May 2019

Yellow doors wide open lead to a garden beyond

These are my favourite doors. They lead to my favourite garden in Hamilton Gardens. The Concept Garden has been inspired by two traditional Whakatauki and an old land use map. 

 Whatungarongaro te tangata toituu te whenua
 As man disappears from sight, the land remains

brown mushrooms nestled into  green moss and ferns

Autumn means mushrooms! These are nestled in amongst ferns and moss in the forest on the way to the Waihohonu Hut just off the Desert Road.

light clouds hang around a mountain both are reflected in a lake

Lake Tikitapu – Blue Lake. When I started running the lake was completely covered in cloud but an hour later the clouds had lifted. Just. A bit of a cheat – Northern Hemisphere 3rd May, Southern Hemisphere 4th May!

Day 2 of a weekend away with running buddies. Same lake, almost the same view! That’s Autumn for you. Actually was 4th May!

glassy lake with clouds and blue sky reflected in it. Bounded by pine trees

Day 2 of the weekend away again! The beauty of time travel. This is Rotokakahi or Green Lake. It is tapu which means no swimming, fishing or boating.

ginger cat sleeps on a sheepskin rug

McCavity, McCavity….. cats just rule the world!

Boy holding a paper star

Working in a school to support teachers and students to learn about digital technologies. This boy adapted an origami activity to create this moveable star.

sculpture with māori symbols stands proud in the night sky

Every Wednesday I have my te reo class at Te Wananga in Glenview. This is one of the sculptures outside the building.

a pair of ice skates inside a glass of beer

Haven’t had a beer picture for a while! Being arty with skates and almost empty beer glass.

Praying Mantis camouflaged in feijoas

It’s feijoa season! Unfortunately, they all fell from the tree on the same couple of days and so we have a glut – frantically baking, eating, bottling!

Runner running along a path strewn with autumn leaves

There is something about the noise leaves make as you run through them. Though they can also be lethal – newly fallen leaves hide the slimy, wet, slippery old ones underneath!

a Mum flanked by her two sons. Laughing

Mother’s Day! Me and my boys – it took many photos to get one where we all looked remotely normal! They make me happy.

Grassy hills looking out to the ocean. A heavy bank of cloud across the sky with a tinge of orange sunset

After work hauora. It’s always good to blast the cobwebs of a day inside away with a hikoi up high. This is Papamoa Hills – it might become a bit of a haunt when I work over that way this year.

Two women in a restaurant with wine! Caption is Well behaved women seldom make history
No Comment!
Green eyed, grey haired fluffy cat staring imperiously from its sunny spot.

The most photogenic cat in the world. And she knows it!

Coffee and scone

The beauty of a day at home is the opportunity to venture out for the best coffee in Hamilton. Demi Urgos

Whakatauki in visual form on the wall of a school.

Ko te manu e kai i te miro nōna te ngahere, Ko te manu e kai i te Mātauranga nōna te ao. The bird that feeds of the miro berry owns the forest. The bird that feast of knowledge owns the world.

limes on a tree with blossom

I love how limes fruit and at the same time blossom is blossoming!

waterfall in forest

I’ve driven past the turn off to this walk countless times and today I decided to stop and take the time to walk to the Omaru Falls. Just as I got out of the car the heavens opened! It’s only a short way through winding forest tracks along a stream until you come to an area that has been felled after having crossed the stream on a swing bridge. A turn around to the right brings you to the edge of the river which you follow for a while. Then turn away from the river and climb to a viewpoint where you see this impressive waterfall. It can be heard from a way off but is still a surprise when you see it. It’s a shame that there seems to be no way down the the pool at the bottom.

Street in a small town in New Zealand. A street sign points the way down a road in front of a red brick building

Why is there a street named Chanwai Lane in a Central North Island railway town? After some digging I found that this street was renamed in honour of the Dong family who were Chinese fruit and vegetable growers and sellers, for their service to Taumarunui. Fascinating history.…

rainbow over a grey rural landscape

There is said to be a connection between rainbows and angels. I received a phone call as I was driving along the road from Taumarunui. I pulled in to take the call. It was a from a friend to let me know that another friend and colleague had just died. It was expected but still a shock. I sat for a while thinking and crying and then something made me look up.

double exposure photo people and special effects
Editing photos with kids – great fun

I spent this afternoon working with some students using photo editing apps. They had a great time playing and creating images.

pink painted fingernails

We decided to paint our fingernails pretty pink in honour of Alannah.

Dark cloudy sunset sky over the plains of Waikato

After a big week of travelling and the sad news of Alannah, I needed to rebalance. Getting up high is my go to to find my wairua and balance hauora. Pukemokemoke is a favourite. Not far from Kirikiriroa and a short circuit gets you to this beautiful view.

Afternoon sun shining on a repurposed church

This old church is now a quirky Craft Beer bar! There’s something about Beer and churches….

View out over the ocean across vegetation and green fields

The Centre of New Zealand... so named because it was a central survey point in the 1800s. It isn’t actually the centre of Aotearoa but it is a pretty cool spot! It has an impressive trig point, and given that it is the most central and possibly the most important trig point, I did have to do a handstand. I asked a passerby to take the photo and he didn’t quite get it but here it is as a bonus photo for May.

woman doing handstand at a trig point
cover of a book

We had the pleasure of listening to Vincent O’Malley telling us the story of Wiremu Tamihana this evening at the University of Waikato. The history of Aotearoa is an interesting commentary on the evolution of British colonialism. Vincent talks about us needing to own our history, facing up to what happened, acknowledging it, accepting our role in it in order to move on and rebuild relationships.

young man behind a counter in a coffee shop

Boy at work. Aonghas has been working at Starbucks for the last 8 months or so. Chris and I went in to see him at work today.

wooden bricks of different colours on a table

This week at Te Wananga we have been learning about counting and numbers and colours.

Two sisters standing in front of ocean and a sculpture of a dog

It’s always good to catch up with the Aunties. Chris stayed with us and Moira stayed over at Tauranga with David and Keri. I took Chris over for the day and we went to the Hairy McLary sculptures.


Another family game to play!