The Spirit of Napier

Spirit of Napier

Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings morning.

Yesterday the Art Deco festival started.  I did go over to Napier but wasn’t dressed up for it. I had to do something else instead.  But of course I took my new camera with me – Socks is a very photogenic cat.

On the way home I stopped at this statue of the Spirit of Napier. Funnily enough I have never bothered to take photos of it.  Maybe it is because it is always there.  I don’t know.  But this time I made a point of taking photos of her.  Here is some info:

The 3.6 metre column overlooks the southern portion of Napier’s Marine Parade.

The pavement and sheltering wall form a half circle: the column supporting the sculpture is surrounded by a moat and the area in front has two large stone seats facing seawards.

The work of Hungarian – born Auckland artist Frank Szirmay, it represents Napier rising from the ashes of the 1931 earthquake. It also shows the prosperity won in Napier since the earthquake. The statue, standing in the Gilray Reserve, was given to Napier by the late Dr. Thomas Gilray, a former superintendent of the Hospital.

Finance was provided from the Gilray Estate $8,000, a donation from Mr L.E. Harris (now Sir Lewis) – Brooklands $5,000, and $14,000 contribution from subdivisions set aside for expenditure on public reserves.

The centrepiece was lifted into place on 7 December 1971, but was not unveiled until December 22 of that year.

150 people attended the ceremony and the chairman of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, Mr W.N. Sheat, of Wellington, unveiled the statue.

The Mayor of Napier at that time, Sir Peter Tait said the sculpture had been aptly named and depicted the rebirth of the city.

Spirit of Napier
I think she is supposed to be facing the sea, but she is facing the city.
As to my beading – I am still at it.  I am onto the last stretch so I will catch up with all the other blogs later.
So far I have beaded about 20,000 beads.  And they are size 11 which is small. It will be good to get the table back again – there are beads everywhere.  It will look good when it is finished.  I will post a photo of me in a finished dress.
Thanks for visiting.

Waitangi Day

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Good morning from a cloudy Hastings morning.  Yesterday and during the night it was very windy.  Now the wind has died down but the clouds are moving in.  Great for today.

Today, here in New Zealand we celebrate Waitangi Day.  Or New Zealand Day.  So here is some information from Wikipedia.

Waitangi Day (/wˈtʌŋi/,[1] named after Waitangi, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed) commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday[2] held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, on that date in 1840.

And here is some of the history behind the treaty.


The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840, in a marquee in the grounds of James Busby’s house (now known as the Treaty house) at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The Treaty made New Zealand a part of the British Empire, guaranteed Māori rights to their land and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. There are differences between the English version and the Māori translation of the Treaty, and since 1840 this has led to debate over exactly what was agreed to at Waitangi. Māori have generally seen the Treaty as a sacred pact, while for many years Pākehā (the Māori word for New Zealanders of predominantly European ancestry) ignored it. By the early twentieth century, however, some Pākehā were beginning to see the Treaty as their nation’s founding document and a symbol of British humanitarianism. Unlike Māori, Pākehā have generally not seen the Treaty as a document with binding power over the country and its inhabitants. In 1877 Chief Justice James Prendergast declared it to be a ‘legal nullity’, a position it held until theTreaty of Waitangi Act 1975, when it regained significant legal standing.

Early celebrations

Prior to 1934, most celebrations of New Zealand’s founding as a colony were held on 29 January, the date on which William Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands. In 1932,Governor-General Lord Bledisloe and his wife purchased and presented to the nation the run-down house of James Busby, where the treaty was signed. The Treaty house and grounds were made a public reserve, which was dedicated on 6 February 1934. This event is considered by some to be the first Waitangi Day, although celebrations were not yet held annually. At the time, it was the most representative meeting of Māori ever held. Attendees included the Māori King Korokī Mahuta and thousands of Pākehā. Some Māori may have also been commemorating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand, but there is little evidence of this.

In 1940, another major event was held at the grounds, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the treaty signing. This was less well attended, partially because of the outbreak of World War II and partially because the government had recently offended the Māori King. However the event was still a success and helped raise the profile of the treaty.

Annual commemorations

Annual commemorations of the treaty signing began in 1947. The 1947 event was a Royal New Zealand Navy ceremony centring on a flagpole which the Navy had paid to erect in the grounds. The ceremony was brief and featured no Māori. The following year, a Māori speaker was added to the line-up, and subsequent additions to the ceremony were made nearly every year. From 1952, the Governor General attended, and from 1958 the Prime Minister also attended, although not every year. From the mid-1950s, a Māori cultural performance was usually given as part of the ceremony. Many of these early features remain a part of Waitangi Day ceremonies, including a naval salute, the Māori cultural performance (now usually a ceremonial welcome), and speeches from a range of Māori and Pākehā dignitaries.

Every year now it is a political hot cake.  To be honest for most people it is a public holiday and a day in the sun, or as this year a long weekend.

Controversy and protest

Source Wikipedia

The flagstaff at Waitangi, the centre of many protests. The flagstaff is flying (left – right) the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the Ensign of the Royal New Zealand Navy and theUnion Flag, 5 February 2006.

Although this is New Zealand’s national day, the commemoration has often been the focus of protest by Māori activists and is often marred by controversy. From 1971, Waitangi and Waitangi Day became a focus of protest concerning treaty injustices, with Nga Tamatoaleading early protests. Activists initially called for greater recognition of the Treaty, but by the early 1980s, protest groups were also arguing that the treaty was a fraud with which Pākehā had conned Māori out of their land. Attempts were made by groups including the Waitangi Action Committee to halt the celebrations.[4] This led to major confrontations between police and protesters, sometimes resulting in dozens of arrests. When the treaty gained greater official recognition in the mid-1980s, emphasis switched back to calls to honour the treaty, and protesters generally returned to the aim of raising awareness of the treaty and what they saw as its neglect by the state.

Some New Zealand politicians and commentators, such as Paul Holmes, have felt that Waitangi Day is too controversial to be a national day and have sought to replace it with Anzac Day.[5] Others for example the United Future Party’s Peter Dunne, have suggested that the name of the day be changed back to New Zealand Day.[6]

Various politicians have tried to get the name New Zealand Day to take over from Waitangi Day.  Me, it was always Waitangi Day.

New Zealand Day

In 1971 the Labour shadow minister of Māori Affairs, Matiu Rata, introduced a private member’s bill to make Waitangi Day a national holiday, to be called New Zealand Day. This was not passed into law. After the 1972 election of the third Labour government under Norman Kirk, it was announced that from 1974 Waitangi Day would be a national holiday known as New Zealand Day. The New Zealand Day Act 1973 was passed in 1973.

For Norman Kirk, the change was simply an acceptance that New Zealand was ready to move towards a broader concept of nationhood. Diplomatic posts had for some years marked the day, and it seemed timely in view of the country’s increasing role on the international stage that the national day be known as New Zealand Day. At the 1974 celebrations, the Flag of New Zealand was flown for the first time at the top of the flagstaff at Waitangi, rather than the Union Flag, and a replica of the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand was also flown.

The election of the third National government in 1975 led to the day being renamed Waitangi Day because the new Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, did not like the name “New Zealand Day” and many Māori felt the new name debased the Treaty of Waitangi.[3] Another Waitangi Day Act was passed in 1976 to change the name of the day back to Waitangi Day.

I chose this photo of a fern to show the unfolding of our nation into what it is today.  Plus the fern is our national symbol.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed the information about my country.


My Father’s Wooden Toys: Enduring Love

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Good morning from another sunny Hastings day.

As promised I am showing of the toys that my father makes and sells at the local markets around here.  He is very popular as his work is so detailed and solid wooden toys are always in demand.

As far back as I can remember Dad was making models – I remember model planes hanging up in his workroom.  Since retirement he has taken this creativity to a new level.  First he did wood turning, making clocks and bowls and even pens.  Then when that got too much for him he turned to the scroll saw (fret saw) and makes these wooden toys.

He is meticulous with his attention to detail.  That logging truck is articulated and comes apart.  He puts side mirrors up and look at all the horns on top.

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This is what he wanted me to take photos of to send to Mum’s cousins in Canada.  I used his camera for that, but couldn’t resist taking my own.

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In the front are some trains he made as well.

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He does paint his toys, but not very often.

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He loves doing these old vintage cars.

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At the market on Saturday.  In the front is an alphabet train.  He can make up names – this one is Christine.

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This last photo is for Nancy’s challenge:

My parents have been married for 54 years – in fact they had just celebrated their 54th year last month.

They married when Mum was 18 and Dad, 21 despite much opposition from my grandmother, who predicted this marriage wouldn’t last.

Now they couldn’t live without each other.  Mum was such a domineering person who ran the household so it is very hard to see her slide into Alzheimer’s.  She refuses to see a doctor now and absolutely will not move into a smaller, safer house.  She keeps buying food that no-one eats as she forgets that they only need to feed the two of them.  So she is hoarding food in the spare bedroom. She is not ready to go into assisted living as she is still able to function ok.

Dad has had a rough year too.  He was in Wellington hospital at the beginning of the year to have stents put in and spent over 5 weeks in hospital.  Mum did cope on her own with my help for a couple of those weeks but fretted so much without Dad and Dad really missed her. So in the space of a couple of hours I had Mum packed up and on a flight down to Wellington.  Once Mum got near Dad she improved, and Dad improved too.

Then they got news that Dad was supposed to be coming back so Mum was sent back.  This time, though I stayed with Mum.  It was weird as when she first came back she was good.  Then the longer the separation from Dad, the worse she got again. It was a relief when Dad was finally transferred back up to Hawke’s Bay again. Her whole day revolved around her visit to Dad.

Since then Dad has been in and out of hospital and was really sick at one stage.  Mum coped well on her own and spent most of the day at the hospital.  She doesn’t eat or drink when left alone so Dad would share his lunch with her so he knew that she would get something to eat and drink.

I have tried several times to get different agencies in to help them.  They turned them away as they had their own routine and didn’t want to or couldn’t upset it.  Dad is determined to look after Mum on his own.  After 54 years together they need each other and support one another.  One concession they have made is to allow someone to come in once a week for an hour to clean the house.

Dad frets about what will happen with Mum without him.  I told him, not to worry as I will look after her.    Dad’s father died of a broken heart after my grandmother died.  The same thing will happen with both of them.

Having had two failed marriages myself it is nice to see the way my parents look after each other even with their problems.  I have witnessed so many touching moments between them, when one is sick. To me, that is enduring love.

Thanks for visiting.



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I want to wish all my American blogging friends a Happy Thanksgiving.

I want to thank you for all your support over this year.  It hasn’t been an easy year for me but your support has really lifted me up.  I am really grateful to everyone.

Thank you so much for visiting and liking my blog this year.  It means a lot.


One Year Blogging – My children

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Good afternoon from a grey Hastings day.

Well I have just seen the little cup to tell me I have been blogging for a year now.  It has been an interesting year to say the least.

But I am looking forward to learning more about photography from my blogging friends and to see more amazing photos from everyone.

This photo was in my post from yesterday.  Thank you for all the lovely comments about my beautiful daughter Ruth.  She was highly embarrassed about it and commented on my post about it.  Lady Sighs then asks for an updated photo of her. So here is my gorgeous daughter aged 18.  Taken last year just before her graduation dinner.

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Her brother thought it was funny and we had a small conversation on Twitter so I told him I would show him as well.

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So here is Martin aged 10.  This photo I took for his scouting badge.  He had made all these wooden toys with his grandfather on the scroll saw (fret saw).

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This is his school photo from 2012.  I just scanned the photo into the computer and edited it a little. He hates the camera and tends to disappear when I have a camera in my hand.

(Photo courtesy of Apex Photographic)

So now Ruth will be having the last laugh.

On a more serious note.  If anyone has any ideas about accessing my photos on my Time Capsule from Windows I would be truly grateful.  It is driving me nuts  not being able to access them.

Thanks for visiting.


Virtual Blog Tour

Spring 1

Good morning from a cold Hastings.

I was totally surprised to be nominated by Iris for this Blog Tour.  Thank you for your lovely comments.

It is relatively new and I didn’t expect that I would be chosen so I feel so honoured.

Here are the rules

  • Compose a one-time post which is posted on Monday (date will be given to you from whoever passes on the tour)

    1. What am I working on?

    2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    3. Why do I write/create what I do?

    4. How does your writing/creating process work?

  • Answer four questions about our creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires us to do what we do.

  • Then pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.  Get their permission first and give them rules and specific Monday they are to post.

So I will start with the first question.

1. What am I working on at the moment?

Actually at this moment I am unwell and am unable to take any photos or spend much time on the computer so I am focusing on getting well at the moment.

Another thing I have to focus on is working on my divorce settlement. Ex-hubby has turned nasty and vicious so that will take up a lot of my time.

So usually I love going around my home town of Hastings. New Zealand and documenting it in my photos and posts.  My first photo is of a New Zealand native tree – the Kowhai.  I love going to the park and listening to the birds as well as watching them.  It is always a challenge to get photos of them. That was my haven when life at home was not a happy place to be. When times are bad I need to get out and see what is good and beautiful around me.  I love taking photos of flowers and wildlife.  I am not so keen on taking photos of people as I feel I am intruding on their space.

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2. How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?

I  love editing photos.  Even 20 years ago I was the only one in my camera club in Austria to experiment with post production editing.  I had an exhibition with 3 others of my work in both Austria and Italy with great reviews.  Then I met my first husband and then the children came and so my photography got put on the back burner.  The gallery owner in Innsbruck who hosted the exhibition was very disappointed as he would love to have seen me progress.

Anyway fast forward 20 years and I discovered digital photography and editing apps.  I was in my element.  Suddenly I could do what I wanted at a click of a button.  No nasty chemicals and waste of paper. My view on editing is that you can have 10 people in a row taking the same photo.  But it is what they do with the editing is what makes it uniquely your own work. I have finally found my niche.

I am not the best technical photographer but I found with editing I can take a so so photo and turn it into something amazing. Editing is what makes a photo mine.  I am still discovering what direction I want to go

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3. Why do I write/create what I do?

There is a creative need within me.  I have to let it out.  There is so much beauty around us and I want to share it. I studied art at school and especially loved graphic art and would have loved to gone to university but that was not available as an option.

My love of photography started when I was twelve.  Our class was about to go on a field trip and we had to take cameras with us to document our trip.  My teacher was an amateur photographer so we had lessons on composition and basic camera skills.  I loved the photos I took – in black and white and it just went on from there.

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4. How does my writing/creative processes work?

I hardly ever document my editing processes.  That is because I am focused on the end result and how the image looks. If I don’t like the effect there is always the undo button.  I don’t usually have a final image in mind.  I just go with the flow of how the image is turning out. That is the fun of editing.

When I first started this blog I wasn’t sure where I was going and then I found the challenges and that is when the fun really started.  I learnt so much more about editing and it really pushed my creative buttons.

I also love seeing other’s work.  I would spend so much time on my reader as I wanted to see how they did their work.  I believe in being positive which is why I always leave a nice comment with a big grin.  Photographers can be so negative about editing and insist on the pure image – i.e. no cropping or adjustments.  That is no fun at all.  It is the end result that counts.  So I hope I can spread a little ray of positive light to other like minded photographers and talented artists.

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I have nominated the following bloggers but I must apologise for asking their permission so late.  I haven’t been able to work on the computer for so long the past week.  So please forgive me if I have offended you.

I love Amy’s work. Her work is very unique and I love her editing.  It is exciting to find her work in my reader. Her photos are so interesting as well.

I love Woolly Muses unique take on the challenges.  His photos are really quirky.  Even his Aussie humour is good.  I love his attitude to life as well.

Meg’s photos are amazing.  Her love of editing also appeals to me as well.  At the moment she is experimenting with different apps and her photos are incredible.

Irene’s photos are always great and I love her writing.  Plus she has some amazing photos of New Zealand as well.

I hope you will go and check out their posts and love their work just as much as I do.

Thanks for visiting.



Sunday Stills Challenge: Entrances and Gateways

Floral Gateway

Good morning from another grey miserable Hastings.

I found this entrance way at Cornwall Park which goes from the cricket pitch to the bird avaries. I love the different colours in it.

I must apologise that I couldn’t get around to all your blogs yesterday but WordPress was not happy with me yesterday and wouldn’t work.

Today though I am not well enough to stay on the computer too long.  I will be taking a break for a while.  I hope you will all understand.