Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

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

Yesterday Phil and I took a trip to the Auckland Museum, 50 minute drive from where we live. I took so many photos of shadows I am now spoilt for choice,with the weather being so nasty at the moment I am certain they will be used over the next few weeks.

We were there no less than five minutes when the sun came out and this weird looking shadow woman/man appeared with an even weirder camera to take some photos...

It is this huge cannon that overlooks the Auckland Harbour from the steps at the base of the Musuem
and this is part of the view, even in the Winter it looks beautiful. Auckland is promoted as the "City of Sails"  and there are always yachts out on the harbour.

Visit the Auckland Musuem at:

Have a good week everyone.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Magpie Tale #19

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

Here is my contribution for this week:

Amanda was busy in the kitchen cleaning up after lunch. The baby was down for a nap and the last time she checked, her three year old, Lizzie, she was in the family room playing quietly with her toys.
After packing the dishwasher and wiping the kitchen counter down she made her way to the family room to join her little girl.

Standing in the doorway of the family room she could see that Lizzie was not there, and knowing that there was no way she could have gone outside she made her way through the house to look for her. Walking down the hallway she heard noises coming from the bathroom, slowly she made her way to the bathroom door, and ever so slowly pushed the door open, and held back a giggle at the scene that greeted her.

Somehow Lizzie had managed to get her little stool, that was kept in the bathroom, over to the basin and had taken the toothbrushes out of the holder, and along with the toothpaste had settled herself on the floor next to the toilet bowl. There was toothpaste and water all over the bathroom floor,  all over her daughters face and all over the faces of the two dolls that were sitting next to her.

She stood for a second and watched what Lizzie was doing, and then quickly and quietly ran to the family room for the video camera.
On her return, Amanda turned the video camera on, called softly "Hey, Lizzie girl what ya doing there?"
Lizzie looked up at her mother, saw the camera, and grinned from ear to ear.  In her hand was the brown toothbrush that belonged to Jeff, her dad.

"Look Mama, I cleaning our teeth, watch me",  Lizzie leaned into the toilet bowl and dipped Jeff's  toothbrush into the water,  rubbed it into the toothpaste on the floor and started cleaning her teeth, and   then the "teeth" of her dolls.

Amanda focused the video camera onto her daughter and said into the camera, "Oh Lizzie, this video is going to be a must for your 21st birthday party".....

New Zealand 0 vs Paraguay 0

The All Whites played Paraguay to get into the second round of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Although we held out Paraguay to a nil all draw, it was not enough for our team to go to the next round. We needed to win to get through...

But having said this, here are a few stats to consider about our All Whites performance...

The All Whites are ranked 78th in the world.....

The last time New Zealand played at a World Cup was in 1982...

2010 they played Italy current world champs and drew 1 All.....

They did not lose a game, this is very rare in the World Cup to go through unbeaten in your first round..

In there pool round they came third, with Italy fourth...

We are very proud of our team, well done boys!!!!

And another surprise in the World Cup is that the U.S.A team have gone through to the next round by beating Algeria...   Well Done U.S.A.!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Zealand - 1 vs Italy - 1

For  Evette , Melissa, and all you Kiwis who have not been informed, at the FIFA World Cup championships in South Africa tonight we played

The current World Champions Italy( ranked 5th in the world) we are ranked 78th in the world.

We drew with them 1 All............

We now have 2 points!!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Family Likeness..

This afternoon I spent some time going through our old photos. It started with me looking for a particular photo and before I knew where I was I was looking through all the family albums.

Of all the photos that I found there were a few that brought home how alike we are. Here are a few of them......

 Okay, so the baby and the little flower girl is me, I have no idea who the little boy check these out..
Evette at 3years of age, she was such a cutey....

Emma at about 15months....

Nana, Mummy and Granddaughter what a team!! 

Shadow Shot Sunday

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

Winter is here, it has been cold, rainy for a good part of the week, and this weekend is no exception. Very hard to capture shadows when the sun is happily playing at somebody else's house. So I took a look through my photo archives and chose a few from my trip to the Auckland Botanical Gardens in March.

This is called "Butterfly", of all the art pieces at the Botanical Gardens this is my favourite.She is just beautiful.
This is how she looks from behind. I love the way her arms are out like wings, and the fingers are superb.
Part of the African garden.

There are lots of winding paths and bridges that take you to the other themed gardens, this is on the way to the Oriental Garden.

Hope that you all have a safe and happy week.
And thanks again to Tracy for hosting.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Magpie Tales #19

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

Joe stood outside Sally's house and looked up towards her bedroom window. Her bedroom light was on so he knew that she was awake.
At long last, after weeks and weeks of planning, tonight was the night. His hands felt sweaty and clammy as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the knife. He had taken it from his fathers workshop earlier that evening, and when he took it, he knew what he was going to do with it. 
He picked up a handful of pebbles and lightly threw them at Sally's window, and waited, knife in hand, for her to appear... After a moment she pulled the curtains back and peered out the window and instantly recognised him. She opened the window and whispered, "Joe, what are you doing here?"
"Sally," he whispered back "Please come down, I need to see you, to talk to you about something important."

His fingers wrapped themselves tightly around the handle of the knife as he looked up at her hoping she would do as he asked, waiting for her answer.
"This better be important Joe Mitchell, if my parents wake up we are both going to be in real trouble. Just wait there and I'll come downstairs." She closed the window and Joe waited for her to come out of her front door. It seemed like forever before she was there standing in front of him.

"Okay, so what's this all about?" She said hands on hips.

Joe shoved the knife back into his pocket and took her by the hand.

"Sal, you know we have been seeing each other for quite a few months now, and there is something really important that I keep wanting to say to you but I just can't seem to get the words out. I need for you to come with me to the park I have something to show you".

"You have got to be kidding me" she said, "the park, in the middle of the night, come on Joe what's going on you're acting real strange"

"Please Sal," he said, "just humour me it won't take us long to get there it's very important to me."

"Ok," she sighed," this better be worthwhile or you are going to be in real trouble," and off she walked  heading for the park. Smiling to himself Joe followed her.

After a few minutes they reached the park, Sally stopped and with hands on her hips, turned to face him. "Ok", she said "now what?"
"Come with me, " Joe said, as he took her hand and walked her over to the spot where they had spent the afternoon.  "You have to close your eyes, and keep them closed until I say it's all right"
Sighing she closed her eyes and let him lead her to the spot in the park where they had been earlier on.

"You can open your eyes now" Joe said.

She opened her eyes and peered into the darkness, she looked at Joe quizzically. "Go closer to the tree" he said, "and look, look closely." She went forward and looked at the tree, and that was when she saw  it. There on the tree trunk, a huge heart with the words carved into it, the words that Joe could not say:

                                                   Joe Mitchell LOVES Sally Stewart

Sally let out a small cry, and put her hands up to her mouth. She looked at Joe, who was standing there watching her, waiting for her response. She threw her arms around his neck, hugging him closely and said "and Sally Stewart LOVES Joe Mitchell."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Zealand...Where?!? All Whites...Who?!?

New Zealand, a land of approximately 4 million people... yes, I know, not a big population.
It is common knowledge that there are more sheep in New Zealand than people.

At the moment the FIFA World Cup Football Tournament is being held in South Africa. And our team, the All Whites qualified for a spot in this huge event. Soccer, or football as it should be called, is not our national sport, and for us this is huge. The last time an All Whites team qualified for the World Cup was in 1982.
Yesterday, the All Whites had their first game and played Slovakia, a European team ranked higher than us. The press didn't give our guys much of a rating, and we went into the game pretty much as the underdogs.  But these young men are committed to their game and especially to the people at home who are supporting them.
Although they did not win, they held Slovakia to a 1-1 draw, and sent the fans and the media into a frenzy. We are on the points table for our pool.... Yahoo!!

Congratulations guys, you did us proud. Next game Italy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1000 Awesome Things...

 I have been getting regular emails from the 1000 Awesome Things website, and today I wanted to share awesome things number:

 #483  Do Nothing Days

It's like a mirage.

You see that distant Do Nothing day coming up on the horizon of your kitchen calendar. You stare at its white squarey blankness beckoning you closer and closer and closer. Time moves forward, days march on, and still nothing gets planned on that beautifully perfect patch of nothingness. No homework,
no dinner dates, no sports practices, no visiting mates. It's just you and you sharing a nice peaceful moment of alone time.

When you're lucky enough to score a Do Nothing day, do yourself a favour and do nothing. Give your brain a break and slip into easy bliss of lying in crumpled sheets, taking a long bath, and ordering out for dinner. Ditch the guilt while you swing in a hammock, cuddle with your cat, or curl up on the couch in front of the TV.
Once in a while it's good to enjoy a completely unproductive daydreamy day with as slow smile and no worries.

You earned it.


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Auckland Festival of Photography 12 June - my entries

Sam has encouraged me to enter a photo competition as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography.
The competition was open to anyone interested in photography, either amateur or professional, and the conditions were that the photos had to be taken on the 12th June, and was the photographer's interpretation of what a day in Auckland meant to them.

My thoughts were to capture Saturday sports, and I chose three photos as my entries. I have to say that I feel a little nervous now that I have submitted them.  But it's done, and I thought that I would share them with you all......

Supporting the team.. Parents on the sideline at a soccer match. Taken at Bledisloe Park, Pukekohe

Team talk..  Pukekohe Netball Courts.
Reflections of the Team....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Saturday morning sport is a huge part of our culture here in New Zealand, even in Winter.  People of all ages venture out to either support or play a variety of sports.  Soccer and Netball are two of the most popular Winter sports.  Yesterday I ventured out to capture some shadow shots of supporters and players. The weather was cold, wet and windy. The shadows were playing hard to get, but I did manage to catch a few. 

Thanks again to Tracy over at Hey Harriet for encouraging us to chase shadows.

Hope you all have a great week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Winter Sunsets from the Sunset Coast ...

This week I thought that I would take some photos on my way home from work, from the same place each time, to see how different the sunsets would be . All were taken at around 5pm.
I love sunsets, so living on the "Sunset Coast" is a bonus, and I am never disappointed.

Tuesday 8 June..... "Softly the evening came with the sunset."

Wednesday 9th June..

Thursday 10th June.." It is impossible to watch a sunset and not dream"

Friday 10th June.. " Winter is on my head, but eternal Spring is in my head" - Victor Hugo.

I found these lovely sayings that go so well with the photos.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thank you for your birthday wishes..

Many thanks to you all for your wonderful birthday wishes. I realise that I am a a few days late with this "Thank You" but I did want to share with you what my birthday celebrations entailed.

You see, in my family our" birthday" usually lasts longer than the normal one day celebration. And it always starts with an early morning "Happy Birthday" telephone calls from one of my children.
This year it started at:

6.30AM  Yes, you read this correct, 6.30am wake up call from Sam. (No2 daughter) She was on her way to work, and just had to call and sing Happy Birthday. Of course I just love it, as it has become a bit of a tradition to wake the "Birthday" person up as early as you can.

7.30AM  Evette calls (No 1 daughter) from the US, with my second Happy Birthday call. And to let me know that her birthday song has been left on my Blog. Half an hour later,  and I really did have to get ready for work.
8.00AM Birthday card and present from Nan and Pop before finally getting myself off to work.

8.30AM Arrive at work to another tradition. When someone has a birthday we always dress up their work station with lots of balloons, lollies (sorry, candy)the Birthday Hat, and as you can see some Leis. And of course a birthday card. This year the girls went a bit further, one of our Sales Team is a great cook and she made a Gluten Free, white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, topped with fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries. I tell you it was divine. Thanks Mandy.

By this time it was getting a bit difficult to stay focused, and it didn't help that we were working to short deadlines for our paper on Tuesday, as Monday is a holiday. But we soldiered on. By about 11am the girls decided that perhaps we should go to the restaurant next door for lunch, after all it was the Friday before a long weekend. Well you didn't have to tell me twice, and so the lunch order was taken and we all worked on until 11.45am.
I hope you are all still with me, because it just gets better..

11.45am I was working away at my desk when one of the girls said " Hi Phil" and I looked up and there was my hubby, standing in our office with a bunch of flowers and a big grin on his face. He works about half an hour away from me, and had organised to have some extra time off work to take me out to lunch. It turns out that the he had rung the girls and told them what he wanted to do and they had pretended to organise our team lunch.

I have to tell you that in between all this excitement I was getting text messages and phone calls from family and friends wishing me "Happy Birthday" . By the time I finished work on Friday afternoon I had to come home for a cup of tea and a lie down. All this excitement is a bit much for a girl to handle.

But then of course we had the Saturday night celebrations too..

 7PM On Saturday night we went to one of our favourite restaurants in Auckland, "Gigi's." It is owned by a long time friend of my Dad's, and we try and go there as often as we can. We met up with Stephen ( my son) and his girlfriend Alys, Sam and Roland, and our dear friends Paul and Nadia.  The last time we were all together at the same time was Christmas, so you can imagine there was lots of catching up to do.
We talked and ate, drank lots of red wine, talked some more and ate some more, and just generally had a great time, laughing and joking together. You would never come out to dinner with my family and expect a quiet meal. We are a bit of a rowdy bunch.
I was also lucky enough to get birthday pressies.
Steve and Alys gave me a 3 DVD collection of a great British comedy series called "Black Books." One of my favourite programmes.
Sam and Roland gave me Westfield gift voucher, Westfield is our local shopping mall, and I have to tell you I love getting gift vouchers. And will put it to good use. I'm thinking jewellery.
Paul , Nadia and Jake gave me a three book collection of novels by Paullina Simons. One of my favourite authors.
By the time we left the restaurant and made our way home it was nearly midnight.
It was a great night, and I have to say an amazing birthday.

It wasn't until we were leaving the restaurant that we realised that in all the catching up we were doing during dinner, no one had taken any photos of us together.
Not to worry, there's always next time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

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

Found these shadows of my husband's motorbike, we managed to get a few hours of sunshine before the rain started again.  It is a Honda Blackbird CBR1100, and is his pride and joy.


Hope you all are having a great weekend. Thanks again Tracy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another one is here..

Over the past few years I have usually felt more than a little sad about being a year older. This year I feel different and I can't quite put a finger on it.. It is the eve of my birthday .

In the bathroom this morning I looked at my reflection and stood there thinking to myself that overall life is pretty damn good. Okay, so there are a few more wrinkles around my eyes, and gravity has definitely taken control of a few of my body parts and what was once perky certainly is not perky anymore. But at the end of the day, who cares. I am in good health, am relatively fit and other than having to watch my Gluten intake can eat just about anything.

So, what is it that has suddenly made me feel this way? I can't put a finger on it exactly but here are a few random thoughts:

  I know that I am now comfortable with who I am. I enjoy my own company, and don't mind being on my own. This is something that I have struggled with in the past.

I no longer care about what people think of me, I have adopted the "What you see is what you get" philosophy.

I can relax a little with regards to my children, as I watch them leading their own lives and being successful in what they do.  Happy that they know that if necessary I am always there to help in any way I can.

At the end of the day getting older is a part of life, so you may as well embrace it with gusto., and that is what I intend doing. As the "Hands of Time" tick closer to the Big 60, I fully intend to do more of what I love to do.  

Happy Birthday to ME!!    4/6/1952

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