Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I shot the Mayor

I suppose I had better be careful about splashing that headline around out of context...I was the photographer at today's grand reopening of the Timaru Christian School, following their move to new premises a few months ago. It was a grand affair indeed, with VIPs including the mayor of Timaru, Mrs Janie Annear, and Hon. Anne Tolley, Minister of Education. Between speeches, the TCS pupils performed a song, and the assembled crowd also sang. There was the overall theme of "Honouring God in all we do" - what a blessing to witness so many people unashamed of the name of Jesus! After the formal opening and unveiling of the plaque, everyone was invited to stay for tea and eats. A lot of organisation went into the afternoon's event and we were glad to be a part of it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tea and tea

The clouds have rolled in again after some magnificent weather last week. But, Wednesday is spring and I'm telling myself that overnight the temperatures will rise, skies will clear and days will be long. Yeah, I'm setting myself up for disappointment, I know! No matter. I had a to-do list as long as my arm on Saturday so at 5.45 am, having been lying awake for several minutes stressing about the day, I got up and got to it. Got through heaps of stuff before we had friends over to afternoon tea - meet South Africans Des and Salome and their boys Carlo and Dean. They are about as new to Timaru as we are, and have recently started attending our services. Had an excellent time with them, and as soon as they left we gathered ourselves for tea at the Barretts. Over much chatting and laughter we ate DIY hamburgers...what a great idea, and Nigel cooked the home-made patties on the barbie. Super scrumptious. Peggy also spoiled us with chocolate eclairs for pudding. A great evening!Sunday (between services) and Monday I've sort of been chained to the Mac in preparation for a fairly photo-intensive week. Nothing to report on the job front yet, but really, where would I fit in time to go to work? :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

To Dunedin and back

My week took an unusual turn as I found myself volunteering to take Erinmarie and Dannica Phillips to Dunedin for their dental and orthodontic appointments - little Dinnay was sick and so Petru was in a spot, not wanting to take her for the three-hour drive in that state. Thus, after my bible-in-school lesson on Thursday, I packed and set off with the girls. The drive was lovely - I was further south in the world than I've ever been once we got through Oamaru! Dunedin was a surprise to me. Of the 118 000 residents, 22% are between the ages of 15 and 24...and I'm sure most of them were out and about when we arrived. There were cars and people everywhere; I was driving Petru's van in a strange city - feeling *slightly* out of my depth! We got Erinmarie to her appointment with only about 10 minutes to spare (mild panic), and then Dannica and I started a scenic tour. Our first stop was the Otago Museum which is just huge and maze-like and extremely interesting. One could take hours wandering through the various exhibit rooms and still not be done. We also amused ourselves with the 'whispering dishes' outside which really worked! Sore feet and two hours later we went to check on Erinmarie...she was still in the chair so we left her and drove to the Botanical Gardens (free parking available at Coundown across the road; I bought a bottle to Bovril to justify my parking there as a legitimate customer). We hadn't even walked through a quarter of the gardens when Erin texted to say she was done, so we left hastily. After that the really fun part of the journey happened...finding our way to the motel across town through a disorganized labyrinth of streets, during rush hour, with the sun in our eyes; the busy roads did not allow any pulling-over to examine maps so we had to just drive in the general direction until we could find a place to stop to gather ourselves and look at the map again (pulling into a single-laned dead-end hectically steep road and having to turn around must have been my ultimate lowlight). It was with huge relief that we eventually pulled into the motel grounds for the night! Spent a great evening together with the girls doing homework on my bed. Friday we were up reasonably early and got the room packed up before having our breakfast. We had a good long look at the map before venturing through the city again towards the now-familiar streets housing the huge Dental Faculty of the University of Otago. Although Erin's appointment was only at midday, we parked outside the building anyway and then walked around a few blocks. Wandered around this magnificent old church (Anglican I think) and I found out just how scared of heights I am when we reached the top of the winding steeple staircase. I was very sad to see a beautiful Baptist Church building being used as a bar; next door to it the Sunday School block is housing a travel agent. When our parking time ran out we left and drove to KFC (yay, free parking) for an early lunch, followed by McDonalds ice-creams. And then back to Frederick Street where Erin just had a short wait for her appointment, and Dannica sat reading for an hour until her consultation while I went to explore more of the surrounds. They were both done by 1.30 and we were ready to head home, glad to be out of the city! Stopped off at Koekohi Beach to see the famous Moeraki Boulders - one ideally wants to photograph these strange rocks at sunrise or sunset, but they are spectacular and unusual at any time of day. There is a gift shop and restaurant surround the boulders complete with a deer paddock. Didn't tarry too long, and were finally back in good old Timaru at 5 pm, thankful to the Lord for safe travels. Nick had a clean house and cottage pie ready and waiting - what a blessing!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunset and moonrise

Could hardly believe that it was another sunny day today, with absolutely clear blue skies at that! The boys and I got a bit of weeding done in the front garden - one just really wanted to be outdoors to soak up some rays. Finally got my CV finished and starting applying for jobs...the time has come for me to re-enter the workplace after nearly five years of full-time @homeness. It's been a blessing and a privilege, but now it seems the Lord would use me in a different sphere. Watch this space! It's taken ages to put my CV together as I've presented it a little differently...this is the first page. Had an early tea of nachos (Pak'n'Save kindly made this decision for me by having mince, corn chips, sour cream AND chilli beans on special) and then we all bundled up and drove to Patiti Beach to enjoy the sunset. Well, not really to enjoy it as much as photograph it. Although for me that's where the enjoyment comes in! Providentially the full moon had just risen as well; we ran up and down the beach looking for different angles and shots.PS...I haven't forgotten about or abandoned my ABC project...I'm going to work on it slowly though.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Feed the birds

Today: sunny, warm, amazing!! Forecasts for the rest of the week predict more gloom, but today was just a wonderful respite from it. Got two loads of washing hung (outside, nogal), the house vacuumed and tidied, schooled the boys, went shopping, took Caleb to his very first piano lesson (he is so excited - Joan has kindly taken him on as a pupil), got photos developed, found another stretch of beach needing exploring, cooked tea of chicken, wedges and crudites, and then went out to collect our very own copy of Dutch Blitz which we bought off TradeMe - the traders happen to be known to us so we called in for a short visit, before returning Rene and Bron's game. It's been well used this week, with both boys picking it up quite competently.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Moores of Linfields

Between services we luncheoned with Lindsay and Nyree Moore, a couple who have recently started attending our services. They live on a 'lifestyle plot' in the south of Timaru and rear sheep, pigs, cattle and chooks. It was a most wonderful visit, getting to know them both a bit better, and eating off the fruits of their land...roast lamb with an array of homegrown veggies; for dessert the most perfect strawberry and raspberry tart, which by Nyree's confession was her first attempt at such a tart as this. Good to also chat with Bernard over lunch, another of our church chaps who is from the Philippines and has sadly had to leave his family there while he works in NZ for a few years. We google-mapped his home which was really interesting - it's amazing that you can virtually see into anyone's back yard anywhere in the world!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Event photographers, we are

Did I mention that the weather has been bad lately? Another grey and cold day...shuffled around during the morning, and went out for take-aways at lunch time. In the evening Nick and I worked hard...we were given concert tickets to a "Rhythmix" music group soiree in exchange for photographing the event. Suited us! The choir was excellent and put on a good variety of numbers with solos (our friend Rene was in the spotlight a few times), duets, quartets, and even a dance number from Caleb Cameron.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Still more grey skies and gloom; spent the day at home. Caleb woke up with some sort of bug and was throwing up so we curtailed some of school. He recovered during the day though sufficiently for he and Aaron to spend the night in our tent, set up in the garage. I thought this was not a suitable winter activity but Nick overrode my motherly concerns. They were super warm though with sleeping bags, blankets, and the tent itself which seems to suit garage conditions quite well. Go boys!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm really looking forward to, and enjoying, my Bible-in-Schools lesson more and more as the weeks go by. I love how the kids come up before the lesson starts to tell me something about their week, or ask a question about something. They are really attentive in class. We are praying so hard that the Lord will use these lessons as the means by which He calls them to Himself. Then back to the Clevely Academy to finish the morning's work with my two favourite pupils. It was our last radish day today and we were all a little relieved to throw away the majority of little plants, some of which had gone mouldy in their sealed greenhouses and smelled quite ripe (but not in a good radishy way). I've planted several seedlings in a pot in the kitchen - I think that harvest should be sufficient for us non-radish eaters! After lunch we were off to the third school event of the day, Nick's assembly at the Christian school which he takes from time to time. The boys and I like to tag along; Caleb and Aaron sit right in the middle of the school kids with their friends, only looking out of place because of their civvy clothing. And then it was grocery shopping time. Yay for trolleys (or shopping carts)! So, absolutely no time for photography today, you c.
Nick has been helping Simon, one of our church men, in his bakery. He did a late-night shift last night from 10 to 12 after bible study, and has gone for this evening as well. Almost feels like old times on the island where he would go off and do bible studies almost every night of the week. I kind of miss having the evenings to myself - this is a rare novelty but I suspect he may become a weekly bakers' assistant.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The boys and I went for a stroll at Caroline Bay in the afternoon; it was the clouds that drew me outside, really. It was cold and windy but good just to be somewhere other than home (as much as I love my home, I'm getting cabin fever in this weather!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Inspired by a recent photographic article from my cousin, I am going to shoot the alphabet. Couldn't decide if I wanted to find something beginning with the letter or something that features the letter, so will do both - I hope I'm up for the challenge! After last year's PotD project this should be a snap. When the sun broke through the clouds at around 4.45 this afternoon I grabbed the camera, rounded up the reluctant boys and set off up the road. We didn't go far but it was so great to be outside and see a bit of sun. 20 minutes later it was all over but the clouds are definitely looking thinner; there's hope for tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar. Got some baking done this afternoon, yeah, it's been a while! Date squares are in the fridge and chocolate oats cookies are air-setting on the bench. Anyway, here's A:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just beyond the weekend

...and still the grey weepy skies and sullen temperatures. Had a hint of sun this morning, enough to cast a brief shadow, but that was all. Had a few laughs in school with our radishes as a 'living space' experiment didn't turn out as we'd hoped. My "just pretend this plant is standing upright" brought forth chortles from Caleb. Not very scientific, Mom. The boys made me laugh with a comedy act they're copying - I was impressed with their efforts at Short Man. Bronwyn has lent us Dutch Blitz for a few days so the boys and I had a few rounds during our tea break. They quickly got the hang of it - it's a turbo speed game where everyone plays cards as they're available, so you have to think fast and play fast. As soon as school was done we had another few rounds, and then Nick joined us for one or two after lunch before we all went out together to run a few errands. We had hoped to see Les and Marg who returned home yesterday from a two-month overseas holiday, but they were out when we called by their house (after first circling the neighbourhood several times, convinced that their whole house had shifted as nothing looked familiar; to our credit we had been distracted by an elderly couple standing outside their house with suitcases, waiting for a taxi...two doors up from the Nieuwoudts). Had hoped to get out with the camera in the afternoon but didn't get past the post box - just too jolly miserable outside. But wow, look what is blooming!!