Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tonight Warkworth. Tomorrow The World...

Margaret and Brett who, like at least eight of the thirteen who make up 'The Mahuleles' had never played a musical instrument before picking up a Uke six months ago.
Here they tune up before last night's Charity Concert for Women's Refuge at Matakana's Ascension Vineyard.
They played their first gig to an enthusiastic audience of around 2oo who yelled for more, and in doing so, many of the group laid a lot of personal demons to rest.
Break a leg people...
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quake Quake Quake...

As of a few minutes ago the afterquakes in the Christchurch area numbered 1153 and there's no sign of them stopping.
Many streets have cordoned off properties with red stickers attached signifying they will be demolished.
It will take some time for people there to get their lives back on an even keel.
Some never will...
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Matakana Matters...

When the Rodney Council ran a competition to design a toilet facility for the lovely Matakana Village, Mike de Haan, a local potter of distinction, thought it would be a good project for him to enter.
Like father like son, so did 17 year old Steffan de Haan who thought he might do a pretty good job.
The judges thought so too and awarded the prize to Steffan whose design was chosen from 25 entries.
The winning design as is so often the case, has been controversial ever since.
It was finally 'opened for business' in 2009 and has become an iconic landmark for Matakana, already famous for it just being Matakana, its weekend markets, its wineries, fabulous food and its amazing art.
Steffan, after studying sculpture at Elam Art School in Auckland decided architecture was his thing and is now at Wellington's School of Architecture.
Another Hundertwasser perhaps...
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Plunk Plunk Plunk...

The 'umble Uke is staging a resurgence here in New Zealand.
And it's on a roll.
Schools who traditionally taught the Recorder as the basic musical instrument have now turned to the Ukulele and it's climbed the charts to claim number one position as the most popular instrument.
Thousands of happy plunkers are forming groups all over this fair land and on a clear day you might hear 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and other popular songs whenever you may pause for a minute.
Pictured are the Warkworth group, The Mahuleles in rehearsal yesterday at the Ascension Vineyard.
Plinkity, plonkity, plink play the plunkers...
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Some Mothers Do Have Them...

And sometimes some mothers do need them.
Marie was at the Matakana Market yesterday and obviously needed pacifying...
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Zealand Whitebait Fritters...

For all you Foodies in other parts of the world who wanted to know what Whitebait, the famous New Zealand delicacy looked like... here you are.
The reason for today's late posting is that I was sampling these wonderful delights and got carried away with the magic of the Saturday Matakana Market.
So here is this very small and ridiculously expensive and mouth watering treat.
As you can see, they are almost translucent in colour and the little black spot you might be able to see is their eye. They are a bit small to be filleted... the left one has been turned and the right one about to and then off the heat, a bit of salt, ground black pepper and some lemon juice.
You are now drooling and your mouth is salivating with anticipation.
You may be seen to dribble a little.
How embarrassing. But never mind.
You will bring the delight to your mouth.
The next feeling you have will be pure ecstasy...
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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Haves And The Have Nots...

It's nothing new is it.
This sort of image is familiar to us all but should never be dismissed or forgotten.
The preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi near completion for the grand opening on October 3.
Even before the new structures are finished, some have already collapsed.
All this at a cost of squillians of rupees.
And across the road, wishfully out of sight, out of mind and behind the barbed wire fence, live the dispossessed and the poor whose needs are few but rarely met...
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beautiful Nature Photography...

Katie Fuller makes stunning photographs of insects, birds and moths.
Shown here is the Southern Hawker in flight.
To have a look at more of her beautiful images, go to
I love her work...
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Evegenia Kanaeva wins Gold with this amazing contortion in the Hoop Competition at the Rythmic Gymnastics in Moscow.
(Photo AP)
Wow! I did have trouble trying this one...
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Yes Well Anyone Can Do that...

Chilean Christina Contreras performs at the 30th Rythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Moscow. (Photo AP)
Come on, it's not all that difficult...
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Leonard...

Leonard Cohen.
Singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist.
Born September 21, 1934. Hallelujah!
This marvellous man has a special place in the hearts of many.
Em, Carli, Richard, Wendy, Roger, Marilyn,
send their love and best wishes.
And so do I...
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Seashore Treasure...

There's such natural beauty all around us if we just take a moment to allow it into our field of vision and our consciousness.
I found this example of Nature's brilliance, design and colour on the beach this morning...
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Fish Weren't Cooked In BP Oil...

According to Associated Press,
biologists have now determined that the fish seen here in their thousands in the Mississippi River did not die as a result of the BP oil spill.
Evidently, low tides and very high temperatures combined to create extremely low levels of oxygen and the fish suffocated, dying of natural causes.
Baked fish anyone...
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Monday, September 20, 2010

My New Sleeping Companion...

I've been sleeping with quite literally a 'block of wood' the last couple of nights.
Some of you will be familiar with the feeling I'm sure, but let's not go there.
I found it. I'll call it it, rather than him or her, just in case you think I'm kinky or weird, when I was out wandering.
Not much to look at, I'll grant you, a bit rough around the edges and obviously hewn by a man with a heavy blunt instrument.
However, as they say about beauty, it's within and so I thought I'd take it within and put it on the fire when I was overcome by the familiar and beautiful fragrance of freshly cut 'Macracarpa' wood.
Rather than moaning with pleasure where I was, I returned home to TFT with my newfound treasure thinking about love at first sight and realised this was love at first sniff.
That's how she, woops, I mean it, came to be lying next to my pillow when I sleep.
And no, the earth hasn't moved and nor do I have to say 'sorry, was it your turn' or 'stop snoring darling'.
It's the simple things in life that give the most pleasure...
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sitting Pretty...

Ok, well let's ride. Woops I mean, let's get the show on the road. No, I'll try that again. If you'll just fasten your saddle belts ladies and gentlemen, and put your feet in the stirrups, stirrups, what stirrups, we'll prepare for take off...
According to Rebecca Boyle and USA Today, this new seat thingy is called a 'Skyrider' and it's a cross between a saddle and a chair.
It's designed to save airlines money, cram more people in and pretend to mimic the incredibly comfortable experience of riding a horse at 30,000 feet...
'This is your captain speaking. We were scheduled to fly to New Zealand today but the weather there is shit, thousands of homes are without power, lightening strikes are a dime a dozen and they are experiencing small tornadoes and hurricane winds in some areas. Trees are down in many places and as they're going through a bit of a bad patch with earthquakes and this big storm.
We'll fly there another day.
There are reports coming through though of a Flying Tortoise basking in the sun but this could be just media hype...'

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bed Of Roses For Sale...

Many of you will remember Jypsy Jude's beautiful Bedford bus featured on this blog a few months ago. (See May 13)
She now has her lovely bus for sale on
Look for '1972 J2 Bedford Bus'.
Bed of Roses is a wonderful work of art and will feature in Lloyd Kahn's soon to be published and eagerly awaited book 'Tiny Houses'.
At $17,000 it seems like an art heist to me...
Jypsy Jude and Bed Of Roses will be at 'Another Laidback Beddy Rally' to be held at the Paeroa Racecourse, Labour Weekend, 23, 24, 25 October...
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Beach Bounty...

But when I got there, the cupboard was bare.
No yummy crabs to feast on and certainly not any crayfish.
There's a gale warning in place as a monster low the size of Australia is approaching little New Zealand.
I've battened down the hatches as it were and water and firewood are in abundance.
There is always lots of good food in the pantry with fresh fruit and vegetables to last for some time.
So I guess even though this beach is on the East coast, it will be a while before it's this benign again.
But what treasures will be waiting...
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fish And No Chips Highway...

No, this isn't your run-of-the-mill asphalt and stone chip highway.
It's actually a section of the Mississippi River that's been clogged with these small dead fish as a result of the BP oil spill.
Drive on by to for more about fish and no chips to go...
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Air Conditioned Motorhome...

Tom Wilson and friends ride in style at this years' 'Burning Man' Festival.
This rather large quad bike is called 'Dog Sled'. Why, I know not.
There are others you might like to see too on
And if you've never heard of
'The Burning Man' Festival, google it and go there. It's amazing.
Or is fantastic a better word...
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cute Camper...

Geoffery lives in this very cute little camper.
It's a 12ft caravan atop a Mazda chassis.
Complete with a Little Cracker fireplace it is a lovely living space. Home today is Uretiti and Wednesday is washday of course...
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Artist Mioke...

I've been meaning to share this with you
for some time.
The wonderful artist Mioke has some works presented on
Exquisite isn't it...
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

But Will It Fly...

Hare's a Bug pretending to be a Tortoise but it still looks like a Beetle to me...
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Worth A Thousand Words...

Such a poignant image by Mark Mitchell.
Jim Deans, the owner of this once wonderful historic homestead, head bowed in sadness and contemplation, walks past his earthquake destroyed Homebush residence.
The worst natural disaster to befall New Zealand, perhaps ever, but remarkably with no lives lost, and the beautiful picturesque Christchurch is a city down but not out.
The Government is shoving bureaucracy aside in an all out effort to not only put the city back together but also very quickly putting packages in place for homeless folk and people out of work.
The original estimated cost of the earthquake has now doubled to around 4 billion dollars and rising.
Disasters have a habit of bringing out the best in people and it is very true here at this time.
One instance of community spirit is a group of teenagers, banding together after forming a Help Group on social network Facebook and now, over a thousand of them, armed with shovels and other gear are going door to door to assist where they can.
I'm proud to be a Kiwi...
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