Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

 While I was looking for photos for Thematic Photographic's BIG theme this week, I came across these photos of the 'Trojan Horse', taken when I visited Troy, in Turkey, last year. 

Before you visit Troy, the guidebooks warn that there "isn't much to see". Archaeologists have found evidence of 9 different civilisations, the first dating from 3000 BC and the last from about 200 AD. But there are no pillars or columns, no temples or statues to be seen. I didn't mind that one bit - I loved the peaceful grassy mounds and the stone remains of walls that are visible.

However there is this rather kitschy-looking wooden horse, which is supposed to be symbolic of the wooden horse which Odysseus had built to trick his way into the city.  You can go inside and climb up to look out of the square 'windows' and out of the horse's eyes, which of course I did.

Have a lovely Sunday!

"Always carry a frying pan by its handle" ~ Catalan proverb.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thematic Photographic: BIG

This week's theme is 'Big' - people have been posting some GREAT BIG PHOTOS !
Head over to Carmi at Written Inc if you're interested in finding out about this non-competition for people who like taking photos.
I'm going to limit myself to 3 shots this week. Click on the picture to make it BIGGER !
The Roman aqueduct near Aspendos. Those Romans sure thought big:

Barcelona, inside the Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia. I love the way the sunlight has turned
the column yellow and blue:

Finally some BIG people at my favourite place for hanging around and filling in time between flights: Singapore's Changi Airport

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

These are the camellias which are blooming today, in my mid-winter garden. Some of them are looking rather weather-beaten after all of the wind and rain we have had this past week.

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Holidays are good for you

This week's Thematic Photographic topic is Vacation. I am in the middle of a 2-week winter school break but I'm not planning any trips, other than to the supermarket or down to school to work there.
My first thought was to look in the albums of the overseas trips I've taken in the last few years. But then I decided to stay here in New Zealand, and chose some pics from a road trip a few years ago. These were taken on the shore of Lake Rotorua, in the central North Island, as the late afternoon light deepened into dusk...

Click to enlarge

 "Holidays restore what everyday life steals from you" 
~ Advertising slogan on a campaign currently running on some of our TV channels.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eulogy for a stranger

This morning I went to a funeral. He was a man I knew only superficially; I went as my husband's representative, as he is away overseas at the moment.

It wasn't a sad funeral, as send-offs go. The man was 90, and had been fit and well until a few weeks ago. Last week he bought a new exercycle, because he had "worn out the last one" doing his never-varied 11.1 km per day cycling regime. (Why 11.1 km? I have no idea.) 

A meticulous gardener, he had great pride in entering his garden into the annual district Garden Tour; today speakers enjoyed commenting on the green mower which sat amongst the memorabilia around his casket. He was a golf fanatic who played his last round at the end of June: "of late he had not bothered with carrying a scorecard; he just counted the number of pars he could get". He was gently scathing about people who use motorised golf carts and battery-assisted trundlers.

He and his wife of 46 years had never had children - instead, they had a huge extended family of nephews and nieces, greats and great-greats. The most moving tribute today was from a great-niece, a beautiful girl who came forward to speak simply and movingly about the precious hours she had spent with him and the love she bears him. He must have been extremely proud of her.

He was a true gentleman, a person of integrity and kindness. I wish I had known him better.

When I sat down to write this post, I had no intention of writing about the funeral. It just wrote itself, and the intended post, about birds I saw on my walk today, can wait for another day.

"Goodness in words creates trust, goodness in thinking creates depth, goodness in giving creates love."
~ Lao Tse

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunday Snapshots

Yippee! Friday was the last day of school for 2 weeks - our mid-winter break. Today is lovely and sunny after a slight frost. Manu LeGrand was very keen to get out for a walk; I've been a bit off-colour the last few days and the weather has been lousy, so there hasn''t been any walking to speak of.
We headed off up to the school grounds, which is his favourite walking place, and I took my camera instead of the ipod.
Remember to click on the pics to see them better.

Firstly, some parallels for Thematic Photographic's theme this week:

and the (parallel) rugby football posts:

The climbing wall is almost hidden among the trees

The school runs a large agricultural unit ... there will be calves (donated by local farmers) on these paddocks before too long:

and we also maintain a large area of native bush. It was lovely walking through it today, with the weak winter sun coming through the trees:

And there's a non-native interloper - an early-flowering rhododendron

The cricket practice nets will not be needed again for a few months yet

and by the look of that expanse of cloudless blue, it could be quite a heavy frost tonight!

When we get home, Sofie is waiting for us at the back door, posing nicely beside a camellia bush

Hope you all enjoy your Sundays, wherever you are.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sunday Snapshot 7

I'm being punished for crowing about what a beautiful, mild winter we were having! As I sit here, the rain/hail is battering at my window, the wind is shaking the house....
To cheer myself up I've picked this shot for my Sunday post this week.
I was spending the day on Capri, in late April. The weather was 
the complete opposite of what it is here at the moment!
This cheerful chap was having a break from the strenuous task of painting the benches in the Augustus Gardens, and was happy to say yes when I asked if I could take his photograph:

"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination." 
~Terri Guillemets

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Best Poems Ever

High Country Weather

Alone we are born,
And die alone.
Yet see the red-gold cirrus,
Over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland,
Ride easy stranger.
Surrender to the sky,
Your heart of anger.

- James K. Baxter.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thematic Photographic 152: Vertical

I  loved this theme - it sent me trawling through so many of my photo albums, and 
brought back many happy memories.
Don't forget, the shots look better if you click to enlarge them. 
Visit Carmi at Written Inc. to take part and see other verticalities.

So, here we go:

These poles are strategically placed so that kiwifruit vines will climb up them

The old pumphouse from the goldmine at Waihi, New Zealand

Some of the many spires on La Sagrada Familia cathedral, Barcelona

 Columns at Corinth

And columns at Delphi

And MORE columns, this time at Pompei

Lovely spires here: the Duomo, Milan

One of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen: the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The beautiful facade of the library at Ephesus

Finally, the flagpoles ready for the annual ANZAC ceremony at Gallipoli

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunday Snapshot 6

It's the middle of winter.
It's a beautiful sunny morning, but I figure the birds think
that it's too cold for a dip in the estuary...