Bloganuary Catch-up – first week!

#2 Road trips – Wherever the road leads is where we will go.

Any road trip that does not depend on negotiating our own rural road (currently closed to the public)  is totally welcome these days.

The very best road trip I would love to take is around my own country which is probably well overdue.  I have been on a lot of road trips in other countries and some of these I would love to repeat. However there are many roads in my own country I have yet to explore. 

The North Island of New Zealand has so many choices! Should we travel the most direct route to Auckland, through the central North Island on State Highway One, enjoying the mountain views of Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe, past Lake Taupo  and into the geyser land of Rotorua, or should we meander slowly along the West coast past Mt Taranaki, then head on the Forgotten Highway into the inland countryside.

The Coromandel on the East Coast is another long and winding road I have yet to travel so plenty of options.  Once past Auckland city there is Northland to explore.

From Cape Reinga in the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island, not only would I love to take this road trip, it is very definitely on the plan.  

For now, we will complete a full circuit of the South Island this summer. From the top of the south we will go on our road trip to the East and West coasts, traversing the inland routes to the mountains and lakes, from the coastline to the Canterbury Plains, and hopefully reach the bottom of the South Island before returning as the summer days cool into Autumn evenings. We will go wherever the weather is kind and the road leads us. 

#3 Write about the last (first) time you left your comfort zone.

When the heart starts beating rapidly it is time. Don’t think about what others might think, just speak. Believe that the words will come. Sage advice given to this nervous first time public speaker many years ago. 

Standing up and speaking my mind was a scary thing to do. It’s not that I didn’t have words to say. It’s just that I felt too strongly about what my words meant to me. Where else would or could the words come from if not from my heart. And yet they resisted.

Where are the pages of my notes? What if my voice croaks? What if they laugh at me?My fears threatened to overcome me. Who else has felt that fear? 

Hidden deep within the hidden  tunnels and crevices of my beating heart, I felt them start to stir. With each surge they got stronger. The words were on their way. 
It’s true that we speak when our heart is in our mouth. I hummed to myself…,

“Drums keep pounding rhythm to my brain.  And the beat goes on! “

Then I thought; What  is the worst that can happen?  I set aside those notes. Just breathe. Just do it. And I did.   My heartfelt words found their way. And it was good. 

4 What is something you wish you knew how to do?

If only I could keep on task and actually respond to these daily prompts and write every day!  

#5 What was your favorite toy as a child?

Is it sad that I can’t remember what my favourite toy was?

 Reading books is how I spent much of my childhood time. I did have the obligatory doll or two however  I have fonder memories of the great outdoors building huts and swimming at the beach than playing with an actual toy.

My first camera at the tender age of 10 became my favourite ‘toy’ instead.  Not much has changed for me, except my age, the camera (and book)technology of course.  These days it is a digital camera or iPhone instead of that Brownie Starlet – and the Kindle for the reading might just be my favourite toy!

The starlet that started it all

Pictures of the past – precious memories

I have a picture in my mind’s eye.


Once I was a little  girl with blonde curls and blue eyes, clutching a cuddly soft toy under my arm.

Those eyes blinked once, and then suddenly I am ten. Already I have found some interests to pursue. 

I had my first riding lessons on a black racehorse named Chunkette. She left a lasting impression on me (and not just on my tender bottom) Gentle to ride yet she had a quietly determined character. She liked to lead the way when trotting along the jungle path.

I took many photos with my brand new camera and instantly I was hooked into an abiding passion – photography. Such magic to be able to capture pictures of the present which would become fond memories of the past. What an exciting and absorbing activity this has become. Little did I realise at that moment how my childhood interests would become my lifelong passion.


I blinked again and it was the next decade  I kept up my horse-riding. I took  pictures to record my interests and life experiences but alas they  went missing over the years.


I learned to develop and print my own film photographs in the school darkroom. Precious pictures of those schoolgirl years long since past but still they remain in my albums.


A decade after my first riding lessons, I bought my own horse. Yes it was another beautiful black racehorse. It seems I had a certain affinity with racehorses. I took pictures of course.

My first job when I left school was hand-painting aerial photographs using photo oil paints. My second photographic job saw me making large mosaic aerial photomaps of rural properties. No horses but plenty of farm animals in the photo maps. Lots of time spent in the darkroom, developing and printing very large aerial photographs, using copy cameras and retouching negatives.

Once again I was making pictures to identify the present land use and to record these for posterity.


In my third decade my passion for photography was set aside for a short time as motherhood and parenting took priority.  However there were still plenty of photographic opportunities in that part of my life journey. I  took many pictures of my children and I put them in my family albums.

I look at these pictures  of the past quite often these days. 


Fourth decade: As I travelled the country with my work in early childhood education, I became aware of the emerging importance of photo documentation of children’s learning journeys.  I took many pictures of early childhood environments, examples of best teaching practice, and of the many work colleagues who became close friends. I was able once again to focus on my lifelong passion for photography. 


I had also discovered digital and video cameras. Now there were limitless images to capture and record. And so much more to learn. The internet arrived.  I started a 365 project – a photo a day for 365 days.  I’m now into the 8th year of my 365 project. What can I say… it is an addiction. And I’m still learning.

Over the last three decades I have been capturing my travel memories in photographs. So many pictures to record our amazing trips around the world.  Travelling internationally may now be a distant memory. 

These memories are already my pictures of the past.

Fortunately, I now have 7 grandchildren. My latest and greatest joy is when I capture pictures of their blonde curls and blue eyes. The pictures of the past have become the pictures of the present generation.


I must have blinked my eyes at least once for every decade as my life changed direction, yet I still remain focussed on my abiding passion.

And the pictures of my past? they are still there to remind me of my lifetime memories.