Westfield Newmarket rolls out the future

Recently I was issued with hobnail boots, a high vis jacket and a hard hat for a tour of the biggest project undertaken in New Zealand.  Sean Nash, Project Manager and Dorita Munro the Community Relations Manager, took me up to the top dome area via the scaffolding to inspect this massive  construction site.

Westfield, Newmarket is undergoing a total reconstruction. If you think a knee reconstruction is major, take a look at this project.

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Photographer Melanie Burford

Introducing New Zealand’s only Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Melanie Burford. Some of you will be fascinated to see how life after the Pulitzer has unfolded, others will be captivated by this talented woman.  My sincere thanks to Melanie for sharing her thoughts on things photographic.

When I first met you as a young photographer I recall you working for The Evening Post newspaper in New Zealand. Your father John is a well known New Zealand photographer and you looked to be following in his footsteps. Within a few years you were off working in Dallas, Texas as a newspaper photographer. A dream job for a young New Zealand woman. Continue reading

My Letters to New Zealand from San Francisco – 1968,69

In 1968 I arrived in San Francisco to nanny for an influential and affluent American family; they had ten children. I was to be in charge of the six youngest. They had a Japanese cook, a cleaner and a driver so I was pretty much the caregiver for the children ; driving them to and from school when required , shopping for their clothes at   ” I Magnin’s Department Store”, dressing them for dinner party appearances etc. The older children were away at boarding school. The home was three-storied with two sets of stairs in the beautiful Nob Hill area. In fact the street was made famous in the Steve McQueen movie BullittIt was filmed in and around San Francisco in late April 1968. It featured a tremendous amount of on-location filming. Best remembered for the car-chase. One of the film’s scenic location shots (there are many) is of a house at 2700 Vallejo Street, at the corner of Vallejo and Divisadero in the Pacific Heights section of the city.

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Steam Punks, Steam Trains and Al Pacas!

ˈstiːmpʌŋk/

noun

a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.

“the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist”  Continue reading

I’m reposting “BROKEN DREAMS” on request from one or two people…

email broken dreams_

Being widowed is no picnic…

I was widowed over ten years ago and now days I can talk about  it more easily. At the time our dreams for the future were shattered.

If your husband (wife/partner) dies suddenly, that is quite different from someone dying  from the ghastly cancer.  I wouldn’t dare suggest how others might respond. They are all totally different journeys. I nursed my husband for months, and this article is about how I managed my grief.

If these words help even one of you I will be pleased. Everyone’s experience is quite different so we mustn’t judge others on our own journey, it seems to me that our lives prior to this tragic event have a huge bearing on our ability to deal with this and move forward. Some folk are not emotionally able to move on and hit a brick wall.   What goes before has  a huge bearing on who we are and how we cope with life’s curve balls   People don’t choose to react negatively, I’m  sure of that. They just cannot see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not talking about the elderly here, more about people in their prime of life. Make no mistake, it’s tough.  Continue reading

Letters to my parents – 1968

In February 1968 I traveled to Australia as a young Karitane Nurse. Recently the letters I wrote home were discovered, my Mother had kept them all and some of the snippets, I think, are worth repeating here. Remembering  I was raised on a farm in Central Otago and then I had been to boarding school so I had a rather sheltered up bringing!!  My letter writing was prolific, 3-4 pages hand written most weeks. Postage was 7c Airmail to New Zealand. Continue reading

‘I MAY BE GONE FOR SOME TIME’

Last year I blogged about the Rural Women’s  speech writing award I presented  in memory of my Mother Pat Rowley. The award is The Rowley Brooch and you can read about the award  here. Jenny Malcolm from North Otago won the Rowley Brooch in 2016 and to my delight went on to win the National Awards in Wellington.

jenny malcom

Myself with Jenny Malcolm on the left

Jenny has kindly allowed me to reproduce her speech here. all contestants were given the same topic from the annals of history.

Captain Lawrence Edward Grace “Titus” Oates (  1880 –  1912)  was an English army officer, and later an Antarctic explorer, who died during the Terra Nova Expedition. . Oates, afflicted with gangrene and frostbite, walked from his tent into a blizzard. His death is seen as an act of self-sacrifice when, aware that his ill-health was compromising his three companions chances of survival, he chose certain death.  As he left his tent he said  “I might be gone for some time”.

Topic “I may be gone for some time….” Time 3-5 minutes.

Here is Jenny Malcolm’s words  and interpretation of the topic; and I can assure you her delivery was exceptional. 

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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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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

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY & YOUR FUTURE.

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