vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

On Saturday we went to the annual Pasifika festival. We missed it two years ago because we were out of town, and last year because it rained. This time it was grey (like most of our summer) and humid but the rain held off till Sunday. Maxx (public transport) wasn't running buses from Newmarket as in other years so we had to drive to a train station, wait ages for a train (most were cancelled last weekend; great planning, guys) and then a crowded bus, then all that in reverse going home. I think we spent more time in transit than actually there. :-P

Pasifika is held at Western Springs, a lovely big park with a lake. Various Pacific islands set up "villages" all round it so people can do a circuit visiting them all. They have dancers, demos, and lots of yummy food to try, the highlights for me being "te baan", Kiribati pancakes filled with fresh grated coconut and te kamamai (coconut syrup). We took coconut buns and Cook Islands poke (paw-kay) home with us. Poke is usually made from cooked bananas and coconut cream; we also got pumpkin for its rarity value.

Three photos of weaving and dancing )

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

Remember the Newmarket Viaduct that has our names in it (and Vila's for that matter)? They've completed the new southbound lanes so they opened them up yesterday (Sunday) for the public to walk over. Greg's been looking forward to it for weeks, and I was keen too, depending on the weather. I said if it was raining I'd stay home. It wasn't when we left, but if course it poured down while we were walking up the on-ramp and along to the Big Blue Thing (the self-launching crane also affectionately called Big Blue). I thought it was a complete wash-out since all I could see was the inside of my large green umbrella and the wet concrete under my feet. I hate winter. I really hate winter. But then the sun came out and yay, I could see! And even take photos!

When we went back down (it was a walk of about 1.5kms) we went over to 277, stopping on the way to let a sudden downpour pass, and ate at my favourite place in the food hall there, the Thai-Vietnamese-Malay fusion place. We had kung-po chicken, tamarind fish, and beef rendang, and very yummy it was too.

Photos )

vilakins: (winter)

Yesterday as part of the Maori midwinter festival Matariki, there was a Kite Day held on Bastion Point which belongs to the local iwi (tribe), Ngāti Whātua. As it was a stunningly beautiful winter's day, we decided to go. There were some amazing and huge kites, all based on sea creatures.

15 photos of gorgeous big kites, Maori marae, and area--all fairly small )



It was a gorgeous day and not that cold in the sun, but wow, it was cold last night. It got down to 4C.

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

I have a soft spot for heavy engineering (which my father used to indulge with visits to dams and bridges). The motorway viaduct over Newmarket is being replaced while still in use, and on Sunday they had an open day. The process is pretty cool: the huge self-launching gantry (fondly known as The Big Blue Thing) is being used to build the new southbound lanes, then the old ones will be deconstructed (as opposed to demolished willy-nilly) and replaced with new northbound lanes, then the old northbound lanes will be taken down. The new structure's meant to withstand a 1-in-2500-years earthquake (probably while the whole city falls down around it).

A street was closed off on Sunday and visitors had the chance to sign their names in one of the segments before it goes up.

Photos, and an unexpected appearance by Ceiling Cat )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (me jayne)

Scrapbook seems to be working again now, so I'll have another go.

There's been a big ad campaign here for the Steven Spielberg series The Pacific about the war there, probably because it all happened fairly near us and a lot of our people were involved. It started with a very good facsimile of a real letter written home during WW2 by a US marine being mailed out (with permission). I scanned the letter and envelope in because I found it interesting and moving.
Page 1
Page 2
Envelope
The site's worth a look too (see link above). I voted for being in the Air Force and got 7/10 in the quiz. :-P

Then on Sunday (I'd have posted yesterday if LJ's Scrapbook had worked) they held a mock-up of a dogfight between two Kittyhawks and a Japanese fighter complete with anti-aircraft fire. We went down to Mission Bay to watch. There were so many people doing the same thing that we had to park about about a km away and walk. I have photos of this plus bonus traditional Fijian boats and an Art Deco house.

13 photos )

vilakins: (liberator)

Last night at Apollo 13 - Mission Control was absolutely wonderful--better even than I'd hoped!

First we went to the Middle East Cafe which has been there for ever (well, since 1980 according to their sign) and still makes the best falafels in town. It's a tiny place you have to go to early to get a table, but it's worth it: absolutely delicious falafel and salads. And lots of camels; the owner has been collecting them since the place opened, and they had carved ones, plushies, crockery, puzzles, two large Rinconada ones, jade ones, huge ones on their on shelves, tiny ones--and a biplane. Of course: it was a Sopwith Camel. :-D We even had camel-shaped biscuits with our coffee.

Apollo 13 - Mission Control )



On to some photos (all pretty small).

See me on the moon! See my console! See what I made! )

Air Show

24 Mar 2009 07:12 pm
vilakins: (flying)

We went to the Air Show at Whenuapai on Saturday, along with a record crowd of 50,000 which meant it took over an hour to get out of the grounds and access road afterwards. It's on every two years but we've never been before because we're usually away on holiday at this time of year.

Here's a small selection of my favourite photos. Those who like planes can see 34 equally good photos in this gallery. All are between 20 and 90kB so should be quick to load if LJ Scrapbook is behaving itself.

10 photos )

Air Show

24 Mar 2009 07:12 pm
vilakins: (flying)

We went to the Air Show at Whenuapai on Saturday, along with a record crowd of 50,000 which meant it took over an hour to get out of the grounds and access road afterwards. It's on every two years but we've never been before because we're usually away on holiday at this time of year.

Here's a small selection of my favourite photos. Those who like planes can see 34 equally good photos in this gallery. All are between 20 and 90kB so should be quick to load if LJ Scrapbook is behaving itself.

10 photos )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (stars)

Yesterday we drove down to Hamilton (about one hour 15 minutes away) to see the Night Glow part of the Balloons over Waikato festival. This consists of the tethered balloons being lit by their burners in time to music, and this was pretty cool. There were 18 balloons involved (Greg counted them) and three special shapes this year. In honour of Darth Vader, two of the music pieces were the Star Wars march and Vader's theme. For the Nightmare House, they also did 'Werewolves of London', 'Monster Mash', and 'Time Warp'. :-)

The Night Glow lasted an hour and though my view was a little obscured by people (many of whom had kids on their shoulders) I actually managed to get two pictures when they were all lit. Then they had an excellent firework show which was right above us so that the bigger ones were comin' right at ya. Greg got some pics; was too busy enjoying them.

Balloons and fireworks - 5 photos )



It's the first time I've gone to this, and probably the last because of the shockingly bad traffic organisation. It took us two hours to got to the venue, just outside Hamilton, because the promised one bus per 15 minutes didn't come. The venue was supposed to be closed to cars, but I later found out that the traffic management people hired to enforce this... didn't, and for the second year running. So because buses couldn't get back to bring more people out, the few passing were packed. We drove into town to get one earlier on its route, and finally got one.

We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes before the Night Glow, so that was good, but there were only three food and drink stalls for the many thousands there, so that was bad. Lucky I brought some water and two emergency protein bars. :-P

Then when we left, yes, there were no buses because the huge traffic jam of cars wouldn't let them through. There were long lines of several thousand people stretching across the field, and we--fairly near the front of the one for our bus route--were there an hour. I'd say some people didn't got home for another two hours, and lots of them had little kids. One of the organisers walked down the lines telling people to write to the paper to complain about the traffic management company. I'm not sure I can be bothered as I don't live there, but I hope they bloody well get a rocket under them. It's such a pity because it's a really fun occasion otherwise.

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (stars)

Yesterday we drove down to Hamilton (about one hour 15 minutes away) to see the Night Glow part of the Balloons over Waikato festival. This consists of the tethered balloons being lit by their burners in time to music, and this was pretty cool. There were 18 balloons involved (Greg counted them) and three special shapes this year. In honour of Darth Vader, two of the music pieces were the Star Wars march and Vader's theme. For the Nightmare House, they also did 'Werewolves of London', 'Monster Mash', and 'Time Warp'. :-)

The Night Glow lasted an hour and though my view was a little obscured by people (many of whom had kids on their shoulders) I actually managed to get two pictures when they were all lit. Then they had an excellent firework show which was right above us so that the bigger ones were comin' right at ya. Greg got some pics; was too busy enjoying them.

Balloons and fireworks - 5 photos )



It's the first time I've gone to this, and probably the last because of the shockingly bad traffic organisation. It took us two hours to got to the venue, just outside Hamilton, because the promised one bus per 15 minutes didn't come. The venue was supposed to be closed to cars, but I later found out that the traffic management people hired to enforce this... didn't, and for the second year running. So because buses couldn't get back to bring more people out, the few passing were packed. We drove into town to get one earlier on its route, and finally got one.

We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes before the Night Glow, so that was good, but there were only three food and drink stalls for the many thousands there, so that was bad. Lucky I brought some water and two emergency protein bars. :-P

Then when we left, yes, there were no buses because the huge traffic jam of cars wouldn't let them through. There were long lines of several thousand people stretching across the field, and we--fairly near the front of the one for our bus route--were there an hour. I'd say some people didn't got home for another two hours, and lots of them had little kids. One of the organisers walked down the lines telling people to write to the paper to complain about the traffic management company. I'm not sure I can be bothered as I don't live there, but I hope they bloody well get a rocket under them. It's such a pity because it's a really fun occasion otherwise.

vilakins: Vila with a party hat and a glass of wine (party)

Here are some photos from the steam train trip to Vilagrad and back last Sunday.

Trains, Vilagrad, and the Vila Brothers Band - 12 photos )

vilakins: Vila with a party hat and a glass of wine (party)

Here are some photos from the steam train trip to Vilagrad and back last Sunday.

Trains, Vilagrad, and the Vila Brothers Band - 12 photos )

vilakins: (summer (beach))

I haven't even started sorting my holiday photos yet, but here are some from yesterday when we went to the Pasifika Festival. As usual, it was a fine, hot day and we walked about 5kms around all the stalls, sampling food and watching various dance groups.

Dancers, statues, and corned beef )

vilakins: (summer (beach))

I haven't even started sorting my holiday photos yet, but here are some from yesterday when we went to the Pasifika Festival. As usual, it was a fine, hot day and we walked about 5kms around all the stalls, sampling food and watching various dance groups.

Dancers, statues, and corned beef )

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

Here's a selection of the other pictures I took this week (all well below 100KB).

I took [livejournal.com profile] kerravonsen to the airport this morning at a horrifyingly early hour. She was going to Melbourne, but others were going to...

...a certain city in Vanuatu )



Yesterday we went to North Head )
Earlier in the week we were in Cornwall Park and on the top of One (now None) Tree Hill. )
And finally, a plush dinosaur. )

It was a fun week! I'm back at work tomorrow, sad to say, and I have only a few days to finish my neglected finishathon story. :-P

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

Here's a selection of the other pictures I took this week (all well below 100KB).

I took [livejournal.com profile] kerravonsen to the airport this morning at a horrifyingly early hour. She was going to Melbourne, but others were going to...

...a certain city in Vanuatu )



Yesterday we went to North Head )
Earlier in the week we were in Cornwall Park and on the top of One (now None) Tree Hill. )
And finally, a plush dinosaur. )

It was a fun week! I'm back at work tomorrow, sad to say, and I have only a few days to finish my neglected finishathon story. :-P

vilakins: (cool stuff)

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] kerravonsen and I went to the Auckland Museum where we saw a doodlebug, a Spitfire, a torpedo, a gun bigger than Bayban's, three stained-glass windows with a military theme, a creepy gas mask, retro future furniture, a monster ammonite, a Maori cultural show, and some very bizarre gift items in the shop, most of them due to the current Darwin exhibition (I mean, plush Darwins!)

All of my pictures of the above are in this gallery, but here's a selection.

Plush Darwins, finger puppets, and more )

vilakins: (cool stuff)

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] kerravonsen and I went to the Auckland Museum where we saw a doodlebug, a Spitfire, a torpedo, a gun bigger than Bayban's, three stained-glass windows with a military theme, a creepy gas mask, retro future furniture, a monster ammonite, a Maori cultural show, and some very bizarre gift items in the shop, most of them due to the current Darwin exhibition (I mean, plush Darwins!)

All of my pictures of the above are in this gallery, but here's a selection.

Plush Darwins, finger puppets, and more )

vilakins: (me with cat and wine)

Last weekend I went down to Hamilton to combine seeing a friend with a birthday treat. We had lunch on the paddle boat Waipa Delta, then wandered round the beautiful Hamilton Gardens (see this page for a description of the different international gardens there). As I already took pictures last time, I was more restrained. All my photos (25 of them) are in this LJ gallery, but here's a selection.

Stuffed Jeeves )



The Mighty Waikato River )

Roman pool )

Indian gate )

Japanese water garden )

Gladiator cow! )

Gladiator cow with legionary )

[Edit:] These cows are collector's items; check out Cow Parade (life-sized statues painted by local artists; they had a Cow Parade in Auckland a while back, which I saw). Mine is in there with a story about it. It's called Russell Cow!!! :-) I have decided however that mine is called Maxima.

vilakins: (me with cat and wine)

Last weekend I went down to Hamilton to combine seeing a friend with a birthday treat. We had lunch on the paddle boat Waipa Delta, then wandered round the beautiful Hamilton Gardens (see this page for a description of the different international gardens there). As I already took pictures last time, I was more restrained. All my photos (25 of them) are in this LJ gallery, but here's a selection.

Stuffed Jeeves )



The Mighty Waikato River )

Roman pool )

Indian gate )

Japanese water garden )

Gladiator cow! )

Gladiator cow with legionary )

[Edit:] These cows are collector's items; check out Cow Parade (life-sized statues painted by local artists; they had a Cow Parade in Auckland a while back). Mine is in there with a story about it. It's called Russell Cow!!! :-) I have decided however that mine is called Maxima.

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

Here at last is my Pasifika picspam.

The Pasifika Festival is held every year in the park at Western Springs, and celebrates the cultures of the different Pacific islands. It's apparently the biggest free community event in the world, and there were about 200,000 people there on Saturday. Some pictures from last year's one are here.

We caught a bus from Newmarket, outside the 277 mall, which I mention only because of the clothes I saw in the boutique by the bus stop.
Back to the future )



Tuvalu and a dance group taking a break )

Blow-up plane! )

The biggest paella you ever saw, and a Tahitian dancer )

There was an artist selling paintings and prints of big, beautiful island women which were a joy to see, and I bought two to hang in our bedroom. She's Valerie Beale and her website is here.
Valerie Beale and the two prints I bought )

vilakins: (nikau (NZ!))

Here at last is my Pasifika picspam.

The Pasifika Festival is held every year in the park at Western Springs, and celebrates the cultures of the different Pacific islands. It's apparently the biggest free community event in the world, and there were about 200,000 people there on Saturday. Some pictures from last year's one are here.

We caught a bus from Newmarket, outside the 277 mall, which I mention only because of the clothes I saw in the boutique by the bus stop.
Back to the future )



Tuvalu and a dance group taking a break )

Blow-up plane! )

The biggest paella you ever saw, and a Tahitian dancer )

There was an artist selling paintings and prints of big, beautiful island women which were a joy to see, and I bought two to hang in our bedroom. She's Valerie Beale and her website is here.
Valerie Beale and the two prints I bought )

Day out

27 Jan 2007 09:16 pm
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (wonderful)

Now that was a much better day.

I had breakfast and a Greg-made cappuccino (a weekend treat), had my hair cut--at the time I was booked for (stupid people; my hairdresser said to "speak to the boss: her"), had a Turkish lunch with Greg, booked into a jewellery-making class in March, went for a walk in Cornwall Park, went to the circus, went for another walk in the park (we'd parked our car there), bought blackened fish and kumara chips for dinner, and watched the end of The Beiderbecke Affair.

The circus was Cirque du Soleil's Varekai and was wonderful. We had front-row seats round the side, and this wasn't the best choice: I got a crick in my neck from looking up at the aerialistes, and one act was best viewed from the front. But OTOH I had a great view of the amazing costumes and make-up, and their faces as they worked. The character the story revolved around was Icarus, which was strange after the Icarian imagery in the LJArchive plug-in I mentioned here.

[Edit] Oh yes, and there was a hairless pink female character with tendrils I immediately decided was a Gratuitous Space Lesbian. :-)

Day out

27 Jan 2007 09:16 pm
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (wonderful)

Now that was a much better day.

I had breakfast and a Greg-made cappuccino (a weekend treat), had my hair cut--at the time I was booked for (stupid people; my hairdresser said to "speak to the boss: her"), had a Turkish lunch with Greg, booked into a jewellery-making class in March, went for a walk in Cornwall Park, went to the circus, went for another walk in the park (we'd parked our car there), bought blackened fish and kumara chips for dinner, and watched the end of The Beiderbecke Affair.

The circus was Cirque du Soleil's Varekai and was wonderful. We had front-row seats round the side, and this wasn't the best choice: I got a crick in my neck from looking up at the aerialistes, and one act was best viewed from the front. But OTOH I had a great view of the amazing costumes and make-up, and their faces as they worked. The character the story revolved around was Icarus, which was strange after the Icarian imagery in the LJArchive plug-in I mentioned here.

[Edit] Oh yes, and there was a hairless pink female character with tendrils I immediately decided was a Gratuitous Space Lesbian. :-)

vilakins: (spring (kowhai))

It's spring! In fact it almost feels like summer but for the lack of cicadas.

Yesterday, also a perfect spring day, Greg and I went to a Victorian tea party, part of the Auckland Heritage Festival with the proceeds going to charity. It was held in what used to be a small library built at least 100 years ago (OK, that's old for here). There were dainty triangular sandwiches, asparagus rolls, little crisp almond biscuits, sponge cakes, shortbread, jam tarts, and Dundee cake. An old guy said grace in Victorian style with a blessing on 'Her Majesty the Queen' which would normally have annoyed republican me, but I smiled, thinking of the queen in Tooth and Claw. As we ate, another old gent played Victorian tunes on a piano. Dilmah tea was served in thin white china cups which always makes it taste nicer somehow, and we took our second cup outside into the garden which was lovely.

Heard between two little girls playing on the swing there: "We're really good friends. We've never ever fighted." :-)

Pics: tea and an English city garden )

vilakins: (spring (kowhai))

It's spring! In fact it almost feels like summer but for the lack of cicadas.

Yesterday, also a perfect spring day, Greg and I went to a Victorian tea party, part of the Auckland Heritage Festival with the proceeds going to charity. It was held in what used to be a small library built at least 100 years ago (OK, that's old for here). There were dainty triangular sandwiches, asparagus rolls, little crisp almond biscuits, sponge cakes, shortbread, jam tarts, and Dundee cake. An old guy said grace in Victorian style with a blessing on 'Her Majesty the Queen' which would normally have annoyed republican me, but I smiled, thinking of the queen in Tooth and Claw. As we ate, another old gent played Victorian tunes on a piano. Dilmah tea was served in thin white china cups which always makes it taste nicer somehow, and we took our second cup outside into the garden which was lovely.

Heard between two little girls playing on the swing there: "We're really good friends. We've never ever fighted." :-)

Pics: tea and an English city garden )

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)

I went into town yesterday because the Civic Theatre, the magnificent 1920s theatre used in King Kong, was open for the Auckland Heritage Festival, and I love it. I used to go there when it was a cinema, which it still is during film festivals. It's an amazing place: the auditorium is like a sultan's palace open to a starry sky, and I've always adored what I thought were lionesses with glowing eyes crouched either side of the stage. I found out yesterday that they are in fact Syrian panthers. The rest of the cinema is an extraordinary mixture of Hindu, Buddhist, and African themes. I took two more pictures to add to my Civic Theatre gallery.

[Edit:] Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] glitterboy1 for finding this: very cool virtual tours of the Civic Auditorium and Wintergarden.

It was not a good day however. As part of the festival, I did some painting which was stolen while it was drying. No one else's was taken. Just mine. Someone is passing it off as theirs now.

I was so upset that the Aotea Square craft market failed to cheer me up. I just got some lunch (Indian) and some hand-made chocolates and some coffee and went home -- but not before taking a picture of the new espresso coffee van there that Stark's Bar run, complete with what I can't see as anything but a Stykera logo. :-)

Buddhas, elephants, and Stark's )



And now for something completely different: the works of art that are Japanese manhole covers (found on User Friendly).

vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)

I went into town yesterday because the Civic Theatre, the magnificent 1920s theatre used in King Kong, was open for the Auckland Heritage Festival, and I love it. I used to go there when it was a cinema, which it still is during film festivals. It's an amazing place: the auditorium is like a sultan's palace open to a starry sky, and I've always adored what I thought were lionesses with glowing eyes crouched either side of the stage. I found out yesterday that they are in fact Syrian panthers. The rest of the cinema is an extraordinary mixture of Hindu, Buddhist, and African themes. I took two more pictures to add to my Civic Theatre gallery.

[Edit:] Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] glitterboy1 for finding this: very cool virtual tours of the Civic Auditorium and Wintergarden.

It was not a good day however. As part of the festival, I did some painting which was stolen while it was drying. No one else's was taken. Just mine. Someone is passing it off as theirs now.

I was so upset that the Aotea Square craft market failed to cheer me up. I just got some lunch (Indian) and some hand-made chocolates and some coffee and went home -- but not before taking a picture of the new espresso coffee van there that Stark's Bar run, complete with what I can't see as anything but a Stykera logo. :-)

Buddhas, elephants, and Stark's )



And now for something completely different: the works of art that are Japanese manhole covers (found on User Friendly).

vilakins: (spring (kowhai))

And here's the icon I made from the picture in my last post.

I've been so busy this week, I've only just got round to uploading some photos from last weekend.

Our friends Frank and Monique who have come here from Holland to live and are renting a cottage on a farm not far north of Auckland, invited us to see 'the baby sheeps'. I grew up in small towns with lots of country friends and have fed many lambs and calves, but I can't resist young animals and a day in the country.

Monique rescued both lambs, the boy from starvation and the girl from a difficult birth, so by the rules of the farm, she now owns them. :-) She has worked with animals in zoos or amusement parks for years and she has a job at a rich bastard's private zoo not far from where they live, so she takes the babies to work with her each day.

Photos of lambs and spring in the country )

vilakins: (spring (kowhai))

And here's the icon I made from the picture in my last post.

I've been so busy this week, I've only just got round to uploading some photos from last weekend.

Our friends Frank and Monique who have come here from Holland to live and are renting a cottage on a farm not far north of Auckland, invited us to see 'the baby sheeps'. I grew up in small towns with lots of country friends and have fed many lambs and calves, but I can't resist young animals and a day in the country.

Monique rescued both lambs, the boy from starvation and the girl from a difficult birth, so by the rules of the farm, she now owns them. :-) She has worked with animals in zoos or amusement parks for years and she has a job at a rich bastard's private zoo not far from where they live, so she takes the babies to work with her each day.

Photos of lambs and spring in the country )

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