Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

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In the streets, in black & white.

Thought for the day….”The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire”.

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines”.

It is pleasant to read a good news story from New Zealand.    The newspapers there are reporting on yet another helicopter crash (there are a lot of crashes in NZ) near Queenstown on the South Island.   The helicopter, with 6 people onboard, crashed on landing.   The passengers escaped with minor injuries, but Australian Mitchell Green proposed to his girlfriend immediately after exiting the wreckage.   The happy ending is that she accepted.   Not your usual marriage proposal !!!  Wonder what they will do for the wedding ceremony……

Great fun to go back through the photo collection and edit old photos….here are a couple of photos, originally taken in colour, converted to black & white.    Good lighting and being in the right place at the right time helped to make these photos.

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and another…

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Thought for the day….”Winning is not everything, but it beats anything in second place”.

“Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them”

Part of the thrill of travelling is in the planning.   Several years ago, a collection of airlines offered a fantastic ticket called the ‘Navigator Ticket’.    You were given a large, fold-out map of the world, with lots of airline routings marked out in different colours (representing the different airlines), and you were free to map out and plan your own route.  Rules were simple, you could make unlimited stopovers provided that you kept going in the same direction (ie eastwards or westwards).   You were allowed to backtrack if the routes needed it, but basically you could plan a route with as many zig-zags as you could manage.   Such fun to plan a trip and work out an exotic route.  Then the final excitement. was when the ticket arrived in the post.   In those days, airline tickets were messy, carbon paper affairs, but it was great to receive though the post, a stapled bundle of carbon paper tickets.    Sadly the navigator ticket is no more.

Fast forward to today, with buying an airline ticket a frustrating challenge.  Fares seem to change at will, from day to day and at the whim of the airlines.    I will never understand why the same flight on the same aircraft can change price from day to day.    Buying a cheap air ticket now involves so much planning that surely a computer programme is needed for it.   Bring back the navigator ticket !!!

They say that the best camera is the one that you have with you at the time.   Up early for the sunrise near North Cape, at the top of Norway and at 71 degrees north.    Good to have the camera ready for this quick photo….just as the sun came over the horizon to start another day.

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and a photo from the streets of the Danish Capital, Copenhagen….

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How lucky is lucky ??

Thought for the day…”Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.”

Did you see the story in the news about a survivor of the recent air crash in Dubai?    Mohammed Khadar was returning to Dubai from India when the Emirates 777 aircraft crashed on landing.  All 300 passengers got off the aircraft, which later burnt out.  Mr. Khadar, who works in Dubai, purchased a lottery ticket in the duty free shop in airport, and won a USD 1 million cash prize.   Commenting on his win, he said that his escape from the crashed aircraft was a miracle, but that the money would make enemies.   Lucky !!

The photo today comes from the famous dye pots in Fez, Morocco.

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and another photo from the archives…..the night sleeper train from Trondheim, Norway to Oslo.

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Colour in minature at the top of Norway

Thought for the day….”You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”  (Mae West)

“Ladies who play with fire must remember that smoke gets in their eyes”  (Mae West)

Up to the top of Norway and the border with Russia for the photo today.   Traders from Russia come across into Norway to trade and shop (despite the prices in Norway !).   Some warm sunshine and good light helped to make a very colourful photo of a very typical Russian item, nesting dolls.

Nesting dolls (called Matryoshkas)  were originally a Japanese idea, but are now a common souvenir from Russia.  Sergei Maliutin is thought to have been the first Russian to produce the dolls, with the first sets representing a Russian peasant family of a mother and her 7 children.  The world record is for a 51 piece set, with the largest doll being over 51 cm tall.

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and another photo from the archives…Arrowtown on the South Island of New Zealand, a former gold mining town that is now a popular daytrip from nearby Queenstown.

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Up to the top of Norway – Finnmark

Thought for the day….”You will never win if you never begin”.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose”

Today’s photo is from the fishing village of Vardo, in north Norway at 70 degrees north in the province of Finnmark.   Vardo has three names, one in Norwegian, one in Finnish (Vuoreija ) and one in Sami (Várggát).  Russia is also just a few kilometres across the bay, and the island is now connected to mainland Norway by a 2.8km subsea road tunnel.  Vardo is also the name of the gypsy caravan used by romany gypsies in Britain.  Vardo has a history of witchcraft, including trials of witches and also a witchcraft museum.   Curiously, it also lies further east than either Istanbul or Kiev.  It also hosts the yukigassen, a snowball fighting competition.  The average annual temperature here is only 1.3 degrees, not helped by the long, dark artic winter in this part of Norway.

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and a couple of photos from Oksfjord, near the top of Norway at 70 degrees north.  About 500 people live in this fishing village, although the fish processing factories have all closed.  As there are few roads in this part of Norway then ferries are an important way of getting around, including the daily Hurtigruten boats.  Hammerfest is the nearest major town.

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and another photo from the archives….a beach in the Seychelles islands…..

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Last light of the day – sunset

Thought for the day….”Success is more aptitude than attitude”

“Heaven on Earth is a choice that you must make, not a place that you must find.”

As part of my job, I get to travel a lot, and you tend to notice the differences between countries.  At Singapore Changi (code SIN, and possibly the best airport in the world) recently the drinking fountains were closed for maintenance.  Being Singapore, with its fantastically well run services, the airport managers had thought to provide bottled drinking water at the water fountains so that passengers were not inconvenienced.   Travel further up to Norway, which you would expect would also be a well run country and things are the opposite.   In the Scandic hotel in Bergen, the orange juice machine was out of order, but nobody had thought to provide juice in jugs next to it.  Next hotel (again a Scandic hotel) and the coffee machine was out of order.   Just a handwritten sign on the machine saying that it was out of order.  Again, nobody had thought to provide a thermos of coffee to make up for the failure.   And as part of the ‘improvements’ to standard rooms, they do not now provide tea/coffee facilities in the standard rooms.  Gone also are tissues in the rooms, individual shampoo and conditioner and soaps.

And as if that was not enough, the Scandic hotels in Bergen (not cheap, as nothing in Norway is cheap) have decided that they will not put cutlery, cups or serviettes on the tables.   It is the same as the airlines, customer service is disappearing.   Scandic hotels may be happy to ask high prices in order to stay in their hotels.  The prices rise, but the service levels fall.   There comes a point when you say that enough is enough.   Why pay high prices for less service??     Perhaps they should let Singaporeans run the hotels in Norway??

And to end the day, a photo of the sunset near Alesund on the 18th July 2016….wonderful end to the day..

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and another photo from the archives…..happy boys in Albania

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Norway this morning

Thought for the day…” Life is too important to be taken seriously” (Oscar Wilde)

“Life is like a 10 speed cycle.  Most of us have gears that we do not use”.

Another fantastic summer day in Norway….and one photo taken early this morning.  Taken today near the centre of Bergen.   Time to put on the sun cream again….

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and another photo from the archives..a 737 about to land in Funchal, Madeira…

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Great colours from the Fuji camera

Thought for the day….”Too many people overvalue what they are NOT, and undervalue what they ARE”

“It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way that you carry it”.

Norway has been enjoying some fantastic summer weather…with unbelievable temperatures, even in the far north.   Not only have there been many long, sunny days, but some days with wonderful clear air too.  Today’s photo comes from Svolvaer, the ‘capital’ of the Lofoten Islands, about half way up the long coast of Norway.   The photo was taken in the main harbour, and shows the traditional cottage that was previously used by fishermen, called a rorbu.  These cabins were traditionally built out over the water, so that boats could moor directly alongside.  Many of these have been converted into holiday homes, although the ones in this photo are actually part of a hotel.   At this time of year, there is 24 hour sunshine in this part of Norway, so even late evening it is possible to get photos like this.  Expect to pay around 200 euros a night for a typical cabin during summer.   Taken with the Fuji X-T10 camera and standard 18-55mm kit lens, with almost no editing of the photo.   Once again, great colours from Fuji.

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and another photo from the archives…some great colours in Mindelo, Cape Verde islands….

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Paradise in photos – The Seychelles

Thought for the day…”Success comes in cans, not in can’ts”

“Failure is the tuition that you pay for sucess”

About 85 000 people live in the island nation of the Seychelles, which is situated about 1500km off the eastern African coast and north of Madagascar.    Around  115 islands make up the country, which have been controlled at times by both France and Britain.   The islands have also been used by pirates, and it is said that the treasure of Le Vasseur, a notorious pirate, is buried there somewhere.     Victoria, the capital, on the main island of Mahe,  claims to be the smallest capital in the world, although it is the outer islands where the real beauty is.     Island hopping is easy there, either on the local fast ferries or the domestic flights in Twin Otter aircraft.    Due to the restrictions on the number of tourists, it is not (yet) overrun or overcrowed, just peaceful and beautiful.    A couple of photos are worth a thousand words……..Both photos taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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And another photo from the Seychelles….

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Unbelievable Norway – summer comes early to the north

Thought for the day…”If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun”  (Katharine Hepburn)

North Norway has been enjoying some unusually warm temperatures recently, not to mention some fantastic summer weather.    Temperatures in the far north of Norway have reached over 18 degrees in April (plus degrees that is), along with clear blue skies, windless days and warm sunshine.    At times it has been hard to believe that it is Norway, especially when the sea has been incredibly clear and such a wonderful blue colour.  If this is all due to global warming, then I vote for more of it !!!  The first photo is of the Hurtigruten ship “Kong Harald” in Alesund harbour.

Every day of the year, one of the Hurtigruten ships leaves from Bergen to sail all the way up to the coast of Norway to Kirkenes, just a few kilometres from the Russian border.     Officially, the radar domes in the second photo from Vardo, are part of the European Space Junk monitoring programe, however, a few years ago the covers blew off the radar domes, and a Norwegian newspaper revealed that the radars were not pointing upwards towards space, but were actually pointing across the bay towards Russia.   No doubt there are also radars on the Russian side of the bay pointing towards Norway !!!   Curiously, Vardo, in the second photo, actually lies further east than Istanbul or Kiev, even though it is Norway.

All photos were taken with the Fuji X-T10 camera, which is proving to be a joy to use, and with the 18-55mm standard kit lens (also a joy to use).

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Up In The Air – Two classics of aviation

Thought for the day….”Don’t look back, you are not going that way”

“If you are not meant to have midnight snacks then why is there a light in the fridge?”

A couple of photos from the recent Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow, held at Easter this year in Pembroke Wanaka, New Zealand.   The first photo is the Supermarine Spitfire.    Designed by R.J. Mitchell, it came into service in 1938, and was in production throughout the second world war.   About 53 Spitfires are still in flying condition.   Over 20 300 Spifires were made, and they remained in service until 1961.    This particular aircraft carries a registration to commemorate the New Zealand pilot Alan Deere.

The second photo is the Messerschmidt Bf 109, which was used by the Luftwaffe in Germany during the second world war.   It entered service in 1937, with around 33 000 being made.   At least 10% were lost in take-off or landing accidents.

Both aircraft performed displays during the 2 days of the airshow.

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and another photo from the archives….an early test photo from the X-E1 camera………

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Does Size Matter?? Men with big……………..camera lenses !!!

Thought for the day….” Winners never quit, and quitters never win”.

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes”   (Winston Churchill).

Time for an upgrade of my camera.  The Fuji X-E1 had been producing some fantastic pictures, so I was in no hurry to upgrade, especially as the gains and improvements with a new camera would be small.  But upgrade I did and now have the Fuji XT-10.     Apart from having a tilting screen (something that I thought was a gimmick before I actually got to find out that sometimes it is very useful), it has a few other new features that I am also finding useful too.   Features that I had not had previously such as wifi, remote control and geo-tagging are now available, as well as faster focussing and a viewfinder that is perhaps the clearest that I have ever used.  So although I was sad to part with the X-E1,  the new camera is already proving to be just as much fun as the older one.   It is said that Fujifilm cameras are made by photographers who are also engineers, whereas another famous brand (=brand X) is made by engineers, full stop.  Guess which cameras are more fun to use?    Having real dials and also menus that you can customize, and a fantastic viewfinder makes all the difference.   Photography is fun again !!!

Even if I enjoy taking photos,  I will probably (hopefully) not go to this extreme…..an aircraft spotter or very keen photographer seen at an airshow recently…..He was carrying not one but two BIG cameras.   The lens on the second camera must have weighed several kilos….

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and another photo from the archives…the lake at Haglebu, Norway…….

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Some red faces somewhere…..a big error.

Thought for the day….”What the mind can concieve, it can achieve”

“You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind”

No doubt that there were some red faces at the Nabors Demolition company in Texas, USA.   They recently demolished the WRONG house, and have blamed Google maps for the error.   The house that they demolished was one block from the house that they should have knocked down.   Needless to say, the owners of the now-demolished house were none too happy, although the Nabors Demolition company  described it as ‘no big deal’.    The demolition company’s motto is ” We Could Wreck The World” certainly had a good try.   Apparently, Google maps has now amended the map to show the correct location of the house that should have been knocked down.   Some red faces somwhere??

People photos are always fascinating, so here is another one…fisherman in the park…Fuji X-E1 camera together with the Fuji 55-230mm lens.

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and another photo from the archives…Kandersteg in Switzerland….

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218 Million British Pounds gone on a new folly.

Thought for the day…”It always seems impossible until it is done”   (Nelson Mandela).

” Life is like photography.  You use negatives to develop”

One definition of a ‘folly’ is a building that is built mainly for decoration, but in a style to imitate something else (such as a castle or tower), and at such expense to have shown folly for the builder.     So when I read news about the new airport that has been built on St. Helena island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, then the word ‘folly’ springs to mind.    The news often features stories about the much-delayed new Berlin airport, which seems to be continually delayed and plagued by one problem after another, but the new St Helena airport is equally worthy.

This new airport (soon to receive its first commercial flight) has been built at a staggering cost, reportedly 218 MILLION British Pounds.    The fancy airport comes complete with control tower, restaurant, departure lounges and full security facilities, and a fire station complete with 3 expensive fire-engines.  Not bad at all, except for the fact that St Helena only has a population of about 4255 people.   Not only that, but the island only has 2 small hotels, which will be completely unable to cope with the numbers of tourists expected on the weekly flight to the island.     So the British government has spent 218 million British Pounds on an airport which will have almost no flights, an airport which will serve a population of about 4255 people and an airport which will overload the 2 hotels on the island.  So it is not only Berlin that gets it wrong with its airport.     Folly?    I think so.

Another great photo from the Fuji X-E1 camera…taken with the 55-230mm lens at the maximum 230mm….

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and another photo from the archives….autmn colours at Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

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Happiness – Smile please !!!

Thought for the day…”If you want something that you never had, then do something that you have never done”.

” If aircraft black boxes survive air crashes, why do they not make the whole aircraft out of the same material? “.

Those of you who are over about 30 years of age may remember a British singer called Ken DODD.  One of his hits (he was actually a comedian and initially not a singer) was called ‘Happiness’.     The first words in the song go “Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess’.     The results of the annual ‘World Happiness Report’ have just been published (by the United Nations), and once again DENMARK comes out as the World’s happiest country.  Switzerland was also near the top, whereas Burundi was at the bottom of the list (presumably this makes it the World’s most UNhappy country).   Burundi has been plagued by civil wars, poverty, disease and corruption, which might be why it is in bottom place on the list.   The survey looks at things like education, social security, life expectancy,  GDP, corruption, personal wellbeing etc.  One bit of good news is that happiness has increased in nearly all regions of the World, with Denmark and Switzerland still in the number 1 and number 2 positions.    Interestingly, Denmark has one of the highest tax rates in the World, yet the people there are the happiest.

The country Bhutan does not produce figures for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but it does publish the Gross National Happiness Index instead, which includes measures of physical happiness, mental health and social/cultural vitality.   20th March was the International Happiness Day.     Smile please !!

Today’s photo is of some happy people after Skydiving in New Zealand……..

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And another photo from the archives…..

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Classics of aviation – Mandeville, New Zealand

Thought for the day…”You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them”.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time”.

Driving down to the south part of the South Island of New Zealand, you might come across some traces of the past.   Down at a small settlement called Mandeville, there is a small airfield, home of the Croydon Aviation Trust.  Here they restore old aircraft, and also train pilots to fly them.    The old hangars are still there, and inside them you will see aircraft being restored using traditional methods, such as carpentry and dope on fabric.  Mandeville was originally a wet area (=alcohol allowed), whereas nearby Gore Town was a dry area (=no alcohol allowed), which might be the reason that the airstrip prospered.     Enough aircraft and flying machines in the hangars to make a stop worthwhile if you are in the area.   Another nice feature is that you can actually go for pleasure flights in the aircraft, including the open cockpit Tiger Moth or the DH89 Rapide.   A trip down back to the past !!

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Early morning trip to Milford Sound

Thought for the day…”He who angers you, conquers you”.

“We all have the ability.  The difference is how we use it”.

I have just had another flight (unfortunately) with Air New Zealand.    I say unfortunately because what was once a quality airline has turned into a money-grabbing budget airline which pretends to be a quality airline.     Do AirNZ really think that I am going to pay NZD 10 to choose my seat, when they have to give me a seat anyway?   Do AirNZ really think that I am going to PAY NZD10 to watch a movie onboard??   Whilst they might have put a credit card slot in the seatback for me to pay, it is going to remain unused.      And having tasted the food offering (laughing called ‘The Works” on the outward journey, then I am sure that I will not be paying for the small portion of food that was offered.   I moved on from eating child portions a long time ago but apparently AirNZ thinks that I still do eat child portions, even when I paid for an ADULT portion.   And a wait of over 1 hour and 20 minutes to get even a cup of coffee is not going to make me happy either, especially as it was the usual airline sized 1/2 cup.

But the saddest part is to think back to how AirNZ used to be.  Once they WERE good, and once it was a pleasure to fly with them.     Times change.

Milford Sound is one of the most popular fjords that tourists visit in New Zealand.     Here is an early morning photo from the road which leads into Milford Sound.  Unusually, the weather is great in the photo.   Milford Sound is infamous for getting over 7 metres of rain a year…..so days like this are rare.    This photo is taken just before the entrance to the famous Homer Tunnel, which leads down to Milford Sound.

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And another photo from the archives….Haglebu, Norway

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Contrasts – One world but different sides

Thought for the day….”To live an extraordinary life, you must resist an ordinary approach”

“Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving”  (Einstein).

Two photos to show contrast today….the first photo is from New Caledonia and the second photo from Dhaka, Bangladesh.   One big advantage of the Fuji X camera system is that the photos straight out of the camera (jpeg) are so good.     I have stopped taking RAW photos now, as the jpeg pictures are great.   Much faster to just shoot in jpeg now, and it also means  much less time spent on the computer processing photos (which is great !!).   Purists will argue that a RAW photo has more detail, but it takes a lot of determination to sit at the computer for many hours converting RAW files.    The fun for me is in taking the photos, not in spending hours at the computer trying to get them right.  I still end up with far too many photos but that is digital photography.    Back in the days of 35mm film, when you only had 36 pictures on a roll (38 if you were lucky), then you really had to think before you pressed the shutter.   Not now, with the memory card easily holding 3000 photos and a camera which will take 6 photos a second.

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compare the beauty of the photo above with the chaos in the photo below ……same planet but……

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More cutbacks at the airlines…Lufthansa squeezes more people in

Thought for the day…” A dame that knows the ropes isn’t  likely to get tied up”   (Mae West)

” I generally avoid temptation, unless I can’t resist it”.  (Mae West).

Back on one of my favourite topics…airlines.    I have now seen the seatmaps for the new Airbus A320 NEOs that Lufthansa will be introducing.  Not only are they squeezing in even more seats (12 more seats as compared to the A320s that they currently operate), but passengers in economy class will end up with LESS leg room than on Ryanair (the new Ryanair 737s will give 76cm of space whereas Lufthansa will be offering only 71cm).   Not only that, but those passengers sitting in the rear of the aircraft will be looking at a blank wall, as the rear area (previously the toilet area) does not have windows.  But wait, there is more….the 2 rear toilets that are left are also being reduced in size (said to be the equivalent of a Greyhound bus toilet for size) and the galley is being reduced in size to a small corner unit.   So more passengers but less food options, more passengers but smaller toilets, more passengers and less leg room.    Is this progress?    And Ryanair, once seen as the king of cutbacks and no-frills, is actually going to offer passengers MORE space than Lufthansa.

So that begs the question…why pay extra to fly with Lufthansa??  If you are going to pay more but get LESS legroom, and if Lufthansa are now charging you to choose your seat in advance, then why bother to fly with them??  Do you remember those adverts showing Airbus aircraft with SPACIOUS interiors?    Forget that now…economy class on Lufthansa is going to be a squeeze…just 71cm.    You pay your money and you take your choice, as they say.

Early morning sunshine in the small town of Picton, South Island New Zealand for the photo today…quiet before the arrival of the ferry from the North Island.

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and another photo from the archives…thinking time in Cuba…..

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Challenge Wanaka 2016 – the cycle leg

Thought for the day…..”  Well begun is half done”    (Aristotle)

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour”.

20th February was the date for the Challenge Wanaka triathlon competition this year.    The event includes the standard 3.8km swim, followed by a 180km cycle then the 42km (marathon-length) run.    Unusually, this year’s event was partly in heavy rain, which added to the challenge, as did the strong winds which hampered the cycle leg.    It was noticeable that there were far fewer spectators this year, understandably given the poor weather later in the day.

A few photos from the cycle leg of the race……

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Breakfast morning sunrise – Pembroke New Zealand

Thought for the day…” We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it”   (Dwight Eisenhower).

“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often    (Mae West).

Nice photo of the sunrise on 20th Februrary for today’s photo.  One of those occasions when it was so lucky to have the camera ready AND be in the right place at the right time.     I took a series of shots as the clouds and light changed, but the aim was to get the clouds to appear to come out of the electricity pylon and a frame around the best of the clouds.  See what you think.  As the light was changing so fast (and the clouds were also moving fast due to the strong winds aloft) then there was not time to set things up properly, but the results were fine.  Hopefully the time-lapse of the moving clouds will be equally dramatic.    So much fun with a camera !!!

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and another photo out of the archives….night train from Trondheim, Norway to Oslo……This was one of my first night shots with the Fuji X-E1….

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Coffee time in Finland

Thought for the day…”Value is more expensive than price”

“You may not know what is going to happen when you try, but if you do not try, nothing will happen”.

Two photos from opposite sides of the globe next, one from the Finnish capital of Helsinki and the second from the Central Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.   Interestingly, the building in the first photo is now the City Hall for Helsinki, but was originally a hotel where the first moving pictures were shown in Finland by the Lumiere brothers in 1896.   Even in winter (when temperatures are frequently below -20 degrees centigrade) people will sit outside in the area around the harbour to drink excellent, strong Finnish coffee (kahvi in Finnish language).   Finland is number one in the world for coffee consumption per capita, something to do with the long, dark Artic nights.  But the coffee is excellent !!!   It works out to about 12kg of coffee for each person in Finland.   A survey in 2014 reported that 14% of men and 6% of women in Finland drank MORE than 10 cups of coffee a day.  They like their coffee !!

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And another photo from the archives….Lake Hawea, Otago, New Zealand

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Pride of the Pacific – No Way

Thought for the day….”If you wish to reach the highest, begin with the lowest”

“If you want something that you have never had, then you have got to do something that you have never done”.

Air New Zealand used to have a slogan “Pride of the Pacific’, and at one time, were a very good airline to fly with.  I had many happy flights on the stopping service from New Zealand via the Pacific Islands to/from the USA on NZ 47 and NZ 48, a service which followed the route of the early flying boats.   Great for island hopping, as the aircraft stopped so many times at places like Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii.   And it connected nicely with NZ 1 to London as well.   Service was good onboard, it was comfortable and also good value.    Fast forward to the Air New Zealand of today, who are still trying to pretend that they are a quality airline.   Now you find that you must pay for almost everything onboard…the basic fare gives you a seat only to which you must pay extra for checking in a bag, having a ‘meal’ onboard, choosing a seat (NZ10) and even watching a movie (another NZ10 extra).      So the cash registers are ringing all the time…..basic plus $$ plus $$$  plus even more $$$.  And if that was not bad enough, Air New Zealand have also gone for the high density 10 across seating in their 777s.    So not only are you restricted for legroom, but now you are also finding less shoulder room.     So what was once a quality airline has now turned into a budget airline.     The last flight that I had on AirNZ, it took the staff OVER 1 hour 20 minutes to get me a cup of coffee, and then after that I had to ask for a refill as no refill of the small cup was offered.   Pride of the Pacific it might have been, but Pride of the Pacific it is certainly not now.   If AirNZ think that I am going to pay $10 extra to choose my seat and then another $10 to watch a movie on a small screen then they are very mistaken.     Neither do I wish to sit in a 10 abreast seat configuration where I am pushed up against the shoulders of fellow passengers on both sides, especially on an international flight of many hours.     The bottom line is that AirNZ have become a budget airline, with all the negatives that a budget airline comes with.    I hope that next time that they run into financial difficulties, that the New Zealand government does not bail them out as it usually does.    The quality has gone.

Two more photos from the Fuji X-E1 camera…….showing just how good the Fuji glass is….

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and another photo from the archives…city centre in Ascuncion, Paraguay…

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Addiction

Thought for the day….” Shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun”

“There are many ways of going forward but only one way of standing still”.

Addiction is the ‘persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance’.   I recently observed a group of foreign tourists come into a popular local cafe.   The father sat at a table and immediately whipped out his mobile phone, and asked his wife to find out the password for the internet.   Then once they had got the password (and some coffee), they spent the entire time heads down engrossed in their mobile phones.   No awareness of where there were or what was going on, apart from their mobile phones, which were the centre of their attention.    No conversation between them or their children, just the mobile phones.     There is even a medical term now for this, internet addiction disorder, also known as problematic internet use (PIU).  One of the factors not helping this is the fact that we are rarely out of contact now, with internet access almost everywhere.     Even when we go on holiday and sit on a beach or climb a mountain, we often still have internet coverage.  We are never really out of touch.  Traditionally, holidays were times when you DID leave the everyday behind.   Holidays were times when you were AWAY and where you were uncontactable.    But for many people now, just a few minutes out of contact can cause panic symptons.     And it is sad to see people sitting in cafes and restaurants concentrating on their mobile phones, not on those who are with them.    Technological advance or a backward step  ???

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And another photo from the archives…the Stockholm marathon….

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