a blurred record of my journey through the landscape

Month: January, 2013

Gobi the Turtle

LG origami

Every now and then my Little Girl absolutely astonishes me by either saying something particularly insightful, or cute, or by demonstrating a skill at something that I had no idea she had.

Take this case: origami. Out of nowhere she finds a book on origami at her Grandma’s, and some paper; she reads the instructions and makes a samurai helmet, a swan, and Gobi the turtle, complete with a little world for him to live in…

Wow. It is wonderful to be a dad.



Had a walk around wai-o-tapu thermal reserve today. Breathtaking.


The Mud Pool


The Champagne Pool


Champagne Pool closer…


The Sulphur Pool

Downside is that I now stink of sulphur..

Pump it out

Little Girl and I had a great walk to the Blue Pool on the Waihou River, just north of Putaruru.


One end of the walk starts from a carpark on Leslie Road. We walked about 1km across farmland to a bridge over the Waihou River.


The track continues around the corner to the Blue Pool, a widening place of the river, and where a natural water spring adds to the confluence. The water was crystal clear, and bracingly cold (11deg). The place was just gorgeous.


It is the source of Putaruru’s water supply, and provides the water filling Pump water bottles.

When we arrived, I saw a couple of young guys across the river in the water, with a large empty bottle in hand to fill. From their huffing and puffing and exclamations I got the impression the water was none too warm. It was real hot though in the sun, so LG stripped to her pants and got in. After shrieks and laughter, she dived under. I had to join her after a while; it was freezing. Good fun.


A maori family joined us on the river bank. The dad was trying really hard to be ‘staunch’ in everything I overheard him say to his kids and wife. Keeping his voice deep, and gruff, and clipped, and communicating a real sense of menance and implied threat, he stayed ‘in character’ the whole time. Even when talking to his little baby did I hear no sense of warmth in his voice. His kids swore at each other, casually, and were not corrected. It was weird, unsettling, upsetting. I could not bear it after a while, felt that we were in danger, so I took LG and left. I have practically nothing to do with maori, so perhaps I am being over-sensitive, middle-class white, and over-thinking things, but I wonder. Is this behaviour standard? If so, no wonder physical violence and child abuse that is reported in the media emanates so much from maori families.

Magic journeys

Had a ski club work party to attend up Mt Ruapehu, and drove there last Friday night with my Little Girl. We left after work, stocked with sushi for her, and a stack of Beirut CDs borrowed from the central library for me.

I had heard of the group, but not heard them, until last Thursday when a track of theirs was played on Matinee Idol. I liked, and thought, here is some new music to fill the hours on the drive north from Wellington.

What. A. Treat. A journey of discovery.

The music was captivating (Sante Fe, Nantes, Vagabonds et al), the weather outside the car was gorgeous, and I was blessed by the view of a freshly snow-clad Ruapehu, on a clear evening, illuminated by the dying orange glow of the setting sun as I approached.

Utterly, utterly beautiful. I consider myself so lucky to have reason to go, and take my daughter, to such a special part of the planet; the central North Island volcanos.

There ain’t half some clever bastards

Struggle to Right Oneself, artist Kerry Skarbakka

In his photographic self-portrait series Struggle to Right Oneself, artist Kerry Skarbakka captures himself in moments of suspended peril: falling from trees, tumbling head over heels in painfully precarious falls, slipping nude in the shower, or teetering on the edge of a fateful leap from a railway bridge. In his artist statement Skarbakka references philosopher Martin Heidegger’s description of human existence as a process of perpetual falling, and the responsibility of each person to catch ourselves from our own uncertainty. From Collossal


French photographer Laurent Chehere is known for his commercial work for clients such as Audi and Nike, but after a change of interest he left advertising and traveled the world with stops throughout China, Argentina, Columbia, and Boliva. From his numerous photographs along the way was born his flying houses series, a collection of fantastical buildings, homes, tents and trailers removed from their backgrounds and suspended in the sky as if permanently airborne. From Collossal


I’m Not There is an ongoing series of portraits by photographer PoL Úbeda Hervàs who lives and works in Barcelona. He says the series came from changes in his life that left him unsure of who he is, but decided to leave the shoes as a small reminder that there was at least some fragment of his personality left behind, more than just a shadow. From Collossal

Ground Control to Major Tom


This is a Sacks Spiral. It shows a particular way to plot the distribution of prime numbers.

I have this idea that way out there, in the far distance of this sequence of prime numbers, far past the point where only a very advanced civilisation would care, or have the resources, to look, we would see the face of God in this pattern.

There’s a man goin’ round, takin’ names


Armageddon is a big theme in the culture these past few years. It’s all about zombies, and asteroids, and plagues and vampires and natural disasters. Why is that? What are we all so afraid of, that we need to confront our fears through the medium of film, TV and print? Is it because of the GFC, or over-processed anxieties over our various first-world problems?  Is it is because we feel powerless to really control our fate, in the face of all the power of The Man?

I don’t know really what there is to be scared of. If you have any knowledge of fractals, and how they go on forever, in scale, you must know that we aren’t going anywhere. The past is the greatest predictor of the future.

Just Say Fuck It.

The first Penguin paperback I ever bought was The Big Sleep


I love the design of these paperback books. Simple. Uncluttered. Leaves the emphasis on the words inside. The design of this latest re-issue of George Orwell’s 1984 is inspired. The title and author name is black debossed. Guess you have to be there.

My favourite London Underground Tube map


From The Londonist, via the Guardian. Nailed.

Ghost of Christmas Past

Telecom Christmas Tree

Looking up inside the Telecom Christmas Tree at Waitangi Park. Thanks, Telecom, it was nice.