A few photos from Edinburgh

Bright yellow fields of canola

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Daffodils

Looking back at the Castle

Capuchin?

It was really warm. So the panda went for a swim.

Mama pygmy hippo & her baby

Leopard

SQUIRREL!

Salisbury crags

Craig and Kat and Dave oh my

Inside the Cathedral

It's a beautiful city.

Deep fried mars bar. Not even kidding.
DEEP FRIED MARS BAR

In Edinburgh this is just a regular church

Falkirk Wheel

How it work.s

Kat and Dave
Favourites.

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366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: waiting for family brunch
Sunday
For my baby sister’s birthday we met at a pub for hot cider and food then half of us went to watch Labyrinth on the big screen. It was excellent.

Monday: amazing dawn over the harbour
Monday
Walking by the harbour at dawn is really just the LEAST attractive thing ever. Ugh.

Tuesday: late night
Tuesday
Stuck at work for hours and hours I just wanted to get home.

Wednesday: early morning
Wednesday
Early morning light & a streetlamp in a tree.

Thursday: rain & graffiti
Thursday
When it pours with rain I take a different route to work. I love this alley way.

Friday: another hideous sunrise
Friday
Disgusting.

Saturday: at work. Yes. on a Saturday
Saturday
I had to choose between waiting at work late on a Friday or going back in on Saturday. At 5:30 I chose the latter and was so glad – the email I’d been waiting on didn’t even show up until 6:30 on Friday.

&

New glasses!
New glasses from Bonlook.com

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: phoning it in.
Sunday
We skipped family dinner, spent the day watching Parks and Recreation, and I phoned in the photo.

Monday: Knitbombers in Wellington!
Monday
Knitbombers hit Wellington over the weekend.

Tuesday: a long work week
Tuesday
The House began sitting again. It was becoming a difficult week.

Wednesday: getting drinks with Mcquillan
Wednesday
I paused by the waterfront to take this photo and ended up getting drinks with Laura.

Thursday: I really like this sweater #toopoor
Thursday
Loving this jumper on sale at The Service Depot. I wish I could shop there like it ain’t no thang.

Friday: neon bollard on the walk to work
Friday
Walking to work on a grey morning, the bollards seem neon in the gloom.

Saturday: wrapping paper shopping
Saturday
Took advantage of a break in the grey grey weather to shop for wrapping paper.

&

(oops)

The Luckiest. Shooting Aly & Arthur’s wedding

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I almost died when I got an email from Aly asking me to take photos at her wedding; such was the speed at which my heart leapt into my throat.

As someone with terrible terrible wedding photos (taken by an amateur) the last thing I wanted was to do the same for her.

But Aly, being the amazing friend she is, talked me down off the ledge – it was their second ceremony, she had photos from the Canadian wedding but still wanted to remember the British wedding etc etc etc.

I think the photos came out pretty well. If I do say so myself

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(it helps that Aly is just beautiful)

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(their page, wearing his “office t-shirt” did NOT want photos taken)

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(it was also freezing cold and pouring with rain)

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Saturday: Arthur and Aly's wedding

It was such a pleasure, a privilege to shoot Aly & Arthur’s wedding.

Before this, the last time I saw Aly was in 2008, and she was trying to decide whether to reply to this guy, Arthur, who she’d been texting. I was one of the many who told her to give it a go – you never know what might happen.

366 in 2012 – catching up

366 in 2012

This might be a very long post.

Sunday: husband at The Warehouse
Sunday
Craig and I went to the mall to find a bag strap. Somehow we ended up in the toy section.
That always happens with Craig.

Monday: Czech money is so pretty.
Monday
Changing money the day before our trip.

Tuesday: Yes. Emergency bar
Tuesday
After four hours in Changi Airport, nearing midnight, we found out our flight had been bumped two hours. So we went to the bar.

Wednesday: Hummingbird
Wednesday
We arrived in London and it was pouring with rain. So of course we went to the Natural History Museum.

Thursday: Graffiti in Neals Yard
Thursday
I love the graffiti around Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden.

Friday: view from the top of St Paul's
Friday
We climbed to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral. The Shard wasn’t built when we left in 2008.

Saturday: Arthur and Aly's wedding
Saturday
I shot Aly and Arthur’s wedding. It was beautiful.

Sunday: Beautiful buildings in Hampstead Heath
Sunday
My tattoo appointment had been rescheduled. I took Craig out to see how Westfield Shepherd’s Bush has changed before heading to Clapham for sunday roast with friends.
These are the beautiful houses in Hampstead Heath near our hotel.

Monday: Museum Row
Monday
We went back to Museum Row.

Tuesday: Temple Church. Built in 1185. NBD
Tuesday
Walking to meet up with an old co-worker for drinks we stumbled across Temple Church.
In 2007 I spent like an hour trying to find it. It dates from 1185.

Wednesday: Southwark Cathedral
Wednesday
Southwark Cathedral!
On our last light in London we met up with some friends for drinks in our old neighbourhood.

Thursday: Blossom trees
Thursday
It was sunny in Edinburgh. Kat took us all around. It was lovely.

Friday: War memorial chapel at Edinburgh Castle
Friday
Kat, Dave, Craig, and I headed all over Edinburgh. This is the war memorial chapel at Edinburgh Castle.

Saturday: Approach to the Falkirk Wheel
Saturday
My adorable engineering nerd husband wanted to go see The Falkirk Wheel. It was actually quite interesting.

Sunday: Easyjet! Fine for short flights
Sunday
Somehow getting from Edinburgh to Berlin took all damn day.

Monday: Mother and her dead son by Käthe Kollwitz
Monday
We went on a walking tour of Berlin. This is the sculpture of Käthe Kollwitz’s sculpture Mother with her Dead Son inside the Neue Wache, the ‘Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny.’

Tuesday: Bruderkuss by Vrubel
Tuesday
On our last day in Berlin, Craig and I walked along the East Side Gallery. Bruderkuss by Vrubel was my favourite piece.

Wednesday: Not sure why they have butts but not faces though ...
Wednesday
Prague! I loved the David Černý sculptures babies on the Žižkov Television Tower.
But then, I do tend to love strange & disturbing public art.

Thursday: Old Town Square at night
Thursday
After trekking all all all over Prague we ended up at Old Town Square. We sat as the light fell and it was beautiful.

Friday: YES. Another David Černý
Friday
Another Černý piece. This one’s in the courtyard of the gallery of Modern Art.
Which I am now really disappointed we didn’t go to. Shit.

Saturday: The entire Alte Pinakothek was built around this canvas
Saturday
It was freezing cold in Munich, we went to the Alte Pinakothek.
The entire gallery was designed around this canvas by Rubens’ “Last Judgment” (1617), one of the largest canvasses ever painted.

&

So tired. So grumpy
Hot and grumpy in Prague.

Sunday: FAVOURITE CAR!
Sunday
One of the things Craig really wanted to do in Munich was go to the BMW factory/museum. Unfortunately the only day we could go was Sunday. The factory was closed and he found the museum underwhelming. I found it kind of torturous.
I did love this bubble car though.

Monday: Barracks
Monday
We took a tour out to Dachau. It was really quite harrowing. A horrible place in a quiet idyll.

Tuesday: Entrance to our hotel
Tuesday
We took an overnight train to Venice. Our hotel was five minutes from Saint Mark’s Square & had this altar outside.

Wednesday: Beautiful canals in Venice
Wednesday
Venice is really really quite beautiful.

Thursday: Seafood at Rialto Food Markets
Thursday
On our last day in Venice we went to the markets before heading to Murano.

Friday: Looking past the Duomo
Friday
We arrived in Florence and immediately sought high ground.
(We climbed Giotto’s Campanile to see both Brunelleschi’s Duomo and the pretty pretty roofs of Florence)

Saturday: BEST OWL EVER
Saturday
After a morning at the Uffizi, my ever-enduring husband accompanied me to a zoological museum in Florence. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER.
Also: they had anatomical wax models from the 1800s. Life Made.

Sunday: Reflections on the Arno
Sunday
Sunday was calm. We sat on Santa Trinita Bridge and ate amazing gelato.

Saturday: Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva
Monday
We caught a morning train to Rome.

Tuesday: Laocoön and His Sons
Tuesday
With the heavens full of thunder and lightning Craig and I went to the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica.
(I always thought something like that would happen)
This statue is Laocoön and His Sons

Wednesday: Bust in the Forum
Wednesday
Wednesday was very warm. So naturally we chose to spend hours wandering around outside – we went to the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, and the Forum.

Thursday: Tiber
Thursday
Our last full day in Europe. We went to a criminology museum and walked along the Tiber river.

Friday: Airport in Rome
Friday
After weeks of turning up and just leaving on a train, the hours waiting for a flight was … not fun.

Saturday: Craig & I were tired by the end
Saturday
After a long flight we got to spend 13 hours in Singapore Airport. It was a bit tiring.

Sunday: So then getting stuck in CHC was AWESOME
Sunday
So then when we FINALLY got to Christchurch and found out that our crack travel agent had booked us on the flight to Wellington but NOT ISSUED US A TICKET, that was not excellent.
(another travel agent, from the same company, did get us on a later flight)

Monday: JETLAGGED TO HELL AND BACK
Monday
Going straight back to work was NOT the best idea I have ever had.

Tuesday: it gets dark so early now
Tuesday
It gets dark so early now. But the walk home from work is still very pretty.

Wednesday: started in on editing photos
Wednesday
I started editing photos. I thought I had taken 1600. It was 2500.

Thursday: the harbour is really quite pretty
Thursday
The harbour is quite pretty. There’s that.

Friday: Whitcoulls closed
Friday
While I have not liked Whitcoulls’ increasing focus on DVDs & games over books, they had been in the old store on Lambton Quay for as long as I can remember. So yes, end of an era.

Saturday: crown and crooked fringe
Saturday
Heading to the #ladypalace Royal Reptilian Winter Wonderland themed flat warming with the jaunty crown I made. Also apparently my fringe is extremely angled at the moment.

Sunday: booze from Prague
Sunday
Slivovitz! I like buying booze as souvenirs.

Monday: labour weekend. Baking a Watermelon Cake
Monday
My (grown man) husband requested a watermelon cake for his birthday.

Tuesday: public works on Lambton Quay
Tuesday
They tore down a building while I was away. That was a surprise.

Wednesday: Pouring with rain
Wednesday
It was pouring with rain.

Thursday: at the library with Craig
Thursday
Craig needed me to get out a library book. So that happened.

Friday: apocalyptic dawn
Friday
APOCALYPTIC DAWN.

Saturday: immersed in Aly's wedding photos
Saturday
I spent my afternoon working on Aly and Arthur’s wedding photos. Some of them came out really quite well.

&

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Travelling light. My baggage is mainly emotional.

Planning outfits for Europe

I was SO proud of myself. My packing list for Europe was just 18 items long. Including the outfit I would wear on the plane.
What a hopeless, optimistic fool I was. The weather, my acquisitive nature, and a few foolish choices conspired against me and I returned with many many many more items than I left with.

But, for what it is worth, here is that base list.

3x strappy tops – white, black, and grey
3x shoes – boots, stud flats, and leather chucks
2x jeans – blue and black.
2x sweaters – chartreuse cardigan & fox sweater
2x tees – black lace & Kate Sylvester swan
2x jackets – leather and cropped blazer
1x blue belt
1x little black dress
1x sheer black maxi skirt
1x knee length black skirt

The mistakes:
I should have taken one fewer strappy top and one more t-shirt.
I should have taken a lightweight ¾-long-sleeved shirt.
I should have left my boots at home, they were not comfortable enough.
I should have taken a less sheer maxi skirt and ditched the knee length skirt.
I should not have taken that belt.
I should have taken one other warm jumper
I should have taken a pashmina. And I would have. Except I didn’t own one.
I should NOT have taken that DAMN belt. I did not wear it once. HATE.

In general though, I’ll stick by my list. For a trip shorter than a month but longer than two weeks? Definitely. Over packing drives me crazy.

In London with the fashion and the style and the wedding to attend I ended up adding four dresses and another pair of flats to my suitcase. I also added three shirts and a knee-length pencil skirt. Oh and another light-weight jacket. And a super cute mint-green-and-skull-print
In Edinburgh with the freezing cold, and the style, I added a cashmere sweater and another t-shirt.
In Prague with the oppressive heat I added a pair of shorts and two lightweight long-sleeved shirts. Oh and another t-shirt. I also bought a pashmina.

So, coming home my item count was 34. I was surprisingly disappointed with myself*.

A lot of what I purchased I didn’t wear overseas. Or if I did wear it, I could have very easily worn something I had brought from New Zealand instead. That’s not to say I regret the purchases. Well, maybe one of the t-shirts. I’m getting off topic.

My point is that out of the clothes I purchased in Europe, only a few of them were necessities. If you go through my list of mistakes they are all there – the sweater and pashmina because it was colder than I expected; the lightweight shirts because it was warmer than I had expected. The shorts because PRAGUE WAS FUCKING WITH ME.
I wore those damn shorts for a sum total of 6 hours.

Also if I had remembered how terrible I am when last-minute shopping for specific events I would have taken a dress to wear to the wedding. But I didn’t. So instead of taking one cute dress I bought FOUR. Two were options for the wedding and two were supercute dresses I found but that wouldn’t work at the wedding.
However! This does mean I have many many cute dresses now. Which I am pleased about. And which is why I am not allowed to shop for the rest of the year.

I should have made sure I had outfits that covered me knees to elbows for both hot and cold weather. It was a little awkward. Basically, unless you are sure of your itinerary for the day, dress so you could walk into a church just fine.

But don’t sacrifice everything. Looking cute is important to me. So I tried to look cute. But I was practical about it. Cute flats or cute sneakers, I didn’t take heels**. If you are tourist-ing then just don’t wear them. Especially around cobblestones. I saw too too much of that. They always looked ridiculous and uncomfortable.

Outside the Pantheon

* which was, frankly, ridiculous. My bag was not over the weight limit, it was not straining at the seams, and, most importantly, I could lug it both up and down stairs if I needed to. Admittedly I DIDN’T a lot of the time, but that’s because I have a very large very strong husband who could carry both his and my bag up stairs. But the rest of the time I insisted on carrying my own.

** I did buy a pair of Underground heeled creepers. They are amazing. Now I want regular creepers.

What a difference a week makes

Approach to the Falkirk Wheel

canal approach to the Falkirk wheel, Scotland

I find it devastatingly difficult to comprehend that at this time one week ago I was sitting at work, ever-so jet lagged. Or that two weeks ago I was walking miles and around Florence, having taken a wrong turn on our way back into the city.

It is the worst of cliches but I can’t help it. Time is flying. It’s already June which means we are halfway to 2013.

I get the feeling 2013 will be a big year. I can feel it in my bones.

(all this is to say that: photos are wily things and getting them all in a line is taking all of the time. ALL of the time)