Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Thanks to Tracy over at Hey Harriet for hosting us, you can visit her over at Shadow Shot Sunday:

Today we woke to a beautiful, sunny morning with not a cloud in the sky. Very different to the weather we have had for best part of this week. So we put our walking shoes on and went out for a stroll, of course I took my camera, after all it is Shadow Shot Sunday here in my part of the world.


 Long morning shadow of my "Hubby". Thanks Hon.
The circle thing in footpath is for "hitching" your dog lead to, or for chaining your bike up. Makes a cool shadow.
I just couldn't resist this chain shadow, looks to me like the path is wearing a necklace.

Thanks again to Tracy for hosting, and for everyone for their encouraging comments.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Magpie Tales - #16

This is a prompt from a weekly writing theme hosted by Willow over at:


Here is my contribution for this week:

Sophie  stood in her mother's bedroom and looked around her. The room was still the same as it had been two years ago when her mother had passed away, nothing had been touched.  She picked up the scarf that hung on the side of the mirror and held it to her face, feeling it's silky softness against her skin, inhaling deeply hoping to find even a small trace of her mothers perfume. But it wasn't there, that familiar smell that she missed so much was gone.

Sophie put the scarf back, and moved over to the wardrobe. She opened the door and looked at the clothes still hanging there untouched. Running her hand through the clothes, she sighed and knelt down to see what was inside the boxes sitting on the floor of the wardrobe. She lifted the lids off and took out sandals,  sneakers, boots, walking shoes, slippers and finally in the last box she found the black shoes. She held them in her hands, looking at them closely, remembering how much her mother had loved them. She took her own shoes off and put the black shoes on. The fit was perfect. All of a sudde she heard a noise behind her. It was her sister, Stella, "Come on Soph, everyone is waiting downstairs for you, it's time to go" Sighing she stood up and brushed the creases out of her  wedding gown. She started to make her way down to where her family and friends were waiting, as she reached the top of the stairs she lifted up her gown and looked down at the black shoes thinking to herself:
"Something old, something new, something borrowed, Oh well it doesn't matter that it doesn't rhyme, at least I found them"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter Z

Z is for..  Zed..not Zeeeeee!

For our end of year get together at work last year, we all had to pull a letter out of a hat, and come to the lunch dressed as something, or someone to do with that letter. Lucky me pulled out the letter Z, and after a lot of thought I decided to go as a ZOOKEEPER..
So here I am.. Z is for Zookeeper, yes that bag I am holding is "Kiwi Poo",  they are really chocolate covered raisins, the bucket was full of plastic animals, the pants and shirt cost me $5.00 each and the toy monkey was from the $2 shop.

The last time we were in Salt Lake City we got to visit the Hogle Zoo. Even though it was Autumn we had a great day, and loved it.

Emma enjoying the rope web at the childrens area at Auckland Zoo, Summer 2009.
And that my friends is that, my ABC of pictures.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a weather BOMB!!

For the past four days, since Sunday, and it's now Wednesday we have been experiencing what the weather "Gurus" are calling a weather bomb. Gale force southerly winds that are freezing cold, in fact last night the wind was so fierce I thought that our little house was going to topple over.

Black clouds all heavy with rain. Very little sun, just lots of rain., with more rain on it's way.
Oh yes, it's Winter in Auckland. I got home from work tonight at 5.30pm, and the moon was out and the clouds were gathering for another storm.

 "And the Outlook for Thursday..your guess is good as mine".. just like that great 80's Kiwi classic by Dave Dobbyn. I found it on You Tube for you all to enjoy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter Y

Y is for... Yarning or "having a good yarn"

 The word yarning is believed to have come to New Zealand from Australia in the mid-1800. It means passing the time by telling stories. A yarn is not necessarily a tall or untrue tale, but more like having a chat or a catch up. There is nothing like "a good yarn" with someone.. a catch up..

Emma having "a good yarn" with Nana...

Enjoying a "yarn" and a cuppa  with cousin Samuel...

Having a "yarn" with Uncle Steve about the best way to get the Escort started...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday..

The weather has not been that great the last few days. When it has been sunny, I have been too busy to look for shadows. Today is no exception, it is cold, with no sun all day and we now have that cold sleety rain that means it is snowing somewhere down south. Yes, in this part of the world if it's cold it means something nasty is happening down south, near the Antarctic.
So my Shadow Shot Sunday for this week are from some shots taken a few weeks ago.

 I love these old trees with their moss covered trunks.

I love the way the shadows from the leaves above are on the tree trunk.

Thanks to Tracy over at Hey Harriet for hosting us, you can visit her over at Shadow Shot Sunday:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Magpie Tale #15

 This is a prompt from a weekly writing theme hosted by Willow over at:        

This Magpie prompt
immediately brought childhood memories to mind.

When I was very young, about seven, my sisters , brother and I along with Dad spent some time living with my Dida (Grandfather).

My parents had separated and we had moved cities and stayed with him until we found a house.

Dida was from Croatia, a hard worker, strict disciplinarian, loved his garden and in his defence found it difficult to cope with suddenly having four children living with him.
As there was no female in the house he did the cooking, and you ate what was put in front of you no questions asked.

Keeping this in mind here is my prompt:

Friday is here and I know what we are having for dinner, Friday night is always fish. But what will it be?

Is it Snapper, Gurnard or Flounder? Will it be pan-fried in Olive Oil (yum...), steamed, or will it be, please don't let it be...

Soup... Oh no... it is soup.! I can smell it as I walk into the house. That pungent fishy smell, it's everywhere. There is no getting away from it. I creep past the kitchen, I know that Dida is in there, please, please, don't let him see me walk inside. His back is facing the door,  I tiptoe past, but it's too late. He turns around, "There you are, come, come and see what we have for tonight," he beckons me over.  I walk slowly over, smiling weakly knowing full-well what is about to happen next.  He lifts me up, takes the lid off the pot and there it is. Lying on it's side, a huge Snapper head, with that big glassy eye looking up at ME!

Hours later we are all sitting around the table. The plate of soup in front of me, I pick up my spoon, dip it in the soup and look over at Dida. He has the fish head in front of him, he picks it up, using his fingers and sucks on what is left of the head.  Feeling the tears building up behind my eyes, I close them tight as I make a start on my soup,  and try ever so hard not to start gagging.

Friday, May 21, 2010

ABC Of Pictures - Letter X

X is for....  Xenophile (The letter "X" is probably the hardest letter to post about)

 Meaning:   A person who is attracted to that which is foreign.
The photo is filled with Aboriginal wall hanging ( from Australia) , heart shaped stars and stripes from America, Russian doll, two dolls from Croatia and the little dog in the front is from Chinese New Year celebrations last year ( The Year of the Dog)

Probably a bit of a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the meaning.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter W

W is for.....   Winter
As much as I hate to admit it, Autumn is finishing and Winter has started to make herself felt..
Not with a vengence, but with subtle touches like these:

 The trees are bare..

The fog lingered around until lunch time, there was no sun at all today, it is damp, cloudy and cold.
Cold enough for this to happen..

Which led to this..
I had to get my "comfy cardy" out and wear it. You know, that piece of clothing that you just can't bring yourself to get rid of. Mine just so happens to be this wonderful knitted cardigan "Circa 1985."
It has great pockets, for holding all sorts of things when I am working around the house e.g. pegs, string, tissues (especially tissues) . It is long enough to keep my back warm when I am weeding or pruning, and wide enough for me to wrap around myself.

My "Comfy Cardy" has been ridiculed by my family, and I am under strict instructions not to wear it out in public. Although I have been tempted, after all I have seen people in the supermarket wearing their pyjamas for goodness sake.

So, please tell me that out there somewhere there are more of you like me!! Does anyone else have a "Comfy" anything that they just can't get rid of?

Monday, May 17, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter V

V is for.....  Views! Views! Views!

The view from the top of the hill, on our lunch break, on the Mangawhai Walking Weekend in March. Those little dots down in the water are surfers. This photo has had no editing the water really was that vibrant blue. Mangawhai is a two hour drive north of Auckland city..
This photo was also taken at the top of the hill in Mangawhai, looking in the opposite direction up the peninsula. This was such a beautiful spot to sit and have lunch.
Kariotahi Beach is a stunning surf beach, with black sand and a wide beach. The beach is used by surfers, hang gliders, para-gliders and horse riders. It is a ten minute drive from our house, in Waiuku.
These photos were taken on the hill above the beach, on a cool and cloudy Autumn afternoon.

In contrast to the photos taken at Mangawhai, which is on the east coast, north of Auckland, Kariotahi Beach is on the west coast, south of Auckland with the surf rolling in from the Tasman Sea.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - My garden is confused!

Shadow Shot Sunday hosted by Tracy over at Hey Harriet. Visit her at:

The weather here has been unseasonably warm, even for Autumn. We are officially in a drought situation and we need rain. Well this week the rain arrived, and my garden has become a bit confused.

These are Jonquils, and are a Spring flower, confused Spring bulbs do you think? Not a lot of shadows but they are cute little flowers.

My Aloe plant has started to grow again, it has never looked this happy in Autumn. We had just had a shower of rain, and the raindrops were just sitting on the leaf in the sunshine.
This rose bush just keeps on flowering, and has small buds starting to form. It's May for goodness sake, another few weeks and I will be thinking about pruning them.

And my Camellia tree, which is always heavily laden at this time of the year, has very few blossoms on it.
Confused do you think?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Magpie Tale #14

This is a prompt from a weekly writing theme hosted by Willow over at :

Some people write short vignettes, some write short poems:

Here is my contribution this week:

Sarah Browne stood in front of the door of the classroom and listened to the noise coming from the thirty-two 15year olds who were waiting for her to supervise their exam. Memories of the beginning of her time at the school sprang to mind as she remembered how keen she was when she first started. Straight out of training college, full of energy, "bright eyed and bushy-tailed" ready to take on the world and influence all those young minds. Now five years on, there she was standing at the door, listening to the turmoil that was going on on the other side , thinking to herself, "What am I doing here, they really don't care what I'm there for, they really only care about themselves"
Sighing, she turned the doorhandle, took a deep breath and walked in. She walked towards her desk and placed her briefcase and laptop on the desktop. She turned and surveyed the class, it was bedlam. There they were, all talking loudly, trying to outdo each other , in their little groups. Texting, tweeting, facebooking on their fancy laptops. "Oh well," she thought, "Better get on with it, the sooner we get started the better".
She picked up the ruler and started tapping on the desk, slowly and softly at first, then getting faster and louder, at the same time shouting out "Ok everyone, let's quiet down, and pay attention." As she expected there was no response. She said it again, this time much louder, almost bellowing and banging the ruler on the desk, "Let's have some quiet, PLEASE!!" Slowly but surely they all started to quieten down.
"Thank You" she said. "As you know, today is your first exam," Groans arose from the class, and a few of them rolled their eyes.Taking no notice she continued. "I am going to hand out your papers, you can start as soon as you receive them, and remember you have two hours to complete the paper."  In a matter of moments there was a semblance of quiet as they all turned their papers over and stared at the exam. Slowly but surely they all picked up their pens and made a start on the paper before them.

Sarah  returned to her desk, took a quick look over the room to check that everyone was busy, and opened up her laptop. She  clicked open her Blog, and felt her pulse quicken as she scrolled down to what she was looking for. There it was, what she had been looking forward to all day.

Magpie Tales #14 - write a short poem or vignette on the image above, and good luck, Willow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ABC of Pictures - U

U is for...  Umbrellas

One of my clients owns a children and baby wear shop, and she has umbrellas displayed in the shop, some of them hanging from the ceiling. She kindly let me photograph some of them, these are just a few of about twenty that she has hanging. I couldn't resist photographing the "duckies" looking down at them instead of up.

Thanks Louise.

ABC of Pictures - T

T is for...   Toetoe  ( pronounced: toytoy)

A bit of Kiwiana.. The Toetoe is New Zealands' largest native grass, it grows in clumps up to three metres tall and is found in coastal areas. The leaves are spiky and quite sharp, while the creamy, white
parts are silky soft to the touch.

You always know when you are close to the beach when you see clumps of Toetoe.

Monday, May 10, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter S

S is for...Survivor

If there ever was a cat story of survival this would have to be one of them. This fella here is "Gingernut", well that's what I call him , and he turned up at our house about 18 months ago. At that time he was wearing one of those plastic bucket things to stop him from scratching the most hideous, disgusting  weeping skin disease he had around his neck and on his back. His fur was falling out in huge clumps and he was a "mess".

It was obvious that he had an owner, but also obvious by the way that he looked that something was not going right with his care. Myself and our next door neighbour managed to find the owner, and I went for a visit to see if there was anything that we could do to help him. It turned out that Gingernut is called "Tiny" and he is one of 23 cats living on the one property. All the other cats were healthy, and although Gingernut was loved, he was not accepted by the other cats, and worse still, the owner did not want any help.

So, for the past 18 months my neighbour and I have been keeping an eye out for "Gingernut" , feeding him, giving him lots of cuddles, and keeping in touch with the owner to make sure that he would take Gingernut to the vet. My neighbour has been wonderful to him, and has even let him inside her house to spend the night with her in the middle of Winter.
Over the last 6 months Gingernut has started to look so much better. Has put on weight and has had no disgusting scabby sores on his neck. He loves coming over for a visit, he seems to know that I am home on the weekend and shows up for a treat and a cuddle.

All we have to do now is get him to stay still long enough to give him a brush.

ABC of pictures - Letter R

R is for... Reflections

Taken at the Auckland Botannical Gardens a few months ago.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday..

                                   Shadow Shot Sunday from Hey Harriet over at:

Took these at one of the schools in our town. Very little sunshine today, and the shadows were playing hard to get. Decided to do them all in black& white to see if the shadows would come and play.

This is the shadow of the sign at the zebra crossing outside the school gate. The hook looking thing on the side is where the children place there "Stop" sign. When they have enough children waiting to cross they shout out " Signs out" and the sign swings out onto the road and the traffic has to stop and wait for the children to cross. When everyone has crossed safely they shout "Signs In" and the sign is swung back and the traffic moves away. It is a very big deal at school to be a crossing monitor.

Metal hook that latches back the door to the classroom.

One of six shade sails that the children sit under during their breaks.

Hobo Bags ...

 Today I decided that I would make Emma and Lucca a Hobo Bag each. Something that they can put there toys into when they go visiting. I have used the first of the huge amount of fabric given to me by my Aunt. I posted about this huge fabric score last week.

Thanks to Dana at Made It for the free tutorial, visit her blog at:

The pattern was "easie peasie" to follow and they look great. 

Lucca's bag, already full of toys..

Emma loves purple, so this is perfect. It was not my first choice of fabric, this one is much sturdier, the original was too thin.

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