotten about momentum, I went too slowly.  Didn’t make that mistake at the next hurdle, I plotted my course, took a deep breath, and hoppity, jumped my way across.  Only to trip and fall flat on my face on the other side.  So now I had a wet foot and a very muddy front.  But my camera was OK.  I put it in it’s case before taking the leap.  


Looking on the bright side, when I finally got back on the track I was already half way up that hill and the cows at the bottom of the hill look as if they have forgotten about me.  


I was quite pleased with myself really.  After all, I hadn’t touched an electric fence.  I managed to do that when I was almost back to the cowshed.  And it was a darn good jolt, too, let me add.  That little mishap ended up with my already wet and muddy foot looking like this:


And, guess what?  Deep down I think I enjoyed every minute of it.  Guess I will continue to leave the sensible half of me at home.