32/366 1st February 2020

Don’t you just love the meanings of place names? The stories they tell? This is from a book a friend sent me for Christmas about Yorkshire.

33/366 2nd February

My Dad’s birthday today. He would have been 88. Said a wee hello to him at the top of Kakepuku. Looking out at a parched Waikato landscape. My Dad loved a good landscape!

34/366 3rd February 2020

A Twitter contact who is Principal of a small rural Waikato secondary school put a plea out for scientific calculators today – I found 4 in our house! I will be driving past next week so have arranged to call in and drop them off.

35/366 4th February 2020

In this hot weather, it’s important to find shady places to run that have delicious water we can jump in to cool off afterwards! Kaniwhaniwha means dancing stream. I always used to think it was pronounced Kani-whani-wha, but found out recently that it is Ka-niwha-niwha…

36/366 5th February 2020

Another trail run, another hill or two, more parched Waikato landscape.

37/366 6th February 2020

180 years since Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed – it’s what allows us to be here in Aotearoa, but it’s been the cause of much pain, poverty and inequality. I read and listened to lots of news reports, speeches, interviews and articles this morning. Sort of wished we had been able to head to Waitangi, learn more and be a part of it all. Maybe next year. This afternoon we painted the fence! A job long overdue!

38/366 7th February 2020

Just look at those ears!

39/366 8th February 2020

We got to the newest garden in Hamilton Gardens today – the Surrealist Garden. We have seen its gestation over the last months and it is a fascinating concept. Gigantic elements juxtaposed against weird angles and moving giant plants….

40/366 9th February 2020

Super moon – my phone doesn’t really cut it to get a good photo so decided to take a photo of Nigel taking. a photo of the moon!

41/366 10th February 2020

I just couldn’t be so close to the beach and not go and put my feet in. Should’ve taken my togs! Work-life balance!

42/366 11th February 2020

Playing with Snapseed to turn photos into art…

43/366 12th February 2020

The big dry… The Waikato region was officially declared to be in drought today. Water use is severely restricted, the fields are tinder dry, farmers are looking to dry off cattle within 2 weeks if we don’t have any significant rain soon.

44/366 13th February 2020

Rotopiko – a wee pest free island reserve on the way to Te Awamutu. It was a cool place to be in the afternoon heat. Stopped off on my way home from work

45/366 14th February 2020

Variation on a theme… cat.

46/366 15th February 2020

Cuisenaire Rods are used for learning maths but also for language learning. Te Ataarangi method was developed in the 1980s to support the regeneration of Te Reo Mā

47/366 16th February 2020

Late summer blackberries – a wee treat on a trailrun at Maunga Kakaramea – Rainbow Mountain.

49/366 18th February 2020

I won a keep cup today – thanks Davy Engravers! #lovethetron

50/366 19th February 2020

Canterbury from the air – drought.

51/366 20th February 2020

Mural trail in Ōtautahi – murals come alive with augmented reality – #plainsight. The art in Christchurch is one of the features of the rebuild after the earthquakes. Now the murals have taken on a new twist with a collaboration with digital technology. Such a cool idea.

52/366 21st February 2020

Partnership, Bi-culturalism, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, respect.

53/366 22nd February 2020

Early Saturday morning. No commuters today. Silence. Heading off to meet with friends for a trailrun. I love railway stations – must be something to do with my Dad…so when I come to Wellington it’s a treat to get the train.

54/366 23rd February 2020

A tuatara basking in the sun. Chris and I visited Zealandia today and saw a whole heap of amazing NZ wildlife. Couldn’t decide which was the best to show you. The Takahē was pretty close but it took us a while to spot this wee beastie – good camouflage!

55/366 24th February 2020

Would have been my Mum’s 91st birthday today… She would have enjoyed this wee beauty from the garden – better than Dad’s green leaves! (long story!) It’s been a good year for aubergines.

56/366 25th February 2020

Auē! Kua pakaru ahau tāku waea pūkoro tēnēi ahiahi. #broken #pakaru
My Mum died 37 years ago today. Shame I haven’t got a happier photo to share. I thought going for a run would be a good way of honouring her but I tripped and fell. Broken phone and munted leg! 37 years and I still miss her.

57/366 26th February 2020

This is how I take notes…

58/366 27th February 2020

Me and the old boy out at the movies in the park. Summer festival in the Hamilton Gardens. What’s not to like about good food, good enough beer and some music – David Byrne and Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense.

59/366 28th February 2020

Another night out in the Gardens. Nadia Reid played in the Henry Harkness Emporium and then we ate, drank and chilled in the summer evening listening to local bands by the lake.

60/366 29th February 2020

These sorts of days only come around one year in four. In 2000 I took advantage of my prerogative to ask Nigel to marry me. Like “the man from Delmonte” he said yes! He’s an old souk! But this album has just been released today! So special… Ria Hall.

Week 31 Wildcard: photographers choice

We spotted this insect on the door of our house. The white of the door made it difficult to get the insect into focus and I had to use the pro feature on my phone to isolate the subject.  Quite pleased with the outcome.

Orangey red flying insect with long antennae sitting on a white door

I had a meeting at a school over in Raglan last week so made the most of being there to sneak a lunchtime walk.  I don’t think I’ve seen the tide so high.  I tried to get the movement of the waves as they washed over the step of sand just in front of the dunes and the light glimmering behind the clouds.

Seascape on a stormy day. Dark clouds with some light shining through over a grey ocean. Waves foaming up over the sand right up to the dunes

This was a dark evening in Christchurch down on Oxford Terrace which had recently been reopened after rebuilding work. I wanted to capture the translucency of the bridge and the arch against the dark of the night.

Night scene in a city. Lights shining on a bridge overtheriver

Photos at concerts are always difficult and never seem to work. Any that do tend to be pure luck! This is Tami Neilson and if you ever get a chance to see her,  do it.  She is amazing!

Female singer on the microphone left arm held aloft. Guitarist in the background

In Hamilton Gardens there is a new garden – the concept garden. To get in you go through a large yellow door that opens automatically as you approach.  I was aiming to get a view through as they opened.

Looking through a doorway with large yellow doors. Through the doorway you can see a woman with gardens beyond


Week 18: Wildcard Photographer’s Choice

Oh, so many choices, too many choices! Sometimes being constrained by themes makes it easier to be creative. When there is open choice, it gives me freedom to explore but also I am overwhelmed either by too many ideas or none at all!

I am on the road quite a bit for my work, travelling over and through stunning New Zealand scenery. Often it is impossible or dangerous to stop when I see a view that I would love to capture, so I content myself with the pleasure if having just been there at the right time and seen it.  Somebody reminded me recently about ‘being present’ in a moment, really experiencing it. I am often guilty of whipping my camera out to capture a shot when maybe I should take more time to simply enjoy the moment.

However, there are times when it is safe to pull over and take a quick photo. This was driving home from Piopio one evening after a school visit. I was struck by the colours of the newly cut fields and the dusky pinkness of the evening sky. The light was very flat, so had to do a we touch up after the fact.

Newly cut fields in the foreground, trees and hills middle ground and a dusky pink evening sky with a few wispy clouds

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Christchurch, I have visited regularly since the earthquake and have watched the slow but steady rebuild. One place where there has been no progress is the cathedral.  I chose to keep the link fence in the foreground of this photo, rather than get up close and eliminate it because it seems to me that it is trapped, not forgotten, not abandoned, but waiting. I tried to capture also the light on the lefthand side shining onto the windows of the gable.

falling down remains of the Christchurch Cathedral with sunlight shining into the window from the lefthandside. Cones in front and seen through a chain link fence

Homelessness is a big issue in New Zealand at the moment but I have to say that this week was the first time I have seen people sleeping in doorways in Christchurch. Plenty in my hometown of Hamilton and in Auckland. Maybe, I just haven’t been there often enough or at the right times or the right places. New Regent Street is on the walk from my hotel to the office and I was saddened to see this sight. I though the juxtaposition of the sign above the boarded up shop and the people curled up in their sleeping bags was ironic.

Black and white photo with two people culred up in sleeping bags in the doorway of a boarded up shop with the words "The story of my Life" above.

Finally, this is a bar called the Wonder Horse in Hamilton. A great wee place and my favourite thing is to sit at the stools overlooking the bar and watch the barman making cocktails – what an art! On this particular evening the DJ was there too, so I wanted to capture the vibrancy of the place and the passion that both these people seem  to bring to their work.  I tried to get the barman actually shaking the cocktail but there was just too much movement to get anything that wasn’t just a blur given the lighting.

View of a cocktail barman and a DJ in a bar. A tall shelf of bottles above the barman. Taken from above

This photo taken in the same bar a few weeks ago may capture the movement better.

a barman making cocktails and a DJ seen from above in a bar



Week 14: Tryptych

Week 14 asks us to connect two or three photos together to provoke a thought or to tell a story.

My biggest challenge was finding an app in which I could frame two or three photos. I fell back to ipiccy as this is a photo editing tool I have used before.

I am well behind on my weekly challenges but have had the project titles in my head as I have been out and about.  We have recently spent a lot of time in the NZ bush and as it is Autumn, there are heaps of mushrooms about.  The other day we found these Slender Parasols up by the trig point in Hamilton Gardens in various stages of development.

three parasol mushrooms in various stages of development.

A new garden has recently opened at Hamilton Gardens. I was not too impressed with the Tudor Garden but I really like the Concept Garden.  The squares of water, and different types of plants reflect the squares on land maps.  The Māori whakatauki on the wall and the rusted iron water tank tell contradictory stories of the permanence or fragility of the land and the people.

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

 He peke tangata, apa he peke titoki’ 
The human family lives on while the branch of the titoki falls and decays.


My third option is a city scape – I used an app called Tiny Planets which is a bit of fun to create the images in this collage. All the images are from the same photo but one is the original and the other two are edited in Tiny Planet.

three images in a row, the middle is a cityscape at sunset, the outer two are derivatives, edited through an app that makes them into planets

Back to nature for the last one. Once again on our wander into Hamilton Gardens on Anzac Day.  Autumn is good for seeds as well as mushrooms, and we saw these plants in various stages from fresh green pods to fully blown seeds.

seedburst 2

Too many choices again!

Rā 194 Rāmere 14 o Hōngongoi 

Another loss but a very close one. Boys were gutted and so were we! In between working we walked to the art galleries. Interesting collaborative projects in COCA, the contemporary art gallery. Then the main gallery with a real mixture of styles.

Standout for me was this one in COCO – a joint project which is a textile representation of tukutuku.