Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Last pairs

My goodness, the last week of the year so the last pairs.  A big thank you to everyone who has joined me in sharing a linked pair of photos.  I have enjoyed the weekly challenge to watch out for a pair and I've loved seeing all of your lovely and varied pairs.  A weekly photo challenge is so much easier and more fun when shared.

My final pair is a before and after
My sister gave me this lovely sock creature kit for Christmas - making it was the perfect creative project for a grey and overcast Boxing day.  As my mum said - this is something I would have loved as a gift any year since I was 3! The kits are lovely and they have a great range of imaginative animals to make - I'd recommend them if you are looking for a gift for a crafty person who can use a needle - of any age - the company is sock creatures.

Looking forward to next week/year and the start of Snap.  What I have in mind is between 2 and 4 photos that create a visual set - so it might be 4 circles or 4 blue things or 4 cakes - but really part of the fun is seeing how people interpret the core idea.  I'll create a blog button for next week.

Looking forward to seeing the last round of pairs and again thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Penultimate Pair

With only 2 set of pairs to go before we start on Snap next year, I was thinking if there were any kinds of pairs that I had intended to find but hadn't yet.  I have 'homophone' written on the whiteboard beside my computer because several times Miriam has shared a pair where the two images are described by the same word but with different meanings - I remember her rusty pad -lock and the lock on the canal.  So I was on the look out for a homophone pair and came across these

Looking forward to all sorts of pairs this week and wishing you all a merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2015

me on Monday in December

you find me reminiscing about Christmas when the sky if bright blue and there is plenty of good light - as we approach the shortest day of the year when daylight is overcast I sought out photos of New Zealand Christmas where the daylight is longer and brighter at this time of year:

The tree is a pohutukawa and is covered in red November/December and is known as the Christmas tree in NZ and features on lots of Christmas cards.  The giant bauble was in the main square in town and provided lots of lovely reflections. The giant Santa winks - it has been displayed on that corner of the main street in Auckland for decades.

Waving to you all and hoping your build up to Christmas day is fun and stress free.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Winter photo hunt progress

I’ve been making good progress with the lovely winter photo hunt list that Eileen and Joy have created.  I’ve used items 3 (outside lighting), 8 (a wreath) and 9 (a tree that has lost all its leaves) for my last two pairs.  I’ve been collecting a few more so thought I’d share them today

I’m not sure I’ll see a living robin red breast long enough to get a good photo but 3 of the Christmas cards I’ve received feature a robin in different ways – item 1 done.

tinsel (item 2) is hard to photograph well – I’ll probably try this again in different light

another one that is hard to capture is 15 – candle light – I’ll be on the lookout for another opportunity to try this one too

I liked these stars decorating the window of a big high street story – love the cheeky style – item 4

For item 17 – a ladder – I decided to go for a different perspective and took this one looking down when I was up the ladder hanging lights in my living room.

Thanks to Eileen and Joy for the fun list.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pair of doors

While looking for some interesting wreaths for the winter scavenger hunt I found a lovely range of styles and thought that I could use 2 for a nice pair

my own door has a gold tinsel circle because it is dark and when I tried a greenery wreath it disappeared into the shadows so I looked for something light and sparkly.

Only a pair of pairs left after this week. Several of you have wondered about next year - I'm thinking 'Snap' / '4 of a Kind'.  Some overlap with pairs but allowing for a few more photos some weeks.  What I was thinking was between 2 to 4 photos with a theme which might be a colour or a shape or an item - I could have used 4 of the wreaths that I found.  I'm sure as the year progresses we will discover other themes to use too.  what do you think?

Looking forward to all your lovely pairs this week and thank you for participating

Monday, December 14, 2015

Me on Monday in December

a big gloved wave to Sian and other Monday bloggers and readers.

I enjoyed some hot Pimms with apple juice and wander around the Christmas market in town on Saturday evening with some friends from my sign language class.

I’ve browsed the stalls a few times already, during the day so enjoyed all the lights as we wandered after dark.  The hot drinks are provided in a mug (you pay a deposit which you get back if you return the mug) so had a nice hand warmer as well as the tasty drink while wandering.  Lovely to see so many people out on a chilly evening enjoying the festive sights.

During the day on Saturday and again on Sunday I went to 2 different Christmas craft fairs – as a spectator not a vendor.  Both were so well attended that it was hard to move around and often hard to get up close to a stall for a good look without patient waiting and wriggling into any space that opened up.  Most of the stalls were either ‘things i could make’ or ‘things I don’t use’ or food.  One had some street food vans in their courtyard – I was surprised how small a niche this one was catering for – I do wonder if they can make enough selling one kind of desert
and I had to whip out my camera to capture this sight when out for a walk
look closely – did you notice the legs coming out of the bottom?  It is a man carrying a large tree – it did make me chuckle

Hope you all have a fun and festive week

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pair for the photo hunt

I managed to find a linked pair within the lovely new winter scavenger hunt created by Joy and Eileen

One of the few advantages of it getting dark by 4pm is that I see more of the lights on the trees by the river.  And  I do enjoy the dark branches of the bare trees on the days when we have a nice blue sky.

A good start to the hunt with 3 - outside lighting and 9 a tree that has lost all its leaves

Looking forward to all your lovely pairs

Monday, December 7, 2015

me on Monday in December

a big wave to you all and hope you are all warm and dry. 

Saturday was so wet and windy that I stayed inside but yesterday was clear so after a lovely family big breakfast at a well known garden centre cum ‘shopping experience’ I walked along the river which was full nearly to the brim


My sister, who has been flooded in the past, was on river watch but no water entered the house. 

I made good use of a day indoors, tidying away ornaments to make way for decorations


you might have noticed an unexpected selfie in there too.  Having put them all out I decided I need more tinsel so that’s where I’m off to as soon as I hit publish.

On a totally different topic – do any of my UK readers know of a supplier for guacamole without chilli?  I discovered a very tasty version when I was on holiday – heavy on garlic and lemon but no chilli and remembered that I could get it like that in NZ and loved it.  But the supermarkets that I shop in only do a version with chilli and I’d love to know if anyone in UK does a non-chilli version.  I tried searching online but only got recipes.  I know I could make my own but sometime I just want to buy it rather than play avocado roulette – I get tired of how many are not ripe or have large parts I can’t use because they are black.

Hope you all have a good week – now off on a tinsel hunt

Friday, December 4, 2015

5 in 5 at the aquarium

Another unusual sight, after the anteaters, at the parrot park in Tenerife was an aquarium featuring jellyfish – different types each with the appropriate water and light to replicate where it usually lives.  The shapes were amazing and an easy choice for my 5 in 5 this month – and thanks to Sandie for the lovely meme.  The white ones bottom right are young ones in the hatchery. 


and while we are talking things with tentacles in Tenerife – one morning when I was walking around the harbour I noticed a group of people watching something over the edge of the harbour wall so went to have a look and discovered this man preparing squid – fascinating to see the whole process and the fish in the harbour devouring the bits of skin that he threw to them


almost another 5 in 5 sneaking in here!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

pair of the peak

On my way to Tenerife I was looking out of the window, catching glimpses of ocean between the clouds when I noticed a black peak emerging from teh clouds up ahead - it was Mount Tilde - the mountain on the island and the highest peak in Spain.

Later when I was exploring the town, on clear days I could see the peack above the hills that surround the town - it looks closer than it is because of its size.

So I thought this was a type of look up and look down that I'm unlikely to achieve again - from the air and sealevel.

I enjoyed catching up on all of your pairs from the last week and know there will be lots more this week - perhaps even the start of festive pairs.

Monday, November 30, 2015

me on Monday back home

a big wave to Sian and fellow Monday wavers and other blog visitors. 

It was a weekend of re acclimatising to several layers of clothing and total cloud cover and cold rain – quite a change from the blue skies of last week – here is one of the photos I’d hoped to use for my Monday wave last week – I was using my tablet on front camera but couldn’t see the screen due to sun glare so framing was potluck


This weekend started wrapped up in many layers to walk through town with several thousand others on the climate change march – interested to see the wide range of groups represented by banners – too wet to stay around for the speeches.

Saturday evening was a pleasant blend of friends and curries to celebrate the birthday of one of my crafting friends who recently went on a curry making workshop – very tasty.

Sunday marked another key stage in my big crochet project – it is looking great. 

Sunday also saw delighted response from my sister of the reindeer jar cover I made (plus chocolate puddles inside the jar)


Hoping you all have a good week – I’ll be starting on the mince pie consumption and putting up some decorations and getting to grips with cards.

Friday, November 27, 2015

missing pair and anteaters

Back at my computer and looking through my holiday photos.

Here is my missing photo pair – looking left and right from the path above one of the coves in town – taken with my tablet (because I hoped I’d then be able to load the photos onto blogger).  They were taken at the same time but the colour of the sky looks very different – I’m guessing because I was looking towards the sun when looking left.


And one other peep into my holiday shots – by popular demand – the anteaters

I first saw the big fringed tail of something big disappearing behind a bump in the landscape


as far as I could tell the tail is always displayed like that.

They were constantly on the move – I think there was food hidden in their enclosure – and this is the most complete photo I managed


there were several of them – here I got one head on and another walking across the background


and one of the them nicely stretched up the tree – I suspect looking for food rather than posing


They really were unexpected -  in how big they are and how small their head is and how a big hairy tail goes with a smooth muscled front and how fast they move around.

I’ll be sharing more photos of Tenerife over the coming week, as I organise them into stories.

Have a great weekend – lots of rain forecast here but not cold enough for it to be snow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pairs on holiday

Greetings from Tenerife.
Fabulous views of crashing seas and buildings covering the hills.
Three different seafronts where I am.  The harbour in the middle,  a long black sand beach to the left and to the right rocky coves then a surf beach squeezed between jaggy rocks.  All the rocks look volcanic.

My photo pair is from the paved walkway above one of these coves.  Looking left to the old town and looking right to the water.

You will have to imagine them for now.  I'll post them when l am back to my computer and reliable signal -I'm not sure which is stopping photos loading.

I'll be round to see all your pairs from this week and last week too once I'm back and unpacked.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Me on Monday in Tenerife

waving to you all while on holiday.  You will have to take my word for it as I can't load the photo of me with palm trees, nor the one taken from a sun lounger, nor the view down the hill to the sea taken from my balcony.

It was a weekend of lots of walking.  Along the waterfront on Saturday, watching surfers and swimmers and other strollers.  And looking in shop windows wondering who buys thise souvenirs. And sampling yummy cake - an advantage of the dominance of German tourists.

Sunday was a day of walking again but around a parrot park / zoo and dodging rain showers by taking advantage of the aquariums.  I was suprised by the herd of anteaters - they are big, like a red setter with a long nose.  Lots of colourful birds too and they were noisy, perhaps grumbling about the rain.

Enjoying walking aroundin a tshirt and shorts, even if I needed my rain cape on Sunday.  Overcast but still around 20C forecast for the rest of the week.  Could be a shock getting of the plane to 5C.

Hope you all have a good week

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pairs with light

Yesterday I actually saw some blue skies and the sun - welcome after days of rain and clouds.  I was enjoying the long shadows from the low light - the only time I have really long legs is in the shadows at this time of year!

So for my pairs an old one but a good one

I'll be off on my holiday by the time this posts - my ability to comment on your pairs will depend upon the reliability of the promised wifi at the hotel.

Monday, November 16, 2015

me on Monday mid November

another blustery and wet day but  a warm wave to you all.

It was a weekend of contrasts

- watching the dreadful news from Paris as new details emerge and people try to deal with what happened - while crocheting cute Christmas items and periodically switching channels to something light and frothy.  A reminder in so many ways of how connected we all are.

- hearing the rain and dressing in wellie boots and waterproofs to go out


while making piles of sunglasses, shorts, t-shirts and sandals for a week in the sun.  I always find it hard to imagine that the temperature will be so different that I’ll need different clothes and one cardigan has been added to the pile then removed then added again several times. 

hope those of you in the UK have not been flooded – my local river was very high but stayed within its banks – but the ducks and geese looked put out that the island they congregate on was mostly submerged


wishing you all a good week – if I manage to post from my tablet then I should be waving to you from a sunny balcony next Monday!

Friday, November 13, 2015

5 in 5 needs a soundtrack

Please imagine crashing waves for this post – they sounded fabulous.

Usually the waves hit the beach I walk alone gently with some white but no great noise.  But the combination of wind making the sand steeper and a high tide meant that there have been bigger crashing waves – I couldn’t resist getting out my camera.  But with the constant movement and each wave cresting differently it really is a matter of click a lot and hope I got some good ones – which made this a perfect subject for Sandie’s lovely monthly meme of 5 in 5 – take photos for 5 minutes then share the best 5. 

This month I put them all together on on big sheet – enjoy


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

polished pair

Two of the statues in the middle of Edinburgh are showing signs of people rubbing them - its seems to be an increasing habit in many cities.  Once an area has been rubbed a few times it changes colour and invites others to rub it and so it continues. The council has blacked over one several times but the rubbing persists.

I wasn't at all surprised that people were stroking the nose of Greyfriar's Bobby - the statue is a common stop on walking tours and the story is told in guidebooks.  The statue is of a dog which remained by the grave of his owner for years after he died and so he is known as a symbol of faithfulness. Plus the statue is sweet and the nose easy to reach.

But I was surprised at the other statue that has been receiving strokes - the toe of David Hume.  I don't think most of the people stroking his toe have any idea who he was - they just stroke it because it has been stroked.  The plinth only says 'Hume' - no first name and no indication of who he was.  I always point out the statue when I'm walking past with visitors and only my former colleagues know who he is.  David Hume was an eminent philosopher who worked in Edinburgh.  He has been described as the most important philosopher who wrote in English.

Recently I mentioned the 2 stroked statues to a former colleague when I met him for dinner in the middle of town - a professor of Political Philosophy from my old university.  He was delighted with the story and he went to take a photo of Hume's stroked toes and said that Hume would appreciate the contrast because one of his 'revolutionary' theories was that we should not assume that all decisions are based on logic and need to also think about the impact of emotion and context.

Given that these 2 photos will no be used in introduction to political theory lectures in Auckland, I thought I should feature them as a pair here too.

Looking forward to all kinds of pairs - whatever the decision making behind them was

Monday, November 9, 2015

me on Monday

waving to you all on a third wet and windy day and a special big wave to our host Sian hoping her bad cold is better.


Despite the weather I made it to the local monthly farmer’s market for veg and bread (the yummy cake lady wasn’t there). 

Plenty of fun and laughter inside at my parent’s house with my sister, nephew and his girlfriend all visiting.  So lots of laughs and ‘remember when’  and tasty top your own pizza.

And I made progress of the other item I’m making for my craft group to sell for charity


the one of the left looks rather menacing but they are cute individually!!

Hope you all have a dry and fun week

Friday, November 6, 2015

October was


October was visually definitely autumn with lovely low light and lots of colour in leaves and berries and hips.

October was milder than it often is and early on no rain or wind which was nice and meant that there were times to sit on the wall by the beach even though I was wearing boots and a scarf


October was full of rugby and getting used to short hair and lots of apples – all of which I’ve shared on Mondays.

October was a busy crochet month – good progress on my big project I can’t share photos of yet plus some cute wee things for my craft groups Christmas stalls – a herd of baby guinea pigs completed


October was a good month of novels with some authors I know I like and finally reading The Martian which I’ve had on m shelf all year and finally read when I saw the movie trailers and I loved it.  The David Mitchell I enjoyed in the end but found the second story hard to connect to the first until I looked online to discover the overall structure of the book (annoying that it wasn’t obvious but an interesting structure in the end).


October was a month of thinking about some winter sun and booking a holiday and using google maps to investigate where I’ll be and how to walk to the supermarket, cafes and other interesting places.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

pair in sunlight

on a lovely sunny walk I was taken with the colour of the few leaves still on the tree and then a few paces later noticed that the raindrops from overnight showers were catching the sunlight like jewals and so I had my pair of enhanced autumn leaves

Hope you are all getting some sunshine - I've seen photos of snow already!

Monday, November 2, 2015

me on Monday in November

a big wave to everyone and can you tell I have a big grin on my face?  Still smiling at the decisive and stylish rugby world cup win by the All Blacks.  Mostly I watch sport as a form of live entertainment but with this game I cared – I was cheering them on and applauding and on the edge of my seat.  Now no more international rugby until February!

Which meant I could go out for a walk on Sunday afternoon to enjoy the lack f rain and wind and the blue skies and fallen leaves


Halloween passed me by – the only thing I did was enjoy the fabulous costumes for the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special. 

Hope you all have a good week

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pairs in the orchard

Lots of nice contrasts at Apple Day in the Community Orchard.

the crab apple tree was laden with fruit (free to pick so I suspect empty by the end of the day).  The fruit are small and tart but make great spicy chutney.

Strange to think that all apples used to be about that size and breeders have carefully worked to create bigger and sweeter fruit until we have the tasty variety available today.  The biggest on our tasting table (top right bowl) was bigger than my fist and I ate it in 2 sittings.

I know I'll enjoy the variety in your pairs too

sorry link up wasn't working - I'd managed to put in the wrong start time!

Monday, October 26, 2015

me on Monday in October

sitting in a beam of sunlight as I wave to you all.  I’m really noticing the lower sun at the moment with how it comes in the windows and great light for photos.

And on Saturday I was delighted to capture another bit of sunlight magic with a half circle rainbow


I love how the sky looks darker above it – as though the rainbow is a barrier.  There was a slight second rainbow but the camera didn’t register that.

Only one game of rugby each day (happy with both results and looking forward to an antipodian final) which meant I actually had time to do other things each afternoon.

Saturday I helped my Dad run a tasting table at the Community Orchard Apple Day – more photos later in the week.  Interesting to taste the differences and see how people reacted to them.  Good to see lots of interest from kids and one boy of about 9 who methodically tasted them and decided on his top 3 and persuaded his mum to let him buy some.  Several people went for the red ones first but I didn’t think they were the best tasting – interesting how we associate red with sweeter.

Sunday I set our for the shops to get 3 specific items but came home with only 1 and instructions from the other 2 shops to go online to get the items i wanted.  So really I could have just spent 15 minutes at home on the computer to get the 3 items but my first impulse is still to go to the shops.  Have any of you made the switch to thinking online shopping first?

Wishing you all a good week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

pair in flight

Two fortuitous captures of the local birds in flight and I realised they go together nicely as a pair

they really are such different creatures in all their habits, even though they live together on the river.

Thank you for all the nice comments on my new haircut last week.  Looking forward to all the pairs you have to share this week.

Monday, October 19, 2015

me on Monday in October


A weekend of edge of the seat rugby and ‘wow’ rugby and my NZ self is very pleased and my Scottish self sad and amazed how close they came to winning and sympathies to my Irish friends.

And in between the excitement there was some bits of crochet – my finished Halloween amigurumi trio and trying some ideas for items to sell at festive craft fairs.

Also a visit to a craft fair with some of my crafting group colleagues to assess its suitability for us (probably) and to look at stalls we thought looked great so we can apply that to ours (some useful coalescing of views).

And some contemplation of the National Theatre staging of Hamlet – I saw the live broadcast on Thursday – Benedict was, of course, amazing as Hamlet and I loved the set with the larger than life doors and massive table and how dirt and destruction blew in for the second act.  But the costumes annoyed me (I confess to a strong interest in costuming and having done it for amateur groups in the past). Every tie Horatio came on stage I wondered why they chose to illustrate his otherness in plaid and Gertrude’s dresses seemed wrong.

Waving to you all and hoping you have a good week.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Story of the middle

Last week my sign language class got to talking about middle names and it turned out that everyone who had a middle name had a story that went with it – named for a relative or place etc.

My middle name is Dee – because I was born in Aberdeen and the Dee is one of the rivers of Aberdeen, the one beside the maternity hospital where I was born.  When I was 6 we moved to a house very close to the river – here is a photo I took when I was back in Aberdeen in January and walking around old haunts


So I was wondering – does your middle name have a story?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

pair of pairs of selfies

tada - I had a lot of my hair cut off - no nits or chemo (as some of my rather blunt friends asked!!) just a desire for a change.  This is the shortest I've ever had it and I love it although it does take some getting used to in terms of less shampoo and not brushing for such a long stroke and not needing to retrieve my ponytail when I put on a sweater / coat etc and having a cold neck.

keep those pairs coming - I love the themes and stories that appear each week

Monday, October 12, 2015

me on Monday in October

a big wave to Sian (and her victorious boys in green) and all you lovely blog readers – on a sunny autumnal day – lovely blue skies but I know I’ll need a jacket when I go outside.

Yes it was a weekend of fabulous rugby – all set for 4 interesting northern vs southern hemisphere games in the quarter finals. 

And yes there was more crochet with good progress on my big project.  I was also enticed by a fun Halloween amigurumi and made a start


I’m claiming the slight blur as Halloween atmosphere!

There was also reading as I finished The Martian (Andy Weir) in 3 days – a real page turner and excellent story of survival.  Then there was a visit to several local charity shops to find some new books for my shelves – a good haul.

And there was some unpacking of warmer clothes and packing away of cooler clothes – some of which only saw the inside of my wardrobe this ‘summer’.

Wishing you all have a great week

Friday, October 9, 2015

5 in 5 in Liverpool

Last month, when I was in Liverpool for a couple of days, I had a quick wander around the Albert Dock area – for those of you who don’t know the city this used to be a busy working port with lots of massive brick warehouses and is now the home to several big art galleries and museums.  I was intrigued by the modern buildings that have been created amongst the old brick ones and how interesting the contrasts were.  I though it would be a great subject for a 5 in 5 – so here are my favourite 5 from 5 minutes of taking photos.


I love how the wheel is still dwarfed by the buildings


I love how the old tiled roof in the front is represented in the white stripe on the roof behind it – and of course the famous Liverbird on top of the clocktower


I had a lot of fun trying different angles to see which of the surrounding old buildings were reflected in this mirror glass section


I love how the angles and textures of the new building are framing the old


I love how the shape of the new buildings match the shape of the old

Thanks to Sandie for the monthly suggestion to take photos in 5 minutes then choose the best 5 to share – I enjoy both the taking of ltos of photos and later the curating of a set of just 5 to post.