A Photo a Week: Historical Buildings

Albert Hotel-0721

Good evening from a cold and chilly Hastings day.  I was unable to do anything work online this morning as the frost had frozen my internet connection, which amuses my son.  He has never heard of such a thing happening.  But the connection just hangs off the eaves of the roof.  And is so exposed to the elements.  So when I get up early to go online it is iced over.  Once the sun comes up the connection thaws out and I can go online.  But by that time it was too late.  I had to go for my Social Snappers group.

I did have a couple of posts scheduled so it wasn’t too bad.  I have been thinking all day about Nancy’s challenge over at nancy merrill photography. Nancy had a lovely photo her mother with her siblings.  Photography is all about catching that moment in history.  Something that can never be repeated.

It made me think about historical buildings.  The above image is of the late Albert Hotel.  Just a week after taking this photo it was finally pulled down.  A bit spooky actually.  I wonder if I was the last person to take a photo of it.  It was over 100 years and falling down.  But it was heritage listed and took about 3 – 4 years before permission was finally given to pull it down.  A shame really, as now it is an empty lot.

Old Napier Hospital-071

Even spookier is this image.  Last week I was over at Napier walking around Pandora’s Pond.  Those photos are being featured on my Monochrome of the Day.  Anyway up on the hill just under and to the right of the flying seagull is a couple of large buildings.  They all form part of the old hospital which has been closed for years.  So a week after taking this photo, guess what is happening.  That’s right, it is now in the process of being demolished to make way for a new residential subdivision.

So I think I need to be careful what I am taking photos of in future.

 Actually I find old photos of our cities give us a fascinating insight into what life was like for our forefathers.  In Napier and Hastings they are an important part of our history as many of the older buildings were destroyed in the 1931 earthquake.  Due to the fires a lot of photographic records were destroyed.  So those that survived are treasured.



Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes


Friday’s Florals: Fatsia Japonica

Fatsia Japonica-507

For weeks I have been trying to figure out what the name of this flowering shrub is.  I searched online to no avail.  Then I remembered that I had an encyclopedia of tropical plants.  I literally went through page by page.  As Murphy’s law goes – I finally found it right at the back of the book.  Phew.

Fatsia Japonica-515

They are very popular with the insects and butterflies.

Fatsia japonica (fatsi, paperplant or Japanese aralia; syn. Aralia japonica Thunb., A. sieboldii Hort. ex K.Koch) is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to southern Japan and South Korea.

It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3–6 m (9.8–19.7 ft) tall, with stout, sparsely branched stems. The leaves are spirally-arranged, large, 20–50 cm (7.9–19.7 in) in width and on a petiole up to 50 cm (20 in) long, leathery, palmately lobed, with 7–9 broad lobes, divided to half or two-thirds of the way to the base of the leaf; the lobes are edged with coarse, blunt teeth. The flowers are small, white, borne in dense terminal compound umbels in late autumn or early winter, followed by small black fruit.

The name “fatsi” is an approximation of the old Japanese word for ‘eight’ (hachi in modern Japanese), referring to the eight lobes. In Japan it is known as yatsude, meaning “eight fingers”. The name “Japanese aralia” is due to the genus formerly being classified within a broader interpretation of the related genus Aralia in the past. It has been interbred with Hedera helix (common ivy) to produce the intergeneric hybrid × Fatshedera lizei.

Fatsia Japonica-516

Cultivation and uses

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions where winters do not fall below about -15°C. F. japonica have been shown to effectively remove gaseous formaldehyde from indoor air.[1]

This plant[2] and its cultivar F. japonica ‘Variegata’[3] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Fatsia Japonica-218

That is about all the information I could find on:


The information in the book is for gardeners, not what I am at all.

Fatsia Japonica-198

I just enjoy taking photos of it.  I do have a lot of photos as they are very popular around Hastings.

Friday's Florals

One Word Photo: A Humid Auckland

A Humid Auckland-062

This week Jennifer from Jennifer Nichole Wells has asked us for our humid photos.  I did a bit of digging in my archives and found this photo of Auckland.

I grew up in Auckland.  The summers are very hot and humid.  When I trained and worked as a nurse we found it really hard.  We wore starched white uniforms.  We had to wear petticoats and tights/stockings.  If we didn’t we had to go home and put them on.  It was a nightmare working in the old hospitals with no air conditioning.  It was always a relief to get home and strip off.

This photo was taken in January 2007.  Hastings can get humid, but it still was a shock to feel the humidity again in Auckland. Coming out from the air conditioned shops into the fresh air the humidity would just hit you.  It was a relief to get back to Hastings.


One Word Photo Challenge: Humid


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

A Serendipitous Winter

Autumn -151

Good morning from a freezing Hastings day.

Marilyn over at SERENDIPITY showed some of her summer photos today.  But here in the southern hemisphere we are still in the depths of winter.  It has been a strange winter.  Our autumn was very colourful and long.

Winter frosts-102

But the winter frosts did arrive earlier this year than normal – in April. But the days were reasonably warm.

Then we had some warm balmy days but then we had some freezing days with snow low on the hills around us.

Winter snow-8881

Normally the snow doesn’t fall this low around us.


Then we have been having some warm balmy days, so that the spring blossoms are starting to make an appearance.

It is hard to believe that in a couple of days we will be in August.  Only a month to go until we are officially into spring.  Then in September we will have our blossom parade.  Then we know that we are really into spring.

I live in a warmish temperate climate.  Yes, it can get cold, but then it normally doesn’t last too long.  This week I haven’t needed to light the fire.  But then this morning I got up and it was freezing again so the fire is going strong.

The weather is such a fickle thing.

Go and check out Marilyn’s Photo Prompt for her amazing summer photos.


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Pet Share: A Friendly Blackbird

A Friendly Blackbrd-108

Good morning from a cooler Hastings day.

One thing I have noticed lately is that our bird life has been getting more and more active, not to mention rather noisy at time.  I have seen birds flying around with twigs and grasses in their beaks.  I like to think that spring will be coming early for us.  Some trees are out in blossom already and it is only the end of July.  And we have been having some warm balmy days which is great. But then winter decides to tease us and come back to bite us.

This photo was taken last Friday with my social snappers group.  What I like about Hastings is that it is more like a country town and there is a lot of active bird life even in the centre of town.  Which is where this photo was taken.

I must get organised  one night and actually record some of the birdsong. It is deafening at times and the birds are just so active.  I have decided to learn more about the birds in general so that I can recognise them when I shoot them with my camera.  I am finding that I am not just helping these ladies with their photography, but also teaching them about fauna and flora so I do need to up my game a bit.

This is for Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge.



Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Middleton Road

How I see the world

Something to Ponder About

Musings on Life - Creative Writing - Environment

Cindy Knoke

Photography, Birds and Travel


It's About Time...

Julie Powell - Photographer & Graphic Artist

Creating & Capturing Life's Precious Moments

Kathleen's Writings & Art

Poetry, Art and Photography

Dan Frugalberg

Life lived simply


Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North


west517 | the world we know

Six Pixx

Passionate photographer living in Hastings

Outlook in Life

... and it is ever changing


Landscape and Still Life Photography By Benjamin Rowe

Visual Venturing

Because everyone likes pictures.

Talk About Pop Music

Streaming Forward, Powered By The Past - if you love the 80s music, new music, Eurovision, cheesy pop and awesome playlists then let's get this pop party started!

%d bloggers like this: