Monday, January 31, 2011

Humber Heavy Utility

During my travels, I meet many interesting people. Many of them have very interesting hobbies.
The restoration of old vehicles in this country has almost become a national pastime. Many hours are spent in sheds, barns and backyards 'doing it up'.
In the above photo is a Humber Heavy Utility. Made for the British Army as staff cars for the Second World War, this 4 wheel drive go anywhere 6 tonne monster some how finished up in New Zealand. It now lives in the Waikato, in a shed with 4 other WW2 trucks.
Just down the road, are several sheds full of 1930's and 40's Chevs, all being restored.
For security reasons I can not say where they are. I can tell you that all these vehicles are very well looked after.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lions 7

This is Takashi Koyanagi. He is standing at the Clyde lookout, on a fairly cold late winter day.
Takashi was staying with us as part of the Lions Youth Exchange program. He comes from Fukuoka in Japan, and is sponsored by the Fukuokahana Lions Club.
I think Takashi enjoyed his stay. I know he was cold at times, but he did get to see and do quite a few things he would not be able to do at home.
This program of exchanging students between counties seems to me to be a very good one. While there were some language barriers, eventually every one learned something. Takashi is keen to return here 'in the summer' and I hope he does.

For Life....

Some months ago I was lucky enough to be on the spot when a presentation was made. At the end of a list of prizes and awards made to various Volunteer Fire Fighters at our Local brigade, was the surprise award of a Life Membership to Fire Chief Russell Anderson.
Life Memberships are usually awarded at or close to the end of a long period of service. But this one was different. Russell has been in this Brigade for only 14 years, and intends to be the Chief for some time yet.
In the above photo, Deputy Chief Mark Hutton attaches the Life Membership medal.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Phillip McKenzie

'The Aesthetics of Dispersal' was a phrase coined by Photography writer Peter Ireland, when describing some of Peter Peryer's work. Peryer himself says it is not the objects and their randomness that is of interest to him, rather the spaces in between them.
It is really the spaces that are important in this photo, but not for the reasons you may think.
These balloons were released at the end of the funeral service for Phillip McKenzie. The balloons are the same colour as his car, which he was rebuilding at the time of his death, 10 days ago.
The spaces left by this 20 year old are considerable. His family and his partner will be the first, then his workmates, then those in the Volunteer Fire Brigade, to which he was dedicated. And all the clubs he was in, gun club, bike club, and so on.
But also the community at large, as Phillip was a popular and affable young man.
The pattern of these balloons is random. Each tracks it's own way. One can not predict when or where they will end up.
Like us.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Original art

I have written many times here that we live in a very talented community. Recently, I was invited to the opening of an exhibition by artist and dress maker Sharon Gilchrist. We have known Sharon and Ken for many years, in fact Sharon made our Teresa's formal dress. But what I did not know what just how good an artist she is. The exhibition contained lots of very original work, in many different mediums.
In the above photo, Ken and Sharon explain one of the works not for sale. It is their family history. And because I know them, I could see it.
I thought the most outstanding painting was one of a dandelion seed head, which had been half blown away. The attention to detail was outstanding. But it was for sale as part of a set, and we have nowhere left here to hang a set.
Brian Patrick, the Director of Central Stories, told me today the exhibition had been very well attended.
I am not surprised.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Off the field

Over the last few weeks when I get time I have been following the Dunstan High School First Fifteen Rugby team. Mostly I use an old and fairly slow 70 - 200mm lens, which when on the D300 seems to be about a 100 - 280mm. I overcome the slowness by upping the ASA, one of the main advantages of the digital era.
Anyway, during a quite exciting match against Gore High School, I was forced to share the touch line with some quite vocal Gore High supporters. It is fair to say that I am not one to say or shout much from the sideline, but these guys seem to have no problem telling the Ref what to do in quite loud voices. I have several friends who regularly referee rugby games, and they tell me that for the most part they do not hear most of the 'stuff' from the sideline. But as can be seen in the above photo, referees sometimes do hear what is said. I am not sure what the rules are, but I am sure this ref did. He blew his whistle and walked off the field of play, and 'consulted' this supporter in no uncertain terms. I did not hear what was being said, but what ever was said, worked, and the stream of quite foul language stopped.
I know that in the Auckland area there has been a concerted effort to 'educate' the spectators on the side lines of school boy rugby games. I hope we do not have to do the same thing here.
By the way, Gore High School won the game, so it was hard to see the point of all the abuse.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The first blog I ever followed was written by one Dan Steinberg. He was at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and wrote several times a day on his adventures around various events. From memory, he worked for the Washington Post. Anyway, one of the teams he met and took an interest in was the New Zealand Curling team, ably lead by a Central Otago curler, Sean Becker.
I found this blog by Googling the team as I was a bit brassed off with the coverage we were getting on TV here, as they would leave the game halfway through and go and show  other events, most of which had no New Zealanders competing at all.
Steinberg fancied himself as a bit of an expert on cheese, and when he heard that New Zealand was awash with cheese, took the interest.
When the curling team returned to New Zealand, a concerted effort was made to build a purpose built rink, so they could practice all the year round. The argument of where to put it was short, and it finished up being built at Naseby, Central Otago, as the climate there meant it could be run relatively cheaply. In a very short time the funds were raised and it is up and running, and a very good rink it is too.
I went there with a bus load from Alexandra, almost an hours drive. The above photo of Allan Fleury about to let his stone go is not that great, but it is much better than my curling.