Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

A few weekends ago, I went with my daughter and my two grandchildren to the
agricultural fair at a small neighbouring town.
There were a number of events during the time we were there:
wood-chopping, Highland dancing, dog-handling etc.

By far the most unusual was a group of women, mostly middle-aged-or-older,
who presented a programme of belly-dancing. They were certainly having a great deal of fun.
The first few numbers were danced to middle-eastern-type music, but then they switched to country-and-western tunes...

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
~ Hamlet

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thematic Photographic 184: Curved

For this week's theme I have a collectic ellection an eclectic collection 
of curved shots from near and far...

I could have done a whole post on my favourite architect/artist, Gaudi - but I restrained myself to just one shot of a ventilation cover on the roof of the Casa Batllo, Barcelona ~

Now I'm inside the Grand Mosque in Bursa, Turkey ~

Walking into, and around the top of, a recently-formed crater of Mt Etna in Sicily ~

Back in New Zealand, here's a wintry late afternoon shot in Wellington ~

and some lovely curvy blossoms in a garden in Taranaki ~

Visiting the Auckland zoo - this is a whale's backbone ~

Three curved shots from my neighbourhood ~

And my last curve: goodnight, moon...

If you'd like to see more posts for this theme, visit Written Inc and look around!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thematic Photographic 183: Pairs

Some pairs from a day in Auckland for this week's Thematic Photographic - 

This pair of native birds made a lovely mural on a wall of a shopping precinct:

And there's a pair  of mannequins in the window:

At the zoo I saw this pair:

And a couple of seals sunbathing on a rock.

At the Art Gallery I took a pic of this pair - I think the guy spotted me!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back to school

I haven't been around the blog world very much lately, I'm afraid - just a quick check now and then, the occasional comment. I have been day-blurringly busy, and I do 
miss having the time to linger.

Our new school year began on February 1st. I had gone in most days for several weeks before that, and felt as if I was pretty well prepared - HA! The reality of kids in front of you plus the million things associated with the beginning of the year - plus the sad sudden death of a just-retired colleague - all of it has been making me feel as if I don't have a second to spare. Last night I took the dog for his walk at 10.30! 

Apart from that there are lots of changes happening in my outside-school life, connected with selling the house we have been in for 24 years, all of the stresses that go with clearing out stuff, packing stuff, looking for somewhere to live ... whew. You get the picture.
I hope to get some time to myself some day week month soon. I haven't forgotten y'all!

In the meantime, have a wonderful day today

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Charles

Yesterday was the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

image from

I credit Dickens, via the agency of my mother, for my lifelong love of literature, 
my excellent university results (yes, I'm boasting, but I'm allowed to be proud), and 
my career as an English teacher. 

You see, when I was very small, my mother, like many before and since, read me bedtime stories. What did she read? Dickens. Not Enid Blyton, not Noddy and Big Ears - no, it was Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol ... She said she didn't see any point 
in reading me what she called "kiddie rubbish"!

As part of my undergraduate degree I did a paper in Victorian Literature - hated most of it, except the Dickens. I don't read him now; I read widely but most often choose fantasy/sci-fi. But what a master of characterisation he was; I have always been instantly able to conjure up a mental picture of Uriah Heep, Bill Sykes or Miss Havisham.

image from
What a superstar! he was the first media celebrity, witing his serials in the newspaper; each episode ended with a cliffhanger, to keep readers hanging out for the next one. Today, he'd be writing Coronation Street.

I liked Google's birthday doodle yesterday - if you didn't see it, here it is:

image from

"I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies!" 
(from Bleak House)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

This morning I visited the small town of Katikati, which publicises itself as The Mural Town.

Murals are found on buildings all over the town, depicting the people and events 
of the town's past. Here are two of them, one on the side of the Library, and the 
second one just on the side of a shop:

There are many more, but it was an overcast morning, and the town was so busy that I couldn't get near them for cars and people. I'll have to go back on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Screens - Thematic Photographic

A different kind of theme this week: screens. I began counting up the number of tech-type screens I own and/or work with every day. Scary!

For a start, here are two ordinary screens; the fly screen on the back door of my house

and the monitor on one of our TV sets.

For more posts on this theme, go to Written Inc.