Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Night Glow


The street lights outside my house on a dark and stormy night!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fog revisited

These are some more photos that I took yesterday at the height of the fog. People usually drive with their headlights and foglights on when the fog is this heavy. The university puts notices all over the place reminding motorists to switch off their lights.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Foggy morning

What an incredibly foggy morning! Visibility was less than ten metres in places and really made driving difficult. This photo was taken at 7 o'clock this morning. Luckily it cleared around 9 o'clock.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday morning espresso


Praise the Lord for coffee! Life would be so much less pleasurable without it!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Hamilton is very well renowned for its beautiful roses. The Hamilton Gardens has a splendid rose garden with one of the largest collections in Australasia. There are in excess of 4 200 roses in the garden comprising approximately 230 cultivars.

Friday, April 25, 2008


This replica Spitfire commemorates the service of the New Zealand Air Force. It is situated in Memorial Park, Hamilton. The ANZAC memorial is in the background.

Anzac Day is commemorated by Australia and New Zealand on 25 April every year to remember members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who landed at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. A significant number of fatalities were suffered: 2721 New Zealanders, 8709 Australians.

"The forces from New Zealand and Australia, fighting as part of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), played an important part in the Gallipoli campaign. At its beginning, people at home greeted with excitement the news that our soldiers were at last fully engaged in the war. New Zealand soldiers distinguished themselves with their courage and skill, establishing an enduring bond with the Australians they fought alongside.
The Gallipoli campaign was, however, a costly failure for the Allies, who after nine months abandoned it and evacuated their surviving troops. Almost a third of the New Zealanders taking part had been killed; the communities they came from had counted the cost in the lengthy casualty lists that appeared in their newspapers. And the sacrifice seemed to have been in vain, for the under-resourced and poorly-conducted campaign did not have any significant influence on the outcome of the war.
Although Anzac Day, the anniversary of the first day of conflict, does not mark a military triumph, it does remind us of a very important episode in New Zealand's history. Great suffering was caused to a small country by the loss of so many of its young men. But the Gallipoli campaign showcased attitudes and attributes - bravery, tenacity, practicality, ingenuity, loyalty to King and comrades - that helped New Zealand define itself as a nation, even as it fought unquestioningly on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.
Today, at a time when it seems New Zealanders are increasingly keen to assert and celebrate a unique identity, we recognise Anzac Day as a central marker of our nationhood.
The number of New Zealanders attending Anzac Day events in New Zealand, and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For some younger people, the sombre focus of the day receives less emphasis than do the more celebratory aspects of a national holiday. For most, though, the day is an occasion on which to formally pay tribute and to remember.
Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Autumn weather

It is truly Autumn in Hamilton. The colours of the leaves and vegetation are changing, and there's a crisp chill in the air. Lovely!

One of the University lakes

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Maori Carving


I am fascinated by Maori Art. It is an earthy, passionate representation of the Maori history and traditions. It is full of symbolism and greatly influenced by ancestral customs and beliefs.

This is part of a Maori carving that forms the entrance to the Waikato Management School. (Check out the detail on the enlarged version.) There are many similar examples across the campus of the University of Waikato.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A butterfly in autumn?

It's Autumn in the southern hemisphere, but if you look at this photo, which was taken today, you might think it's Spring! A beautiful, blue butterfly in Autumn? Wishful thinking? Yes, it is wishful thinking. This isn't a real butterfly; it's a fake one that's been stuck onto a window. Almost fooled you, didn't I?

Monday, April 21, 2008


The University of Waikato has several examples of authorised graffiti all over its sprawling campus. This is wall art, as opposed to tagging.

Graffiti is defined as ”images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property”. By definition, it is art. However, graffiti and graffiti artists have unfortunately acquired a bad reputation over the years. Grafitti has become synonymous with the unlawful defacing of property without consent; vadalism, in other words. This is most unfortunate as graffiti can be a very useful form of artistic expression and social commentary. Graffiti was also an integral part of Sony’s marketing campaign for the PSP, the handheld version of Playstation.

In New Zealand, graffiti art is commonly called “tagging”. Tagging actually refers to the writing of the artist’s name in spray paint or marker. It does not by definition include more complex, detailed and decorative murals. It has become a huge social and political issue, and there have been suggestions that similar anti-tagging legislation that operates in the United Kingdom should be introduced in New Zealand. On 26 January 2008, a 15-year old was stabbed to death in Auckland, allegedly by a home owner whose property was about to be tagged by the victim.

Sunday, April 20, 2008



Waffles with bacon, apple sauce, greek yoghurt, honey and seasonal fruits.

Oscar Wilde famously said that only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. I tend to agree with the great man, but I should like to amend his famous words slightly to the following: the dull become brilliant after breakfast.

To me, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My reasons for this view are not the conventional ones that nutritionists and dieticians espouse. Nutrition is important, yes, but occasion is even more important. Breakfast, to me, is an occasion, an event that sets the tone for the day. It's an integral part of my slow philosophy. I sit, I read, I observe, I reflect, I muse - and sometimes I even eat! It is the highlight of the day. It shapes my mind and thoughts for that day. If the breakfast experience is good, the day is good.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hungry for patrons

Parts of the city centre have been converted to 'pedestrians only' paths for the duration of the Hamilton 400 this weekend. Restaurant, café and bar owners have been rubbing their hands together for months in anticipation of the influx of tens of thousands of people wanting to patronise their establishments.

The manager of this café is also waiting for patrons. Many of these establishments have taken on extra staff to cope with the expected rush of people. Will their expectations be realised, or will they be disappointed?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chiefs Country

Hamilton is the home base of the Waikato Chiefs, a rugby team that competes in the Super 14 competition against other teams from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Tonight is a very important derby against the Canterbury Crusaders. A full house of 25 000 is expected for the game.

UPDATE: In an upset, the Chiefs beat the Crusaders 18-5!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

V8 Supercar fever grips Hamilton

Well, this weekend is probably one of the biggest and most important in the history of the city of Hamilton. From tomorrow, Hamilton will be hosting the Hamilton 400 as part of the Supercar series. It is unique because the race will be contested on a street circuit. Large parts of Hamilton have been cordoned off to construct the street circuit. The event has been limited to 55 000 ticket holders per day. Yes, indeed - 55 000!

This photo is of a chequered flag, one of hundreds that have gone up around Hamilton as part of the city's marketing of the event.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Women's Republic of New Zealand


This huge board advertises Max Fashions, a NZ owned fashion company with 38 retail outlets countrywide. The ad is about 3 storeys high. The irony is that the ad speaks an almost undeniable truth: the New Zealand state is essentially a matriarchy. Calling it the Women's Republic of New Zealand may not therefore be out of place! The heads of the three branches of government are all women: Helen Clark is Prime Minister, Margaret Wilson is Speaker of the House of Representatives (Parliament) and Sian Elias is Chief Justice.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seeking shelter from the rain


It rained so much today that this cat was seeking refuge under a wooden bench.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Celebrating the rain in the Waikato

The Waikato region is in the grips of a terrible drought. It has been the driest summer on record. A sprinkler ban is in place. Dam levels are lower than ever before, and farmers are struggling to cope. But today it is raining, and everybody is rejoicing. Whether the rain will be enough to make a significant difference, only time will tell. However, at this stage every little bit helps.

This photo is of a plant in my garden. I think it is just too grateful for the rain, as it appears to want to hold on to every single raindrop!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This past week was graduation week in Hamilton. Degrees, diplomas and certificates were conferred at graduation ceremonies at the Founders Theatre and the University marae. This photograph was taken in Hillcrest Road, which runs through the university grounds.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Balloons over Waikato


The city of Hamilton has been taken over by balloons for the past few days as part of the Balloons over Waikato event. Balloons fill the sky almost every moment of the day, wherever you look. The weather has been fantastic - almost no wind - which has made life so much easier for the balloon pilots.
The festival ends tonight with the Night Glow concert, known as Hamilton's Big Night Out, on the grounds of the University of Waikato. The highlight is the light and sound show featuring the balloons, followed by a fireworks display.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Slow living

I am a recent convert to slow living, a worldwide movement that supports a return to the slow life, and quality over quantity.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Memorial bench

This bench next to the Waikato River was sponsored in memory of special loved ones by their children. There are many similar benches all over Hamilton sponsored by families and friends in memory of their loved ones. I always read the inscriptions. The memory of these people lives on through these benches.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Super loo!

Public restrooms, or toilets, are very popular in New Zealand. This "superloo" is located in the lovely village of Cambridge, about 15 kilometres to the south-east of Hamilton. It is the ultimate in "pay-as-you-pee" comfort and cleanliness.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rowing practice


Some rowers practising on the Waikato river. Rowing is very popular in Hamilton. The University of Waikato has a world class rowing crew, both male and female. They compete annually against some of the best rowing universities in the world, including Harvard University & Cambridge University. The Gallagher Great Race Festival is a rowing regatta on a 4.2km upstream course on the Waikato River through central Hamilton. It starts at Anne Street with the finish line at the Ferry Bank (Grantham St). The feature races of the festival sees the two premier University of Waikato crews (men & women) challenging International competition. The penultimate race of the festival has the two women's crews racing for the Bryan Gould Cup and then culminating in the actual "Great Race" between the two men's crews who race for the coveted Harry Mahon Trophy.

(w = winner)
2002 University of Waikato (w) vs Cambridge University (UK)
2003 University of Waikato (w) vs Oxford University (UK)
2004 University of Waikato vs Cambridge University (UK) (w)
2005 University of Waikato (w) vs University of Washington (USA)
2006 University of Waikato (w) vs Cambridge University (UK)

2004 University of Waikato (w) vs University of Melbourne (AUS)
2005 University of Waikato (w) vs Australian National Crew
2006 University of Waikato vs University of Melbourne (AUS) (w)

Monday, April 7, 2008

No 67


A lovely sidewalk café in Cassabella Lane.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A lonely breakfast


I saw this elderly lady having her breakfast at a café in town all by herself early today. She was the only patron and really took her time to eat every morsel in an unhurried fashion. It made me wonder about her life. Do you think she is content with her life?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The birthplace of The Rocky Horror Picture Show


This statue of Riff Raff in Victoria Street is the birthplace of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is erected on the site of the former Embassy Theatre and the barber shop where Richard O'Brien, the creator of the show, cut hair from 1959 to 1964, before returning to England. He starred as Riff Raff in the 1975 film version.

The statue is a cast bronze sculpture created by Weta Workshop, designed by Greg Broadmore, sculpted by Brigitte Wuest and engineered by Dave Irons.

He is curated and was installed by the Waikato Museum of Art and History on behalf of his owner, the Hamilton City Council. He was commissioned and then gifted to the city by Mark Servian and the Riff Raff Public Arts Trust with the assistance of The Perry Foundation.

The statue was unveiled at midnight on Friday, 26 November, 2004. It is very popular with tourists and locals alike.

In December 2007, Richard O'Brien returned to Hamilton for an event held at the WEL Energy Trust Academy for the Performing Arts, where he entertained the audience with music and stories.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Partly cloudy with sunshine ...

The beautiful Waikato sky ...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A window on student life

The Waikato Students Union (WSU) is housed in a building with an interesting architectural design. I like this part of the building, especially the relective windows!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Doggy playground

New Zealand is an animal friendly environment. This park is designated for dog use, although humans are allowed to use it also! I'm just wondering how one would keep a dog that's running free under control?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Theme Day: Water


This is not just any old water hole. This is the origin of the hot water springs in Rotorua just down the road from Hamilton. Rotorua is internationally renowned for its geothermal hot springs. I'll be honest and say that I cannot bear it because of the sylphur smell.

Visit all these other daily photoblogs who are also participating in the theme day.
theme day id=13

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