Saturday, 30 January 2016

Oh You Pretty Thing




One of the joys of a macro lens is that it teaches you to look for the little things.   Since I have begun to use the macro setting frequently I have become more aware of all the tiny treasures which surround us.  

There are so many precious little flowers -  miniature daisies, blossoms, rosebuds and more.  There are wonders underfoot that we carelessly tread upon as we go about our day, the tiniest flowers of the plants we sometimes call weeds - and some of them are exquisitely beautiful. 


These tiny gems remind me how blessed I am to live on such a remarkable planet where even the smallest things are often so enchanting. 



Below : Not so little, the stunning paeony rose.


Below : Lovely lilies.



Friday, 29 January 2016

About Me

Welcome to my journal. 

I'm a 56 year old New Zealand woman, country born and bred for generations and a true-blue countrywoman at heart.  I count in my ancestry a predominance of Irish blood and am one-eighth Moriori.  I live on the Canterbury Plains in the South Island.  To the east of our place, only a short distance as the crow flies,  is the beautiful Pacific Ocean and to the west we see the spectacular mountain chain known as the Southern Alps. 

This blog is primarily my journal and was inspired by my American friend Linda. Back in 2011 Linda wrote a blog entry which I still think is one of the finest pieces of writing I have ever read.  You can read it here:


After reading Linda's ever insightful observations I found myself thinking,  yes, I am here too.  This journal seeks primarily to capture some of my life, both past, present and future, and that of my loved ones and community.  It will be a simple journey, probably full of photographs because I am a keen photographer, daily happenings, quiet reflections and a lot of my own advice, mostly,  to myself. 

Thank you for joining me on this meandering journey called life. I am glad that our paths have crossed.

Below : Some photos of me over the years, some recent ones at the top.







 

 








Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Hibiscus Flowers





Below : When the day is cooler the flower decides to wrap itself back up.


In early 2015 Andrew and his lovely mother Verna gave me a gorgeous, indoor hibiscus plant.  In April 2015 it had it's first stunning, rich, vibrant red flowers (4th photo above).  To my surprise it has flowered several times since and now it's latest blooms, in January 2016, are beautiful peach shades (1st and 2nd photos above).

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Our Place

As I look back through old photos from the last several years I find photos I have taken of our place at different times.


 
 


 

 






Friday, 22 January 2016

Picture Perfect

It's so easy to look "picture perfect".

As a keen photographer that is one thing I have learned over the years. As I surf through the Internet and blogosphere I see all these "picture perfect" homes, families, animals, meals, knitted jumpers - lives. 

People say to me sometimes, based on having seen my photoblog or photos I have shared online, that I "must have an amazing garden".  I think, if only they knew! It's never all picture perfect.  Picture perfect is a lie. 

Leonard Nimoy's last tweet said:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. 

Perfect moments can be caught by the camera.  Even that isn't always easy - but the right light, best time of day, a great camera, the right angle, the right cropping, the right editing - and often we can have it - picture perfect.    

The perfect moments can be real - or they can be staged.  An authentic perfect moment can be captured - or it can be created as a product to sell.  

As I surf through seemingly perfect lives I remind myself that they aren't real.  No one's life is always perfect.  We all have night and we all have day.  Life sometimes hands us perfect moments to cherish - and it also hands us hard, tough, difficult, ugly days when we  can feel overwhelmed by a sense of failure or loss, are fighting to breathe and feel like we're buried.  On those days I remind myself, "We're not living in Perfect".  I will never be perfect.  It will never be perfect. 

There's a freedom that comes with that.  There are weeds in my garden.  The house needs a good clean.  The dog desperately needs a bath and a groom. My hair is a mess.  Last week I spent too much money. That's real life.  That's the way it goes sometimes.  And that's okay.  It's okay to be real.  Real is good too. Give yourself  a break.

A corner of  our - very imperfect - garden:





Pretty Old China

There is far too much "pretty china" here but I find it so hard to resist! Since I was a child I have always loved and been fascinated by the vintage and the antique.  So much of the old china seems to me especially useful and gorgeous so during my lifetime I've inherited, bought or been given quite a collection.

Who doesn't love a pretty old milk jug?!


These milk jugs have been here since I was a child.



A gorgeous old plate:


Antique sweet pea jug and sugar bowl:


A collection of lovely old pin dishes:



A beautiful Kiwi with her egg:


Of course a pretty old plate always looks better with a piece of freshly baked banana and chocolate chip cake on it!


A more modern piece but a lovely antique style wash jug and bowl:


Vintage Peacock:


This old jug with a country cottage scene is a favourite of mine to use for flowers.


Two antiques jugs:


A very old kitten ornament:


Vintage swans:


This large, antique Crown Lynn swan used to belong to my grandmother.  I also have a smaller version.