Friday, April 30, 2010

Skywatch Friday, Save our world:March against Mining.


Our Government broke her promise and is allowing mining in our protected conservation land. Much of this land is what makes picturesque New Zealand. There is a march tomorrow. Through my association with Green Peace, I received this email from a local TV Artist. Lucy Lawless will be there too. I can't be there for medical reasons so I sent them my virtual placard.

Saturday May 1st: 50,000 New Zealanders from the top half of the North Island walked in the march today. A sure sign that the government cannot ignore. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10642083

This is my virtual placard. "When the last tree has been cut down, it's too late to cry." You can view it http://www.dontunderminenz.org/placard/home/view/733
and lots of others here.


This photo is actually Muriwai, but it looks no different from the area that is going to be mined. I was in the Coromandels about thirty years ago.

Dear Ann,

This Saturday at 11am, I and thousands of other New Zealanders will march up Queen Street, for something which will profoundly impact not only our own backyard, but also New Zealand’s global reputation. I really hope you can join us.
We are marching against the Government’s proposal to open up Schedule 4 protected conservation land for mining.
I have just visited two of the proposed mine sites, and been awed by their beauty. Check out this short video of my time in the amazing Paparoa National Park with Lucy Lawless.
We must as voters stop this incredibly irresponsible proposal dead in its tracks.
The simple fact that the Government is prepared to consider going into this highly protected land, which is staggeringly beautiful, with a huge and rare forest and bird life, should be enough.
The fact that a National Government made a promise 13 years ago to protect that land “no matter what” and now seems to have forgotten that promise should be enough.
The fact that the Government has also made it very clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg and they are planning to mine many more currently protected sites should be enough.
The fact that we are now under scrutiny from the rest of the world and our most precious trading “ace card” is being questioned should be enough.
All these things are enough, but the thing that really motivates me to get out of the house at 10:30, put my walking shoes on and join all those other great people at the bottom of Queen Street is this:
New Zealand is my country, it is unique in its size, its landscape and its people. It is my back yard. I simply want to help protect it.
I for one do not want to be part of a New Zealand that stood by and allowed its Government to trade away our most loved, precious and valued assets.
Come march for a bottom line. Come march for your back yard.

Love Robyn

PS. If you can't make it on the day, you can be there in spirit with a virtual placard


Thursday, April 29, 2010

ABC Wednesday: O for Oval

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt

I bought these fake eggs to teach my junior students that eggs are oval.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Watery Wednesday: Anthurium


This afternoon, I revisited Mt Albert memorial park and took this photo from an ANZAC day wreath . It has been been raining and I have always wanted to take photos of water droplets on flowers. This is not only droplets but big blobs of water on the Anthurium. The rain and gloomy and cold added to the solemness of that day when we remember all those soldier who had died. Nobody had a dry eye when we heard of the death of 3 soldiers. They died from a helicopter crash on Anzac day . It was a tragic day for the whole country. The soldiers were on their way to Wellinton to attend the ANZAC day commemeration.

Anthurium has a personal sentiment, tinged with sadness. Mum used to grow this plant. No matter how she nursed it, it was to no avail. The plant would not give her the pleasure of blooming a single bloom. She refused to give it up. Mum died prematurely in an accident. Everytime I see a giant Anthurium flower here in Auckland New Zealand, and there are plenty here especially in the Winter garden greenhouse at the Domain, I think of Mum and want to ask the plant why it denied Mum even of one tiny flower.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday, Pink Shirt Day


http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2009/02/pink-shirt-day-wednesday-25-february.html. Please click on this link on what I wrote last year.

It was last year at this time when my school, teachers and students alike wore pink. Pink Shirt Day is a way for the community to stand up and show that bullying is not okay.

The first Pink Shirt Day took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when two 17 year old high school students decided to stand up for a friend who had been harassed for wearing a pink shirt to school.

The boys, David Shepherd and Travis Price, decided that the bullying had to stop. They went to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops, sent out the message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning handed them to students to wear. When the bullied boy walked in, according to Travis Price, "It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. The bullies were never heard from

Ka pai or good job to all my fellow Canadian bloggers, Barry and Linda and Ruth, for starting this good tradition. Pink Shirt Day is being held on April 14th in Canada this year. Each year it gets bigger and brighter. There with more and more support from schools and organisations.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says Pink Shirt Day will raise awareness of the link between bullying and depression.

"As recent research and media coverage have highlighted, bullying is a serious problem in New Zealand, and there is a clear link between being bullied and experiencing mental health problems," she says.

"Pink Shirt Day gives us all a chance to make a stand against bullying, raise awareness and discussion of the issues and work towards a society that values equality and respect."

Today, I wore my beautiful pink shirt and taught my little five year olds. I asked them what they knew about bullying. They told me about beating up, punching and kicking. I explained that bullying also involves calling names.

The school is a sea of pink. On my way home, I saw a family. Both grand ma and mum were in pink. They had gone to our Western Springs Park. This perfected my post for outdoors Wednesday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ruby Tuesday: Firewood for winter


My friend from UK commented that it seems it was just yesterday when we were in sweltering heat, and now winter has set it. Someone forgot there is such a season called autumn.

I was in a shop in Ponsonby when I saw these neat sacks of nicely chopped firewood. The water engineer doesn't like burning wood, and we use a gas heater. Touch wood we don't need to turn on the gas yet. LOL

Mellow Yellow: statue among the flowers


The gardener has flowers all round the statue. It looks like the statue is watching over the flowers.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Reflection: Cin Cin restaurant


Cin Cin on Quay, advertises itself as New Zealand's premium waterfront dining experience. It has seating on the wharf where you can see the boats come in. Unfortunately, the reviews do not agree that they are fine cuisine . I do not eat out a lot but I love watching cooking reality shows.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scenic Sunday: Anzac Day


In church today, we celebrated Day with a special guest service at 10:30am. We had children reading their interviews with someone they knew who were in the war.Our service includes a panel discussion with members from our church who served or who had family members serve in the past and present wars. We watched a video interview with one of our members J. who was involved in breaking the codes of the German Enigma machines during World War II.

I am privileged to know J personally and work closely with her at our ESOL class. She let me take a photo of the badge she got 3 years ago. I respect her wish for privacy for not wanting me post her photo. She is a most elegant and beautiful woman.

We sang with pride our National Anthem.

Maori Lyrics
E Ihowa Atua,
O nga iwi matou ra
Ata whakarongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau to atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

English Lyrics

God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific's triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand

Men of ev'ry creed and race
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our Free Land.
Lord of battles in thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our Free Land.
From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country's spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our Free Land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy Glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photohunt: Apr 24: Addiction


Apr 24: Addiction

I drink a few cups of coffee a day.

Usually at work and at home, I drink instant coffee from grandules and white coffee mate and one teaspoon of sugar. The water engineer likes my coffee.

If I am at a coffee bar, I like to treat myself with a cup of cappuccino made by a barista. The coffee comes in a paper cup which is not agreeable to my "green" mind. That is why I don't patron this place a lot.

At the gas station where I fill my gas, if you buy $50 worth of gas, for a dollar, you get your choice of coffee. So I always patronise this gas staion.

Sometimes coffee come made in a plunger.

My niece took me to the posh Palazzo Versace Hotel on the Gold Coast for a luxurious evening. The cappuccino that came in a dainty cup and saucer. I miss the times when my girlfriends in Singapore went for afternoon High Tea at the Shangila Hotel. I pretended to be a rich Tai-tai or socialite.

I guess you can say I have a coffee addiction.

Skywatch Friday: ANZAC Day


On Anzac Day we look to the past, remembering those who strove to protect our future. We remember those who served on foreign battlefields, and those who stayed behind. Those who lost their lives, and those who survived. New Zealand sent more men to fight in World War I per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/anzac

With Anzac Day this Sunday, like most suburbs of Auckland and towns of New Zealand, there are parades and ceremonies. Anzac Day commemorative services are held to honour those who fought for our country.

In Mt Albert, the parade starts at 8.15am from the car park near the Alberton Avenue shops. Members of the RSA and their families and the public march to an 8.30am service at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall.

It is expected to rain on Sunday, but it will not dampen the spirit. I was at the Mt Eden parade last year, and the weather wasn't kind. But people marched, old and young and babies. It tugs my heart.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday: Oakland and Auckland




Fellow Blogger Ramblin' with Roger did a great post informing the world about my adopted country New Zealand. Thank you very much.

I was posting my comment to thank him when I remember this news story. Then I went on to another site which has a header photo of Oakland.

I live in Auckland. Often confused with Oakland California when I tell my American friends.

This is true, in the 1980s, a young American man ended up in Auckland, without the tickets and passport. He said, he was flying to Oakland from an American town, heard the announcement advising passengers to Auckland board at gate _____. So he went.

He duly fell asleep in the plane and arrived in Auckland. Mysterious as it was, people wonder how he could have boarded an international flight. Without any cash or clothing, typical of the warmth of Aucklanders, he received a lot of Auckland hospitality.

Nutty but true.

Roger, and anyone else in the whole wide world, if you decide to come to New Zealand, we offer you a warm welcome. Some times, you might even get a tradition Maori Official Powhiri welcome.

We have some tourists who are stranded in New Zealand because of the Icelandic Volcanic ash. There were twice more New Zealanders than tourists who offer to "shelter" them. This should take a bit of the bitterness of the sad situation.

watery Wednesday: Surfs, sand castle at Surfers paradise


In January, Sam and I were at the Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast of Australia. Once while I was happily splashing away, a tall dark and handsome lifeguard came and told me not to swim too deep. From hindsight, I told my niece, I should have pretended to faint, and he would give me a mouth to mouth resuscitation.

On the beach, a man was making a giant sand castle.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ABC Wednesday: N for nuts


I saw a lot of these Australian Gum Nuts when I was over in Australia. These nuts make beautiful decorations, and I thought what a good idea it is. It suits "Be Green" concept. There are so many natural things we can use to decorate our earth.

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yellowmellow Monday/Ruby red Tuesday: Cornflakes the clown



Sam was impressed with the magic of this red and yellow clown at the local shopping mall. Cornflakes gave Sam his calling card, then when he flipped it , it changed the color. Sam tried to figure it out how he did it, but he couldn't.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Scenic Sunday" Friends


My granddad taught us especially when he said we should treat everyone well, you never know if we were entertaining angels. Today, I made a new friend from Zimbabwe.

I remember how my brother Henry and his wife Elley made two friends from Zimbabwe. I am proud of Henry that he practised what Grand Dad preached.

When Elley and I were traveling into Los Angeles, we met an old man who started chatting with us. Little did we know that he was the father of a celebrity.

That night at the premier, we happened to be at the corner of the Kodak Theatre which featured the Blood Diamond, and we then hung out at the entrance of the Roosevelt Hotel where the stars were celebrating after the show.

As we were gazing at the stars with the paparazzi snapping photos away, this man came out of the hotel and talked with me and my wife. He talked to us like buddies. We were surprised with his friendly gesture and I told him he must have mistaken us for someone else. He kept on saying he knew us. My wife insisted that this couldn't be because we came from an Island of Borneo in the country of Malaysia. When he reminded us that he met us on our arrival at Los Angeles, we then remembered talking with this friendly guy. He told us that, had he known we were not attending the premier, he would have invited us to join him. This was because he had movie passes with his daughter acting in the movie!

When his daughter appeared, he proudly asked her to take the photos with us, so that's how a paparazzi took our photos together. To our surprise, she was Benu Mabhena.

Benu's father's friendly presence during the premier of the movie Blood Diamond on December 6, 2006 made our holiday in Hollywood so memorable and their holiday in the United States so very special.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weekend reflection: Looking at terapins and tortoises

My post traces my nieces and nephews as they enjoy the great out door of Singapore. Is that a terapin or is it a tortoise?

My sisters Helen and Grace have 7 children between them. There were times when the workers at the entrance have difficulties getting a head count.

Friday, April 16, 2010

photohunt: Covered

Here is a building that is covered.

Early Autumn in April. I took this photo this week. The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are reversed from the Nothern Hemisphere.

Spring has sprung in October.
The Northern Club

This ivy clad building is situated just off the Auckland University, and thirty years ago, I see it often as I go to my prefered location, the Albert park. The floral clock is just a floral dsiplay. The mechanical hands have gone. My second daughter G is now a law student in the university. Law school is located nearer to this building. Sometimes I drop her off and I see this building which fascinates me. It is like a seasonal calender.

In Spring you see less dark green leaves, in Summer you see dark leaves, in Fall/Autumn, you see reddish brown leaves and in Winter, you see the veins. The building becomes naked without the leaves.

The Northern Club, 19 Princes Street, Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone : +64-9-379-4755

The Northern Club provides companionship and a sense of belonging in a dignified atmosphere where old traditions have meaning and value because they have been tested and retained. The members are drawn from Auckland's well-respected professional and business community and it is on those criteria - not wealth or ancestry - that they are admitted.

Although members are businessmen and women, they know that they are a part of a social club where briefcases are left closed and business talk is confined to private rooms.

From its inception, The Northern Club has laid down certain rules of dress and behaviour for members and their guests, and these codes continue into the 21st century.

Our History

The Northern Club was founded by a group of prominent professional and business men in 1869 when the popularity of a gentleman's club was at its peak throughout the British Empire.

The club's founders, with remarkable daring and foresight, agreed to purchase a handsome quarrystone building overlooking Albert Barracks in Princes Street.

The four storey building, a high-rise in its own time, was originally designed as a hotel and built on the first section sold at Auckland's inaugural land sale in 1841. Following the purchase, architect Edward Ramsey was commissioned to rearrange the hotel's internal rooms for use by the 120 founding members.

In 1991 the Club voted to admit women and today has a thriving membership of men and women. Membership of the Northern Club attracted many leaders of the Auckland community, and the Club has played an active and sometimes pivotal role in the history of New Zealand's largest city.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Clouds in the horizon


In some parts of New Zealand, clouds are just at the horizon. Some areas are about to be declared drought areas. This is bad news for the farmers. My friends tell me that there is a water restriction on using the hose for the garden.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday: Wild Monkeys in the city

The monkey is eyeing Olivia's ice cold drink. ignoring Chris.

The monkeys up on the tree pretending to ignore Olivia while she entices them with a biscuit.

The children are entertained by the monkey's antics. It was holding a mango while walking on two legs. Watch out Jessie, he will grab your water bottle before you can say ,"Boo!"
Lincoln plays dead as he watches the monkey eat a mango totally oblivious of him.

"You can't see them, but they are there. Monkeys were camouflaged in the tree trunks but we could see their eyes watching us, it's so eerie, "Jessie tells Chris and Olivia.


Lincoln, Olivia and Thomas are back in Australia and this is one experience they will never forget.

The Macaque monkeys at the MacRitchie Reservior in Singapore fascinated them so much during their last trip two years ago that they wanted to go again with heir Singaporeon cousins. Singapore is an ultra modern city and is one place you don't expect to see Macaque monkeys in a modern city.

The monkeys are wild as they live in the reserve and they eat from the mango trees. If you happen to be under the mango trees, you will be pelted by the stones. The monkeys aren't scared of you and they even steal your food right in front of your eyes.

For my thoughts on this, please go to this link:http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2010/04/save-world-co-existing-with-wild-life.html