Monday, November 30, 2009

Ruby Red: Inflatable Jandal

Hurray, Summer is here, the lifeguards are officially at the beach to rescue you if you get into trouble.


Jandal is a hybrid word in New Zealand for Japanese Sandals, and is very popular and well loved that the Jandal is a national Icon.

Three summers ago, they sold key chains which I still use for my car. It's bright red and yellow means it is easy to locate, and at the right size too.

My students were pumping up these inflatables and emphasized to me that it is not meant to be a floatation devise. It is a toy.

My colleagues J and A both have children who are volunteer life guards.

Yellow Mellow: Gorse


Common Name: Gorse

Scientific Name: Ulex europaeus

Gorse is not native to New Zealand, but was introduced as a fence. But it's prolific growth meant that it grow profusely all over the country. It has become an obnoxious weed, and the prickles means that the animals would not be able to graze the land.

One December, we came back with the kids. All along the desert road, the road sides were full of what we thought were beautiful yellow flowers. Then we were told they were gorse. A pain to the farmers.

Below is from the http://www.biosecurity.net.nz/gorse.html

Description: Gorse is a perennial shrub that is distinctive by it’s bright yellow pea-like flowers and evergreen spines. It can grow to 3-4 metres tall. Found throughout New Zealand it is a very hardy plant that can survive hot and cold weather conditions. Positive attributes include; the plant has nitrogen fixing ability and that it can act as a nursery plant for forestry seedlings or regenerating native bush.

Problem: The main problem is the affect the plant has on farm pasture. The first is that it is quick growing and due to it’s spiny nature, it forms thickets that are impenetrable to stock and humans. It produces large numbers of seeds in seed pods which explode open, enhancing seed distribution. Seed may last 100 years in the soil before conditions become suitable for germination. Burning stimulates regrowth.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas at the Park, Mt albert Rocket Park

The Christmas tree is a popular tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas.

This lady was getting the children from Gladstone Primary School, Hebron Christian College and she's got wings behind her back.

Local business were sponsors for the function. here the staff of Ray White real estate were barbecueing sausages at a sausage sizzle.

My ESOL students Rosa and Felecitas from Peru came her F's grandson. They must be missing their Christmas in Peru.

The teens from church doing a great job as santa's helper, giving out goody bags.

Santa mingling with the crowd. He must feel quite hot in our humid summer.

The Quartet from Mt Albert Grammar school.

These people are having a real party, compete with wine glasses.

Connie was so successful in her ice cream sales, that it so sold out.


I have also posted photos on my other site: http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2009/11/christmas-at-park.html

It has been a successful night, 2-3000 people came to celebrate this Christmas in the Park organised by my church, Mt Albert Baptist Church. A lot of people worked very hard behind the scene, and many local companies sponsored the event. The students from the ESOL class came to help sell ice cream and drinks.

I made a new friend. She is a professional photographer. Her lens were very impressive and I went to talk to her. Guess what, she invited me to join her group of Chinese professional photographers. My photographs should become better and better, and I shall start praying for a high resolution camera for my birthday. LOL

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ABC Wednesday: Letter T. for toilet


Gattina and a group of cat lovers have a meme on Cat stories. When I saw her header photo of the cute cat on the toilet, I LOL to myself and remembered my mum and our house cats.

That photo showing the hole on the floor found in the East. It is a toilet. Most of the older houses would have this. I was lucky in some of the houses I lived in, we had both kinds. Those of you who have been to the East have encountered this hole on the floor of the toilet.

My older friends often joked that it was impossible to squat and then get up again. Even among the youngsters, they avoid using this hole. I was at Mulu caves when I was with a group of British students who were going to climb the pinnacles. They didn't want to use the hole, and would rather wait for the sole sitting toilet. My born in New Zealand girls found themselves in the same predicament

The hole was my mum's cat toilet training success story. The cats we had didn't need a litterbox. When they were kitten, she got them to poo in the hole. Mum was so clever. Of course, this method won't work with the sitting toilet especially if you put the lid down.

weekend reflection: Action march


There was an Action Mach up Queen street in Auckland. The reflection from a window was quite spectacular.


Scenic Sunday: wind surfing


We are lucky to have many beaches and Parks. Near My school, there are two great parks.

On Wednesday morning, I volunteer as an ESOL teacher at my church, Mt Albert baptist Church. Sometimes before I head back to school at Pt Cheveliar, I like to have a "me time." I drive to Walker Park and enjoy God's creation.

Sometimes, I see lots of Oyster Catchers. On this occasion, I see a lot of kite surfers. I wonder why these people are wind surfing and not working. They in turn, probably wonder why I am there taking their photos.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Skywatch Friday: South Auckland


This year, we have had a lot of rain, and very cold weather. Now that Summer is almost here, we hope it will stay.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday challenge for fun and learning

ENERGY" (Batteries, Power, Electrical Devices, Light Bulbs, Energy Efficient Things, Wind Mills, Walking, Cycling,...)


Wind farms are the way to go. The water engineer took this photo when he was in Australia.

Outdoor Wednesday


This round no spring trampoline is claimed by the makers as the worlds safest trampolines. It is invented here in New Zealand. It has a mesh netting to keep the kids from falling off.

Sam and his friends were very rowdy on it, and Sam says the advantage is you can bounce on the net. Unfortunately, the net couldn't stand the rough treatment of these teen aged boys.

Springfree™ Trampoline uses flexible fibreglass rods to give a soft non-jarring bounce.

The rods lie beneath the jumping surface out of harms way. Traditional trampolines have springs that give a harsh, jolting bounce, and despite safety pads can still injure.


Photohunt: technology


Let's my lap top for information Technology.

Rigth now, I am reading Jeffery Deaver's The Blue Nowhere. Even Sam liked reading it.

abc wednesday: Letter S for sculptor and sculpture


Last month, when I was at the Parnel Rose garden festival, I was attracted by the sculptures and the sculptor busy at work. As he was busy, I did not make him stop to chat with me as I did with Alan Pitts and Abdul-Satar A. Jawad. I took his photo for this post.

Here is New Zealand Uenuku Hawira at work. The Ponga is a big fern tree.


New Zealand Ponga carved into sculptures by artist Uenuku Hawira. Utilising inspiration from his family and travels, then fusing it with a firey passion for art and design.

Uenuku exhibits his sculptures at many different outdoor markets and events throughout New Zealand, usually demonstrating his carving live for all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

watery wednesday: Frozen water


There are chunks of icebergs floating from Antarctica towards New Zealand. When my sister Margaret comes with her family, I would suggest they go and see the Fox and Franz Josef Glacier in the South Island.


Save the world wednesday, Think Green Thursday: Recycle glass



In a factory in South Auckland, I spotted a big chimney. Upon looking closely, it was a glass recycling plants. What a great idea.

Recycling saves a lot of sand from the beaches, and probably a lot of power from dredging the sand and transportation.

My son Sam only drinks from a glass bottle. he thinks water from a plastic bottle taste funny. So he refills tap water into a glass bottle.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ruby Red: Christmas at the Rocket park.


My church, Mt Albert Baptist church is organising for the first time, Christmas in the park. Here's all the ruby red notices at our local mall this Sunday.

There is going to be a teddy bears' picnic and carols by candle light. I will be there with my ESOL students selling drinks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mellow yellow: Marigold


The Marigold flower is a revered flower for the Hindus. My Hindu neighbour planted a whole row by her foot path.

I see in Singapore garlands made of Mango and Marigold. The garland is tied to the frame of the main door of the house. This garland is changed on every festive occasion -

One day, at the Walker Park Beach, I saw garlands at the beach. I had no one to tell me what the significance they were. Were they similar to flowers placed at the bridges, roadsides where some one had died? I don't know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

scenicsunday: International Antarctica Centre


My younger sister Margaret studied and lived in Christchurch for many years while she studied for her PhD. She hasn't been back and had decided this December to take her husband and three children visit New Zealand.

Their first stop is naturally Christchurch, and I am thinking that it would be great for them to have a nocturnal adventure as a family in this International Antarctica Centre.

We went there and had fun pretending we were in an igloo. The kids went on a Hagglund ride. They went aboard the amazing Hagglund genuine as-used-in-Antarctica all terrain vehicle, sit back, hold on and experience travelling across rough terrain in this unique and exciting machine! We aim to simulate the same travelling conditions as scientists would experience riding in a Hagglund across the icepack. This ride is the only one of its type in the world. It showcases the demanding capabilities of the Hagglund ATV.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Skywatch Friday


My friend said she had a dream, she was going to fly, and the whole sky was covered with dark clouds. When she woke up, the Auckland sky was covered with clouds, layers of variegated shades of grey. You could not see the sky.

In the photo, you can barely see the Mt Roskill volcano. The clouds are just so low that they look as though they are touching the volcano.

Photo hunt: Birds


Shags at Western Spring park in Auckland New Zealand

Thursday Challenge for fun and learning: Music

"MUSIC" (Guitar, Playing an Instrument, Things that make sounds, iPods, Sheet Music, Noisy Things,...)

Sweet melodies from the xylophones comes out of my school's music room into my room. There is a whole container of plastic, wooden, or rubber mallets.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday: Water fight


Boys will be boys, Sam and his friends had a water fight on his birthday, despite the freezing mid of winter. They started filling up little balloons. Then they proceeded to splashing each other with buckets.

Watery Wednesday: Western Springs


I spotted this lone swan in Western Springs Park.