RIP Jonah Lomu

Jonah Lomu-

New Zealand is in a state of mourning.

 Yes we are mourning what is going on in France and Syria and other war hot spots around the world. That is still an important part of our news bulletins.

But what has really hit us is the death of Jonah Lomu at the age of 40 from chronic kidney disease.

For those who don’t know, New Zealand is a rugby mad nation as I have mentioned a few times.  A couple of weeks ago we were on top of the world after winning the Rugby World Cup for the third time, and a second time in a row.

Now we are devastated to hear of Jonah Lomu’s death.  So who is Jonah Lomu?

Full name Jonah Tali Lomu
Date of birth 12 May 1975
Place of birth Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand
Date of death 18 November 2015 (aged 40)
Place of death Auckland, New Zealand
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 119 kg (262 lb; 18.7 st)
School Wesley College, Auckland
Notable relative(s) Andrew Lomu, John Tamanika,Seti Kiole
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Left wing
New Zealand No. 941
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Cardiff Blues
Wainuiomata RFC
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
North Harbour
Counties Manukau
correct as of 9 September 2006.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
correct as of 9 September 2006.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1994–2002 New Zealand 63 (185)
correct as of 7 March 2008.
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
1994–2001 New Zealand

Just some of his stats.

What really made Jonah a superstar was his performance in the 1995 World Cup -Despite having just two All Black caps, Lomu was included in the squad for the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. Lomu scored seven tries in five matches, two in the first match against Ireland in Johannesburg, a try in the quarter final against Scotland at Loftus Versfeld, and four tries in the semi-final against England at Newlands. The first try in the English match occurred after Lomu received a pass behind him, beat two defenders and then, after a stumble, ran straight over the top of Mike Catt.[12] This reduced one New Zealand commentator, Keith Quinn, to gasps.[13] After the game, England captain Will Carling said: “He is a freak and the sooner he goes away the better”.[14] In 2002 the UK public voted Lomu’s performance no. 19 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.[15]

He became the first multi-milionaire in rugby who stayed in New Zealand, and set in place professional rugby.

Yet what made him a great man was his humility and love for his fellow men.  I got the opportunity to see him in person and listen to him talk.  He didn’t talk about his achievements which were many, but about his love for his wife and children.  That winning wasn’t everything but that we should do our best but also acknowledge our opposition.  When New Zealand lost to South Africa in the final of the 1995 cup he was the only All Black to go around and congratulate the Springboks.  He has always said that the best team won on the day.  It was the typical of him to acknowledge that the mighty All Blacks were beaten by a better team.  He would had met so many famous people in his job as an ambassador for his sport, yet all he talked about was his children and wife.

His wife is a beautiful person and he had two gorgeous sons which were miracles as he was told he would never be able to have children.  So my thoughts are with Nadene and  Brayley, 6, and Dhyreille, 5.

Thank you for visiting.



4 Generations, 4 Strong Women.

Four Generations, Four Strong Women-1

Good morning from a grey late spring day in Hastings.

For the past 24 hours bloggers have been honouring our fallen soldiers in all the various wars to defend our freedom.  But we must also honour the women and men left behind to keep our countries going, providing arms and food for our men at war.

So what does this image have to do with this? Well I painted this to show the four generations of my family.

To the left is my grandmother.  She had to survive World War 1.

 Then to the right of her is my mother  – she was born during the second World War.  She still remembers the difficulty the menfolk had when they returned all broken in body and spirit.

 The largest portrait is me.  I grew up against the background of the Vietnam War and all the protests and the hippy generation – all we wanted was peace.

 To the right is my daughter Ruth.  What legacy have we left for her generation.

I have called this 4 Generations, 4 Strong Women.

Remembrance Day 2015-1

For Marilyn’s challenge at:


And also for Cee’s challenge:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Anything Painted


Anything Painted: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Venice in Colour

I have edited the photo just to soften the skin tones but it is all my own work.

Thanks for visiting.

Serendipity Photo Prompt: Weather Woes

Flooding and El Nino-1-2

Good morning from a very windy Hastings spring day.

Thursday for me is time for 

Just as I was deciding to shift we had a really bad week of constant heavy rain. It just never seemed to end.  And it was heavy.

Flooding and El Nino-1

It was a good time to go around looking for a new place to live.  It wasn’t just wet, but very cold as well.  My other house never seemed to warm up, even with the fire going.

Flooding and El Nino-1-4

So when I went into this house and it was so warm, I made up my mind straight away and signed up for it.

Flooding and El Nino-1-3

This above photo was taken on the Friday, once the rain had stopped and the flooding had eased.

My son took this photo from the bridge on the way to his college.  The water was right up to the bridge.

So that where I had stood to take my photos was under water a couple of days prior.

Flooding and El Nino-1-6

By the time the rain had stopped everyone was so over it.  Yet all the meteorologists can talk about is that we are expecting a really severe El Nino summer – that means a long, hot and dry summer.

Flooding and El Nino-1-5

So maybe we had all this rain to help prepare us for the dry summer to come.

After the flooding at Napier-8-21

I also went down to the estuary and beach to see what damage had been done and as you can see there was even flooding at the beach.

After the flooding at Napier-8-17

Even whole plants, roots and all were ripped out and ended up drying out on the beach.

Now we are very windy.  Usual weather for this time of the year.


Finally here is a video showing the extent of the flooding.

Thanks for visiting.

Cee’s Fun Fotos: Old Habits and New Habits


Good morning from a cool but sunny Hastings day.

This week Cee has started a new series for her fun foto challenge over at Cee’s Photography.  This one is to do with habits and our senses. So what are my habits.

Well, one of my oldest habits is doing crosswords.  When I was a child my mother used to buy the Australasian Post.  Really it was just a junk magazine, but the best thing about it was it’s giant crossword.  So each week my father, twin sister and myself would do the crossword.  It was a way of developing my penchant for trivia.  You know, where you remember all the silly trivia, but not the important things in life, such as where you hid your car keys.

Actually when I applied to do some papers at university, one of them was Latin.  I had never studied Latin at all.  So the lecturer rung me up one day, asking why I wanted to study this obscure language.  My reply was that I wanted to learn it to help me with my crosswords (hehe). Actually the correct answer was to learn the basis of our modern romantic languages.  I did tell him that as well.  I got into the class, taught myself the first introductory course and then got a B- in the intermediate course.  (Now I am showing off).

Now I am trying to develop a new habit.  This one is my painting.  I did art at school, which I loved.  But, the times being what they were, meant I never got to go to university to take it further.

But never late than never.  I got dared to go to acrylic painting classes.  And, to my surprise I am enjoying it.  There are a great group of ladies, who are also doing my Social Snappers group and really, it is a great social morning.  We take turns to bring a morning tea – my turn next week and coffee is provided for.


I use my photos to use for my paintings. This one is of a cat that I came across on one of my travels a couple of years ago.   I am trying out different techniques.   This one is a textured feel to give the impression of fur.  My rose the other day was another technique.  At the moment I am doing some pop art.

So my new habit now, is to do some painting or art form each day.  My camera is always at hand anyway.  But it is nice to use my photos for something that I love to do.

Thanks to Cee for featuring my post from last week for the colour of burgundy or maroon.


I really do appreciate her support for my blog.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Habits

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Habits


This is also my Serendipity Photo Story for Marilyn’s challenge over at SERENDIPITY


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

A Serendipitous Story: The Rainbow Warrior

Rainbow Warrior-051

The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, codenamed Opération Satanique,[1] was an operation by the “action” branch of the French foreign intelligence services, the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), carried out on 10 July 1985. During the operation, two operatives sank the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand on its way to a protest against a planned French nuclear test inMoruroa. Fernando Pereira, a photographer, drowned on the sinking ship.

France initially denied responsibility, but two French agents were captured and charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. As the truth came out, the scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu.

As part of a plea bargain, the two agents pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to ten years in prison, but in fact spent just over two years confined to the French island of Hao before being freed by their government in breach of its treaty obligation.[2]

In January 2007 my family and I were in Auckland when the Rainbow Warrior was in port.  Not the original one, which was bombed in Auckland Harbour on 10th July 1985 – 30 years ago now.

I remember the bombing really well.  We couldn’t believe that terrorism had reached our shores.  And it was later found to be sanctioned by the French government.  The death of  the Portuguese-Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira was lost among all the anger at France.

Image result for rainbow warrior bombing

It changed our policies – The failure of western leaders to condemn this violation of a friendly nation’s sovereignty caused a great deal of change in New Zealand’s foreign and defence policy.[11] New Zealand distanced itself from its traditional ally, the United States, and built relationships with small South Pacific nations, while retaining excellent relations with Australia, and to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom.

Rainbow Warrior-047

For me personally it had some long term ramifications.  A couple of years later in 1987 I left New Zealand to travel to Europe.  Entering France now meant having to get a visa, which was only valid for a short term and was rather costly.  Our Australian neighbours, along with the Canadians and Americans on my tour didn’t need to  obtain visas.  It also meant long waits at the borders while we were looked at very carefully.

Rainbow Warrior-052

It took a long time for relationships to thaw out between France and New Zealand.  Even now we are still dancing around each other a bit.

The Rainbow Warrior was refloated for forensic examination. She was deemed irreparable and scuttled at 34.9748°S 173.9349°E in Matauri Bay, near the Cavalli Islands, on 12 December 1987, to serve as a dive wreck and fish sanctuary.[10] Her masts had been removed and put on display at the Dargaville Maritime Museum.

I prefer to see the dove carrying the olive leaf on a floating ship.

Rainbow Warrior-049

I found these photos while digging through my archives this morning and thought they would make a good photo story for Marilyn’s challenge over at SERENDIPITY.


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: A Sad Cream to Brown Day in Hastings.


Good morning from a chilly sunny Hastings.  I am late today as I was outside for some time taking photos of a bright red sunrise.

I feel rather guilty over my photos today for Cee’s challenge over at Cee’s Photography which is to showcase our cream to light brown photos.

Yesterday I decided to clean up my craft room.  Next week I have an inspection by my landlord so I have to make sure everything is clean as a whistle.  Not really my favourite job.  Don’t get me wrong – I do like a clean room.  But I have been putting it off over the winter as it is just too cold down that end of the house. This meant it was just a room for going in quickly and dumping something.  So I got rid of a lot of stuff and vacuumed it etc.

Well I need to have a break now and then.  In other words a coffee and peek out the window to see what is happening and have my camera handy.  On one break I found this hedgehog walking down the middle of the road.  Of course I grabbed my camera and headed outside.  It was very wobbly on it’s feet (at least that is what I have been telling myself this morning)

So, feeling very brave I picked it up and brought it over to our lawn.


There it stayed.  It made a few feeble attempts to move but never got far.  It could barely lift it’s head.  It also lost some of it’s prickles or whatever they are called.  I was starting to get a bit worried.


Even this sparrow was nosy and wanted to check out what was going on.

So last night I kept checking on it and it hadn’t moved from where I had placed it.

Then this morning I went out and checked it and found it was dead.  So now you know why I feel so guilty.  My son has called me a murderer (joking of course),by shooting it with my camera.  I have been comforting myself by saying it died peacefully, not squashed on the road.  Now we have to give it a funeral.


This is also for Marilyn’s challenge over at SERENDIPITY.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cream to Light Brown

London Lamp

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cream to Light Brown (Mainly Timber)

SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015 #18 — CHAI — 8-12-2015

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

One Word Photo Challenge: Foggy Days in Hastings.


Good morning from a grey and wet Hastings day.

Jennifer has asked us for our foggy photos.  I do have lots of foggy photos. I love the mysteriousness of fog.  When I am out in the fog it is like being in another world.

This first shot was taken at Cornwall Park.  The sun was just coming up and it was magical. I was talking to a friend at the same time but every so often I would lift the camera and just shoot without looking.

I then sent it to our national TV station which shows viewers’ photos from around the country in their weather reports each night.  This was only my third day of sending photos and it got chosen.  I was stunned to see my photo on our big screen TV.  Ex-hubby was jumping up and down with excitement.  The only time he did about my photography.


I actually preferred this photo.


Another day and the sun was well and truly up for the day at Cornwall Park.


I love the rays showing through.


Then there is Pakowhai Park.  This is an amazing place for early morning photos.  It is nice on your own and so peaceful.  And so mysterious.


At the moment I am painting this.

Fog over Pakowhai-7818

And it is a matter of trying to work out how to apply the paint as a foggy feel.  I have been trying different fabrics and have setting on some cotton batting.

One Word Photo Challenge: Foggy

One Word Photo Challenge: Foggy


This is also for Marilyn’s challenge at SERENDIPITY.


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

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Turquoise Waters & Serendipitous Trivia

Teal waters-036

Good morning from a cool Hastings day.

I know it is Thursday for me, which is why I always say good morning and give some account of the weather, brief or otherwise.  We are the first biggish country to see the new day.  Which I find somewhat confusing at times.  I can’t quite get my head around this date line thingy where one side of it is Thursday, while if you step over it to the other side it is Wednesday.

Why am I talking about the date line?  Well I was watching the excellent programme QI and it was one of the questions that they were discussing.  If you don’t know what QI is about check it up online

This isn’t the episode I was referring to but it is really one programme that I really can laugh out loud.  It would have taken too long to find it.  But the trivia that they come up with appeals to me. I remember trivia before I remember what is important, such as appointments and birthdays.  I remember once playing the game Trivial  Pursuit with my uncle.  He was very knowledgeable about trivia so I met my match. When I worked the nightshift in the spinal rehab unit in Auckland we would play Trivial Pursuit all night to pass the time.  I got banned. I kept winning.  So I had met my match with my uncle.  He was also banned from playing with his family due his very long winning streak.  Well guess who won?  It wasn’t my uncle.  But my uncle then spat the dummy and sulked for the rest of the day. All over trivia.

 So what has it to do with this fun foto challenge by Cee over at Cee’s Photography.  Well these photos were taken at Rainbow Springs at Rotorua so I thought I might add some trivia to go with the photos. I got this information from:

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were first introduced to New Zealand in the early 1880s. They are descended mainly from Californian steelheads – rainbow trout that migrate to sea and spend most of their lives there. However, New Zealand rainbow trout do not migrate to sea.

Teal waters-035


Rainbow trout are less widespread than brown trout. There has been virtually no natural dispersal.

Ova imported in 1883 by the Auckland Acclimatisation Society survived, and fry were released into local waterways. In 1892 the species was liberated in Lake Rotorua, and in 1897 in Lake Taupō.

Rainbow trout can tolerate higher water temperatures than brown trout: they are found in warmer waters such as the Kai Iwi lakes in Northland. They also occur in a few rivers.

Teal waters-037


Rainbow trout may reach 750 millimetres and more than 10 kilograms in New Zealand. Fish of 600 millimetres and 2–3 kilograms are often caught, and fish weighing 4–5 kg are not uncommon.

Most rainbows tend to live for four or five years, although individuals up to 11 years old have been recorded.

Life cycle

  • Several hundred to several thousand eggs are laid in a small hole by the female and fertilised by the male.
  • After 1–3 months the eggs hatch into alevins (fry with yolk sacs attached). These live in the gravel, feeding from their yolk sac.
  • They then emerge as fry, about 25 millimetres long. By late summer they have reached 50–70 millimetres.
  • As juveniles and spawning adults they live in streams, where they are exposed to predators on the banks.
  • Adults usually run upstream from a lake to spawn in late winter and early spring, in headwater streams with gravel beds. Not all rainbow trout survive spawning.

Much of the central North Island winter fishing is centred on rainbow trout running upstream from Lake Taupō to spawn in tributaries such as the famed Tongariro River.

Boring isn’t it really.  Actually these photos were taken on my honeymoon with my soon to be ex-husband.  Now that is more interesting but I won’t kiss and tell.

This is also for Marilyn’s challenge over at SERENDIPITY.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Teal or Turquoise



Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Cee’s Fun Fotos: A Serendipitous Green Story

Lime Green--2

Good morning from a warmer Hastings day.

I have had great news.  Both my children have done well in their first semesters at college.  My son Martin has got an A+ average for computer studies while my daughter Ruth got a B average for her Graphics and Design course.  My son even got a letter yesterday from the head of the computer studies department congratulating him on his scores.  Considering a year ago he wanted to drop out of school and go down to Christchurch to help with the rebuild.  What changed?  My husband threw us all out.  Martin was able to study without interruption and focus on getting his university entrance, our entry level exam for college/university.  On top of that he gained a scholarship to this college too.

It is a running joke with Martin that every time I went past his room I noticed he was playing computer games.  I would say something and he would say that he had finished his homework and was just having some down time.  The same thing happened this year.  Now I can’t say anything.  But I never really got annoyed as I trusted him.  He is a really responsible young man who is really focused on his future and wants to do well.  He was so shocked when he got his first assignment result – 100%.  I keep saying to him that he is in the right place if he is doing so well.  He is really enjoying it and does do a lot of research online too.  Not bad for someone who is dyslexic.

I am so proud of both of my children for going to college/university and following their dreams.  When Ruth was little she was constantly drawing.  On the walls too.  I never, ever caught her either.  It drove me nuts.  I was always buying paper for her after we came back to New Zealand and lots of colouring pencils and paints.  I was like that too as a child.  I took art through to our school certificate exams (15 years) where I got good marks for it.  My art teacher really wanted me to go to university to do a fine arts degree.  But it was not a option open to me.  I ended up going nursing.  Not a good choice in hindsight.

So I want to wish Ruth and Martin all the best for the next semester.  Follow your dreams.

I am now following my dream of photography and lately back into my painting.  Which brings me onto Cee’s Fun Foto challenge over at Cee’s Photography, which this week is to showcase our lime green or bright green photos.  Cee hosts three great challenges which really encourage me to work on improving my photos and also to look more around me and really appreciate what is there. So for me, it is a case of better late than never.

Lime Green-

Some bright green leaves last autumn.

Lime Green-003

And some photos from a green Rotorua.

Lime Green-006

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lime or Bright Green


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lime Green/ Bright green

This is also for Marilyn’s Serendipitous Story over at  SERENDIPITY


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

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