Saturday, June 29, 2013

How to Warm Up from a Chilly Start

This morning I thought I was mad... up and out the door in the semi darkness at 6:45am on a Saturday for an early morning training session on one of the coldest mornings of the year. 
As I left Leanne's cold-as-?@#$ garage-come-gym (granted, I was well warm by then) I commented on the lovely light that the freezing morning had given rise to, and what a shame it was that I didn't have my camera in the car.
On my drive home, as a reward for my good work, I planned the leisurely morning I felt I deserved, which revolved mostly around hot shower, hot coffee and comfy couch sitting. However when I drove past the local ponds, the frost and mist lured my photographer's eye and I found myself quickly calling in to home to grab my camera, and out to stalk my neighbourhood birdlife once again.
Lurking around the ponds, I patiently waited for birds to swim into the light etc, wishing I had a longer lens... but hey, you make do with what you can afford. As I was leaving, a series of swans and other birds were performing their morning ablutions where the larger pond spilled into the smaller on, creating a lovely reflection of their actions.  I love the 'contortionistic' shapes the swans made as they preened themselves. Far too many of that scene on the memory card, and hard to edit down to favourites.
Well over an hour later I made my way home for that coffee and shower. Despite my sodden feet and the fact I had had the flimsiest of coats on, I didn't feel the cold at all while I was out there. Funny the things that warm you up.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Just back from my Book Club evening, where the book we had read and were discussing was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
What's great about being part of this little club is the push to read genres that you perhaps would not perhaps ordinarily indulge in. For me, The Night Circus falls into this category.  But really, it wasn't my cup of tea.
It was extremely strong in terms of imagery - very rich, vibrant and detailed. But great descriptions do not necessarily make for a compelling plot. I found the storyline confusing, exacerbated by the muddled timeline. It was all a bit ethereal for a girl who prefers her escapism to be based in possible reality. For me the world of the Night Circus was too fanciful, too unbelievable and just a bit silly.

But what I did enjoy was delving into the pros and cons of the book with my book club friends, new and old. That was the best part for me!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Breaking my own rules

I have a self-imposed rule that I don't watch the movie without reading the book, but tonight I was a renegade and did just the opposite.
I know The Great Gatsby is an American literary classic, but not one that I had ever been tempted to read. I was drawn to seeing the movie by a respect for Leonardo Di Caprio and a growing girl crush on Carey Mulligan. I was a little dubious about whether it not I would enjoy the directiorial style of Baz Luhrmann, having not enjoyed what he's done in the past. But I hadn't seen a movie for ages, and as I am trying to keep myself super busy in the evenings at the moment, it seemed like a good one to tick of the list if 'seen its.'
While it had some lulls, I really enjoyed it. It had the visual wow factor; lots of glitz and glamour and 20s schwang. And I loved the make-up, jewellery and accessories, especially Daisy's headband in one of the party scenes .... see pic.
I wasn't so sure about the music... The incorporation of hip-hop seemed a little incongruous with the sense of period other aspects of the film tried to illustrate. 
But what I really loved was the direct commentaries from the book by Tobey Maguire's Nick Carraway. I have enjoyed reading quotes from the book tonight (thanks Google) and recalling the scene from the movie. It's enough to (almost) make me want to read the book after the effect!

Louche living: Gatsby stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan

“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” 

"And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” 

“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.” 

"I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” 

"Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!"

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.” 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Auckland Photo Day 2013

What wonderful weather we had in this pretty city yesterday for Auckland Photo Day!
I visited several destinations, mainly keeping it local (South Auckland).

I entered 3 of these... I wonder if you can guess which ones? I am second guessing myself on my selection now, but what's done is done; I can still enjoy them all!

Sunrise, from Wattle Downs
Kauri Point Reserve, Wattle Downs
Botanic Gardens
Netball Courts, Bruce Pulman Park

Artificial ponds, Wattle Downs

Cornwall Park

Nathan Homestead
Eden Park

Eden Park