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Showing posts from 2024

2024 Happy St David's Day / Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus

2024 here in Aotearoa New Zealand and it is already March 1st, Welsh St David's Day (and the glorious thing about time zones is it will also will be March 1st tomorrow, in Wales ). Hope your 1st March is a happy one for you all and that you are eating leeks, speaking Welsh and singing (just to perpetuate all the myths) to the best of your abilities. Random Acts of Welshness (2022) St David’s Day - the day we celebrate our patron saint and all things Welsh, from the coast and inland . When we remember his famous guiding words: gwnewch y pethau bychain - do the little things . What better way to celebrate than to bring those words to life with an outpouring of hwyl and kindness. Fly the Draig 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wear a leek Cwtsh (also known as a cwtch!) 🤗 Give a spoon Say it in Cymraeg Buy David a pint 🍻 Say it with flowers Wear Welsh Dance 💃🏽 Eat some cheese 🧀 Plant a tree 🌳 Share Welsh cakes 🍪 Visit a castle 🏰 Don your Welsh hat Gwlad, Gwlad! 🎶 Eat a leek  Listen to some m

We All Live In A Yellow Residence

There are some glorious house colours around Aro Valley (Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa). This yellow dwelling, amongst the vibrant green plants, definitely caught my eye as I was snapping away.

A Street Of Dreams

Walking down Courtenay Place during the day and then during the evening can be like travelling between two different worlds.

Bad Boy Bricks

Building your own prison when you're the prisoner must be galling to the max. You do the crime, you make the prison so you can do the time! The building [ Mount Cook Police Station (Former) And Retaining Wall ] is notable for its plain form and severe character, offset by a distinctive decorative scheme. Decorative elements include arrow marks made by the prison brickmakers, moulded rosette cornerstones and black and white glazed brick bands over the windows. source: WCC Heritage, Mount Cook Police Station (Former) And Retaining Wall

Opening Portal

With it's deafening crackle the other planet portal started opening one more time. We all stared up in wonder, it was going to be our turn.

Building Fold

Like being in Inception this building has a lovely crisp fold down the middle of it.

Faces Of Football

In 2023 the Women's FIFA World Cup was jointly held by Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand with nine games being played in Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington and I think my daughter went to every game 👍 I was lucky enough to get tickets to two games, the first being USA v  Netherlands for a 1-1 draw  and a lot of fun! There was a lot of signing, chanting, and dress-up, everyone just had a blast.

Upwards Flows Upwards

The curves of Takina (Wellington's convention and exhibition centre) are delicious and flow through the building from the outside in.

Bird Dive Bombs Fish

Whilst filming the amazing light I caught this bird dive bombing fish just off Clyde Quay Wharf.

Mid-Morning In The Wellington Hills

Why live in Wellington if you don't have a view? Obviously the answer to that is, "I can't afford to Mike, FFS!", which is totally valid. If you can, then do, it's the joy of Wellington having a view of something that isn't your neighbours backyard, a high-rise, or endless other houses that look just like yours. And then, when you tell fellow Wellingtonians where you live you can answer the question, "Oh, nice, so, do you get the sun?"

Candyfloss Trees

I was determined not to do another night time photo directly after the The Worms Return but I couldn't force myself past these trees down by St John's Bar , all lit up and looking lovely for a sleeping city.

The Worms Return

Further in my collection of book covers that don't exist but should .

Sinéad O'Connor, RIP, 56

She died yesterday as of writing, but I suspect I won't post this for a few weeks. I wrote the above on 27th July, 2023, quite a few weeks ago from when I'm writing this. It's tough to see people leave. People that die, people that move on, people that fade away, people that simply disappear. The life we have, with the songs and singers in them, always feels permanent, that this is the way it can only be. Sometimes that is a comfort and we don't want it to change, for others it's a prison from which they fight to break free of. Sinead O'Connor seemed to be both a constant in my life and a new person every time she arrived. Her shining talent, immense honesty and integrity, was always there, reassuring me that some things are permanent.  Nothing is permanent. I miss her, the world is worse without her, I hope others step up t---- maybe I should do something instead of hoping for such things. I am 56 after all. Cheers to you Sinead, I hope you loved and were love

UK Pubs, The Best

Having recently returned from the UK this a continuation of a short series of " Things I've noticed whilst being in the UK" posts. There's a number of pub related things I've noticed, so let's get into them ... Is spicy tomato juice a thing in pubs? I visited a number of London pubs, all of those in Monmouth (Wales), a sprinkling around all of Wales, and some in the Cotswolds. And every place was a little out of sorts when I asked for a Spicy Tomato juice ("Virgin Mary"). People seemed to know that it was a thing but they either didn't have the ingredients or the know how. Was I just unlucky or is it not a thing in the UK? Pubs in Wales DON'T have bouncers. It's a joy to just walk into a pub without having to worry that you might not be let in. I've never ever been stopped at a bar by a bouncer, ever, but still, when I walk in I am on edge. Same feeling as going through airport security and / or customs. Is standing at the bar in the

And The Women Look On

Now, the title is a general title that reflects a cursory glance at this photo, however I recall it wasn't actually the case. Having said that, it is a great representation of women listening to the men as they are "meant to do", listen but not talk . As a photograph it's also weighted just right, which I love.

A Seat In The Universe

Aotearoa New Zealand is a spectacular place to see the stars, galaxies, and of course the Milky Way.  Just pull up a seat on a clear night, relax and stare upwards into the universe .

Bumpy Landing Into Nelson

The Sounds Air   Cessna 208 Caravan planes are dinky, akin to riding a bike rather than being in a large bus, which means you get to see everything which is both cool and terrifying 😁

Wellington From Above

Ach, she's a beautiful city eh! Can you see where you work and/or live?

Aro Valley Vibe

Having spent a few months living in Aro Valley (Wellington) I can confidently say it's got a certain vibe to it that is different to other suburbs. It's not better, or even funkier, just different. Also see: House Brooch (2022)   by the creator Anne Niemetz. 

Change Feelings

Moving on can be a right royal pain. Logistically it's both time consuming and expensive, unless you've paired your life down to a suitcase and whilst I'm close even I'm not there yet. There's no suitcase big enough to hold all the feelings. Before you move, whilst you're moving, and for an indeterminate amount of time after you've moved the feelings are there. Sadness/grief at the end of something. FOMO for all the things that will continue without you. Connections untying and becoming lost, or changed at the very least. Excitement at all the adventures ahead are both real and what everyone focuses upon. The feelings above are just as valid and should be acknowledged, if only to yourself. Change Managers are very unlikely to take those above feelings into account, especially if the change is made concrete by some change in computer thingies. Yes the previous system was crap/too expensive/unsupported/not cool enough for the CIO/different to everyone else but

Rippled Red

Rippled Red against Smooth Blue.

What Are You Looking For, Ultimately?

And what are you hoping to find, ultimately? Someone that's present, willing, and able to be their true self fitting, challenging, and complimenting the outlines and shapes I have. And likes a wine, loud times, quiet times, crowd times, and their times. That for as long as it works with joy and creativity, and if it evolve into something different then to stay deep and close friends with a glint in their eyes. By next Tuesday please. ------- Was relevant then, is relevant now, and will likely be relevant for ever.

What! But ... ?? Maths In Action

The universe is mathematics and I wish I spoke that language.

I'm Happy For You

What makes you happy? It's now a clichéd podcast opening line but back in the day it was genius from Raj. I can tell you now, it's NOT money. Ok, money can help, if you're happy already then yes, increased money can make you happy. The one solid behaviour you can always get better at is to cultivate connections. Good relationships with family, friends, community though is the key factor to make you happier AND healthier.

Gogglebox, A UK Delight

Having recently returned from the UK this a continuation of a short series of " Things I've noticed whilst being in the UK" posts. I've never seen Gogglebox. I hate the concept, the very idea is fucked. I watched an episode and I am hooked. The best drunk watch in years. What can I say, my note made at the time says it all.  For those that don't know, Googlebox is a UK* reality TV programme that has a series of couples filmed as they watch TV. I know, it's gotta be the end of times, when reality TV finally eats itself.  I loved it. Stay with me. So, the TV shows they watch are ones that are being shown during the time that Gogglebox comes out so they are all in the minds of those that watch the programmes. They get previews, of course. But it's not about the TV programmes they are watching it's all about the people and their reactions. The posh old couple and their reactions to shock moments in EastEnders, the cool as lads and how they get hooked and

The Toothbrush Is Welsh

I'm pushing facts up hill with very little conviction with this one. The dude who invented the toothbrush as we know it, a Mr William Addis in 1770, created the Addis company and they opened the first Wisdom factory in Swansea in 1965. Tentative I know, I wouldn't stand next to it as a fact at all so don't ask. Addis was founded in 1780 by an English Entrepreneur, William Addis. In 1770, William was sent to prison for causing a riot. Whilst in prison, he decided that the current method to clean teeth at the time could be improved upon. To that end, he saved a small animal bone from a meal, drilled small holes in the bone, and obtained bristles which he then tied in tufts and passed through the holes in the bone, finally sealing with glue to create the world’s first toothbrush. btw, that photo is of the most expensive toothbrush out there, a mere US$4,000. We are a fucked up species eh.

UK Websites Are Mostly Unusable

Having recently returned from the UK this is the first in a short series of " Things I've noticed whilst being in the UK" posts. The websites, especially the news ones, are absolute garbage full of adverts and on page popups. I have no idea who thinks it's a good idea to kill websites by loading full page cookie announcements and then fill them with endless adverts that destructively interact with the content but it makes for a hellscape of online reading. The worst offenders are UK news sites, just incredible. And specifically the local sites using the Reach system that fucks up everything before you can read anything. It's not just me, listen to Elis and John go off at the situation ...

Discovering The Lost Village

We stumbled through the forest, the brambles still pulling us back, and finally out into a clearing on the rise. It took a few seconds to realise we had arrived, the village was real and there it was. We all stood, silently watching the mist swirl, letting the years of mystery fade away.

Spam, How I Miss Thee

Not really, spam is 99.9% trash, but as we know sometimes it's funny or even poignant . I love the reply suggestions from Gmail, ha ha ha. ----- Here's the text of the email for those that can't read images, enjoy. Cordial salutations, Mike Esteem this as an summons to a discourse- laden expedition. My own epochs are employed loosening the communal strands that connect collectives, and mine pulse moves to the cadences of nature on winding paths. What patterns direct the tale of your life? With enthusiasm

Heightened Senses

What superheroes see.

Angel Wings

There are a number of angel wings around the country waiting for you to pop yourself in and get a glorious photo. If you ever get to Singapore Airport there's even some actual wings made up for the same effect.

Ent Face

Trees and Ents are all around us, calmly and slowly looking after the planet, chatting via their underground networks , and wondering why the humans are such fucking eejits .

Blue

Mr Blue Sky .

Why Does Light Do That?

A lovely sunset shot on Waitārere Beach . Notice how the orange of the sun runs along the horizon and then up and over the driftwood structure and then back along the horizon. Why does it do (or seem to do) that?

The Machines See You

It's a giant face in Sydney International Airport designed to lure you into the expensive store .  When it turned and stared at me I had a wee moment of, "Eek!"

QBC Love Heart

High on the Queenscliff near the Manly Wormhole is a vibrant love heart. Each of the above words I have said before, but in that order with that meaning, never 😀 "QBC" - Queenscliff Boardriders Club "High" - dangerously high! " Queenscliff " - north end of Manly Beach (Sydney, NSW, Australia) " Manly Wormhole ", ok this is a big one.  The Wormhole, also known as the Queenscliff Tunnel, was said to be constructed by local fishermen back in 1908. These local fishermen carved up this tunnel as a shortcut for them to reach Freshwater Beach up north from Manly. Read more: Secret Tunnel at Queenscliff "QBC love heart", and this has a story to love as well. Competition day became a mystery whodunnit, everyone talking about the heart. Who was responsible?! Would there be any repercussions?! Well, the original three are still a mystery to most and no repercussions have ever come about. Read more: Who Painted the QBC Love Heart?

Sydney Edits

Sometimes my daily photo takes a surreal side street when I accidentally edit a weird effect in that I subsequently love. The sky was not yellow.

Pneumatophores A Plenty

Mangrove trees and their breathing 'aerating roots' (" pneumatophores ") in NSW, Australia.

Water For Dogs, Or ...

 ... short people with low standards, we don't judge. 😂

Reflection

There's nothing better is there? Why are we all attracted to the symmetry of water based reflections such as this? (and yes, same timing as yesterday's Moonraker photo )

Moonraker

I'm a moonraker. Being Devizes born in the English county of Wiltshire, yup, I am officially a moonraker. The story goes that back in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries a gang of French brandy smugglers had dropped a few illicit barrels in Crammer pond at Southbroom, Devizes, for safe keeping. One full moon night they are at the pond with rope, rakes, and a cart as they try to gather up the barrels from the bottom of the pond. They are splashing around, using the rakes to catch onto the barrels and attempting to drag them back to land. All this noise attracts the attention of the county revenue officials, "What's all this then, what you lads up to?" Quick smart one of the smugglers replies, "Oh, officers, we're just trying to rake in that lovely round cheese from the pond.", pointing to the reflection of the full moon. "Hmmm, well you bloody yokels are very weird, so why not, ha ha ha". The story spreads and the last laugh is had on the re

Sand, So Much Sand

I assume it's because Australia is so so old that it's coastlines have had time to grow it's soft sand beaches and to a level that makes the dunes more like massive hills.

Out Into The Darkness

A previous friend of mine created the phrase, "Out on the skinny branches.", for when people are being very courageous in themselves.  This feels like a walk out to the skinny branches at night. And like many of those times it is of course safe as anything and not that scary at all. Bloody feels like it before you move though.

Lake / River At Forster

Peaceful eh.

The Kramer

"He is a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away." 🤣👍👏, well done Girasoli

Derek Alan Boyle, Say It Out Loud

3 years ago the COVID got Dad. His health was compromised by the dementia and he had been sliding out of this life at a fairly rapid pace. Then the COVID popped in and got him. He was loved, respected, and a wonderful uncle to his nephews and nieces. It's funny how that last one struck me when they told me late last year, I never think about how uncles are and are meant to be, but Derek was a good 'un. I shall raise a glass of wine to him tonight and spend time thinking of him and also my relationship with my kids.

Sydney Vivid 2023

Sydney does fireworks and illuminations better than any other major city. Maybe that's because of the layout around Circular Quay with the Opera House, Botanic Gardens, CBD tower blocks, The Rocks, Harbour Bridge, and North Sydney. They're all tall and perfect to set off fireworks and/or be lit up.

Graphic Novel Cityscape

It's little wonder that Sydney has been the backdrop to so many SciFi or superhero movies, it totally looks the part just by turning it's lights on.

1980s SciFi Book Cover

It screams late 1980s, early 1990s sci-fi book cover by someone of fame. Or perhaps a new Asimov collection. It's actually Sydney in Australia looking down Darling Harbour , and Pyrmont Bridge . To the right is the Three International Towers , a new building with the excellent skyward pointing cranes, ending in the distinctive Crown at the end with its hotel, casino, restaurants, and Sky Deck to check out amazing views of Sydney city and beyond.

We Took A Cab To The Other Side Of The River

It was a hell of time to be heading back, my mood was a dark and brooding as the fog, but we had to go just one more time. Maybe this would be the last time, maybe it won't, she's a damn hard dame to predict and sometimes she doesn't know herself.

Industrial Sunset

We're driving back down Te Ika-a-Māui / North Island as the sun is setting. This is the Ohaaki Thermal Kilns drying wood for fires.

Mount Ruapehu

What a glorious day to go on a roadtrip up Te Ika-a-Māui / North Island and get a metric tonne of photos of Mounts Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe . Oh, and yes Ruapehu is the one you can see from Waitārere Beach on a clear day, this still boggles me.

1940s Lord Of The Rings

It has a Casablanca feel about it, up in Ric's office

The Universe

I don't think we need a supreme being to have created the universe as it's spectacular enough on it's own.

You WILL Die, And Then What?

Almost everything I own, that is of any interest to those that will have to worry about such things when I die, is electronic and stored online. Get At Your Stuff / Account A few of the major online services companies now let you grant access to all/some of your data in the event of your death. This is the data, not the account, you can't pretend to be the dead person by logging in as them unless you know their username/password. "How do they know I'm dead Mike?", well they don't but they do know the last time you used any of their services and after a number of months of not doing so they assume you're dead. Here's a list of companies that let you tell them what/who to give access to once you're dead/no longer actively using their stuff: Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/102631 Google: https://myaccount.google.com/inactive Microsoft, forget it by what I can find: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/account-billing/accessing-outlook-com-onedrive-a

Leggy Man

Whist my long legs are obviously what the eye is drawn to in this photo take time to enjoy the patterns on the sand.

Dew Bubbles

Dew bubbles on a table.

Seat With A View

Dotted all along the dunes near the beach access paths are a number of cute as seats. At sunrise and sunset they are glorious. Mind you walking on the sand at those times is even better.

Contrasting Nature

Straight off the camera again, love it when nature serves up the photographic goods.

Shine On You Crazy Car

As Doris the car finally gave up the ghost and sat on the side of the road waiting to be dragged back home the universe said goodbye.

Tilt

I wish I could capture more of the stars in motion as I do an astrophotograph, 1 second is too much of a tease. Tap/click the photo to open my Universe photo album and find the 1 second video of the movement.

The Photo That Keeps On Giving

There's photos I take that don't need editing before being published as my daily photo . There's photos where it's obvious tweaking is required, some that just need a crop, and some that take me bloody ages fart araing around to get it how I like. And then there's the rarest of the rare, the photo that can be cropped, and/or edited, and/or filtered, and each edit results in something I love. These photos are the greatest but also the most difficult, which one of these beautiful children is my favourite. I'm going to resort to your decision, as I did with Reflective Choices. WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVOURITE? (leave a comment)

What Have I Done?

Sometimes the life choices one makes can hit you straight in the face.

Like A Moonlight Shadow

If you are ever in Foxton and the De Molen windmill is open, go in and up.

I ❤️ My Mates

If you put up a sign, "Please don't ...", they will.

Nuclear Family

Dad, mum, and the two kids.