Rural Women New Zealand – stand out performance!

 I blogged about the Rowley Brooch in March. This is a follow up.

After publishing my blog I was invited to Alexandra by the Rural Women Committee to present the Rowley Brooch at the Otago – Southland regional conference. I thought how crazy to fly to Queenstown collect a rental car and then subject myself to having to speak in front of people renowned for their speaking abilities. I need my head read!! Anyway I decided to do this in memory of my Mother.

I arrived on a very wet and cold Autumn afternoon thinking again “I must be mad flying to Alexandra for this 30 minute stint”. Continue reading

Grandparents help list

One of the fun things grandparents get to do is buy ‘stuff’ for grandchildren. Sometimes we get  it wrong, sometimes it is a huge success. I’ve  drawn up a list of the most successful presents grandparents have given their grandchildren. Maybe it will help you find something different.  Continue reading

My Movie guide – July 2016

 

Recently I saw the movie Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman. I had not heard of Gertrude Bell but I tell you she was one inspiring woman. Born to British nobility with a strong will, her life took a turn when she escaped for a stint with an Uncle in the diplomatic Corp based in Tehran.  She has been nicknamed the female Lawrence of Arabia.movie 1

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, spy and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial … I recommend the movie, great scenery, great imagery of camels, gorgeous men and probably too much Hollywood. However on a winter afternoon who cares, not every movie has to  be outstanding.

Facts:

Gertrude Bell received her early education from Queens College in London and then later at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford at the age of 17. History was one of the few subjects women were allowed to study, due to the many restrictions imposed on them at the time. She specialised in modern history, in which she received a  1st class honours degree in two years.

Died: July 12, 1926, Baghdad, Iraq

Parents: Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet, Mary Shield

Alternative review

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The Basilicas of Rome movies

Why it was made in 3D I have no idea, anyway the photography is superb as the camera pans us up into the detail within the domes. Having been there it was a delightful look through Italian eyes at their stunning architecture and art. I had no idea the portals for the Papal  portraits had a limited number of spaces. When they built the Basilica they figured the world would have ended if they had so many Popes ( I can’t find out exactly how many)  – well recently that was changed and they added more portals.The documentary had many little known historic facts. Anyone slightly interested in history this is worth the 90 minutes.

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‘Eye in the Sky’ stars Helen Mirren. It is a riveting thriller about drone warfare and its perils, about the moral dilemmas facing those who pull the trigger.The chain of command is longer than you think!!  A very good and thought provoking movie that men and women can enjoy. Alternative review

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DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY & YOUR FUTURE.

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From where I am sitting in New Zealand the advent of phone photography has contributed to the understanding and appreciation of Photography as an art form. Some would disagree but I think people are realising that they can make images with their phone and that some people do it better than others. Photography as an art form is coming of age.  Galleries are happy to show photography and the public are flocking through their doors. The fact that I sold 10 fine art images at my recent exhibition in Auckland supports this statement. I know two other photographers who have sold works these past few weeks. Photography is collectible. Continue reading

Auckland Kaleidoscope – an exhibitors view.

5 sold 1Exhibiting during the Auckland Festival of Photography  – is it madness or pure pleasure? Well it is all of that and more.  Exhibiting is a roller coaster of emotions… I often wondered why I had agreed to say yes!  But I am delighted I did.

Winter Gardens SMALL copyThe Winter Gardensimg_1174-1Queen Street Auckland

Initially 6-8 months out from the exhibition date   I made the decision to have an exhibition it seemed  easy enough back then.  I also wanted a solo show, my first. So I had months to think about it and so with a flippant yes I was committed. Continue reading

The pakeha and the Maori

This is an article by Secundus under the heading The pakeha and the Maori and the sub heading “MEDICAL FILE …a doctor remembers.” It appeared in the Palmerston North newspaper in the  seventies. On the reverse are advertisements for Ford 1977Toyota Carona’s $7500.00as new 22,000 k’s. So this helps date the article. Note Maori has a capital M but pakeha did not. Continue reading

What is a good photograph?

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Many photographers never reach their potential or receive the recognition they deserve, or think they deserve. What makes a good photographer? or a good photograph?  Simple question, well no it is a very complex question. Do you mean a recognised photographer or a good photographer? Do you mean a financially successful photographer or a good photographer? Do you mean  a photo you’d hang on your wall or a headline image from the newspaper?

Image from Exhibitions Gallery – Newmarket – looking upwards to the Phillips Fox building in Queen Street, Auckland.

Continue reading

Spring Break in the USA

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 Float plane &  Luxury Fishing boat The Lady Di –  a 74 footer at Boca Grande.

Boca Grande Florida is the upmarket  holiday resort on Gasparilla Island in the Gulf of Mexico. B.C. became known when The Presidential  Bush family purchased property there. The homes are palatial water edge properties boasting all day sunshine and sparkling blue water. One home I noticed had everything, almost everything anyway: open the front door step into the pool, exit the pool and board your yacht moored at the gate, say good morning to the Manatee or the Dolphins swimming past and perhaps chase the tall White Heron out of your pool. This is Boca Grande – – I didn’t stay there – I cruised past!

Below: The Boca Grande MarinaFullSizeRender12 jpg

 

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Nearby is a lesser known holiday destination… Little Gasparilla Island where I did stay.  Continue reading

Secret Garden in Atlanta Georgia

imageIn the heart of downtown Atlanta lies a garden covering an acre of land. Nearby a four lane road carries traffic at a frenetic pace backwards and forwards; allowing little time for motorists to catch a glimpse of the colourful flowering azaleas at the entrance to the longish driveway.image

The house has a slightly Dutch styling to it with ornate decorations on the highest point- step inside and immediately you’re transported to an art gallery- colourful and eclectic. Continue reading

Sydney for EASTER or VIVID –

If you are travelling to Sydney read on..image

I always book a Silver Service cab to take me to the Sydney airport from wherever I am. They are reliable, an excellent service. However they are more difficult to locate on arrival in Sydney so I usually take pot luck with a taxi off the ramp or better still take the train to the city then find a cab…much cheaper.
On arrival I had pre -booked  Corporate Cabs Australia and they didn’t turn up!!

I’ve blogged about Sydney several times, check out this blog for day trip ideas and other tips.

Cafes, there are hundreds to choose from and some are doing very innovative food creations.

Menu items that caught my attention in Sydney this week were:
At my local Clovelly cafe The Top Hat I spied these:

Toast with sour cherry, fresh figs, ricotta and honey served on sour cherry toast.

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Drinks
Cold Drip Japanese filter coffee served on ice

Iced Chai
Affogato Expresso served with scoop of ice cream; Yes we have affogato on menus too, desert menus but this was on their drinks menu-
You could easily swap the Sour cherry toast for raisin bread I think!

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Lot 19 Cafe in Elizabeth Bay –
Poached eggs in clay on ratatouille with grana Padang and dipping toast
Juice
The Horny Bunny – Apple carrot ginger and celery.

I only had coffee and that was excellent and the folk were friendly.

Lunch
Fratelli Paradiso

A fabulous small Italian restaurant serving fresh cuisine, menu sample here.
Calamari Sant’ Andrea
squid fried, rocket, balsamic  22
Crudo
tuna ‘tonnato’  23
Bufala
heirloom, figs 24
Risotto
prawns, clams, cuttlefish, bottarga 29
Movies
I headed to the historic old Art Noveau Ritz Theatre in Randwick – interesting one car park building but no vacancies – not good for business and the street parking was only 1 hour! Anyway I enjoyed the movie; The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith. A great $9.00 worth- I thought Maggie Smith brilliant, I’d expect nothing less. The story is one most of us would rather not face – about being old and dealing with the elderly!
Re the theatre, it was built in 1937, it is an example of the art deco cinema architecture that found a home in Australia during the 1920s and 1930’s and has 5-6 theatres. It seems to have lost much of its elegance and style which is rather sad but it does run the best art movies.IMG_3612IMG_3609

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The Opera Houseimage
I parked underneath in the enormous car park. They validate your ticket if you attend a show, parking was only $19.00 for 2 hours. So always ask. Sometimes there is a seal basking on the steps – a local resident so watch for him ( or her!)  One of Sydney’s top restaurants is in the Opera House complex. Treat your self before or after the theatre Reservations suggested.
Lunch (Friday – Sunday 12:00pm – 2:00pm): 2 courses $100, 3 courses $130
Dinner (Monday – Sunday 6:30pm – 10:00pm): 3 courses à la carte menu $130

Another fun place to visit is The Grounds at Alexandria. A great selection of eateries  and a few animals to amuse the children. Look out for Kevin Bacon!

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Bus tickets sometimes cannot be purchased on board the buses, so buy an Opal card at a diary and put ten or twenty dollars on it, no expiry date. Efficient way to get in and out of the city. Parking in the city can easily be $50.00 for two hours!!

So this is just a few brief comments on our nearest getaway, Australia.. Air fares are cheaper than ever and Sydney has sooo much on offer. Watch for VIVID in May and June. The sails of Sydney Opera House will be lit with works by Indigenous artists for the first time this year for the Vivid Sydney festival from May 27 to June 18.

To photograph Vivid watch this video. and impress your friends with amazing images.

The shopping is amazing, remember to claim your tax back as you depart Sydney airport. Westfield in the city Level 4 has 3-4 fantastic women’s shoe stores, trust me I know!! There food hall is excellent, yes they have a  Michelin Chinese eatery there. Din Tai Fung Restaurant… I love it. 188 Pitt Street | Shop 504, Level 5.

An Aussie  funny to wind up with. 

”  We live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the local council   P & W office to request the removal of the WOMBAT CROSSING sign on our road.
The reason: ‘Too many wombats are being hit by cars out here! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.”
True Story from Australia.