Look Up | The Daily Post

This week is all about taking a moment to check out what’s going on above you. For this week’s challenge, take a moment to look up. Whether it’s the fan above your head at work, your bedroom ceiling, or the night sky, what do you see? Is it familiar? Or does it show you a new perspective on your surroundings?

Source: Look Up | The Daily Post


Looking up

This dead tree towers over State Highway 4 as it snakes under the Makatote Viaduct between Horopito and National Park Village. I’ve driven this road hundreds of times and only noticed it when i was driving back from my physio appointment yesterday. I’m not sure if it’s the result of a lightning strike but it surely is a candidate for one now…



Looking across

The viaduct has been undergoing some serious maintenance the last year or so and the plastic shrouds are to prevent sprays and dust contaminating the environment around the viaduct.


Looking down!!!

Someone’s clearly had a party!! And dumped the rubbish at the lookout by the viaduct. Most of this is recyclable: bottles, cans, and pizza and beer cartons. That just goes to show how lazy some people are: there is no charge for dumping recycles at the transfer station. Some of the good lads from Downers were there tidying this mess up. A highlight of their day – not!


One of the problems we have up here is campers who can’t get their heads around the fact that when the bin’s full, the bin’s full and that doesn’t mean they can just stack the rest of their rubbish beside it. A rubbish bin does not denote a dumping site and this is why all the rubbish bins have been removed from places in the Park like Whakapapa Village: put one out and half an hour later it’ll be buried under a pyramid of rubbish bags.

DSCF0252 These apples were dumped at the side of the lookout car park. Sure, they will eventually break down but that still doesn’t making this blatant dumping OK…

As you drive around the Park, and you see dumping like this, take some pics and report it…even better, if you see someone doing this, take their pic and report them…

Tourist | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt Tourist.

Source: Tourist | The Daily Post

I’m not really into the tourist thing…most places I go I like to slip away, wander around, and mix with the people…pix of me doing the tourist thing are thus few and far between…

Me in Hawaii

Mandatory posed pic, tourist luau, Oahu, 1988

Mark and Ricki's Wedding - Fiji 58

Doing the tourist thing, Fiji, 2003

Clouds | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: Clouds.

Source: Clouds | The Daily Post

Mt Ngauruhoe Summit climb April 2016 -015

As the sun climbs, dew on the slopes evaporates and cloud form beneath you. From the summit of Mount Ngauruhoe.


Early morning cloud rests in the low lands around Raurimu.

Tongariro Apr 04 - 1

Mount Ruapehu from the Desert Road


Mounts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro taken from the beginning of the Taranaki Falls track in Whakapapa Village.


Mount Ngauruhoe from the Chateau golf course.


Cloud forms off the slopes of Mount Ngauruhoe. This is taken from the summit of Mount Tongariro: 15-20 minutes later we were greyed out.

Disaster | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Disaster | The Daily Post

…sometimes the measure of success is how well you respond…

That was my parting shot in The magnificent seven ride again…, the tale of a 2011 pub crawl against a backdrop of NATO’s Libyan ‘intervention’ and the  lone wolf terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in July 2011.

Mt Tongariro Summit Back Route April 2016-013.JPG

Five years later, those are still true words although I see response from a different perspective now…once, response was force projection, rapid deployment, targeting; now response is something we manage every day…

Today’s prompt is disaster…the biggest disaster to hit this region in the last 2000 years was the Taupo eruption around 182-300AD, depending on whose book you read. Of course, if disaster strikes and there is no one there to suffer from it, is it really a disaster or just a large scale natural event..? I mean, we’re talking seriously large scale here: the biggest explosion that the world has experienced in the last two, possibly more, millenia.

When we talk eruptions here, it is always in the context of when, not if: we know that the three volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro – will erupt again. The iffy bits are when exactly and how much…questions that can only be answered after the fact. Predicting eruptions is much like predicting earthquakes: often we can see a shift from what’s considered normal, maybe an increase (or decrease) in gas emissions, a cooling (or warming) of a crater lake, more (or less) volcanic tremors: but what it means is very difficult to determine.

Because prediction is problematic, a lot of resource goes into response. The timelines are pretty tight. A lahar (big volcanic mudslidey thing) coming down the western side of Ruapehu will hit Whakapapa ski field in about 90 seconds…that’s not enough time to check your phone  for directions, call a friend or update your Facebook page about the big black shadow coming down the mountain…part of the disaster response on the ski field is to ensure that people know what to do beforehand…

Further down the the hill, residents of Whakapapa Village have a whole twenty minutes to evacuate everyone from the danger area along the Whakapapanui Stream, essentially the Holiday Park and the housing area across State Highway 48 from the Chateau. Twenty minutes doesn’t sound like much time but after a fortuitous (probably didn’t seem like it at the time) series of false alarms in 2015, Whakapapa residents know they can do this at nine at night, in winter, after dinner and maybe a few beers.


There may be no warning. An eruption may occur on a beautiful blue sky day, or in the middle of a black, freezing, sleeting, icy night. Luck ran twice when the Te Maare craters erupted in August 2012. Lucky once because an eruption at 11-30PM meant there were no walkers on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing as rocks hammered down onto the track. The biggest of these weighed three tonnes, enough to hurt if it landed on your toes. Lucky twice because, even though it was night, the bunk room at Ketetahi Hut was unoccupied as a rock slammed through the roof.

It’s been many years since we have had a disaster in Ruapehu – some tragedies, yes – but the last real disaster in terms of loss of life and damage was probably Tangiwai in 1953. Once of the reasons that we haven’t had any real disasters since then is our ability to respond. The March 2007 lahar had potential – it was certainly much larger – to be as deadly as its 1953 predecessor : that potential was mitigated, some might say neutered, by a effective well-planned, well-practised response. In fact, between exercises and false alarms, the disaster response was so well-practised that when the main event event occurred, it all seemed a bit boring…

So, when  you visit our maunga, take a moment to read the signs and be aware of what’s happening, what might happen around you…if you’re here for your fifteen minutes of fame, don’t let it be in 5000 years when some alien archaeologist chips you out of the remnants of the great Whakapapa Lahar…

Curve | The Daily Post

For this week’s challenge, get inspired by the curves around you. From curves in architecture to bends in nature to man-made undulations, you have lots to work with!

Source: Curve | The Daily Post

A real score!! Le Spiral 016

Eight years ago, I stumbled across an auction on a local site for a rimu spiral staircase…there were no bids on it and even with only a few hours to go, we tossed a pretty large maximum bid in on it. In New Zealand, most rimu is recycled and exotic (the handrail is a single lamination) structures like this are few and far between, affordable ones even less…To our intense amazement we won the auction for the opening amount.

We drove down the Wellington to collect it and were even more amazed: the seller had only put it up for auction on the advice of a friend thinking he might get enough for a few beers for it: his original plan had just be to convert it into firewood! He also had a full set of rimu kitchen doors that he said we’d be doing him a favour if we took them as well. Only too happy to help there!!!

Le Spiral 018

The dismantled staircase languished in the garage next door for a year or some while we considered the best location for it. We decided to use it to replace our front stairway from the lounge up to the mezzanine. As you can see below, there is quite a drop down the centre axis and with small children running around…

Le Spiral 002

Despite his stated intention to burn it, the seller was a retired engineer and, despite himself, had meticulously named and marked all the parts in relation to each other. The joiner scratched his head with it for a while before deciding it would have to be assembled vertically and then installed complete. Away he went with all the parts to assemble in his workshop…as it came together in his front window, it became the subject of much interest, including a few offers that showed just what a good score it was…

Seven years later its curves are still as smooth and it still looks great…

Playful | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Playful | The Daily Post


This is Louie…our latest addition after Kirky passed away…

Louie is a clown.

Louie loves to play…and, having been brought up in a gated community, loves being here with ten hectares to play in…more so after we have had some long chats about boundaries…

Balls are his favourite toys…the average life of any Swiss Ball that he catches is about three seconds and tennis balls aren’t much fun unless there is someone to throw them for him…soccer is his game and he will happy kick around a soccer ball on the concrete – he just has to remember not to park them under the car because they go BANG! when Dad drives away…

Louie has tons of energy, being only four years old, and needs a good run outside every day to burn it off. That makes it a bit interesting when it has been so wet over the last month but these things have to be done – a lesson hard learned after he tried a couple of laps inside the house…as the twins used to say “uh-oh”…

Definitely a bit of uh-oh…I had to shift my bed as it used to lie perpendicular to the doorway: Louie would bound into the room, up of the bed and then skate across the room on it…a big clown on the biggest skateboard..!

It’s good to play…

Brick | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Brick | The Daily Post

These one word daily prompts still strike me as quite lazy: possibly that is why I so often have a similarly motivationally deficient response in reverting to imagery for my post…

DSCF0139 Paving bricks that we pulled up from a pathway bordering the house to make way for a deck from the new (in 2007) bifold doors…the deck still isn’t in but the stacking bricks are becoming  a feature in their own right…DSCF0140

A build brick recovered from somewhere – we often still find things that were tossed off the old highway that is now our driveway – now home to a new strawberry plant, under a blanket of maple leaves…DSCF0141 Bricks in the workshop add weight to a laminating sandwich…

Misstep | The Daily Post

Source: Misstep | The Daily Post


No missteps here…



Saturday morning was our first frost of the year and and timely hint to clean the summer’s birds nests out of the chimney cap…

As it turned out, the nest was actually in the flue itself so all this ladder work was unnecessary…a quick run of the rotary chimney cleaner up from the inside and voila!..


…deconstructed birds nest…pretty sure it had long since been vacated…