vilakins: (oamaru 1)
I finally figured out how to get my phone to take decent photos of sunsets without overexposing them. The sunset tonight was spectacular.

Sunset )
vilakins: (steampunk raygun)
Re the post's title: it's from our well known "world famous in New Zealand" which I see the owners of L&P have trademarked despite it being in common joking use.

Anyway, the photo the Otago Daily Times took of me has indeed shown up, but in the ODT-owned Oamaru Mail. It's on page 6 of this week's paper (digital edition - it takes a couple of seconds to load full size) along with others of steampunkers. Unusually, it's not a bad one; I usually loathe photos of me.
vilakins: (steampunk me)
Behold: just in time for the last steampunk post, an icon showing me in wig, leather helmet, obligatory steampunk goggles, and raygun. The raygun also has its own icon.

On Saturday night I attended the League of Victorian Imagineers Mess Dinner, a huge function full of adults having fun cosplaying and just plain playing. There were hobbyhorse and teacup races* and a bizarre and illogical murder mystery with about 12 corpses.

* Teacup races? See this Victorian picture for the idea. Contestants were selected ladies wearing corsets, but they only had to balance one (empty) cup and saucer.


Lady with blinged-up Dalek handbag. Yes, it did say, "EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!"

Two more of the dinner )

Yesterday it was the Moments in Time fashion parade at the Opera House in which contestants also have to have a story about their persona. I didn't take photos as I knew they wouldn't come out well, but the overall winner was a chap in top hat and goggles - and a wonderfully retro spacesuit. The fire angel with wings he could ratchet out to be HUGE was also wonderful; hey, they all were!

Afterwards I had coffee with Katelin from Budapest (now living here).

Two photos of Katelin and her magnificent hat )

Links to the Otago Daily Times reporting (I didn't make the cut, I'm relieved to say):
That's it for this year, but it's board games night tonight so that's good.
vilakins: (tea)
My photos of the Fire and Steam event last night didn't come out well. Here are two anyway.


It was pretty cool, with various groups performing including Cook Island and Taiko drummers. I do love Taiko.

Steampunk market and probably more than you ever wanted to know about tea duelling )
vilakins: (attolian me)
At last I live somewhere here that has a winter festival - Steampunk Festival Weekend! It starts tonight with Fire and Steam.

Fire and Steam

I haven't been able to find my leather helmet*, but I have the rest of the gear I need: goggles, wig (see icon), leather cap and jacket, army jacket, pocket watch, flask with compass, and raygun. I realised I also needed a persona, like the other steampunkers here, so I'm Lucinda Augusta Throgmorton. I toyed with Henrietta Buckleton which was the magnificent name a school friend rejoiced in (she wanted to be a truck driver when she left school) but decided I'd create my own.

Other things I'm going to:
  • Tea Duelling tomorrow morning, as a competitor
  • League of Victorian Imagineers Mess Dinner, Murder Mystery and Airship Racing tomorrow night
  • Steampunk NZ Moments In Time: a series of tiny theatre pieces at the Opera House on Sunday
  • Assorted markets and demos

* Found the helmet which is good because my leather flat cap didn't fit over my wig.
vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))
Oamaru has three major attractions: steampunk (see next post), the old Victorian Precinct and other beautiful whitestone buildings like the Opera House. A new tourist attraction, Whitestone City, opened a couple of weeks ago and they held a free open day for locals. It's an immersive experience with lots of things you can do.


The penny-farthing carousel for kids (and the occasional adult).

More photos )
vilakins: (autumn)
I just discovered how easy it is to use DW's image hosting instead of mucking about with Flickr to extract URLs, so I'll be making more pic posts.

It's late autumn here and at the weekly farmers' market they had carved pumpkins - the first I've ever seen in RL.


Farmers' Market on a lovely crisp day

Pumpkins, pasta, and a castle )
vilakins: (fireworks)
Our neighbour Michael the Bookbinder invited us to a new year's party. He's the one who dresses in Victorian clothes every day...

... even when clearing the gutters on his house.


He invited us to a new year's party. Photos including Noisel the cat )

I discovered from all Michael's books on the Napoleonic wars that he's a wargamer with thousands of tiny hand-painted soldiers and equipment from the period; we spent some time looking at those and he was impressed with how much I knew. I used to wargame but my period was the WW2 North African campaign and I used boards and counters. I wish I still had them now.
vilakins: (attolian me)
This Roman me icon has given me ideas for next year which will include that wig and necklace and should be cooler. The striped jacket I wore was far too hot in the sun.

Sunday was the fete held in the Victorian Precinct which was closed off to cars. I only spent three hours there in the afternoon so I missed a lot of the street entertainment - check out these excellent photos on Facebook to see more than I did (plus more parade photos).

I can offer Morris dancers for [personal profile] watervole, acrobats, and Queen Victoria with a difference.

My photos )
vilakins: (cricket)
The sun came out for the noon parade though it was raining in the morning. Oamaru weather, you finally came through!

Parade photos )

In the evening I went to the murder mystery dinner which was great fun. Most of the diners/audience were in costume and the people at my table were very friendly. The teenager beside me thought I looked like the 5th Doctor, hence the icon. :-) I took a photo of fellow diners but it didn't come out; that's been happening lately. The phone gets a new SD card tomorrow.
vilakins: (attolian me)
It's been sad and grey and wet here for weeks, and though it fined up today, the garden party in the garden below us was moved to a hall and the have-a-go-at-croquet event was cancelled because there were floods on Wednesday and the ground is too soggy and wet. There's another garden party tomorrow in a different location and that still looks to be going ahead.

As the theme is "Medicine in the Victorian Era" I dressed as one of the Three Men in a Boat, the hypochondriac one, armed with two of Greg's Victorian bottles he dug out of the Avon River mud as a kid, one labelled "Doctor Brooke's Solar Elixir" and the other "Bonnington's Irish Moss for Coughs and Colds".

The icon BTW is as close as I can get to Victorian though it's actually me dressed as a Roman woman.

Elevenses with Mrs Beeton in the Early Settlers Hall


This wonderful gentleman was there. That was an excellent event: $5 for a selection of savouries and cakes including Madeira cake, a cup of tea, and a glass of Madeira - I can imagine this charmer as the singer of Flanders and Swann's "Have some Madeira m'dear". Plus you could try your hand at Victorian parlour games.

More photos )

Apothecary Tea Party at the Sanatorium AKA the Opera House


A woman and her son in the Opera House. I just noticed that there's a nurse carrying a severed foot behind her. :-P Also in the background is the entrance to the Hysteria Room.

More photos including a couple possibly NSFW )
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
About two months ago I got a hernia at the incision site of the operation I had in March (the one it turned out I didn't need). It's a big one and after a CT scan yesterday, they're operating to repair it on the 23rd of this month.

I have three chronic conditions, one from when I was a baby, and the others developed more recently, and they make operations and anaesthesia more dangerous. I had to stay overnight on the high care unit last time due to really low blood pressure. I never mention these things as I refuse to be defined by medical nouns (I'm not a XXX or a YYY; I'm a person that happens to have those conditions). I usually feel fine but I'm only kept alive by drugs which I prefer to forget.

So much for the person who didn't think my comments had any validity because I'm "able-bodied".

I really hope this will sort things out and I'll get through the operation well and recover quickly with no more complications. I'm fed up with all this, and nervous.

At least I have the week-long Victorian fete next week to take my mind off it all. I have my outfit ready: tan trousers, white shirt, striped blazer, and a straw boater - I'm going to be cross-dressing a la Three Men in a Boat as I'm not one for dresses and bonnets. Garden parties, parades, steam trains, lots of cool things happening!

There will be photos though I've been slack about posting ones I've already taken. I'll try to clear the recent backlog this week.
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
As some of you were interested in seeing more of our windows and views, here are some more photos taken today.

Plus added cats! )
vilakins: Vila dozing off at the teleport controls (alert)
... was probably yesterday in this time zone.

But hey, photos of all three taken since Friday here in the Oamaru midwinter.

Sebastian is unimpressed by snow
Sebastian is unimpressed by snow.

More )

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