Essential Iceland – a day trip.


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 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 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.


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


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.


‘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






narrative clip ppg

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?


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.

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Spring Break in the USA


 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



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