Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday stills: Wild Flowers

I love these tiny flowers. I loved them more when I was told they are called forget me nots. I send it to all my friends. I found patches of these at Mt Albert Volcano.

To most people, the dandelion is a weed, but you can eat the leaves and drink tea from the roots. So Now, my garden is full of them.

Little girls like to make flower chains from these little daisy flowers. They are very small like a ten cts piece. I used to spend hours digging them out. But not anymore. Many New Zealand children earned their first pocket money doing this.

These tiny flowers oxalis  have leaves like clover. They grow at the edges of my house and garage. A meticulous gardener would have thrown then out. Now you know I am a lazy gardener. I am so lazy that I even wrote an article of "How to be a lazy gardener."

These grow wild as tall as a person. I have yet found any one who knows it's name.

We went on a long track at the Waitakeres, and that day the track was delayed because I stopped all the time to take photos. Luckily the big man and the little man didn't complain.

I had to stop the driver so I could take this photo.

To the West of Auckland, there were big patches of these beautiful flowers. I told the water engineer, when I die, I like to lie among God's creation. None of those man grown flowers. I doubt he would send Sam out west to pick the flowers to put on top of my coffin.

This reminds me of when my Dad died at a ripe old age of eighty four, We remembered that Dad used to grow his favourite North Borneo Orchid. They were pure white and it took a long time to bloom. My younger sister Margaret requested the florist specially for these North Borneo Orchid. The poor florist, he scoured the whole city of Kuching and there was none.

Flax is an important plant to the Maoris. Before they harvest them to make baskets, they ask for blessing. After all the weaving, they put "waste" back to the plants. It is intereting, I recently took a Royal Brunei flight. Before taking off, they also also had prayers to ask for blessing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday shootout: CELEBRATE LIFE!

I am having computer trouble and can't download photos,

Please go to my two old posts of my dad's 80th birthday in 2005 and my grand dad's 71st in 1967. You will see how time has changed the way we celebrate their birthdays.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Plunket Society

Plunket Society

I was at St Luke's shopping mall when this Appeal stand attracted my attention. You see, I am very passionate about the Plunket Society. I am passionate about many things like the environment, cruelty to animals, raising funds for the sick from Nepal and the deaf in Kenya.

But the Plunket Society, it was different, for once I wasn't the giver. I was a recipient of their work.

When I was a young mum, I didn't have immediate family with me. It was hard especially when I was sick when I was pregnant with my third child. The Plunket society had volunteers and nurses in their Plunket rooms. When things were getting too difficult for me, all I had to do was to call them, and they would come to pick me and my girls D and G up. If I had a sleepless night, there was a comfortable room and bed for me to catch my nine winks and they would take care of my girls.

It was exactly twenty years ago when I used their services. I am most appreciative of the last service they rendered me. They came when I called them, and one of the ladies drove me to the doctor when they felt I was really sick. I threw up in her car, and she said it was OK. She waited for me at the doctor's. The doctor said my pregnancy wasn't too good and told me to go to the hospital. The plunket lady drove me to the hospital where I was admitted. The other ladies took care of D and G until the water engineer could come to pick them up. It was a Monday. I was discharged the next day.

Andrew was born that Friday. He died shortly after. The plunket ladies sent me a card and told me that I could always go back to their rooms. I didn't like to go back because there was always babies there and I couldn't bear to see babies. But my daughter G had bad allergies and I had to take her there to see Dr. Rowley. The nurses knew that I wasn't sleeping well, and told me to rest while they took care of Gabrielle. Then I went to Singapore and never thanked them properly.

Today, I wrote them a note. It's twenty years late. I thanked them. I have moved on and today, I use my loss to comfort bereaved mothers.

At their appeal stand was Ng MeiLing and Rachel. Meiling was very friendly as she handled my pledge form. She looks Samoan and like my student Celyn, she has Chinese parentage. We chatted and she told me she went to China in 2005 for a month. She was in the Miss Bikini Of the Universe Contest. I went back to take this photo. Meiling is on the left.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Stills, The Next Challenge: Things With Wings

Sunday Stills, The Next Challenge: Things With WingsS

I am going to be my students. When I ask them what has wings, they will tell me the feathered kind. Often they don't think outside the square. So I am not going to post any insects or mechanical ones.

Everyday, I feed the birds that come to my garden.

Do search for Western Springs. This is one of my favourite places in Auckland. There you will find more of my feathered friends.

If you like to see an special praying mantis, which is a rare species, do click on

If you like an exciting story about a helicopter, I have one at I shot the police helicopter that was catching a robber and culminating in an innocent bystander shot and killed. Do helicopters have wings? Are propellers considered wing? No they don't, I was just thrilled that day that I witnessed such an exciting news item.

Friday Shoot out: Rainbow

Red and yellow and pink and green,
Orange and purple and blue,
Now you can sing of rainbow,
Sing of rainbow,
Sing of rainbow too. Ask anyone my generation, they will remember the Rainbow warrior. My church's primary school group call themselves the rainbow warriors. I must ask the teacher in charge why they call themselves that.
In this post, I posted a rainbow.
In this post, I posted the whole of the rainbow song.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sundays stills: Challenge Tri-colours.

No need for commentaries. let the colours/colors tell their stories. The challenge is not just Tri colour but as many colours as you can.

It is very interesting, the other challenge that I am involved with Friday Shootout for next Friday is also on colours. It is Rainbow colours. Do check it out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Friday Shoot out: metal

Seen at Rotorua gardens was this little canon.

What a lot of tea to be stirred with these spoons.

These statues are at Rotorua gardens near to the Blue Baths.

On top of Mt Eden Volcano, is this metal disc which tells you how far you are from most cities in the world. This is very popular with tourists.

These are sheep shearing machines. There are more sheep than humans in New Zealand.

In Downtown Auckland, is an ultra modern building. Little kids are intriqued by the revolving door.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunday stills: Water towers or grain silos

I am stumped. I am married to a water engineer, and I don't have a single photo of a water tower, and I already used my sole photo of a grain silo.

When I was young in Borneo, we did have a lot of water towers, and we even have a  horrifying story. But that was before I entered the world of blogging. I don't have any photo from there.

I looked at my New Zealand archives, No, not one photo.  I ask you all to allow me to by default post these few photos.

Auckland has many volcanoes. Instead of water towers, we have utilised this precious gift of water from our volcanoes. Technically, our beautiful volcanic mountains are our "water towers."

Auckland's volcanoes and their eruptive products have developed some very valuable water resources. Not only have some explosion craters formed lakes e.g. Lake Pupuke, but basaltic lava flows have formed aquifers to become significant sources of water supply.

 Basalt lava flows are very porous and allow water to seep into the rocks. These aquifers are currently being tapped for water supply. For example at Onehunga, water "is extracted from four wells sunk into the One Tree Hill lava flows. An estimated 27 300 cubic metres of water per day flows through that aquifer, reaching from as far as five kilometres away." (Jamieson, 1992). Most of Auckland's volcanic cones support water supply reservoirs.