Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thirty Seven ... #366

This image is from the forecourt of Parliament .. and much more meaningful , important and haunting than yesterdays trivia.

37 New Zealand Army personnel were killed in the Vietnam War (or the American War as it is known in Vietnam) and this is the preparation for tomorrow's parade ... small easels for photographs of those who lost their lives doing what their country asked them to do. A haunting image that is a metaphor for the traumatic gaps it left for many families and the divisions it created in our society.

I protested against NZ involvment in the war while I was at University in Auckland, my family spent a month in Vietnam in 2004 ... and even to day I still feel saddened that as a country, we treated our own in such a deplorable manner, irrespective of what I may personnally think about war.

You may ask "Why a parade and commemoration NOW?"

The Vietnam War was New Zealand's most controversial military experience of the twentieth century and carried significant implications for subsequent policy-making and public debate about national security. The political & public climate at the time the soldiers returned to NZ was such that they re-entered NZ under cover of darkness and not in uniform .. there was no welcome home.

Roberto Rabel's volume on the diplomatic, political and social dimensions of New Zealand's involvement in this conflict, entitled New Zealand and the Vietnam War , was published in September 2005.

Work is also underway on the second volume of the official history of New Zealand 's involvement in the Vietnam War. This volume, written by Ian McGibbon, will cover the activities and experience of the New Zealanders who went to South Vietnam not only in military units but also in medical and aid teams. It will also address the problems experienced by Vietnam veterans in the aftermath of the war.

A reunion and shared memories
Tribute08 is a commemoration and reunion event for all New Zealand Vietnam Veterans and their families. Veterans from other forces that served in Vietnam will also attend. This event is of national significance with an international perspective and interest.
Tribute08 is in Wellington over Queens Birthday weekend from Friday 30 May to Sunday 1 June 2008. Main Venue and Tribute08 HQ is the TSB Bank Arena on Queens Wharf. See the full programme of events here, and the public events programme here.
Meeting old mates and sharing memories is a highlight of the weekend, particularly at the Family Gatherings and Sub-unit Family Reunions. It is also be a very special time for the families of Vietnam veterans.
An Exhibition: Not just a 12 month tour, will widen the overall experience and engage the general public.
The healing process that began with Parade '98 is continuing at Tribute08 with the very special Whakanoa ceremony.
A Concert: 'Good Night, Vietnam' enhances the feelings of camaraderie and sets the scene for Saturday night celebrations.
The Tribute08 Memorial and Commemorative Service on Sunday morning allows us to remember the fallen and to acknowledge the living in a spirit of reconciliation and understanding.
Tribute08, A Vietnam Commemoration is a unique opportunity to honour veterans and their families contribution to New Zealand.

Friday, May 30, 2008

4 Stroke Lounger ... #365=1 year

John Keys (Leader of the National Party and maybe our next Prime Minister?), Alison Mau (Limelight Community Editor) and driver of the Limelight Motorised Couch ... which is on its promotional tour from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. The three of them are here doing a few wheelies on the forecourt of Parliament ... I don't believe there is any legislation that prevents motorised couches in the Parliament precinct !!

This was a political photo opportunity stop, at Parliament. Limelight is like an on-line "Yellow Pages" for businesses. part of their promotional spin is that they give upto 40% of the listing cost back to a charity.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Polarising Pigeons... #364

There are those that hate them and want them eliminated from the CBD .. and then are those that have a soft spot for the feathered city dwellers. Someone has just spread breadcrumbs on the garden beds in Courtenay Place ... so it is feeding time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rag Dolls... #363

An interesting shop front in Newtown, at the John Street junction ... a delightful facade, the retro colours; the artwork and the nature of the goods.

About Tinkerdoodle: "How we got started!"

When my daughters were little, their experience of Ragdolls was one of disappointment. Often the clothes wouldn’t come off, and they couldn’t change the outfit because no others were offered. And the hair was made of fragile yarn that broke off when they handled it too much.

My daughters loved their Ragdolls. But they wanted to interact and play with their special friends a lot more, because you play lots with a best friend don’t you? My daughters asked me “Mum, could you make us a Ragdoll please? One we can play with lots, and take with us when we go out?”

So I did. It helped that I was an experienced sewer and can draft patterns! We had fun deciding what the Ragdoll should have. Underclothes were stitched on as togs – so the girls wouldn’t worry when she had to “swim” in the washing machine. We made her hair from fabric at first, then added elastic into it so they had more fun ‘handling’ it themselves (to them it seemed ‘magical’ that it stretched). We made sure all the clothes were changeable, using Velcro or elastic, so they could do it themselves - mostly! We made a backpack to carry her around on so they never had to leave her behind. Then they told me about all the ways they wanted to play with her. Could she be a fairy? A nurse? A teacher? And could she have fancy clothes?

Suddenly I realised something I hadn’t noticed before. My daughters were using a Ragdoll to fulfil a natural fascination for trying on different characters. Notice how by simply holding a fairy doll, a child is transformed into a fairy, living in a fairy world? They aren’t “just playing”. Children are exploring ideas about themselves and their abilities through a Ragdoll – and their imaginations! Why? Because it helps them discover who they are, and what they want to be! I remember thinking to myself “Wow. All that is now available to them, because I made a Ragdoll that fits the variety of ways they want to play”.

I want your child to have the same fantastic experiences with a Ragdoll that my daughters did. Tinkerdoodle Ragdolls support and enhance a child’s pre-school development in many fun ways that they really enjoy! And best of all, they are safe for them to love.
Please invest in a Tinkerdoodle Ragdoll for a child you love today.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Even on a wet day ... #362

"I say Jeeves ... is that a brace of Aston, I see"

Even on a wet Wellington day they still look great ... and even when the pair are trying to be upstaged by a hot little retro Italian they still command a presence.

GT European car sales opposite Te Papa

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nautical Style ... #361

Nautical Style ... YEAH RIGHT ...we need something that floats on water; can sail across the Pacific Ocean and can carry a hughmongous quantity of second hand Japanese cars ... well here it is ... the ugliest boat since the bath tub.

New Zealand has been a ready market for second hand Japanese cars .. we also drive on the left and we like cheaper cars !!

These images are of the ship and its cargo .. the top left hand photo shows the ship, the container crane, the eastern side of the Westpac Stadium; the Tui billboard centre bottom edge and across the Harbour is Oriental Bay.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hot Fashion ... #360

I was browsing through the books at Borders on Saturday, when all the alarms went crazy ... mass evacuation onto Lambton Quay ... for the latest in the fire fighter fashion parade .... false alarm .. so all was well.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The leaves - they are a fallin' ... #358

The colours of autumn are under our feet everyday at the moment ... outside the main gates to Parliament just next to the Cenotaph (upper right hand corner) where one of the many ANZAC commemorations were held on 25th April ... and behind the bus is where the new Court is slowly being built.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Well Formed ... #357

Lambton Quay continues with its makeover ... the sections that have been completed are a great improvement but those sections still under construction are chaos.

Howvere amongst the construction mayhem there are pearls of innovation ... here is a picture of the combined efforts of the concrete mixing truck, the workers and the kerbing machine ... in goes the mushed up concrete and out comes perfectly formed kerbing ... Heath Robinson magic !!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Multi-use Playground... #356

Island Bay ... with its multiple recreational uses ... in the distance a spot of fishing .. to the left two young girls seeing what they can find in the rockpools and in the water to the right two scuba divers completing their training for the day.

Island Bay is used by a number of the scuba diving schools as a training ground.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morning ... #355

I had another image planned for today but the sky this morning created an impact ... and it is another great day in the capital city ... windless, cool and sunny ... absolutely, positively magic.

Monday, May 19, 2008

On a Clear Day ... #354

Yesterday at Island Bay, on the south coast. My son Josh had to do some site research for his next arcitecture project ... normally the sea would be crashing in ... maybe our regional moniker should be changed to Windless Wellington !!

The bright white blob on the horizon to the right of the island is the Interislander ferry on its way to Picton ( double click on the image to open it up for a better view) ... and on the skyline in the haze,to the centre right you will just be able to pick out two of the higher mountains at the top of the South Island.

The image is deliberately not zoomed ... so that you can see the foreshore and demonstrate that you can in fact see the South Island when standing on the South coast of Wellington.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Remember to call home ... #353

This is the latest iteration of the NZ telephone box ... note the fern leaf pattern on the sides .. this one is in Courtenay Place.
However what may be of passing interest is the famous Telephone Box War in Christchurch; 1988. Have a look and smile

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Autumn Sun ... #352

Following Monday's rain we have had a week of cool mornings, sunny still autumn days and cool evenings ... so at lunchtime everyone gets out to catch the warm sun in a nice green spot like here in the grounds of Parliament ... and YES despite the world wide increase in the level of security around Government buildings ... here in Wellington these places are still reasonably accessible to the general public.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Graduation Day ... #351

The traditional university graduation march along Lambton Quay ... capes , gowns and mortar boards ... smiling faces and future expectations ... flowers and even confetti .. well hole punch leftovers from the office .. but all part of the congratulatory celebrations.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Newtown ... #350

The suburb of Newtown lies in the southern part of Wellington in New Zealand.

Originally a working-class suburb, Newtown has followed gentrification trends in recent years, attracting large numbers of immigrants, students and young professionals and resulting in an ethnically diverse population.

The suburb lies east of Vogeltown, between the Wellington city centre and Berhampore. Government House on Rugby Street, Wellington Hospital located on Riddiford Street and Wellington Zoo all lie within the boundaries of Newtown.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Eco Here ... #349

... an interesting take on going green ...
Embassy Theatre end of Courtenay Place outside Calzonne Cafe

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Political Bark ... #348

No ... not the usual sort of political bark and bite ... but the more nuturing sort that goes on the garden. This team were working hard on a wet and cool day maintaining the garden and the grounds around Parliament.

The black building in the background is the BackBencher Pub (more about that shortly) and the white building to the right is the High Court.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Refined on water ... #347

The Raroa berthed opposite the Westpac Stadium and all lit up like an oil refinery.

Thanks to JAMES WEIR for the following- The Dominion Post news clip:

The Raroa floating oil production ship has arrived in Wellington prior to setting out for the Maari wells, between Taranaki and the South Island.

Raroa is one of the keys to the $500 million development of the Maari oilfield and is in Wellington briefly before heading to a spot halfway between the South Island and Taranaki. The 250-metre-long Raroa is a floating production, storage and off-take craft. At 43 metres wide, it will hold up to 590,000 barrels of oil (a barrel is 159 litres), worth about $148 a barrel at present prices, or more than $87 million a load.

The ship will be anchored near the Maari wells, which are expected to produce about 35,000 barrels a day at peak production. First oil should start flowing in the third quarter this year, with drilling of all the wells complete by the first quarter of next year. The next phase is putting the 150-metre wellhead drilling platform in place in 100 metres of water about 80 kilometres offshore and drilling eight wells. The platform was anchored in Admiralty Bay in Marlborough Sounds before being towed to position.

Raroa will be connected to the platform but will lie about 1.5km away. A separate tanker will pick up a 400,000-barrel load of oil every fortnight from Raroa. The high-value but waxy oil will be sent to refineries in Australia. Most of the big equipment for the Maari field has come from overseas, but dozens of New Zealanders are employed on the project.

Maari is expected to produce about 50 million barrels of oil, worth more than $7 billion at present prices. The Government will collect either 5 per cent of gross revenues or 20 per cent of the accounted profit, whichever is higher, as royalties. Maari is being developed by Austrian oil giant OMV and partners. For OMV the field is its first big investment as operator on this scale outside Europe.

OMV has a market capitalisation of more than 13 billion and produces 320,000 barrels of oil a day internationally. Its businesses are in Austria, Germany, North Africa, the Middle East including Iran, as well as a big joint venture in Romania. It ranks as a "second-division" company among the big oil explorers and producers. OMV also holds 26 per cent of the Pohokura field, which has been producing for about 18 months, and 10 per cent of the Maui field. It is part of one of the big consortiums exploring for oil in the Great South Basin off the south of the South Island.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Strawberry Fare ...#346

The restaurant is in Kent Terrace on the way to the Basin Reserve. and is housed in an old funeral parlour ... interesting as they sometimes have "Death by Chocolate " on the menu!!!

Katie and David Pearce have been the owners of Strawberry Fare in excess of some fifteen years. In that time they have built a loyal patronage, some of whom are happy to drive from as far a field as Napier to tickle their taste buds with the delicious fare that is on offer here.

Situated out of the corner of Queen Victoria’s eye on Kent Terrace, this welcoming establishment exudes Art Deco from all angles.

Although the name Strawberry Fare might conjure up images of an ice cream parlour or desserts menu, you will also find plenty of goodies to satisfy those with a more savoury palette. Starters, light meals, and mains are all available – all prepared freshly. Mains include Porterhouse Steak, lamb shanks, and smoked Salmon fillet. There is a take home service too…simply visit or phone your order through and it will be lovingly prepared for you. The home-made ice cream has won awards year after year with their Honey Hokey Pokey winning Gold in the open category of the 2005 National Ice Cream Manufacturers Association Awards.

So what better place to chill out after a hard day at the office? As Katie professes, “Listen sweetie, I know about stressed… it’s desserts spelled backwards!”

Strawberry Fare is open Sunday through Thursday from 5pm till about 10pm. On Friday and Saturday you could take breakfast there as it is open all day from 9am.

There is no better way to describe Strawberry Fare than to look down their dessert menu .. start wth chocolate and sugar and work from there .

The classic Italian dessert. Savoiardi fingers soaked in marsala and espresso, layered with mascarpone. Yum! NZ$14.50

Soft layers of white and dark chocolate laced with raspberries – really wicked and scores 10 on the richness scale. NZ$15.50

A selection of refreshing mouth-watering sorbets made on the premises, served in a tuille basket. NZ$13.50

A traditional favourite, scented with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, served warm with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. NZ$14.50

A traditional French recipe, so moist it resembles a sunken souffle. An intriguing mixture of raspberries and chocolate served warm with vanilla ice cream. NZ$15.00

Traditional Kiwi style dessert topped with fresh whipped cream and served with kiwifruit and passionfruit sauce. NZ$13.50

A honey biscuit base filled with caramel and topped with freshly cut bananas, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. NZ$14.00

Baked vanilla bean custard served the traditional French way with caramelised sugar. NZ$14.00

A delicious assortment of chocolate delights – a must for chocolate lovers! NZ$16.50

Chocolate brioche and soft English toffee baked together to perfection, served with creme anglaise and vanilla ice cream. NZ$13.50

Layers of orange and chocolate mousse encased in a chocolate wrap. New design on an old Kiwi Delight. NZ$16.00

Baked lemon cheesecake sandwiched between two rich chocolate layers. A favourite. NZ$14.50

A classic New York style cheesecake with passionfruit served with coconut sorbet. NZ$14.00

A creamy light lemon filling in a soft meringue, rolled in toasted coconut. NZ$12.50

Chocolate brioche and soft English toffee baked together to perfection, served with crème anglaise and vanilla ice cream. NZ$15.00

Choose THREE of our delicious ice creams, made on the premises – chocolate, cookies ‘n coffee, honey hokey pokey, maple & walnut, passionfruit or licorice. Served to you in a sweet tuille biscuit basket. NZ$13.00

Delicious and full of white and dark chocolate, served warm with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. NZ$10.50

Saturday, May 10, 2008

BoomBox ... #346

BoomBox Gallery in Ghuznee Street is an eclectic mix of tag art as paintings, T-shirts, scarves, caps, shoes etc ... a crazy neat mix of inspiring unique works. The gallery shop was opened the beginning of the year by Elie Assaf who came to NZ from Lebanon in 1996 at the age of 10. His family have operated the Phoenician Cafe next to the Embassy Theatre for many years.

Anyone who starts a business has my respect and for a young entrepreneur like Elie to do it in the alternative fashion world ... takes some belief and guts. Neat talking to you Elie ... and the best of luck to you mate.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hurricane Season ... #345

YES it is the rugby season ... and here is the promo advert for the Hurricanes our Super 14 Team .. the Tui (sponsor) advert is a neat play on the Team name ... apologies for the blur ... hand held camera late at night

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Pretender ... #344

Filming at Parliament ... lights, camera, ACTION ... now thats
's a novel political concept!

The Pretender is a five-part comedy drama that paths the political campaign of right wing property developer Dennis Plant as he campaigns against Janis Goodyear in the close fought seat of Wakatipu South. Shot for TV3 and screened in conjunction with the 2005 New Zealand general election, The Pretender is effectively a series of fake documentary reports by fictional documentary maker, Cassie Young. The Pretender won immediate praise from both the New Zealand Herald and National Radio. National Radio declared it “brilliant and funny, 100 times better than Facelift.” The New Zealand Herald reported that the Pretender proved good satire in New Zealand existed and was alive and well. Plant is played by Holland based Kiwi actor comedian Bob Maclaren – who was cast and brought back to New Zealand specifically for the role.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lyall Bay too... #343

... from the western side of Lyall Bay ... on the southern coast ... looking back towards Rongatai and Kilbirnie. The airport is over to the right of the photo. The slightly taller square building to the left is the Maranui Surf club and the "Maranui Cafe" .. an icon of the bay ... and very popular for a meal on the weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2nd Semester ... #342

University lectures have started again ... here are some students waiting to catch the bus from the Railway Station bus depot to go up the hill to the main Victoria University campus in Kelburn

Monday, May 5, 2008

Flat Out ... #341

Not the usual "flat out" for a Jaguar ... but last night as I was taking my daughter Anna back to her flat in Newtown, all the air in the left hand rear tyre went to the top ... BUGGER !! ... so we stopped outside the Museum Hotel ... Te Papa is in the dark behind the car ... and we changed the tyre ... no major drama .. just a 10 minute interlude on a clear cool night .... Oh well that's life.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lets go shopping... #340

Despite the cooler day this trio were prepared for a heated journey around the shops ... but first get the cash !!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

High Water Level ...#339

A lifting performance in Tory Street this morning. This crew were lifting into place the big steel beams to support the top floor swimming pool. Not only is it at the top of this new apartment block but it will also be canterlevered 4 metres over the edge of building and have a transparent base ... so swimming lengths while you watch the people and traffic below is a distinct possibility. The top centre image gives you some idea of the canterlevered pool.

Look here for the artist's impression of Century City Apartments

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stairway to Heaven... #338

View across the Harbour from Te Papa on a stormy morning (Wed) with a glowing stairway from Petone to heaven above.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Numbers... #337

Sorry bloggers I forgot to register for the theme day ... I am a tad DSR .. dim slow & rough.
However here is my contribution to the theme concept of numbers ... 4, 78, 38 & 42 ... the generations ... the young, the old and the in between ... what is left of the beach at high tide... next to the Band Rotunda, Oriental Bay. The point to the left of this picture is where the seat of last weeks photo lives.