A Word a Week: Rainbow

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I was just going through my reader and found that Sue has chosen the word ‘rainbow’ this week.

This photo was taken with my phone a couple of days after we had moved in to our new home.  Just before a massive thunderstorm.




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Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: Pukeko

Good morning from a grey and wet Hastings.  Finally after threatening to all day, it started to rain.  A good wetting rain, if that makes sense.  A soft rain that won’t run off, but will be absorbed into the dry ground.  It should stay around for a couple of days.

 So, after all the hype about this super snow storm, I hope those affected are okay and are warm and cosy.  I know what it is like to be snowed under. One year in Austria we had a foot of fresh powder snow each day for a solid two weeks.  That was ok if you didn’t need to go out.  But I found myself really craving the sun.  It was so dark.

This week for Michelle’s challenge I found these pukekos – a purple swamp hen.  Here is some info from Wikipedia.

Pūkeko is the common name, derived from the Māori language, for the purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) of New Zealand. The subspecies occurring there is Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus, which is also found elsewhere in Australasia, including, in eastern Indonesia, the Moluccas, Aru and Kai Islands, as well as in Papua New Guinea and Australia.

A recent arrival to New Zealand, pūkeko have thrived in an environment that now contains introduced predators such as cats, rodents and mustelids (Brunin and Jamieson, 1995). They live in groups of 3–12 individuals and are known to group together and shriek loudly to defend nests successfully during attacks by Australasian harriers. When unsuccessful at repelling predators, they may abandon their nest sites.

In Māori culture

The colour red was associated with nobility and power by Māori, so the pūkeko was held in high esteem because of its red beak and legs.[8]

Māori metaphor

Pūkeko are known for their bold scheming and determination. In times past,– they raided gardens for kūmara (sweet potato) and taro. A stubborn, annoying person was compared metaphorically to the bird, and was said to have pūkeko ears (taringa Pākura).[9][10] They are known to steal eggs from each other and this is an indication of their character.

Māori mythology

In New Zealand, the pūkeko is mentioned in the Māori myth ‘How the Kiwi lost her wings’ in which several birds of the forest are asked to come down from the trees to eat the bugs on the ground and save the forest, but all give excuses except the Kiwi who is willing to give up his colours and the ability to fly. The pūkeko’s excuse is that it looks too damp down there, and he does not want to get his feet wet. The pūkeko is punished for his reluctance and told he must now live forever in the swamps.

By one account, the pukeko is the spawn of Punga (the ancestor of sharks and reptiles – enemies of the people) but was claimed by relative (and high chief) Tawhaki. Tawhaki cut himself while cutting timber and so daubed the pukeko’s forehead with his own blood to signify their bond. So the mischievous pukeko gets his character from Punga and his noble badge from Tawhaki.[10]

Hunted by Māori

In a written account given over 100 years ago, Māori were described as trapping pūkeko (near lake Taupo). They would choose a suitable place where pūkeko were known to feed, and drive a series of stakes into the ground. These stakes were connected by a fine flax string. Hair-like nooses (made from cabbage tree fibre) were then dangled at the appropriate height, from the flax string, to catch pūkeko as they fed after dusk, in the low light conditions.


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Phoneography Challenge: Golden Sunset


Good morning from a grey Hastings morning.  Rain is forecast today which will be a relief.  Even here in New Zealand we are hearing about this mega snow storm that is heading to New York and Maine.  So I hope you are safe and warm if you live up there.

This week for Sally’s challenge:


I have two photos from late last year.  We had gone to get takeaways for our movie night and the sunset was amazing.  As usual the phone was out to capture it.  I even managed to get a double sunset as well.




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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: Discovering Gnomes

Good morning from a cool cloudy Hastings morning.

I did spend some time beading yesterday so will keep you up to date with my petal dress.  The sewing is all finished and it is just the beading. Another programme I forgot to mention yesterday was Downton Abbey.  They do wear the most amazing clothes.  And the hats and tiaras.  To die for and to give me inspiration as to what to wear on my head.  Am still working on that one. Back to Pinterest for that as well.

Last year, just before Christmas my children and I went over to my parent’s house and tidied up their patio area which was really overgrown.  it is funny what you can find when everything is cleared away.  These two gnomes, looking worse for wear.  Actually I love gnomes and there are some really cute ones around.  So out with the camera, as you do.

So it is perfect for Cee’s Oddball Challenge.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #4

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge: Bathroom snaps

Cold Hands, Warm Heart?




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Travel Theme: The Fashion Industry

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Good morning from a warm and sunny Hastings day.

I was wondering what to use for Ailsa’s challenge this week:

Travel theme: Industry

I still don’t have access to all my photos where I have loads of photos of industrial machines.  But then there are many different kinds of industry.

As everyone knows I am a huge Art Deco fan.  Next month we have our Art Deco festival.  I have decided to make myself a new dress.  I searched through Pinterest and found a design by Chanel around 1925.  So I have redesigned my own dress with so-called petals.  Each petal will be hand beaded.  What I did was sewed the design on with a decorative stitch to give me the pattern to follow with the beading.  There should be about 3 kgs of beads on it in the end.  It isn’t that hard to do.  All I need is patience.  I started before we moved but obviously had to stop.  Now I am settled in, it is time to finish it.

So why a hand beaded dress for this challenge.  It got me thinking about the fashion industry around the Art Deco era. The majority of the high fashion beaded dresses of that era were made in Paris, France. Many of the dresses were hand beaded by mostly Russian Emigres who had fallen on hard times after the Russian Revolution.  If I am wrong please correct me.  They would have only received a pittance of the actual cost of the dress.

That is still continuing today.  In countries such as Bangladesh there are the sweatshops where workers, mostly women, work long hours for very little money, and are sometimes locked in poorly ventilated rooms with no fire escapes.  There have been some really tragic fires and building collapses with many deaths.  Do we really know the full story of where our clothes come from?

I think that is why I like to make my own clothes.  Firstly, I don’t like the thought of a poor person in a third world country literally dying in the sweatshops earning a pittance making clothes for me to wear.  Secondly,  selfishly, no-one else would have the same clothes as me.

I search for my fabric online – vintage fabrics and then the other day in  a second hand store (consignment) I found a couple of pieces of fabric for $3.  I also find some inspiration from Project Runway and the Great British Sewing Bee.   I learnt to sew with a sewing machine when I was 11 and have made most of  my own clothes ever since.  Even before then I used to hand sew dolls clothes from scraps of fabric left over from my mother’s sewing.

I do realise that these people need these jobs in order to survive.  But the fashion industry needs to wake up and pay them a proper wage and provide better working conditions.   As consumers we can make them start moving in the right direction by being more selective about the clothes we buy and know where they came from.  These people are highly skilled workers and need the recognition for the service they provide.

I didn’t mean for this post to be a rant against this totally inhuman industry but I feel very strongly about it.

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The Daily Post: Express Yourself

Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings day.  I am a bit late today as I had to take my children shopping before they went to work.  Plus it wasn’t so busy as well.

Express yourself is the Photo Challenge and the Daily Prompt.  I express myself through my photos.  I love cats so here are some more photos of Socks, my parents new kitten.  After some time playing with me he decided he was tired and just plonked himself down in the sun and went to sleep.





Daily Prompt: Express Yourself



WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself





WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Express Urself

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