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Warbirds Over Wanaka - Saturday

  • 9th Apr, 2018 at 10:39 AM
Saturday last weekend at Wanaka started off muddy and cloudy after a night of heavy rain, but at least the rain and stopped, and the hot sun was back out before lunch. Unfortunately right at the beginning a Yak-3 clipped a cherry picker with its wing after landing, got spun right round, and damaged its wing, undercarriage, and the cherry picker. Right in front of our stand; yikes! And why were the cherry pickers even there? We were told it was for fireworks, or maybe something to do with the coloured balloons on the far side of the runway, but they were gone the next day. Anyway, the investigation and getting the poor Yak-3 off the runway closed it for two and a half hours, so much of the morning programme was cancelled. We were glad we bought passes for the three days.

Here is a small selection of the many photos I took.

F16, WW2 dogfight, the Harvard big wing, and moreCollapse )

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Warbirds Over Wanaka - practice day

  • 5th Apr, 2018 at 8:00 PM
We bought gold passes for all three days of the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow, arriving around midday afternoon. We missed some of the practice routines because of wandering around the grounds in the hot sun looking at static displays and parked planes - bit of a mistake as the Spitfire and Messerschmidt were up at one point, and they were the top of my list to see.

Six photosCollapse )

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The Annual Tree Octopus Hunt

  • 18th Feb, 2018 at 8:56 PM
steampunk me
The annual expedition in search for the elusive antipodean tree octopus took place in the Oamaru Gardens today. It's a fun steampunk event starting with a splendid (a very steampunk adjective) picnic and tea, then armed with a list of clues we ventured forth in search of octopodes. Why yes, that is the correct plural, the word being Greek rather than Latin.

We had to follow cryptic clues taking us all around the gardens answering questions on our forms and keeping an eye out for Octavia and the more rarely seen Septimus. Our team found them both, plus a third unnamed plushy. It was a fun day, but very hot and humid; I admired the fortitude of those sporting more elaborate and heavier regalia than I did.

Music for our picnic in and around the rotunda was provided by this chap with his gramophone.

More photos of splendid explorers and octopodesCollapse )

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Chinese New Year in Oamaru

  • 17th Feb, 2018 at 8:15 PM
I've been meaning to catch up with my photo backlog, but hey, here are some from this evening!

I just got back from a wonderful time at the Chinese New Year celebrations in the Oamaru Gardens down the hill from us. There was lots of yummy food, we were entertained by beautiful dances, and I even scored a relaxing massage for a donation. It was a brilliant evening - no fireworks though because there's a fire ban this summer.

I should add: the cultural dance group from Dunedin was led by... a Dr Hu!

It was enormous fun, and tomorrow there's yet more with a steampunk octopus hunt, also in the gardens.

Four more photos of dancersCollapse )

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It's 2018

  • 1st Jan, 2018 at 12:15 AM
And we're just back from spectacular fireworks down at the harbour, bursting right overhead; I lay on the grass to watch.

All the best to all of you!

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Rainbows and AO3 invites

  • 29th Dec, 2017 at 12:12 PM
Have a double rainbow over the hill opposite our house, taken from the upstairs sunroom.

I keep meaning to say, I have several invites to AO3 (Archive of Our Own), the fanfic archive which will avoid waiting in the queue. So if you want one, message me with your email address and I'll send you one.

Which reminds me, I must get round to posting an Avon story, and writing some more. (Lazy summer days...)

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Google doodle

  • 25th Dec, 2017 at 12:30 PM
Yo, Google! It's summer for penguins - no snow outside the Antarctic. We have two colonies right here.

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Assorted December photos

  • 24th Dec, 2017 at 11:27 PM
live forever
I haven't posted for a while because I have a backlog of photos and can no longer get into flickr, damn them, as I don't have a yahoo email address and don't want one. After looking around, I found imgur, though I suppose that won't last long either.

This is what I found in the car when we went to the vet to get supplies and left the windows down because it was a hot day. I laughed as I do love an unexpected cat.

This cat lives at a nearby house but hangs out at the vet, testing their cat beds. She's pretty friendly and was happy to be picked up and carried away. Her nose is slightly green; she must have had it buried in the grass.

Three more seasonal ones including Christmas lilies in our garden, the Christmas Farmers Market, and a stuffed Queen VictoriaCollapse )

And with that, I wish everyone who celebrates a great day, and everyone who'd off on holiday safe journeys and a good time.

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Christmas ads from Aotearoa NZ

  • 18th Dec, 2017 at 11:05 AM
xmas, party
I've been having a discussion about Christmas stories and traditions, and secret Santa which reminded me of this Farmers (department store) TV ad about one. There are not many ads I don't FF through or mute, but these are among them.

I should add that the milk and biscuits/cookies are an American import. Note: yes, it's summer here.

There's also a cute series of short ads about a man called Noel who might be Santa working at New World supermarket:
New World Christmas
It must be Christmas (we don't drink milk like Americans do so that's why the stares)
Santa's Grotto
Santa stocks up on carrots
Are you Santa?

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The Last Jedi

  • 15th Dec, 2017 at 1:51 PM
The Last Jedi was great! It's easily the best of the three most recent: danger, excitement, plus humour. Pity Rian Johnson isn't directing the next one too.

We went to the midnight showing (well, one minute past to make it the day of release) so this is a couple of days late. I could say a lot about it, but [personal profile] selenak  has said it so well already. (but spoilers, of course).

If you're a fan and you haven't already, go, enjoy!
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All black cats look alike

  • 27th Oct, 2017 at 11:33 AM
This story came up on a US site, and I was even more amused when I realised just who had tweeted it - Clarke Gayford, the partner of our new prime minister, Jacinda Arden (about whom I am very excited).

The story of the mistaken cat

It's worth looking at a few others of his tweets. My favourites:

His response to the account set up in their cat Paddles' name

Paddles' response to the media mobbing their house

Swearing-in day - 'lady' for Labour?

The kea, bird of the year - YES! I absolutely loathe our people being labelled - and labelling themselves - as a stupid, shy, nocturnal bird that can't fly. If people can't handle the four syllables of New Zealander (the same number as in "American" or "Italian" - c'mon!) than let's go with kea. They have personality.

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A bit wet

  • 22nd Jul, 2017 at 10:17 AM
One of the many reasons we moved to Oamaru was the weather. It's a lot drier here than wet, humid Auckland.

The latest storm hit the whole country, but especially the east coast of the South Island, this area particularly badly. Oamaru got over three months of rain in 26 hours. The infrastructure couldn't take it, rivers have flooded their banks, State Highway 1 is closed in many places including downhill from us where it crossed the river, and houses in the North End, a flat coastal area, are flooded, and steep Don Street, one we considered, is now a river with water running under houses.

At first I was pleased to live on a hill - and so far we're all right as the rain continues - but we woke up to see a slip on the hill opposite. There aren't houses on the slope (another reason for picking this place - nice view) but I suspect there are on the flat under it.

We have to go to Christchurch next week, so I hope the roads are open by then.

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I haven't been everywhere, man

  • 12th Jul, 2017 at 11:21 AM
Copied from sallymn because I felt like it. Not that I've been anywhere lately since 2004 when I went to England and Wales. Painting the whole US turquoise is somewhat misleading as I've only been to Florida.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

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High school meme

  • 13th Jun, 2017 at 2:27 PM
nikau (NZ!)
A high-school meme, ganked from [personal profile] zoefruitcake and de-Americanised - we don't have class of [insert year], yearbooks, school mascots, class rings (WTH?), or graduation - graduation's for tertiary institutes. As for what kind of car I drove to school? Seriously, only in America! Pupils walk, cycle, or get buses (though some spoiled ones get dropped off by parents). Pupils generally can't afford cars here, and for that matter the parking's for staff. Nor do we have driver ed, though that would actually be a very good idea, given some of the lunatics on our roads.

I went to three different high schools due to my family moving around the country and they were all single-sex. I was a boarder at the first and third, so I'll have to cover boarding / private and day / state schools. I think Americans call the former prep schools, but to us, prep was another word for homework. For that matter in the UK, a prep school is for younger pupils, preparing them for a public - IOW private - school. We're honest down here; our boarding schools are mostly private (though there are a few state schools offering limited boarding for country pupils).

Anyway, it's an opportunity to post something possibly of interest.Collapse )

Any questions about our education system and terms - or What I Did At School - ask away!

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Winter sunset

  • 11th Jun, 2017 at 10:46 PM
oamaru 1
I finally figured out how to get my phone to take decent photos of sunsets without overexposing them. The sunset tonight was spectacular.

SunsetCollapse )

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World famous in Oamaru

  • 9th Jun, 2017 at 2:07 PM
steampunk raygun
Re the post's title: it's from our well known "world famous in New Zealand" which I see the owners of L&P have trademarked despite it being in common joking use.

Anyway, the photo the Otago Daily Times took of me has indeed shown up, but in the ODT-owned Oamaru Mail. It's on page 6 of this week's paper (digital edition - it takes a couple of seconds to load full size) along with others of steampunkers. Unusually, it's not a bad one; I usually loathe photos of me.

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Steampunk dinner

  • 5th Jun, 2017 at 4:57 PM
steampunk me
Behold: just in time for the last steampunk post, an icon showing me in wig, leather helmet, obligatory steampunk goggles, and raygun. The raygun also has its own icon.

On Saturday night I attended the League of Victorian Imagineers Mess Dinner, a huge function full of adults having fun cosplaying and just plain playing. There were hobbyhorse and teacup races* and a bizarre and illogical murder mystery with about 12 corpses.

* Teacup races? See this Victorian picture for the idea. Contestants were selected ladies wearing corsets, but they only had to balance one (empty) cup and saucer.

Lady with blinged-up Dalek handbag. Yes, it did say, "EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!"

Two more of the dinnerCollapse )

Yesterday it was the Moments in Time fashion parade at the Opera House in which contestants also have to have a story about their persona. I didn't take photos as I knew they wouldn't come out well, but the overall winner was a chap in top hat and goggles - and a wonderfully retro spacesuit. The fire angel with wings he could ratchet out to be HUGE was also wonderful; hey, they all were!

Afterwards I had coffee with Katelin from Budapest (now living here).

Two photos of Katelin and her magnificent hatCollapse )

Links to the Otago Daily Times reporting (I didn't make the cut, I'm relieved to say):
That's it for this year, but it's board games night tonight so that's good.

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Steampunk Market and Tea Duelling

  • 3rd Jun, 2017 at 2:09 PM
My photos of the Fire and Steam event last night didn't come out well. Here are two anyway.

It was pretty cool, with various groups performing including Cook Island and Taiko drummers. I do love Taiko.

Steampunk market and probably more than you ever wanted to know about tea duellingCollapse )

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Steampunk weekend

  • 2nd Jun, 2017 at 12:01 PM
attolian me
At last I live somewhere here that has a winter festival - Steampunk Festival Weekend! It starts tonight with Fire and Steam.

Fire and Steam

I haven't been able to find my leather helmet*, but I have the rest of the gear I need: goggles, wig (see icon), leather cap and jacket, army jacket, pocket watch, flask with compass, and raygun. I realised I also needed a persona, like the other steampunkers here, so I'm Lucinda Augusta Throgmorton. I toyed with Henrietta Buckleton which was the magnificent name a school friend rejoiced in (she wanted to be a truck driver when she left school) but decided I'd create my own.

Other things I'm going to:
  • Tea Duelling tomorrow morning, as a competitor
  • League of Victorian Imagineers Mess Dinner, Murder Mystery and Airship Racing tomorrow night
  • Steampunk NZ Moments In Time: a series of tiny theatre pieces at the Opera House on Sunday
  • Assorted markets and demos

* Found the helmet which is good because my leather flat cap didn't fit over my wig.

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Whitestone City

  • 2nd Jun, 2017 at 11:47 AM
nikau (NZ!)
Oamaru has three major attractions: steampunk (see next post), the old Victorian Precinct and other beautiful whitestone buildings like the Opera House. A new tourist attraction, Whitestone City, opened a couple of weeks ago and they held a free open day for locals. It's an immersive experience with lots of things you can do.

The penny-farthing carousel for kids (and the occasional adult).

More photosCollapse )

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Gen Bingo Card

  • 31st May, 2017 at 3:36 PM
Since June picowrimo is coming up, I thought I'd use the opportunity / motivation to actually write something for this. I didn't post my card at the time, but here it is. I'm leaning towards the bottom row.

Another year older: Birthdays Mare Necataris (Sea of Nectar) Direct Mentors Someone / Something is Hidden / Camouflaged
Hurt / Comfort Perfect Werewolves Habits and Routines Revelations and Concealments
That Moment (incident / chapter / episode) in detail Careless Talk Costs Lives Wild Card Secondary Colours (Orange, Purple, Green etc.) Meson
Mutation / Transformation Teacher Space AU Silk and Velvet Heat
Office Outsider POV Puppets Quarantine Roomates / Sharing a Room

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Happy birthday!

  • 25th May, 2017 at 3:08 PM
Happy belated (sorry, had a guest arrive yesterday) birthday!

I'm sure it was a good one with your sister's excellent cooking.

Autumn in Oamaru

  • 19th May, 2017 at 11:59 AM
I just discovered how easy it is to use DW's image hosting instead of mucking about with Flickr to extract URLs, so I'll be making more pic posts.

It's late autumn here and at the weekly farmers' market they had carved pumpkins - the first I've ever seen in RL.

Farmers' Market on a lovely crisp day

Pumpkins, pasta, and a castleCollapse )

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Shitler word cloud

  • 1st May, 2017 at 10:48 AM
nikau (NZ!)
I don't usually do political posts, but I did like this word cloud created from an online poll of NZers asking for a word to sum up the orange waste of skin I call Shitler (I refuse to dignify it with its name).

(Results are again from a UMR online SAYit poll of n=1000 nationally representative New Zealanders conducted between the 28th March and 11th April 2017. The margin of error for a 50% with 95% confidence is +/- 3.1%.)

OK, it's a small sample, but yay for NZers not following the global trend towards fascism. OK, there are a few supporters there like my appallingly right-wing sister, but the majority are pretty damned clear-sighted. Let's hope it's reflected in our September elections.

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Happy birthday!

  • 29th Apr, 2017 at 10:29 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday, vjezkova!

Happy birthday!

  • 16th Apr, 2017 at 10:17 PM
... to imhilien!

I hope you had a good day with lots of sun (we had some!) and chocolate!

LJ 18th anniversary

  • 16th Apr, 2017 at 5:21 PM

That long, huh? Ah, those were the days, my friend... I suspect a lot of those comments were in role-playing comms.

But what is Frank the goat standing in?


Plague of mice

  • 10th Apr, 2017 at 9:30 PM
Due to all the unusual rain, there's a plague of mice here, and we're not the only ones* as I found out at the hardware store when I went today to buy a humane mouse trap. I brought it home and I've already got a mouse inside it, but I've had to hide it as the cats are far too interested. I plan to release the mouse in the country, well away from houses. Maybe I'll go there tonight so it's empty for the next one.

Ugh. I'm so over trying to chase mice around the house and trap them before Ashley kills them, having been a feral kitten once; Jasmin just plays with them, and Sebastian is totally uncertain what to do with them, just looking at them a but nervously.

Right, I'm off with this one.

* I know sallymn in Australia is suffering too, even getting mice running across her office desk. Bloody wet weather.

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The great LJ exodus

  • 8th Apr, 2017 at 6:11 PM
I've been on DW for a few years now, cross-posting, but I don't have all of you on my subscription filters there as in many cases you did most of your posting and commenting on LJ.

However, if you're moving and I'm not already reading and commenting on DW, please let me know and I'll subscribe and grant access, or change my filters so I do.

I'm vilakins there too. If you have a different name on DW, please let me know what it is. I don't want to lose touch.

In the meantime I'll be staying in both places until I no longer know anyone here. :-) (I'll also be doing an extra-icon purge so I don't pay LJ any more money.)


Happy birthday!

  • 6th Apr, 2017 at 10:49 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday, quarryquest!

Have a good one!

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