Monday, February 28, 2011

The World's Largest Family

Sixty seven year old Ziona lives with his family, all one hundred and eighty one of them, in a one hundred room house in the hills around Mizoram, North East India.
He has 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters in law and 33 grandchildren.
Zathiangi, his oldest wife is the organiser of the household.
A typical evening meal could see the family consume 30 chickens, 130lbs of potatoes and 220lbs of rice.
Imagine taking the family out to a restaurant.
Imagine the bill!
Ziona's younger wives sleep nearer to his bedroom, the older ones further away and they all take turns sleeping with him.
Each about nine times a year.
Sounds like fun...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How To Rid A Country Of Bureaucracy...

As a result of the devastating Christchurch earthquake, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key stated that by electing to place the whole country in a 'State Of Emergency', it would enable fast tracking of measures, thereby avoiding the bureaucratic processes that are not only time consuming and frustrating, but costly too.
Well Mr Prime Minister, what a splendid idea.
A shame it took an earthquake to devastate a city for you to see the light.
Perhaps we should be in a 'state of emergency' all the time and the country and its people would be a damned sight better off...
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ultramarine Uretiti...

Uretiti beach was back to its beautiful best this morning with the sea showing off its Ultramarine deep blue pigment which literally means 'from beyond the sea...'
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 25, 2011

For Better Head Turning...

The Corvini C6W from the Italian Corvine Engineering Compnay.
A lot of things make this car go fast, 185mph, but the extra wheels make it stop quicker, and corner better.
And it definitely turns heads...
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We Wait...

We wait, as the search and rescue teams gathered from many countries and our own, perform their tasks with professional dedication.
We wait, for this damaged building, one of the tallest in Christchurch, the 23 storey Hotel Grand Chancellor to collapse and take other buildings down with it.
We wait, hoping loved ones are found alive.
We wait, as the death toll rises.
We wait, putting aside our own needs to help others.
We wait, for miracles.
We wait, while these things inevitably happen...
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Christchurch Earthquake...

A national state of emergency has been declared.
There are 75 people confirmed dead.
Hundreds are missing.
Sadness prevails.
New Zealand grieves...

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh No! Not Again!

We in New Zealand are used to seeing photos like this coming out of war zones and disasters overseas but this is a photo from home.
Just down the road.
Today the effects of a 6.3 earthquake centred a few kilometres out of Christchurch and only 5 kilometres deep has devastated all of us and this already devastated city.
Until now, this small country has somehow avoided large catastrophic events.
We have been lucky and now our luck has run out.
People can never be ready though for this sort of photo of such a familiar and close place and we certainly aren't.
There will be only bad news in the next little while unfortunately as the results of this disaster emerge.
There will be deaths and there will be the homeless, there will be huge and unbelievable sadness in the days to come.
Some have kindly contacted me with sympathy and concern.
Posted by Picasa

Work In Progress...

In the little town of Kawakawa where the brilliance of Hundertwasser is much admired by many thousands of tourists as they pass through to and from the beautiful Bay of Islands, there's a new attraction to admire.
A man called Matthew is creating a masterpiece on a grand scale.
A piece of art made up of many pieces of art that you see and feel as you meander through this labyrinth that stretches over a number of properties participating in this wonderfully imaginative and creatively extravagant project.
Who knows when it will be finished. Someday or maybe some other day...

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Now. Lip Art...

These lips are made for kissing of course.
American artist Paige Thompson paints her own lips beautifully to create cute little animals in her series 'Animal ipstick'.
You can see more on
How could you not want to kiss these lips...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A whistleblower you haven't heard | Video on

A whistleblower you haven't heard | Video on
This man's amazing.
Even Whistlers mother would agree.
Geert Chatrou. The World Champion Whistler...

Micheal Young...

My friend Micheal Young whose band Wires and Wood recently won the New Zealand's Best Folk Group Award entertained a group us last night with his wonderful guitar playing and his very distinctive singing style.
You really had to be there.
I'm glad I was...
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kerikeri's Stone Store...

The Stone Store at Kerikeri is New Zealand's oldest stone building and too, it's oldest commercial building. For these reasons, it has much national and international significance.
Designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs, it was built by an ex convict stonemason from Australia in 1832.
Intended to house mission supplies, it's always been used as a general store and still sells heritage related products such as replicas of the original camp ovens.
I have one and delight in using it often...
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Can't Stay Away...

"I love your beautiful country and I come here every chance I get" says Paula whose home is in the Netherlands. "This is my third visit and I'm planning my next one".
Paula was at Uretiti yesterday and funnily enough, so was I...
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yestermorrow is a thirty year old design and build school located in the Green Mountains of Vermont in the US.
What a great name, Yestermorrow.
I found this wonderful image on Lloyd's Blog this morning and had to share it with you.
Isn't it quirky.
And such a visual delight...
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Field Lab...

John Wells over at The Field Lab sent me a pack of his great greeting cards which I received in the post yesterday. Included in the pack is this image of his wonderful pedal driven washing machine.
Some of you who follow his blog will remember when he constructed this marvellous machine and the fun he had with it.
He's still having fun evidently and his laundry has never been so sparkling clean. I think he pedals one way to wash and the other to spin.
There are some amazing examples of alternative laundry methods from around the world and I'll show you some more sometime...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Finalist In New Zealand's Architectural Awards...

Another notable finalist in this years prestigious architectural award is this Northland building.
As one of the eminent judges, poet, philosopher and architectural historian said "The way these two buildings with their classic proportions sit upon this verdant landscape is extraordinary and the other important fact is that the beautiful blues are the exact colours of my wife's eyes..."
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Zealand's Kiwi Kid...

Wenona visited Ambury Park yesterday in her immaculate 1981 Bedford ex ambulance motorhome called 'Kiwi Kid'.
Passionate about her country, she tours around entertaining all that can't help but notice this beautiful little Beddy with it's New Zealand Silver Fern flying in the breeze.
And if they don't see it, they'll hear it when she turns on the PA system that blares out the anthem 'God Defend New Zealand'.
'And if he doesn't, who will' she says...
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sting In The Tile...

You remember Ben don't you. My genius friend who apart from other undertakings, is building the most amazing housebus... Well he took time out to complete this commission recently and I arrived as the last bit of grout was being applied. This piece is two metres long by one metre deep and is if you didn't know by now, a Stingray. These wonderful creatures use the waters of Kaiaua on the Firth Of Thames as a nursery and breed here year round.
The new owner is about to be in for a delightful shock but there's no sting in this tail...
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And Now The Streetflyer...

A bit different to a streetwalker.
Just strap yourself in to this three wheeled bicycle thingamy with a frame over the top, grab the handlebars for steering and brake controls (only sissies need brakes) and launch yourself downhill while hanging about a metre off the ground.
It's hang gliding for people who don't like heights...

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Wonderful Woodie...

This 1946 Chev certainly made heads turn and also made progress slow for it's owners as they travelled the road. People would always be stopping them, asking questions and taking photos. It's easy to see why.
Go to to see some more wonderful old woodies.
This one's beautiful isn't it...
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Motorhoming in 1915...

Nearly one hundred years ago Roland and Mary Conklin of Huntington New York built this Old Woodie Gypsy Bus and set out to see America with their family in the summer of 1915.
Those were the days...
Photo from the Smitsonian Institution
Posted by Picasa