’tis the Season to shop…

 

I love wandering around the shops at this time of year..so many amazing unique gifts. Of course I can not buy them all and I don’t need any of them; perhaps that is why I like to window shop and share my discoveries of the unique, practical and bazaar!!

wreaths

Blush in Gladstone Road Parnell is a very attractive florist shop  but they are different from most florists. The wreaths are from Blush in Parnell. They also sell a range of bespoke gifts such as this beautifully packaged tea and cute soaps, miniature orchids and bespoke books.teaand these beautifully packaged message soaps; they come in about 20 shades of pastel.

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Locally made South Island Gin – The Source $120.00 a bottle makes a unique gift.

Rose Rabbit New Zealand Orange Liqueur –

The Cardrona

New Zealand Single Malt Whisky

‘the reid’ Single Malt Vodka –

Check out the website for ordering on line.

A couple of books to consider – 

An extraordinary diary from ‘The Vietnamese Anne Frank’, now in paperback I hear is a great read…its on my holiday list. 9781846040764

Last Night I Dreamed of Peace is the moving diary kept by a 27-year-old Vietnamese doctor who was killed by the Americans during the Vietnam War, while trying to defend her patients. Not only is it an important slice of history, from the opposite side of Dispatches and Apocalypse Now, but it shows the diarist – Dang Thuy Tram – as a vibrant human being, full of youthful idealism, a poetic longing for love, trying hard to be worthy of the Communist Party and doing her best to look after her patients under appalling conditions. She wrote straight from the heart and, because of this, her diary has been a huge bestseller in Vietnam – 350,000 copies sold in 2005 alone. Rider brings the first English translation, in book form, to the Commonwealth markets. But there is more: how the diary came to light is also an unusual story in its own right. Fred Whitehurst was a US intelligence officer on the scene just after Dang Thuy Tram was shot. He came across the diary and, instead of burning it there and then, took it home. His brother translated it and so began an odyssey that took 35 years, to find Thuy Tram’s family in Vietnam, and return the small brown book to them. Remarkably, in 2005, Fred Whitehurst tracked down the young doctor’s mother who graciously accepted it from this former GI who, as a result, was able to complete his own journey of reconciliation after years of bitterness as a Vietnam vet. $29.95rrp. PaperPlus etc. or as an E book from Amazon.

Below is my own personal bespoke coffee table book, this makes a beautiful gift. Buy from Blurb.com US$109.99 or more depending on Blurbs Pricing and currency. :)  Large Format Landscape, 13×11 in, 33×28 cm  98 Pages – Preview available on line –

ICE are photographs taken in Scoresby Sound East Greenland and Jökulsárlón  in Iceland.

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Processed with Snapseed.

My favourite Iceberg photo from the book.

 

img_0489These cotton robes and sun hats scream SUMMER from Isobel Harris in Newmarket.

img_0491Seletti are in Queenstown and Auckland… lots of fun and quirky gifts. These fabulous “sitting” monkey lamps are $790.00 or the neon Letter Lights.

 

cheeseWhitestone Cheese are an award-winning NZ company.  An original wooden gift box containing six award-winning varieties of our range. We courier New Zealand wide and will include your message in the box. $50.00 Check out their full selection.

 

Give a Kowhai tree this Christmas… it will help with your Carbon Footprint too.36 – 43cm high baby tree in wooden planter containing high quality potting mix.

  • Purpose designed Trees Please! gift box made of sustainable untreated plantation pine (45cm high)
  • Copper tag for recipient to mark the occasion and date the gift is received.
  • Information on care, repotting and planting tree for best results.
  • Complimentary Trees Please! message card

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Mugler is the new perfume from ANGEL and the  bottle is a limited edition for Christmas. Stunning – I was naughty and bought myself this Christmas present!!

Fragrance notes: bergamot, praline, vanilla/patchouli/musk

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So those are my best pics for this Christmas season.

Have special times with your family and friends…love one another and enjoy every day!!

 

Expedition Greenland

passportOne of the worlds sought after Passport stamps – Greenland.

Somehow I’ve booked myself on an ‘expedition’ to East Greenland. I have no idea what I have let myself in for other than an adventure and a chance to see Icebergs!! It is my 70th birthday present to me!! We keep being told ‘you’ll never do it younger’ so I did it!   – Greenland is the largest island in the world but also one of the worlds most sparsely populated regions. It originally belonged to Denmark.  Pop.approx. 56,483 and only about 150  live on East Greenland. I am publishing my personal diary here so please enjoy and put this trip on your bucket list!

Day 1

We arrived at a small airfield and joined our charter flight, duration  90 minutes to Constable Point in our twin prop plane…. We flew over vast  flat waste land before seeing a few mountains to the north-west of Iceland. Suddenly below us were small white dots , actually icebergs and as we approached Greenland the sea was dotted with hundreds of icebergs sunbathing beneath a clear blue sky. We dropped onto a dirt runway and were ushered into a half-dome shaped shed with 58 pairs of rubber waterproof boots neatly lined up!lmc-04657

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Essential Iceland – a day trip.

landscape

Essential Iceland  is my short story about a one day trip I did in a very large truck from Reykjavik in Iceland generally to the heart of the country.

This was advertised as an all day trip. The Visitors bureau did not mention we needed to bring lunch and I presumed it would be supplied – anyway Valdi, our fabulous guide,  took us to a gas station to buy some sustenance. ( it is on their website but I had not been privy to that.)  Once on our way Valdi gave us lots of geological information about the mountainous region surrounding us. We headed north and then in land on sealed roads.

We passed the home of the only Icelandic Noble prize winner Halldór Laxness. Awarded in 1955. Laxness wrote poetry, newspaper articles short stories and novels.

‘Independent People’ is his most famous book set in the early twentieth century, it recalls both Iceland’s medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter. And if Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book’s protagonist, is an ordinary sheep farmer, his flinty determination to achieve independence is genuinely heroic and, at the same time, terrifying and bleakly comic.

I wonder if the recent movie ‘Rams’ was inspired by this famous Icelandic read.?

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ICELAND in brief.

Iceland is perhaps similar to New Zealand..it has many waterfalls, lush green hills, volcanoes, glaciers and geysers and it is an island. The  roads are two lanes  however unlike NZ they drive on the right. And to be honest it is totally different so do some research and plan a vacation! To discover why Iceland and Greenland are mis-named check out this. They were cunning back in those days!!

Below: Reykavich

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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