Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunday Scans: Graduation/capping/convocation


That was 1980, I was capped on the same day as the water engineer. We both got our bachelors. My sister Margaret came up to Auckland. We pitied her, she sat through two sessions. The water engineer went on to get a PhD, and my late friend Ken Thornton said I got an honorary PhT, (Putting husband through,)

My second daughter G will be capped tomorrow. She will be getting an LLB.

Friday, April 29, 2011

weekend Bridge: Boat jetty

Where the rich people park their boats at Half Moon bay. I don't own a boat, just as well, I get very sea sick.

macro flowers saturday: Found in Singapore

Macro Flower Saturday

Sorry I don't know the name, may be Jama will be able to tell us. I was in the Singapore when I went snapping photos of plants instead of animals.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Watery Wednesday: Fishing

This is fish caught by recreational fisherman with a hook and line. There is another kind of fishing.

You got mail, it's from Greenpeace.


Ask the 5 big NZ tuna retailers to leave out the turtle and shark and change their tuna!

Our relationship with the sea is a vital part of what it means to be Kiwi.

Over the last week, along with the other groups involved in the flotilla to Stop Deep Sea Oil, we have been working to protect New Zealand's coastlines, oceans and economy from the impacts of deep sea drilling.

Slightly further from our shores, but just as important, the Pacific Ocean is being affected by industrial tuna fishing fleets. More than 6000 vessels are scooping up tuna at such a rate that stocks are in jeopardy of being wiped out. Adding to this problem are destructive fishing methods which are killing endangered sharks, turtles and tuna so young that they haven't had a chance to reproduce.

Not only is this threatening the health of the Pacific Ocean it's also impacting on the livelihoods of our Pacific neighbours.

This short video explains the whole shebang very nicely ...

We all have a crucial part to play in protecting the Pacific and its fish stocks so there are tuna in the future. Over the next few months we'll be talking to the five companies behind the major brands of canned tuna, the New Zealand fishing fleets and the Government about what needs to be done and we'll need your help.

Starting today we're calling on the main brands of canned tuna sold in New Zealand (Sealord, John West, Greenseas and the 'own brand' products of our two supermarket chains) to follow the lead of tuna brands in other parts of the world that are shifting to more sustainably caught tuna.

Our message to NZ tuna brands is: "Change your tuna". By that we mean they need to start sourcing truly sustainable fish and to stop selling tuna that has been caught using bad fishing methods which catch and kill endangered turtles and sharks.

You can help let the brands know selling tuna caught this way is not acceptable and that you want them to be offering you a choice based on sustainability. Join our online campaign to send this message to them now at:

Depending on their responses, we'll decide where we need to focus our
attention, and will be in touch soon with next steps.

Thank you for your support,

Karli Thomas
Oceans campaigner
Greenpeace Aotearoa NZ

Ruby Red/Rednesday: Poppy Day

Yesterday, 25 April was Anzac Day .
It commemorates all New Zealanders and Australians killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.
The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.
The poppy's significance to Remembrance Day is a result of Canadian military physician John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy emblem was chosen because of the poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their red colour an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of trench warfare
Every year, the Vets and their families sell these poppy flowers. When I was in primary school in Borneo, we used to buy them. My teacher told me that the money was  ex-Services and Dependants. Later, when Sarawak became part of Malaysia, they stopped selling poppies. feathers were sold instead.                                                                                                 
In my ESOL adult class, I teach ANZAC day to the new immigrants. I was glad to have L and E who lived through the war to assist me. "Lest we forget" doesn't mean as much as those who lived through those horrible days.   

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

sunday scans: Glacier


In the summer of year 2000, we went to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Fox was a bigger glacier, but nearer to the road. Everyone went but as Sam was three, I didn't go too near to the terminus.

The next morning, D and Sam decided to stay in the car while we went to Franz Josef Glacier. It seemed like walking miles and miles in the rain and narrow rocky path. We saw tiny icebergs flowing down the stream. We saw waterfalls. We got very wet.

When we reached the terminus, I was all geared up and I became a dare devil. Both Gand I went to have a photo shoot of touching the glacier. Later I told this to my girl friends and my Australia friend told me off. This, she said could be the very time when the ice breaks.

I was very lucky I was saved by the skin of my teeth. So I have deleted the photo. Here are some taken at Fox and Franz Josef. Yesterdays news gave me a close warning. It could have been me and the heading, "Mum and teen aged daughter......"

Brothers crushed by ice named, glacier search postponed
Updated 9:40AM Friday Jan 09, 2009

He said people visiting areas like the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers needed to respect safety barriers and notices.

Both the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers were advancing and had vertical, or in places overhanging, terminal faces.

These were extremely dangerous places to be and were continually subjected to unpredictable rock and ice falls, he said.

Mr Jewell said the glacier's face was an unstable and unsafe place to be at the best of times.

It had frequent collapses which sent large blocks of ice flowing downstream.

Recent warm weather had made the glacier even more unstable.

"The present condition of the terminal face is quite steep," he said.

"We have got warm temperatures ... and obviously we have got frequent ice collapses, but we have had a good sized one [yesterday]."

His company was operating guided tours on the ice throughout yesterday, but none near the glacier face when the accident occurred.

DoC procedures

DoC area manager Jo Macpherson said a lot of people were in the valley yesterday, and it was a member of the public who raised the alarm about the ice collapse.

Conservation Minister Tim Groser said it was a "tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions (for the parents) to lose both sons in one tragedy".

Mr Groser was at Fox Glacier but was staying out of the way of the operational staff conducting the search.

"There are extensive safety procedures in place, these are reviewed annually, there's also been independent assessment of these procedures.

"We're dealing with a situation that is a highly dangerous and dynamic natural environment involving rock, ice and rivers."

The procedures were last reviewed in August last year.

He said the facts of the latest incident would be reviewed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), police and probably the coroner.

There will always be risk, but also "some responsibility on the part of these individuals who go into these areas".

Tourist injured in 2007

The last glacier incident involving injury to a tourist occurred in February 2007, when a man standing beside an ice cave at the face of the Franz Josef Glacier, also on the West Coast, was struck by falling debris when the roof collapsed.

DoC said that year that almost one third of the 600,000 visitors to the West Coast glaciers ignored warning signs and entered danger zones.

In October 2000, a 30-year-old Thai tourist was severely injured when she crossed a safety barrier and was crushed by an icefall.

Asked yesterday if people were continuing to flout the rules, Mr Jewell said: "Unfortunately, yes.

"People don't seem to realise the risk they are putting themselves in.

"They are inexperienced people and they are on holiday and maybe their guard is down. They just don't understand the potential for something to happen. A lot of people just like to touch the ice, which is a pretty crazy thing to do."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Macro flowers Saturday: Banana

Macro Flower Saturday

In many parts of South East Asia, like Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and the Philipines, they use banana flowers in their cooking. I have not used them myself.

I used to grow bananas and I would give the flowers to my friends. There is a lot of work removing the sap. My Thai friend makes a salad, my Sri Lanka friends cooks in curry.

Then my Burmese friend cooks the heart of the stem.

I grew them, but I don't eat them. Other friends ask why I bother, I just like to see the plants grow and make others happy.

These are actually in Auckland. I am surprised because the fruits actually mature to be edible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thursday Theme Song:Wild flowers
Teresa Teng-路 邊 的 野 花 不 要 採 Don't Pick The Roadside Flowers

Doug posted his lovely daffodil and this saying which reminded me of this song.

Pluck not the wayside flower;
It is the traveler's dower.
~William Allingham

In Chinese, the road side flower means the not so nice girls. You pick the home grown flowers.

I was educated in English In Borneo, but I liked this Chinese Song, and Teresa was on of the most popular artistes. Sadly she died from an asthmatic attack.
The video is beautiful. Artistes: Cathie Ryan

Lyrics: [ The Wild Flowers ]

Twas' the wild flowers I preferred
Who owed nothing to nobody
But blossomed in the ditches
And made their own way in the world

Twas' the wild flowers I admired
Who never done nothing to you
But driven from the garden
Sang their own songs in the spring

You can have your lilie, you can have your rose
That were taken and broken, and bred by men
They were grafted and maimed, twisted and tamed

But the wild flowers I enjoyed
They had nothing to do with you
They flowered by the roadside
And wore their own colours in the sun

They were there before you
They'll be there after you
That will out, that will out
Like your own true nature
You can try, you can try
But you never will defeat...

The wild flowers I enjoyed
They had nothing to do with you
Banished from the garden
They made their own way in the world
Sang their own songs in the spring
And wore their own ... colours ... in the sun

watery wednesday. Royal Boat in Brunei

On a day tour in Brunei city, we saw this Royal Boat. It was raining, and the photo was not very sharp.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ruby Red/Rednesday: 3a Copy & Design.

Red is an auspicious color to the Chinese. It was a pleasure working with the lovely people in this company. I chose blue for my book, blue in remembrance of my baby boy Andrew who died in 1989. Without him, there would be no book.

Elaine Xu my graphic designer

Jeff or Jeffery the Boss.

Writing a book is like having a baby. You don't do it alone. I am very grateful to have many people helping me from it's conception,Robyn Dove encouraging me to write, friends from as far as America like Ginny, Betsy and George, Ladyfi from Sweden, Reader Wil from Holland, Diane from Australia, and many others.

I have a prayer team from my church and my life group. I had help from the technical side. Gillian Tewsley my editor, Jeanette Grimmer who proof-read, Jonathan and Robyn Dove for their forward, My husband and my son doing the formating.

Finally I was introduced by my friend Frank to 3A copy & Design who printed my book. Jeff and Elaine Xu my graphic Designer were like my obstetricians. I have my two sample copies and am really excited when I get the real McCoy.

Thank you all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday scans: Science Centre Singapore


The Science Centre in Singapore was a favourite place when my kids were young. The admission was cheap, and there were plenty of hands on activites. The place was cooled by the air con. Sometimes I went outside to their garden.

This shell of a helicopter was a hit with the kids, especially with boys.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

watery wednesday: Rangitoto Channel.

Rangitoto Island is a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with its distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 metres (850 ft) high over the Hauraki Gulf.[1][2] Rangitoto is the most recent and the largest (2311 hectares)[3] of the approximately 50 volcanoes of the Auckland Volcanic Field.[2] It is separated from the mainland of Auckland's North Shore by the Rangitoto Channel.

Rangitoto was formed by a series of eruptions between 600 and 700 years ago, and is our youngest volcano. The Maoris who saw the eruption call this Rangitoto 'Bloody Sky',

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rubyred/rednesday/Thursday Theme Song: Waltzing Matilda

If the saying, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is true, I made a lot of friends last Thursday.

At Mt Albert Baptist Church, we had a group of 16 students from Sydney Missionary and Bible College across the ocean in Australia. They served alongside us and injecting some fresh energy into a whole range of areas. They spent their week, among other things, visiting LifeGroups, teaching in various ministries and preaching. It was exciting to see Darran and Kathyrn use their multi media to teach our ESOL class.

I was privileged to be asked to cook for their lunch on Thursday. On the menu was to cook a simple Asian lunch. I cooked Chicken Fried rice and Beef curry. The lunch was to be eaten at the blue room, but I served them at the buffet table where part of the wall was red. Can you see the red zinnia flower?

They insisted I took a photo with some of the students. I normally am behind the camera but after much coaxing I obliged. Here I was with Sam and Beck Gough, Donna McCann, Sarah and Darran Holder, Alan Thompson and Kathyrn Windam. You can see Darran trying to feed me to show his gratitude.

The photo shows some boxes at the back. They hold the donated items my church had been collecting from the community for earthquake struck Christchurch. Our youth Pastor Jeff Orr worked very hard organising this.

We played the most famous Australia Song Waltzing Matilda as we welcomed them to New Zealand. I told Darran that I am half Australian because my parents went to live there, my mum is buried there and many of my siblings live there.

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil,
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.


Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.


Up rode the squatter mounted on his thorough-bred
Down came the troopers One Two Three
Whose that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me
Whose that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker-bag
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.


Up jumped the swagman sprang in to the billabong
You'll never catch me alive said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.