Tuesday, June 30, 2009

waterywednesday:Volcanic lakes


Photographed by the water engineer when he made that long Tongariro Crossing. The water has chemicals and can not be drank.

Photohunt 169: Pink

What's a little girl's favourite colour?
What are some of her favourite things?
A Pink house, flowers, clothes, and a pink sports car?
I couldn't find a pink sports car, so I got her a pink bus.LOL

Pink is a colour that some experts say reduces aggression. That is why we had pink shirt day.http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2009/02/pink-shirt-day-wednesday-25-february.html


My World Tuesday: Polynesian Dress


Church is a very important activity for the Polynesian people. For many, they have a white Sunday. Where men and women wear white to church.

I spied this woman dressed in her Sunday finest, with a grass lava lava skirt at Karangahaphe Road. If you can't say it, just say K Road. Do you believe I spelt it right at the first try? K Road is a famous street in Auckland, New Zealand, known for cafes, boutique shops, nightlife and formerly, for being a red light district.

My bus used to go along it and I could see the men going into Pink Pussy Cat. At that time, you can get a transfer ticket without paying extra, and I would hop off to buy a snapper when it was my turn to cook when I was flatting in Grey Lynn when I was a university student.

Window Views


These are the plain windows of a suburban police station. Plain and nothing fancy. The building must be quite old of red bricks.

Double Trouble: Wooden letter boxes

I hope the post man doesn't make a mistake. they shouldn't these days. There is hardly any snail mail these days, thanks to the internet and emails.

I remember twenty years ago, I used to walk down to the letter box with Deborah to wait for our post man or the postie in New Zealand. We would sing, "Please Mr. Postman." Does anyone remember that song and did anyone wait with their children


Monday, June 29, 2009

Change the world: Grow your own vegetables.

On World Environment Day, all students and staff of my school, Pt Chevalier School, wore green
and donated gold coins to be used to buy construction material for the planned bantam coop we are going to build later on this year. This is great, we not only have a vegetable and fruit garden, we are going to have chicken. The students will love it.

We all played our part in school sustainably and having a waste free lunch. We came first for the “Greenest Group” award run through Auckland City Council.

.."It was clear that a lot of effort went into the event and the focus was on making sustainable changes. The judges were very impressed. Councillor Lister would like to come to an assembly next term to present the book and tree prize".

The photo shows some of our colourful veges. We are in partners with WWF. We can not sell our produce. All the children are welcomed to harvest the vegetables when they are ready. They don't have to be members of the enviro club who grow them.


mellowyellowmonday: Council Rubbish Infringement Notice


The city council does not collect oversized rubbish. People are supposed to take them to the city dump and pay a fee for depositing these items. Once a year, we have an inorganic collection for big items. However, this does not stop people from dumping their rubbish.

The council had implemented a $500 fine.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scienic Sunday: Mt Albert Baptist Church


This church doesn't have a steeple, but has a squarish tower. She is nearly one hundred years old and the older wooden building is called Jubilee hall. I am a member of this church.

Last year, they went to their neighbouring school and did a blitz.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

PhotoHunt:168 :June 27 – Flags

I took this photo during Auckland International Day this year. There were lots of flags like these fluttering in the Mt Roskil War Memorial Park.

Friday, June 26, 2009

PhotoHunt 167: creamy


This photo will bring lots of chuckles when my sister Elizabeth and I are in our eighties. Elizabeth and her husband were given a surprise and got "shipped off" to Down Under by her daughter J and our siblings. It was going to be a holiday they would never forget.

It was already autumn, and we had unusually cold weather. I was suffering from a flu, and my doctor told me not to eat cold things.

New Zealand is a dairy country and our ice creams are very very creamy. When our Uncle D offered to treat us with these yummy icecream, I resisted the temptation. I was also being a Mother hen to Elizabeth though she is older than me. I admonished her for eating the yummy ice cream. Everyone in the party were slurping the creamy icecream, except for me.

The photo shows her hand wondering which flavour to choose. She was spoilt for choice. There were "101" flavours.

By the way, yesterday, at morning tea munchies in school, some one brought upmarket ice cream. Smack in the middle of a bitterly cold winter, I helped myself to some icecream. Elizabeth is going to LOL when she reads this post.

Kidney Kids: The little green men come to help

Kidney Kids is a group of New Zealand parents and children, who are dealing with kidney issues, and who get together to share problems, solutions, and good times.

I saw these two ladies raising funds for the Kidney kids with a little help from the little green men, our friendly Martians.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Skywatch@Friday: Rotorua Arches to the Museum.


As you enter the Government Museum Gardens, you go through these beautiful wooden arches known as the Princes Gate.

The totara ( a native giant New Zealand tree) arches at the intersection of Hinemoa Street and Fenton Street were built for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Rotorua in 1901. The latticed timber frame held greenery and electric lights. The arches were designed to represent a crown. The structure was dismantled and re-erected at the entrance to the Government Gardens after the visit was over. It was threatened with demolition in 1974.

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.

Change the World: Recycle bags

Last week's challenge: refuse plastic bags. Some stores in New Zealand charge ten cents per plastic bag. I am guilty of going shopping without a recycle bag and coming home with plastic bags. My excuse is I do recycle my plastic bags to line my rubbish bins.

My school recently issued us with this bright recycle bag, and I like it very much. It also has the message "Mind that child."

Some big supermarkets commissioned a local designer Trelise Cooper to design her "designer recycle bag." It costs a lot more than the ordinary 99 cts green bag. The idea they thought was customers would be proud of owning Trelise Cooper designer bags and would use them. I don't know how effectively the idea is.

You may like this anecdote. I bought a Trelise Cooper designer recycle bag to give it to a friend from Singapore. When I was paying for it together with some of my grocery items including some fish fillet, the check out operator wanted to put my purchases in my Trelise Cooper bag. I told her I didn't want to. She asked why, I said I was keeping it as a gift. She replied I could still put my grocery in it. I told her in a jovial manner, I didn't want my friend to have it smelling like fish.

In November I did a post on recycle bags.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Church at View Road, Mt Eden, Auckland

This is the church where I got the window from in my other blog. It is very old, and not painted. I was always in the car when I see it, so I have not been able to take a good photo.

This St James Church was built in 1900, the timber hall at the back was built in 1885.


Samuel planted the pumpkin vine and he got two pumpkins. Not bad for a first time gardener. The bigger one was actually the second one that grew. I took it to school, and the kids had fun enacting Cinderella.

Matariki, the Maori New Year

Matariki is a special time for all New Zealanders to share, a time to come together and celebrate our unique Maori heritage, nature, creativity and expression. I wish my Maori friends especially Ngarimu a Happy Matariki day. I greeted Emerson in school. Through my association with them, I have grown more aware of them.

At this year's Waitangi day, Ngarimu invited me and some others to spend a night in his marae. I consider this a very special privilege. Last year, I taught my students this festival.

If you are interested in things Maori, do go on this link on Waitangi Day celebrations and the other posts. I documented the enactment of the arrival of the British Governor to New Zealand.

This photo was taken at the Information Centre in Rotorua. The couple is my Sister Elizabeth and her husband Kallang. Kallang is a Kelabit from the Bario Highlands of Borneo.
He is not a Maori, but you can say he could be a cousin. Back thousands of years ago, they may well be. They have so many customs that are similar. Kallang even knows a Maori song taught to him by a Kiwi teacher. I took them to meet Ngarimu, and they got on really well. I joked that he was the return of the lost cousin.

abcwednesday Round 4: Letter W :water


I grew up in Sibu in Borneo. Where our tropical rain fell in buckets, as much as 144 inches a year. We traveled by boats a lot. We bathed and we swam in Rejang river. It is 350 miles long.

Water is appropriate in my choice for letter W. After all, I am married to a water engineer. And I now live in Auckland which is almost surrounded by the sea.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

watery wednesday. Feathers floating on the water

After Easter, I was at Western Springs park. There were a lot of feathers floating on the water.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Window views


This is a window of an old church. It is slightly tilted because I took the photo in a moving car.

Double trouble: Tankers

Found outside a factory, were these two tankers.


My World Tuesday: Millenium Tree.

Designed by Guy Nygan, this metalic futuristic tree is called the Millenium Tree. It is found at the Auckland Domain near to the winter gardens. This tree was donated by the Chinese people of this city.

I am no appreciator of art. This sculpture was full of controversy. Not because it was donated by the Chinese people, but because of it's sty;e. In 2005 the Chinese community gifted a one hundred and fifty thousand dollar sculpture, it was a stylised futuristic chrome tree.

The artistic people felt that it didn't suit the Victorian style of the Parnel Rose Garden where it was erected. The local Parnell-ians kicked up a fuss claiming they weren’t consulted and that the gleaming dong clashed with the Victorian style of the Gardens.

That is why it was moved to the Domain where it remained happily ever after, or was it?

Some people still felt that it was out of place. I heard from the grape vine that some people who donated to fund this sculpture feel like getting a torch and melt the troublesome tree down.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

mellowyellowmonday: Pinata and bumble bee


My youngest sister is very creative and her kids get the most exciting birthday parties. Here is her son, Christopher bashing his pinata. Her parties are always a hit, sorry the pun, with grown ups and children.

Scenic Sunday: around Auckland

You may wonder what these girls are doing?

They are "visiting" the Auckland prison. Behind the stone wall is our prison. Separating them are the railway tracks and the mini train station and the fence. The girls hang around the fence and talk to their inmate friends.

We were stuck in a traffic jam and watched the girls for a long time. We were surprised that no guard came to stop them. My friend said, one could easily toss a tennis ball into the jail compounds. God knows what they could conceal in the tennis ball.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Living with dyslexia

I spent this Saturday afternoon at a workshop on Dyslexia. It was organised by the http://www.dyslexiafoundation.org.nz/neil_mackays.html

The presenter was international dyslexia expert Neil MacKay. Mackay is an authority on dealing with dyslexia and developing inclusive practice for schools.

It is interesting to learn that Dyslexia is not a problem and it should not be labelled as it was in the past. How sad the world would be without inventors like Alexander Graham Bell,John Britten, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Actors like Harry Belafonte, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg,Cher and Keanu Reeves. Where would we be without Leonardo da Vinci? The list goes on and on. According to the experts, there are 10% of the population who has dyslexia.

I did have a student who was dyslexic a few years ago. He told me how it hurt him to be called stupid by other students.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Green frog

My bro-in-law K. visited Australia and photographed this. It is beautiful like a green jade brooch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Change The World Wednesdays ...

Change The World Wednesdays ....

This is what I just found out. Change the world Challenge.

Each Wednesday I'll post a green challenge. If you're willing to accept the challenge and accomplish the task within the next week, let me know in the comments section. Then, write a post on your blog, letting your readers know what the challenge is and ask them to also commit to the task.

Each Wednesday I'll post a new challenge and I'll also include a link to everyone who committed to the previous week's task.

My school is an enviro school. We had this water tank installed to collect rain to water our vegetable garden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

watery wednesday: water trough for cows

On top of Mt Eden Volcano, cows have been grazing the crater for fifty years. This water trough has attracted many foreign tourists. There is even a picture of a cow on the side of the trough to explain what it is for. You may be able to see it if you click on it.


Monday, June 15, 2009

PhotoHunt 166: Lock


I found this lock at a public toilet in Mission Bay in Auckland. I guess this toilet cum shower stalls building is locked up at night to prevent vandalism, streets kids and vagrants bunking in for the night. This is just my conjecture. The building is very old, must be more than one hundred years old.

My World Tuesday: Wall climbing


On a face of Mt Eden Volcano, people enjoy wall climbing. This is in Central Auckland. In deed, you don't have to travel far in Auckland to enjoy extreme sports.

window views


These windows are from two similar buildings along Dominion Road in Auckland.Both buildings are called Cheapsides. They look alike at first glance, but on careful observation, you will see subtle differences.

Double Trouble: Marina Trolleys


Seen at Okahu Bay Marina in Auckland, boaties use these trolleys to transport their things along the jetties to their yachts, boats and so on.