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Posts from the ‘People’ Category

Weekly photo challenge: kiss

I’ll let the photo speak for itself.

Kiss the bride


Photo by Anna Allport. This is a week-and-a-bit early, I suppose. But it is certainly challenge appropriate.

Taking time

This year has been frenetic. Wonderful, but frenetic. Life’s taken some brilliant turns, followed by occasional hardship. Right now, we are facing some personal challenges, in the broader context of success. For now, we are taking some time to concentrate our energies towards being with others who need us, and who we need to be with at this time. But we have loved sharing a little of ourselves on foldedcranes this year; we have so enjoyed writing, photographing, and interacting in this space.

Reslpendently red, Kiwi "Christmas trees" - native Pohutukawa line the walk to Wellington harbour

Resplendently red, Kiwi “Christmas trees” – native Pohutukawa – line the walk to Wellington harbour

We would like to wish everyone a great Christmas, and, for those of you who have them, wonderful holidays. We need to take some time away from the blog, but will be back soon in 2013, posting as close to every day a we can manage. Thank you all for the feedback and encouragement. We are looking forward to catching up with everyone soon.

This tree lights up spectacularly when dark falls. Wellington has stepped up its Christmas icons whilst we've been away.

This tree lights up spectacularly when dark falls. Wellington has stepped up its Christmas icons whilst we’ve been away. The biggest irony: “Winter Wonderland” was playing from around the tree, as the sun shone on this brilliant Wellington summer’s day. We are so far from our adopted European home town of Leiden! No snow can be found in these parts…


Photos by CIA, Wellington Waterfront and Waitangi Park. There’s an amazing Christmas tree down there, that lights up beautifully. It’s brilliant being home again.

On the red carpet

Everything reached its peak this afternoon, as 100,000 people (about a quarter of the Greater Wellington population!) gathered in and around Courtenay Place. Last night, the set up was in full flight, and quickly joining those who stayed out overnight, dedicated fans snapped up the barrier spaces so that by 7:00 am, all those spaces were taken. When I arrived, a  little before 3:00 pm, my first impression was one of wry amusement, overtaken quickly by a more generalised “good mood” – so many fans, looking so happy – it’s a nice thing to have seen.

The weather was exceptionally good. I should probably pretend (for those of you who’ve never been here) that it’s always like this, but the truth is, is often isn’t. Kia ora weather, kia ora. The trolls looked lovely, having already been seen at Comic Con in San Diego, and matched the Gollum statue at Wellington Airport and the enormous Gandalf above the Embassy Theatre itself.


The atmosphere was very relaxed, friendly and egalitarian. Hierarchy did not seem quite so important as fairness, and people were often willing to stand aside so everyone could get some pictures. The fans were very diverse – the people around me were from Romania, Germany and elsewhere – and I saw signs showing people hailing from France and Mexico.

Neil Finn performed, he quipped that this song was the reason he got the job. Nevertheless, it was his rendition of the Misty Mountains song (sung by the dwarves in the film) which roused the largest cheer.

After this, the stars started arriving, but I was some 300 metres down the red carpet from them. Instead the next highlight was the flyover of the Air New Zealand 777 (complete with largest decal ever!). It’s in the details!

Air New Zealand 777 Flyover

So, we waited patiently, for our first sight of the films stars. Before they made their way down from the beginning of the carpet, we saw instead some of the guests. Local actors, musicians, politicians, footballers. And then? Peter Jackson himself! Among others, there was Sylvester McCoy (the first Doctor I remember!), Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, Hugo Weaving. Sadly, there was nothing to be seen of Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, or Barry Humphries all of whom I’d have like to see (albeit each for different reasons). Evidently there was more than one path down the carpet, meaning not everyone saw everyone – but that minor quibble aside, it was just with a little bit of excitement I snapped the following pictures

Wellington really knows how to turn it on for these events – and it’s great to leave this kind of impression on the world. Even if Wellington won’t be the Middle of Middle-Earth for much longer, it’s been a lot of fun. New Zealand might well be 100% Pure, but as I have said before, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.


Photos by PJD, at the World Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. He had an unexpectedly good time, and would love to hear from anyone else who was there, or who wanted to be there…

If you happen to be caught short…

…they have you covered.



Photo by PJD, because a little levity is a good thing.

His Royal Highness…&c

Today I saw His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.

I didn’t see him very close up, but I did take some photos.

I enjoyed watching the launch of one of the waka (roughly speaking, a canoe), and the haka which accompanied it. The new Marae on Taranaki Wharf is beautiful – we will write more on it in the future. It was hard to get a glimpse of HRH and consort, but it you look closely, you’ll see them there. It was a beautifully sunny day, so they now know the truth of the well-known Wellington proverb, “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day”.

But, I wonder how they felt about being in the middle of Middle-Earth?


Photos by PJD, Taranaki Street Wharf, Wellington, 14 November, 2012. For the record, PJD would like it know that he is a republican, but took pictures of royalty in the public interest.

First the Times, then the map

I was looking back through some photos, and found some shots I was only partially aware existed. And they made me smile, because our trip to New York City was one of the best trips we made anywhere. So, on our very first morning, in Brooklyn (where we are so lucky to have been able to stay with some friends) I got to sit in the kitchen and read the New York Times in New York.

Reading the Times! Oh, happiness is a newspaper...

Okay, so nerdy joy aside, we then got into the serious business of figuring out what to do, what to see.

In the end, we went straight to MOMA; after which we strolled to Times Square and then…


Photos by CIA, not exactly with the consent of the subject, but all is forgiven; Brooklyn, New York, January 2012.


I posted some photographs of Jökulsárlón the other day.

As I took those photos though, I was being photographed myself. Photographing the photographer is evidently a fun and entertaining prospect. Seeing the results is slightly strange, but also awesome. With permission, I am now putting these photos of me doing occasionally odd things to capture a photo, taken by my friend and guide to all things Icelandic (you can see him here).

Have any of you got photographs of photographers? Do they look as silly (read: awesome) as I do here?


Photos by Eggert, Iceland, September 2012.

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