Sunday, May 31, 2009

Coyles Park

Coyles Park is at Pt Chevalier, one kilometer's walking distance away. My school holds her annual cross country run and sports day there. 

We were there on Tuesday for our cross country run. I saw this new triangle wooden triangle. I tried to line it with our Sky Tower making it as though the Sky Tower is an extension of the tip of the triangle. In fact, the sky tower is about 6 kilometers away. I didn't exactly succeed. I took two photos and decided it was close enough.

The Sky Tower is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. For the brave and adventurous, you can sky dive, a modified form of bungy from the tower, or yo can walk round the edge of the tower. On the viewing floor, parts of the floor is made of fortified transparent material, you can look down to the cars below. Many people do not dare to step on this viewing floor.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


This afternoon, I saw this beautiful Thunderbird at a multi-level car park at New Market. Here it is for you, Patty. I wish it is mine to give to you. After downloading the photos, I wonder why the license plate shone and you can't see its number. I didn't notice its licence plate as I was in a hurry in case the owner asked me why I was taking it's photo. The dingy car park didn't do it justice. It should be valet parked outside some five star hotel.

Scenic Sunday: Rangitoto, Auckland's youngest volcano

Scenic Sunday:

Rangitoto Island was formed by a series of eruptions between 600 and 700 years ago. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with its distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 metres (850 ft) high over the Hauraki Gulf. You can see it on all the other volcanoes on the mainland and also along the Tamaki Drive. 

The side facing Auckland city has vegetation. The ocean facing side is still volcanic rocks. 

Rangitoto is Māori for 'Bloody Sky', with the name coming from the full phrase Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-te-kapua

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday Shoot out: water

Friday Shoot out for this week is Water,

I was born in Sibu, Borneo. Sibu is along Rejang River which is 350 miles long. We have very high tropical rainfall, about 144 inches annually. Every December, part of the town is flooded. Our houses are on stilts, and the water level comes up to our thighs. I learned to respect the power of the river when after the flood, I see dead cats, dogs and chicken among the flotsam.

I am doing this challenge from a different angle. Water at its different forms. New Zealand is lucky to have so many forms of water. These photos are just the tip of the iceberg. I welcome you all to come and visit us.

Up in the mountains of Papua New Guinea. Mist is a permanent feature. After being married to the water engineer, many of our photos are about water of one form or the other. He took these Papua New Guinea photos when he was there recently on work assignment.

This is steam from a geyser. The more water there is in under ground, the higher will the geyser shoot up. This was taken at the Crater of the Moon. You only pay $6. A commercial tour guide will take you to an expensive place and see the same geysers.

This is a Papua New Guinea dug out. It is almost similar to those I was accustomed to when I grew up in Borneo.

Pneumatophore penetrates the muddy sand at Walker Park Marine Reserve. At low tide, water fills your foot prints soon after you take another step. At high tide, these shoots are submerged in the salt sea water. It takes years for them to grow to mangrove trees. The mangrove trees in Borneo are different, they are tall trees and are used for piling for the foundations of buildings.

This is another location of the Crater of the Moon. We take all our overseas guests there. The height of the geyers depends of the amount of underground water. Some years, there is a lot of geothermal activities. Some years there are less. One year, a German tourist wandered off and he was killed.

New Zealand has a lot of geo thermal activities. These are the cooling tanks of a geothermal power station at Wairekei in Taupo. The water engineer loves this place. Sometimes we even go inside the station.

Looking down the power flowing water of the Huka falls, jet boats operate. I was on top of the fall when the boat came very close to the river where the water came thundering down.

In my young days, we went in one of these rides, the boat went 360 degrees. My friend shot into the bow of the boat and got quite a bump on his head. These jets were called shot over jets. I don't go on these jets any more, so if you are my guest, I could take you there, but you would have to do it by yourself. Lately, there has been some accidents.

On the volcanic Rotorua lake, this sea plane lands on water. This plane will take you on a air safari across volcanic activities.

Just next to the plane, there are many black miniature ducks. I have never seen ducks so small. Tourist like to feed these ducks.

Across the Ocean in Australia, water is a very precious commodity. My sisters Rose and Elizabeth went to visit a farm. They took a photo of this pipe,

This is a nice green photo which reminds me of the country of my birth. Sarawak in Borneo. The pitcher plants are natives there, and it is generally called Monkeys' cups. Apparently monkeys use them as cups. My Dad used to grow water lilies in big jars with dragon mortif that business man used to import salted duck eggs. These giant jars were too big for the boot of his little Fiat. He paid a trishaw rider to take these jars home. He also reared little fish and turtles.

In the 1980s, some one in New Zealand was selling these jars for $150 and I couldn't believe my eyes. The humble salt eggs dragon jar has been flogged off as an antique.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday stills: Yellow

In the town Sarikei, in Sarawak Borneo, where my Dad worked for some years as the Divisional Education Officer, the pineapple is the mascot. Here is a giant ten feet tall pineapple. I have eaten the best Sarawak pineapples that there is none as good as the Sarawak Pineapple. Ask people from Singapore, and they will agree.

We were in Singapore, and had a Kiwi visitor. I had to crop her face because I didn't ask her permission to post this photo. I took her with my children to visit Singapore's "resort" island Sentosa. There was a man there who charged $5 and allowed you to handle the python. My brave visitor and my daughter both spent $5.

Against the Chinese beliefs that we shouldn't be in the rain, I let D, then five to enjoy, "I am singing in the rain." I bought her a raincoat, gum boots and sewed her a pair of leggings. She had great fun, and I was there too, but with an umbrella. There was a heavy rainstorm, and part of our garden became a paddling pool. You can see from her face that she greatly enjoyed it.

Sam was a Teletubby toddler. He loved Lala. I was worried he would be "stupid" after reading all the controversial discussions about the Teletubbies. Sam turned out fine. I needn't have worried.

We went to USA, and this was a train at Washington DC. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where downstairs, there was a station. The yellow seats were padded, unlike those hard seats in the MRT of Singapore. I knitted those colourful vests D and G were wearing. The yellow stood out.

You are right to think that this is orange, and not yellow. The sheep skin rug was yellow. I have no idea why the photo after all these years changed it's colour. I want to share this New Zealand story. My friends tell me that all Kiwi babies are given a sheep skin rug. They gave D one, which was twenty four years ago. You can't see her in the push chair, but she was there. She still has the rug.

This is a Kelabit mortif on a skirt that my Kelabit Sis-in-law Elly wore on her wedding night. She danced her tradition dance with hornbill feathers.

In year 2000, when G was twelve, the water engineer, G and I walked miles and miles in the freezing rain to Franz Josef glacier. This photo showed the terminus of the glacier. It is imperative that people obey the signs. Two brothers died when they didn't.

This was D's five year's old birthday. In New Zealand, children went to school at five years old, the day after their birthday. They don't anymore, I think now, they have a few in take a year. D's birthday was in December, she went to school for two weeks. Then they broke up for the long summer holiday. Here she was, on a McDonald's yellow slide, and a lemon dress her mum made. At that time, clothing were very expensive because there were no cheap foreign imports. I made all my children's clothing, and even some of mine and the water engineer's.

This was Summer, we were in some fun park. The kayak was powered by me as we meander about in the park. We didn't go very fast of course.

Sunday Stills the next Challenge: The color Yellow

As children, we always draw sunbeams yellow.
Sun flowers bring a cheer to my face.
We have the smiley happy faces yellow.
I think yellow is a happy colour/color.

Friday shoot out: Red

You don't need a cold winter day to enjoy a spicy and sour Tom Yum Khong soup. This is a clssical prawn soup from Thailand. My family loves this. I cooked this bowl of soup.

A pair of lollipops. They are so important for schools. My students have to pass exams to become traffic patrol or wardens.

Baptist Charity boxes for you to deposit your unwanted clothes, shoes, toys and anything else you don't have a need for. The Baptist Shops will sell them as pre loved items. In times of recession, it is good to recycle your things instead of dumping them,

After a hard day's work, or a long hike, I like to pamper my feet with five kinds of red flowers.  Do this, and your tootsies will thank you for it. They will emerge smelling wonders.

I don't know why these two fish photos got uploaded together. The top fish is a perch and was my dinner. This bottom red fish is a mascot of some football team.

This was at the Pasifika festival. The Labour party came to rally support from the Polynesians.

Olivier my niece in her red T-shirt holding the flathead fish she caught with her brothers in Australia.

Red letter boxes of an old post office.

The post office has cut costs and streamlined the size of the boxes. I wonder if the box holder pays the same rental?

Shoot out assignment for Friday, May 22: "Paint the Town Red." 

This assignment is easy. There are so many things that are red. I wear a lot of red things. My doctor told me that it is nice to wear red in winter, cheers everyone up, instead of the drab black colour.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Svargo , the mime artist.

My students were lucky to be entertained and taught by Svargo. The kids had great fun miming his motor cycle ride. I have learnt a bit of miming myself to teach my students.

svargo began his career in West Berlin in 1978 where his love for mime inspired him to study it extensively. He has become recognised as a leading exponent of this art form, and has taught and performed throughout Europe. We are delighted that Australian and New Zealand students now have the opportunity to experience this fine actor in performance.

The Performance
In this excellent introduction to mime, Svargo demonstrates the diversity of his art, each vignette depicting a different technique. He creates for us such memorable characters as the robot, Hari-Kiri and the Nerd.

Svargo's style is very humorous, his allusions astounding, his talent and skills extraordinary. This is indeed a polished performance. Of course, the audience is enthusiastically involved and the interaction results in everyone thoroughly enjoying the presentation.

The performance covers drama, language, maths, communication, social behaviour and problem solving skills.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dress Codes: Restaurant Rules

" This is a more high class "rules sign in Singapore. Alice, do you know where it is? I am not going to name the place as I may be barred from entering the next time I visit Singapore.

By-election Fever: June 13

The Mt Albert seat was left vacant by the previous Prime Minister Helen Clark who went to work for the United Nations. There are many contestants.  There is a lot of knocking on doors, and party supporters who put advertisement signs at their fence.  On public land, usually at junctions of road, each candidate is allowed to put up his/her sign.

I had a chance to work on the voting booth, but I declined They tell me that it is long hours. Back in 1975, I had a job counting the votes in Borneo.

By-election fever: David Shearer

David Shearer, a high-ranking United Nations official is the Labour Party's candidate in the by-election in the parliamentary seat of Mt Albert left vacant by Helen Clark who left to work in the United nations.
I am not a member of any political party, but I support the under dog, the poor working class. In my university days, I worked in factories in the long summer break. That has influenced my thinking.
With Shearer's CV, I know who I will vote on June 13. Shearer was standing outside my school entrance as I was going home. His supporter gave me his red flyer. I did a double take, and went back to take his photo. He was most obliging and thanked me. Of course he doesn't know that I am doing a post about him.
Shearer is an aid worker who has spent much of the past two decades in the world's worst war zones: Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Lebanon and now Iraq.
Herald files show a number of close calls, such as surviving an armed hold-up by bandits in Mogadishu to being on the ground in Belgrade while it was being bombed.
Mr Shearer and his wife, Anuschka Meyer, were the Herald's New Zealanders of the Year in 1992. That year, they ran one of the biggest aid camps in Somalia during the civil war.
He is currently the deputy special representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in Iraq.
His role includes acting as envoy for the UN Development Programme - which Helen Clark has left Mt Albert to run.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Crown Hotel

The name says Royalty,

The rules demand a high standard of dress.

I LOL, when I saw how tatty the sign is, I refuse to enter.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sundaystills: Eyes

Eyes of intensity, the owner was demonstrating his karate arts. At that time, he was demonstrating only, as he had just joined the club. He had a beginners white belt. Couple of years down the line, he is almost on his way to a black belt. He isn't so liberal in letting me take his photos if I was going to show his face.

These are a Russian doll's eyes. When I grew up in Borneo, when we drew people, we drew eyes like this, not slitty chinese eyes. In Japanese Comics, they draw very big eyes. There is a hero worship among Asians of big western eyes. Among the Korean television stars, many go cosmetic surgery to enlarge their eyes.

This pair of three and half year old eyes, she was holding her new born baby sister for the first time. Such lovingness and tenderness.

These are innocent toddler's eyes.

Ah Meng, the iconic resident of the Singapore Zoo. Ah Meng entertains tens of thousands of international visitors who pay to have breakfast with the Orang Utans. 

This pair of eyes belong to a student who comes to the Oyugi School for the Deaf in Kenya. My girl friends in Singapore and I were involved in raising funds for the school. We called ourselves "Foodsale" ladies. In the process, we made lots of friends from all over the world.

Another pair of child's eyes.

My first reaction on this assignment was , my little camera doesn't take close up photos. Even if it does, where am I going to get models who would allow me to take their photos.

So with a bit of computer tricks, I came up with these, cropping photos I have in my archives.

Here's photos of children, and an animal. People say children don't lie. Children are innocent.