When Wellington Wiggled

Wellington decided to wiggle a bit more than usual on the first few minutes of Monday morning (14th November 2016).

It started off as slight trembling – which is a normal occurrence here in the Capital, so I didn’t think much of it. However the tremors didn’t stop after a few seconds. Instead it grew stronger – strong enough to rouse the Grizzly Bear from his slumber. We waited a bit longer but the movement didn’t abate – the intensity just grew stronger. And then the house started to sway. Side to side – slowly at first, and then it started to shake. I thought of doing the “drop cover and hold” maneuver but – I was in bed. I mean, do I  go out into the lounge while the house was doing the Macarena, just to go under a table? I stayed put, I couldn’t – not just because of the shaking, but more so because the Grizzly Bear threw himself on top of me (my hero).  The shaking lasted quite a while but the movement stopped, eventually. (we found out later that there were 2 earthquakes one after the other, which was why the shaking took so long). 

We survived. The house – which I kinda expected to just slide down the hill – is still on its feet, and the chimney hasn’t tumbled down. Nothing was broken; utilities (power, water and gas) weren’t disrupted; the bank behind us held up. All’s well. Even the cats are okay.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for parts of Kaikoura (epicentre of the quake), parts of Christchurch and  most of Wellington CBD. Work was suspended later that day as engineers examined the buildings in Wellington Central, and emergency services cleared debris which consisted mostly of broken glass. Trains and buses were cancelled as well – they had to check on the train tracks and power lines weren’t damaged too much by the quake. Furthermore, there were several aftershocks that day – from 4.5 to 6M in intensity.

To make matters more interesting, the forecast for Monday evening was rain with gale force winds (up to 140 kph). This on top of a month’s worth of rain (about 88 mm) dumped on the Capital on Saturday.

It’s now Tuesday and I’m now back at work. Thankfully, the forecast of Gale Force Winds didn’t eventuate, but we are getting inundated by so much rain, and it appears it will be like this for the rest of the week.

Walking up Cuba Street from Manners Street, a lot of the department / clothing stores have remained shut – obviously waiting for the “go-signal” from city engineers. Meanwhile, their mannequins and other displays are strewn across the floor. I was tempted to take photos of the “damage” but realised, there are already too many photos of devastation (not just because of the quake) and unhappy occurrences in existence, I just didn’t feel right about adding any more to it. So I walked on, and decided that I will focus on finding beauty in the world around me.

Yes, the world needs to know that “bad things” happen, but I think a lot of people already share this around. There are photojournalists who go to war torn areas and send back photos of casualties of war, or those who document poverty and oppression. However, I think there aren’t enough photos depicting the simple beauty of life and of living. I’m not referring to photos that show amazing sunsets and fabulous scenery here – I’m talking about capturing the beauty in the mundane. And that’ll be my focus.


My Travel Diary


While tidying up my corner at home, I saw this little black notebook lying amongst the mess. It’s my travel notebook – my only one, I think. I used it extensively when I went to China way back in 2008. I opened it up and read what I had written – it was hilarious! Everything! Most of my entries were written in taglish (a mixture of Filipino and English) but I suppose my writing style reflected my way of thinking back then. Not filtered, and just as raw as it could ever be. Anyway I think, if ever I get to travel again, I’ll make sure I have a travel diary with me and … I will write down everything at the end of the day. It’s more fun that way. 🙂

Vroom vroom …

A&P, the couple whose wedding photos I took about a year ago, were in Windy Wellington for a flying visit this weekend (7-9 April). They arrived on Thursday night to a typical Wellington Welcome (the usual .. wobbly plane due to strong winds), did their thing on Friday, and then on Saturday … we went to the Southward Car Museum near Otaihanga. I’ve heard of this place, but I haven’t been so I was pretty excited about going.

We drove on SH1 for about an hour and turned off towards Otaihanga and then made a hard left to enter the museum compound and I was quite surprised at the size of the compound. The parking lot was quite huge and the building itself looked quite imposing. We parked the car, rocked up and paid the $17.00 admission fee (price per adult as at 2016, may change without prior notice) and proceeded to the main galleries to admire this world class collection of cars, not just from New Zealand but from all over the world.

Here are a few of the vehicles that caught my eye:

But it’s not all cars … there were planes, a couple of boats, a section that showed a lot of miniature toy cars, motorbikes, push bikes, and even a little room devoted to sewing machines and other household appliances.

Sewing Machine and TV Room

It’s really worth the trip (and the admission fee) so if you’re in Wellington include the Southward Car Museum in the list of places you must visit.


Seton Nossiter Park Falls

Went on an impromptu photo walk a few weeks back. Dave, one of the guys from the Photography Club I’m a member of said there’s a small waterfalls a few steps from his house. He wanted to show it to us and also … he wanted to use his new ND100 filter. So … we (myself, Dave and 3 more members of the photography club) went and – after huffing and puffing down a hill (or two) we reached our destination and took photos! And here are some of mine. 🙂

i did this!

Well, I didn’t purposely set out to go shopping – it all just, kinda happened when I got there. You see, the Photography Club was invited to a special selling evening at the Wellington Photographic Supplies on Victoria Street. Since I had RSVP’d, and since it was just a 10 minute walk from where I work, I decided I might as well have a nosey – even if Wellington was being hammered by 150 k/h winds (seriously! it’s a challenge to remain upright and walk in a straight line!).

Anyway, I was supposed to get a camera bag. My sister gave me one – but it’s somewhat slightly big and heavy for my needs. It’s a great bag, but just heavy. They had heaps and heaps of options, but I just couldn’t find one that beckoned to me. I opted to leave that for another day – there’s no rush to get a bag anyway – after all,  I’m not going on my holiday until 2014. I did, however, get an extra battery for my camera – and 2 x 16GB Extreme Sandisk Memory Cards. I actually have been meaning to buy these but I just keep putting it off.  I would always find a reason to not purchase them – even though I know deep in my heart that they really are worth the “investment”. Since they were giving the club a special price (valid only for that night) I decided to just go for it.

Somehow, those small purchases seemed to have sparked a renewed interest in photography! I’m kinda excited to use start taking pictures again – even if it’s just to see if 16GB Extreme Memory Cards really do make a difference in the processing of images. I’ve even cleaned my lenses! OMG!

So yeah – I’m now looking forward to using my cameras (yes, I have several: a point and shoot, a hybrid, and my big bazooka!) again. I had originally thought of leaving the big bazooka here next weekend – but I think I will take it with me when I go up to Auckland. Who would have thought that a few simple purchases would reawaken my passion for this craft. Heehee – I suppose I can now say, “you can now expect more pictures from me!” –  Hahahaha!

I shall go now – the wind is lulling me to sleep. We’ve had seriously strong winds today. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was extremely difficult to remain upright and walk in a straight line. Here is an article (with pics) from the Dominion Post. It’s really quite scary. I’m hoping the wind eases up tonight. The Capital’s received so much wrath from Mother Nature lately (drought, storms, earthquakes) – I think we deserve a break. AND, I think I should end my post on a high note! Lookie all the vintage cameras! They were on display at the shop. Aren’t they just adorable?

Old cameras, photo taken through a glass partition.

 Good night!!

This time next week, I’ll be up north, ready to start a week-long break at the Mighty Waikato. The original plan was for me to go to Hawaii but that fizzled out so I considered booking a flight to Rarotonga instead. Somehow that didn’t materialise so I thought maybe I should head off to Norfolk Island … but a friend said that Norfolk Island is ideal for newly-weds or nearly-dead. Hmpft. I’m neither so … I finally ended up in Huntly. From Hawaii to Huntly – that’s a bit of a “dive”, isn’t it? Heeheehee!

Welcome to the Waikato!
Welcome to the Waikato!

Continue reading “Home for a Holiday”

I was in town last night – whoohoo! That’s a first, I know! But seriously, I was in town yesterday because I was supposed to have dinner with a few members of the photography club I belong to. However, due to inclement weather (and, to some extent, the Super XV match between the Crusaders and the Reds) we had several cancellations so – the dinner was postponed to another day. Anyway, I figured, since I was already in the city I might as well go and have dinner – even if I were on my own (no harm in that).

So, since I really am not too fond of the restaurants on Courtney Place, I headed off to my favourite street in the whole of Wellington – CUBA STREET! That area is just lined with restaurants and cafes, I was sure one would tickle my fancy (and have prices that were well within my budget). Was fortunate enough to find a free park and meandered down towards Cuba Mall. It was while I was searching for a feed when I chanced upon this busker.

A busker with a piano?!
A busker with a piano?!

Continue reading “Live Music @ Cuba Street”

Welly’s Little Visitor

Hullo! I'm awake now.
Hullo! I’m awake now.

I’ve been in Wellington for well over a year and yet, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a seal on the waterfront! It really must have been cold in the Capital. Actually, I first saw him yesterday. I saw a group of people gathered by the waterfront so, being curious, I went to see what the commotion was all about and voila! Sleeping seal. I took a couple of pictures yesterday and today, I saw him there again. Still on the same rock, still dozing. I think I sat there for a good 10 minutes, waiting for him to wake up – and when he did, he spent most of his time scratching and stretching.

UPDATE 18.07.2013: Silly sleepy seal was there again. I have a funny feeling he’s enjoying the attention he’s getting from the crowd.

Finally online!

So many things have happened since my last post. I was supposed to give a blow-by-blow account of my holiday at the south island (even started with arrowtown), but the unexpected happened. To make a long story short, the days following May 10 just flew by and now, I have a new niece, have started a new job, in a new city and have new living arrangements! Such an interesting way to start my xxth year of life.

Anyway, now that i’m somewhat connected online again, i hope to be able to share my adventures and misadventures in the windy capital of …




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