Monday, 30 April 2012

What do you see?

When we were on the beach at Mahunga we came across this piece of driftwood.  We all saw the more obvious representation (but perhaps we saw something different to you) but can you see the little piggies head?


You think this is driftwood

Until you see this

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Churches of Northland: St Mary's Church at Motuti

St Mary's Church at Motuti which dates from 1899 attracts local and international pilgrims to the shrine of the country's first Catholic bishop.

Bishop Pompallier was born in Lyons, France, in 1802 and ordained a priest in 1829. In 1836 he was consecrated a bishop in Rome and appointed Vicar Apostolic of Western Oceania - a vast expanse of the Pacific ocean, amounting to about one-sixth of the globe.

On January 10, 1838, the bishop and two assistants, a Marist priest and a Marist brother, sailed up the Hokianga harbour on New Zealand's west coast. They were welcomed by an Irish-born (but French-educated) timber merchant, Thomas Poynton, and his Australian-born wife.

In the Poynton's home at Totara Point the bishop celebrated the first Catholic Mass in New Zealand on January 13, 1838.

Bishop Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier ministered to indigenous Maori and European settlers from 1838 until 1868. He then returned in ill health to his native France where he died in 1871.

In 2001, at the request of Maori Catholics, the bishop's remains were exhumed from his grave at Puteaux, on the outskirts of Paris, and, following a requiem Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral, returned to New Zealand.

During a 16-week sacred journey throughout New Zealand in 2002, crowds gathered to pay their respects to the bishop in each of the six Catholic dioceses. Then, before a large gathering - including Catholic bishops from New Zealand, France and the Pacific Islands, and the French ambassador to New Zealand - the remains were reinterred beneath the altar of St Mary's Church.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Pink For Pat aka Spesh1

Doing What Kiwis Do

Well huge numbers of them knit.  I have no photos of people knitting whether they be Kiwis or from anywhere else.  However Meike's Mum is a knitter and has written A Sock Knitting Maniac on Meike's blog with plenty of pictures.  This is an unashamed plug for Meike's blog and her give-away in the post I've just mentioned.  The more people who pop over and visit and comment on her blog and enter her give-away the less my chances of winning but, hey, we all have to make sacrifices in this life.

When we were in Mahia last weekend we saw plenty of people doing other things that Kiwis do:

Steelblue Ladybird

Picking up the hundreds (not an exaggeration for a change - I’ve been told a million times that I exaggerate too much) of fejoas from the two trees in the garden in Mahia I came upon this little Steelblue Ladybird/Ladybug (Halmus chalybeus).  It’s about 4mm long and very shiny which made photographing it quite a challenge.

Friday, 27 April 2012

An Afternoon Spin

It was a beautiful afternoon and in a few days I'll not be driving The Handbag with the roof down for another 6 months.  Driving the back country road from Bayview to the Puketitiry Road I followed a proper sports car: an MG TF Midget.  The fact that it has a 1250cc engine dates it at 1953.  It even sounded like a proper sports car.

Yellow Admiral

I have seen a New Zealand native Yellow Admiral, Kahu Kowhai (l. Vanessa itea (was Bassaris))many times here in New Zealand but I have never been able to get a photograph such as I managed today.  I had coffee with friends at The Mission View Gardens and when we arrived this splendid butterfly flew down beside me and posed.  The butterfly was collected on Cook's voyage in 1769.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thankful Thursday

For Jaz who is an inspiration, thank you.
Jaz, your post Dear Tumour was one of the bravest, most positive things I can imagine.
 When I was given similar news years ago I, too, decided that being positive was the only answer.  I trust that when I am long gone having died in ripe old age (I love cheese comparisons) you will look back at this time and remember that
 You can if you think you can
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.

~ C. W. Longenecker ~

Blog Appearance on Cellphones

A number of people have mentioned that when they are using their cellphones/mobiles the blogs do not appear in a phone-friendly format.  Unlike many people I've been using the new Blogger interface since its beta days and I think that it's a considerable improvement on the old interface.  One of the things that I did as soon as it became possible was set my template to mobile format for use on mobiles instead of the usual template which we see on our laptops or PCs.  It can be found on the following page in the new interface.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Anzac Day

Today is Anzac Day in New Zealand.  I have blogged about it previously in 2008 and 2009.  Pauline wrote a poignant post today which shows things from an Australian New Zealander's viewpoint.  Remembrance Day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is not Poppy Day in New Zealand.  Today is.

Martin was up at 5.15 to go to the Dawn Parade in Napier.  More and more people go each year.

I find that quite surprising given the fact that the day it commemorates - the day when Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand  Army Corps) landed in Gallipolli and the Gallipolli Campaign commenced - is almost 100 years ago.

Someone remarked to me today that she didn't need a 'Day' to remember those who had died in the events and horrors of war.  That made me think.  I don't think of either Anzac Day nor Remembrance Day as being a commemoration of a particular day nor a particular war.  To me all war is abhorrent. 

I've blogged before on the subject of war and the 100 million or so people who lost their lives in wars during the last century. 

If Anzac Day means that the horrors of war are brought to the forefront of our minds then I think that is a Good Thing.  If it means that we concentrate on the glorification of the heroics of war then I have severe reservations.

To me all war is anathema and, on balance, I think that the more we remember that then the less likely we are to end up in another war.  I would be much more comfortable, however, if the evidence of the past backed up that feeling and that hope.