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.


Serendipitous Photo Story: Learning about Gifs


Good morning from a cool and cloudy spring day in Hastings.

I woke up this morning determined to try and work out how to do gifs.  You know all those short animated videos that are now becoming popular. Just looking at this is actually making me dizzy though as I am writing my post.

Anyway when I go out taking photos I tend to take a lot of shots together so that when I go through them fast I could see a short video.  So I got up early this morning and went to Photoscape where I found it was relatively easy.  I managed to save it as well.

 But the problem came when I tried to upload to Facebook. Apparently they hate gifs there – well they can be uploaded everywhere else easily.  I suppose they think that they are a law until themselves.  But, after googling it I managed to work out how to do it. Then it promptly got lost in cyberspace.

It really was just an exercise in learning something new.  I still prefer stills, but when I get something like this I will try again.

Feathered Friends-1-4

Here is the same duck.  I just loved her reflections.

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I actually am trying to work on my reaction times.  I have a lot of photos of both ends of ducks and lots of water.  They do move so fast.

Feathered Friends-1-6

As you can see.

All in all a work in progress.

Check out Marilyn’s  prompt over at:


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

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.

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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

One Word Photo: A Serendipitous Visit to Auckland

Looking over to Rangitoto Island-018

Good morning from a freezing Hastings day.  There has been quite a lot of snow north of us, closing the main road from Napier to Taupo.  But we generally don’t get it where I live.  But it still means a freezing time for us too.

So onto something a bit warmer.  Jennifer from Jennifer Nichole Wells has asked us for our photos of sandstorm.

Sooo, where do I find photos of sand.  Or storms.  I thought about it all day yesterday.  Our beaches here in Napier tend to be stony and rocky, very little sand.  Plus I wanted to have some different photos.

Sooooo, this morning I did a bit of digging.  I started searching right back in my archives on my hard drive.  At least I still had photos going back to 2006, when I brought my first big digital camera.  It was a great camera with a leica lens.  I had some money from the sale of my house so used it for a new computer and decent camera.  My ex-husband used it a lot for his work, so I had to do a bit of deleting while I was going through them.  My hard drive is fulling up fast so that is not a bad thing.  It was funny seeing my children from back then too.

These photos are from a trip to Auckland in February 2007.  My ex-husband loves classic cars and we would go up to a big car show in Kumeu, north of Auckland.  We did a bit of sightseeing too.  I grew up in Auckland, so I wanted to show my children my home town, so to speak. These photos are taken at Takapuna beach, the first one looking over to Rangitoto Island.  An extinct volcano.

Takapuna Beach, Auckland-067

Someone had some fun driving around on the sand.

Looking Over towards Auckland CBD-054

And you can just see some sand right in the foreground while looking over towards the CBD.  This skyline is so different to what I remember from growing up in Auckland. It was fun doing the touristy things that one normally doesn’t do when you actually live in the city.  That meant for me catching the ferry from the CBD to the North Shore and wandering around the beach.

So I hope you enjoyed my little visit to Auckland which is also my photo story prompt for Marilyn’s challenge over at SERENDIPITY.

One Word Photo Challenge: Sandstorm

One Word Photo Challenge: Sand Storm



Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: A Serendipitous Ice Cream

At Hot Chick-292

Good morning from a foggy Hastings day.  After the cold blast last week we now have a warmer week.  It is nice not having to have a fire all day and to sit in the sun knitting.

Yesterday was another warm day.  I had to go over to Napier for an appointment so I visited my parents with my son for lunch.  After the appointment I then headed down to Ahuriri.  Which is Maori for Napier.  An iconic eatery is the Hot Chick.  Basically it grills chickens and has the best hot chips in town.  This coffee price is actually a good price as well.  Even in winter there is a spot to sit and enjoy watching the surf.

At Hot Chick-291

They also have a good selection of an iconic New Zealand brand of ice cream.  My son had a chocolate ice cream, while I had a peaches and cream one.  The ice cream always tastes better at the beach.

At Hot Chick-305

There are some interesting names – such as this goody goody gum drops.

At Hot Chick-299

Finally Coca Cola is everywhere.  It was the top number that caught my eye – extremely cold and the -3.1.  Just a bit too cold to drink in winter.  But in summer this is the chiller to go to.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Numbers and Letters



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Three


I will also add this to Marilyn’s challenge at SERENDIPITY  for a Serendipitous Photo Story.


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

One Word Photo Challenge: Hurricane – a Sheepish Serendipitous Story


Jennifer from Jennifer Nichole Wells has asked us for hurricane images.  I came across this poor weather beaten tree at Frimley Park.  It looks like it has been bent over in heavy winds as it was growing with no protection for the elements.

Actually there is a sheepish story for this challenge – so this is for you Marilyn at SERENDIPITY.

Last March New Zealand faced their own version of a hurricane –


I was really worried as it Cyclone Pam had already devastated Vanuatu and it was heading towards New Zealand.  I was posting weather updates twice daily.  Civil Defence had been activated for Hawke’s Bay where I lived.  Shops had been emptied out as people expected the power to go out etc.  I didn’t go to that extent but yes, I was worried.  My son and I braced for the worse.


So the Monday morning arrived.  It was raining heavily.  No wind, just rain.  I had my camera ready to get some really awesome shots. So I was ready.


And ready. And…….



Just the heavy rain.  But other parts of the country was hit with the heavy winds and rains with flooding.  Mostly up north and in the Bay of Plenty.

So I had got myself worked up and prepared for just a really bad wet Monday.

I did manage to go to Napier to get some shots of the wild surf:


Now that was windy.  It was hard to stand  up straight and take some good photos.  Even the  other foolhardy, intrepid photographers there for the surf struggled with their tripods.

But the moral of this story is:

Be prepared.  You never know what will happen.  Even if nothing happens.  You are prepared.

One Word Photo Challenge: Hurricane


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

A Serendipitous Story – Trying to catch the wind

Windy Days-044

Ever since Jennifer from Jennifer Nichole Wells gave us her new series I have been trying to get photos of the wind.  Now that has turned out to be harder than I thought. For a start you can’t see wind.  You can hear it.  You can see what it does to plant life around us.  It is jolly hard to take photos of flowers blowing in the wind – how many photos do we have that have half a petal in it.  More than we  really want to know.

 Last week for my social snappers group we were supposed to go to Frimley Park but it was just too windy.  So we walked around the Women’s Centre. I thought, great, I can get some good windy photos.  Not even.  I tried to get photos of the water fountain being blown around.   I didn’t like them. Though I did post one from my phone on my mobile challenge this week.  So I was starting to get a little desperate.

The problem was the exposure, or rather shutter speed.  During the day time I ended up with over exposed images when I tried to slow the shutter speed down.  But I had a bit of luck.  A couple of nights ago the wind was bad again.  That is when I had my ah ha moment. The light was dark enough for me to take some photos of the wind and be interesting at the same time.

Windy Days-019

Finally I got some interesting windy photos. Phew, just in time.


One Word Photo Challenge: Windy


Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

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