Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday Sunset

Last night we had a spectacular sunset. Here's what I saw from the window:

There is a storm forecast for today... almost worth having a storm if the sky looks like this!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Summer Walks

 Yesterday was a very hot day, so  the same track as my previous post was a good choice. Manu loves that walk, because he can be off the lead, and there are lots of trees, making it possible to stay out of the sun most of the time.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Winter Walks

A photo taken in June last year - a wintry sky but a beautiful day.

On the track to Black Hill:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best Books of 2017

Last year I read 108 books. Of these, there were 7 which merited 5 stars in my personal scoring system. One was a so-called Young Adult book, by the brilliant Patrick Ness; two were non-fiction: a kind of memoir by John Le Carré, and a wonderful book about the art and literature of this country in the middle of the 20th Century. 
If I was forced to pick one of these as my absolute best of the year, it would be Reservoir 13, which is quiet and beautiful, and unlike any other book I have ever read.
The titles and authors are:


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Their Name Liveth...

I was very sad to read in this morning's paper that under the new regime in Turkey, these words, attributed to Ataturk, have been "roughly chiselled off" the memorial to New Zealand and Australian soldiers at Anzac Cove, at Gallipoli.

The words read:
'Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours ... You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.'

It doesn't matter whether Mustafa Kemal Ataturk actually said the words or not; what matters is that the Memorial paid official tribute to, and showed genuine appreciation of, the roughly 11,500 soldiers from our two countries who died there in that terrible campaign in 1915.

I was lucky enough to be there in April 2015, a few days before the annual Anzac Day Commemoration ceremonies. Every year, thousands of New Zealanders visit the area, and pay tribute to our fallen heroes, those young men who never returned home. I found it an incredibly moving experience to be in that peaceful, beautiful place.

Lest we forget

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Winter Walks 2

Yesterday I had to stop my car and walk back to where I could get a shot of this glorious Liquidamber. I'm glad I did; there was a lot of wind last night, and today it has far fewer leaves on it.

Early this morning, from my house. The sun is just getting up, and its light is gleaming in the west, behind an almost-full moon and a street light. If it looks cold, that's because it was!

This morning we walked along a beautiful inlet called Tuapiro Point. The sea had almost no ripples - these guys were getting an early start.

Manu enjoyed a paddle, of course:

There were lots of dead trees in the plantation at the end of the beach - they've been thinned out, I suppose.

Please click on the photos to enlarge them.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Winter Walks

Our winter officially begins on June 1st, not on the shortest day. We had some really wintry weather in May, cold enough to make the town's deciduous trees put on a proper show.

I try to get out for a walk every day if I can - Manu gets grumpy if he doesn't get his walk (and so do I).

Here's some shots from a few days ago - a walk at the beach:

 Tuhua (Mayor Island) from Waihi Beach

Looking south. The beach is just the way 
I like it - deserted!

And yesterday we had a lovely walk along the river bank:

Please click on the photos to enlarge them.