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Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!


Thursday, 29 May 2008

Invercargill

I haven't had much time to do any editing of of photos in the last few days, but yes, Berny and Ian, I am fine thanks! It seems to have been a busy week but I can't think what has actually been happening. I think I told you about going to Dunfermline to scatter Leslie's ashes in the garden of Remembrance at the Crematorium on Tuesday. Wednesday I had a couple of appointments to keep, and Thursday I met Norma in the morning - extending into lunch time - and then I was off to work. It was an afternoon start at work on Friday too, and what a busy night it turned out to be! I like it when it's busy though!

On Saturday - yesterday - I went with Morag and Mike to the garden show at Ingliston on the edge of Edinburgh near the airport. The weather was astounding! Blue sky, sun, heat - about 28C maybe! It was lovely but I was glad to get into the shade at every opportunity! See! I can tolerate the cold but not the heat! That's to all you folk over in NZ and Oz who tried to get me into coats and jackets! Anything over about 25 and I'm done for!!! It was a good day though and I bought some clematis plants for my wee patch - very restrained I was!


Today I have been at work - early shift 7 a.m till 3 in the afternoon. We've paid for the lovely day yesterday! It was a lot cooler today and it rained! Surprise, surprise!


OK! Back to NZ. I am really enjoying re-living my trip while editing my photos! It's just hard to leave some pictures out but I have them all on disk so I'm not losing them. Today's pics are all taken in the museum in Invercargill. The highlight of that visit is in the last two photos for today! Thanks for organising that, Eunice!
Some New Zealand birds in the Museum at Invercargill




This is the sort of thing that keas get up to!





A pukeko - actually blue wth a black back. I think this one must be a rather elderly resident of the museum!!!
A tui- also known as a Parson bird - from the "lace" ruffle at its throat












and a little owl called a Morepork - from the sound it makes

















Dolls from the Diana Eckersley exhibition

Mushrooms!




Meeting of cultures - te pikorua





Maori meets Pakeha (white person -European)















Bath in a tin bucket. Isn't this so clever!
It really makes me smile!



















A teenager, in her jeans and fancy top, coloured hair and all! Our teenagers are much more decorative than this now! I think this one must be from my era!






Orange doll










Doll on a swing!










This is Carol looking ever so ever so! There were a couple of dolls seated in these wee chairs, but I chose Carol to show you



















rockin'n'rollin dolls, they look a bit more balletic to me




























and a very European looking Santa Claus! There were loads of other dolls so this is just a small selection.







For Janet and Shell, this is the display about Burt (Bert) Munro and the fastest Indian in the World, his bike!















Now for the highlight for me!












I get to meet and hold a tuatara! It isn't Henry, the famous tuatara at the museum who at 100 years old has just fathered a family, but one of his pals. Not sure how old this one is!

So those are the highlights of the Invercargill museum!
Now I promise that next time we'll go travelling!
Talk again soon!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Friends at Invercargill revisited, and some nice seascapes

Sunday: My goodness, it's cold today! The sun has been shining but there's a cold east wind blowing - straight from Siberia I think! However, my little garden is a bit sheltered and it was quite warm in the sun, without the wind. I worked for a couple of hours at least, this afternoon after work, pulling out weeds and generally tidying up, till my back began to twinge, and I knew it was time to call a halt! It looks a lot better anyway! Quite a satisfactory achievement!!!

Are you ready for more photos? I hear your loud roar - but tough, you're getting them anyway!

First pics this time are more soft toys! In NZ the airport soft toys are kiwis, keas, and things to do with Maori and the All Blacks!

These are keas... destructive old birds! Don't park your car and go off for the day if there are likely to be keas around or you may come back to a scene of devastation at the beak of one or more. They are more than capable of ripping your windscreen wipers off, pulling off the rubber seals and/or ravaging the tyres!











These are altogether cuter... some comical kiwis









Coming down at Christchurch on route for Invercargill I wondered what the white dots were at the edges of the fields. They turned out to be bales - silage I expect, fodder for the cattle. There aren't as many cows as there are sheep in NZ but it's still a large dairy country. In the distance you can see the Southern Alps of which Mount Cook is the highest peak, though not in this pic! I was to drive up the coast on the other side of these mountains later on.

Next day was my birthday, and I found flowers awaiting me - from Eunice's daughter Rosemary and her family.


Here's my dear friend - and nearly cousin - Eunice at her computer, at home in Invercargill.











The next couple or so were taken at Riverton, on the south coast, that same day. I had planned to go to Stewart Island, NZ's third island, but despite this picture the weather was too bad, but instead I thoroughly enjoyed the day along the coast.









This is flax, the stuff the Maori people weave into baskets and mats, and those grass-like shirts they wear, from. It grows everywhere.


I love these! Go on! Give them a caption!

Put it with the comments below this blog. Instructions in the LH column up near the top!


















These are paua shells - abalone - that I picked up on the beach at Riverton. In the shops they are sold all all cleaned up and polished for about $5 each, or are cut into shapes or used as inlays for ornaments and jewellery, but I wanted to take mine home! I knew I wouldn't be able to take them into Australia - strict rules about importing natural goods - so before I left NZ I parcelled them up and sent them to myself. They arrived home the day after me!






This is probably the most well-known of Maori symbols - the tiki, all about fertility, rebirth and new life. This one is made from paua shell.












It was Ken, Eunice's son, who noticed the signpost so I was photographed beneath it. It was pretty breezy at that moment and the rain not far away!







It wasn't the only time that day that I was to be photographed either! When we returned home there was a special birthday cake to be cut. What a lovely surprise from them all.




Next day was Eunice's birthday, so we had another day out... and another birthday cake!

Here's Eunice with husband Keith at the restaurant at Bluff where they, the family and I had lunch. Keith, you look very serious here!

After lunch Ken and I walked a little way along the coastline. It rained a fair bit.






This is Ken, Eunice and Keith's son.








Stewart Island is out there somewhere!









Looking back to Bluff









Hanging round a pole again! Bluff is the eqivalent of Land's End here in Britain. This is the signpost pointing out the direction of a few world cities.











The grandies helping to blow out the candles on Eunice's cake.



These are Rachel, Robbie and Jonathan

















Rosemary, Eunice's daughter and her husband Geoff, parents of the three livewires!


So, it's Wednesday now! Yesterday I went to Dunfermline to meet up with Erwin, a close friend for many years of Leslie and Jim. He couldn't come over from Germany at the time of Leslie's funeral, so joined me yesterday in scattering Leslie's ashes in the grounds of the crematorium. Erwin hadn't encountered such a thing before and was maybe a little taken aback by the procedure. However he was pleased to be able to come to Leslie's home town to say his personal goodbye to a lady who along with her husband in 1958 had befriended the young student holidaying in Scotland, and whose friendship extended over 50years.

Today it is raining and is very dull - dreich, as we say here in Scots (pronounced dreech - with that special ch as in a Scottish loch!) - though it is not so cold. I think the east wind has changed direction. I used my Adelaide umbrella today! First good use it has had!

Anyway, all for today. I'll start work on the next group of pics shortly.

Talk again soon.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

On to New Zealand.....

Hi again! Beginning this on Saturday evening, and goodness knows when it will be finished! I'm still surprised looking out of my windows at springtime, when I left autumn behind in NZ and Australia. It's still not very warm, but at least it hasn't rained since I got home! It's just after 9.30p.m. now and it's still light! We'll have about another half hour I should think! Then it will be light again at about 4.30 a.m.

Some of our customers at the Co have actually missed me! It's nice that they noticed I hadn't been about for a while!

So - on with the NZ photos, starting at Melbourne airport. Scotland has its Nessies and haggises, Dubai had its camels, and Australia has more than its fair share of koalas, kangaroos, kookaburras and wombats. What am I on about, you ask? Soft toys! The airports' souvenir shops were full of them!






Dubai camels!










and now some kookie burghs....















and kangaroos......... oops, sorry, these are the koalas.










Kangaroos....... oh and wombats and duckbilled platypusses too, or as my sister renamed them - flat billed ducky pusses! Now I hope you Americans out there don't think that's rude, but it isn't, in English!




So I arrived in Auckland and stayed with Margaret and the boys for a few days.

This is Chris.







and here is Mike. These two hate being in front of a camera!









and this is Margaret - on the right - with Patricia, Margaret's first cousin, another of the Inglis descendants, who came to visit one day.
We all pored over the Inglis family tree and Margaret produced photos and articles for us to look at.

















Their grandfather - seated centre - came to Scotland in the 1880s, and went touring with my grandfather - seated right - and a couple of friends. They are on top of a mountain on the Isle of Skye in this photo.
Margaret very kindly gave me the manuscript that contains Bert's description of their tour, and this photo amongst others of family members,



So now I have introduced you to the cousins I'll continue next time with some views!
Talk again soon.

Friday, 23 May 2008

The Wedding Weekend

Hi again! Well, it was back to work again for me today! Just seemed like I'd never been away! Not so bad though!

There was a vintage car rally came through Peebles earlier today! It reminded me of my visit to Arrowtown and the parade of vintage cars there. Some of today's drivers stopped at the roadside to allow kids and a group of folk from the "sheltered housing" across the road
to have a go in their cars! Roy and Bruce, two of the Downs lads, had great fun!


So, back to the photos! The wedding weekend, this time.




















Here's Clare arriving at church for her marriage to Nathan














Father Jan..... It's a Polish name and I can't remember it! He was lovely, with a twinkly smile and great sense of humour.






It's good to have an uncle who is a professional cameraman. Bruce filmed the wedding and made a DVD, a copy of which I have brought home with me!








Clare makes her vows to Nathan














"You may kiss the bride!"



At the beginning of the ceremony, Berny and Marilyn, as mothers of the couple, each lit a candle to signify the two families. Here, Clare and Nathan each take a light from their own family candle to light the third candle which represents themselves as a couple.

Signing the register: Tasha, Nathan's sister, and Paul, Clare's brother are the witnesses.

Clare and Nathan - Mr and Mrs












Sally Inglis, chief bridesmaid, and sister of the bride












and Sally with grandma, Berny's mum.
One I didn't take, for - hello - look who's in the background!!!














Bob and Edna stood in - in loco grand-parentis - for Rex and Nance, Ian's parents. who are no longer with us. Edna is Nance's sister.











Clare's bouquet of roses. Berny told me the names of them all but the only one I remember is the two tone one named "Henri Matisse".








Beautiful!
















Clare and Nathan leave for the reception











Arriving at the reception to greet their guests, the bride holds a glass of champagne, the groom... a bottle of beer!















When it was mentioned that Nathan was to make a speech on behalf of himself and his new wife, Clare announced that she was perfectly capable of speaking for herself - and she did!














Gazing into each others' eyes, the newlyweds dance the bridal waltz.












Family guests:








Bruce, Ian's brother, and cameraman - with his partner, Dale.
(Holly's and Jesse's parents)













Colin, another of Ian's brothers, with his wife, Patrea









Whenever Vina looked at my holiday pics she would say
"Were you not on this holiday?"
so for Vina, here is one with me in it - obviously not taken by me, of course!

"We love to boogie!" Ian and Berny







Paul is chief chef at the Sunday barbecue
cooking for .........

...............this lot, relaxing on the balcony, overlooking the bay!

These are Marilyn and John, Nathan's parents - on the right - with John's sister, Nathan's aunt!!

So it has only taken me a couple of days to edit these photos, and tidy them up! I think it could be Christmas before I finish them all! I hope you enjoy them though!

Talk again soon.