Back on the trails

This morning I broke two of my own rules of trail running, firstly I went out on my own and secondly I was not as well prepared as I should have been. Fortunately nothing happened, even though I did make a wrong turn at a trail junction. What I did do right was let someone know where I was going !

It was great to be back on the trails, and I particularity love the trails around Piha, the downhill sections are just so fast and flowy and the scenery is great, I just love running in the Waitaks.  Even better  I was really pleased to still be feeling good after almost two hours of running, a good start back.

Next time I run I pack a warm layer and a beanie, I got cold today and its November !


Auckland City Gallery

Yesterday afternoon my friend Donelle and I paid a visit to the newly expanded and renovated Auckland City Gallery, this was my first visit since it reopened and I am going to have to say the gallery was pretty impressive.

When it was first proposed, the expansion of the gallery was a hot topic among a number of groups, with strong for and against opinion.  Initially, I was against the expansion as the proposal required using land from Albert Park and I kinda liked the old gallery building and couldn’t see how a blend of old and new would be visually appealing.  However my scepticism was misplaced and the new building looks fantastic.

Of course the important stuff is what is in the gallery and how the gallery works. The gallery flows well, easy to move around, spacious and well lit.  I did find out later we had missed an exhibition I would have gone to had I know it was there. I will admit I did not look at a guidebook ! This does give me a good reason to go back before I head overseas.

It was great to see a nice collection of McCahon paintings in one space as well as some of the other modern NZ painter that I liked.  Though my favourite piece was the massive, moving air filled flower chandelier in the main atrium from Choi Jeong Hwa.

I also really liked that in most parts of the gallery I was able to take photos !

Gallery – Trip into the city

For almost the first time in twenty years I do not have a car park in the city, so, in an effort to conserve cash and to start getting used to public transport, I caught the train into town to meet a friend and check out the new art gallery.

I am guessing my experience in catching in a train, mid afternoon in Auckland is not going to be the same as catching a train in Kuala Lumpur 🙂

This was taken as a test shot from inside a camera store on Queen St as I was checking out a new lens and viewfinder for my travelling camera, I bought both ! My final camera related purchases.

I love the Whitcoulls building, it has been part of MY Auckland for many years and I was greatly relieved when the store was not  shut down when Whitcoulls parent company went into liquidation last year. Fortunately the business was purchased and the store remains open.  It is not the best book shop in the world, but it is a great shop.

This tiki mural is on a wall in Victoria St.

Art Gallery post another day, but I will say it (the gallery) is awesome, and so is the new camera.

First day of the rest of my life.

Saturday 29 Oct 2011 was the first day of my new life, the first day with no job to go to on Monday, or any other Mondays in the near future.  It was a good day. It started with my first trail run in two months, followed by a fun photo shoot in the afternoon, ending with a family dinner for my niece’s birthday in the evening.

With my focus over the past three months primarily being on work I have not managed to dedicate much time to myself and my hobbies. Late nights, stress and a lack of sleep, as well as working a few weekends, left me fairly wasted when I did have free time so the time was seldom put to good use.   Now it has all changed ! My last day at work was on Friday and now I can do what I want when I want and it was great to cram a couple of my favourite things into day one.

After having only done one short road run in the past two months I was a wee bit concerned that even a short trail run would leave me gasping.  However, my buddy Vicki picked an awesome fifty minute run over the Farley Track in the Waitakere Ranges, that was just perfect for a first run back. Not technical, good under foot track conditions, no steep bits and a beautiful section of native bush to enjoy.  A great first run that has me looking forward to the next one.

After the run it was a quick trip home, shower and then into the city for the first Flickr group photo shoot meet up that I have attended in months. It was a great opportunity to test drive my new camera, tripod (the tripod was a leaving gift from my work, awesome !) and the messenger bag combination I was planning on using on my travels. Though, stupidly I left the tripod mount at home so ended up not testing the tripod out. I really enjoy hanging with the Flickr group, they are a great bunch of people as well as having some fantastic photographers in the mix.  I have also not taken my photos for a while so I really been looking forward to this.

The objective of this meet up was to take 30 photos in JPEG format over 2 hours, then print them out in the local photo store, no post processing!! It was all good fun and I got to spend a bit of time playing with the new camera. Ultimately I was not thrilled with my images, but an afternoon of shooting photos then a couple of beers while looking at the printed output of the group was good fun and a good start back into photography again.

I left the beer session early and raced back home to nip up to my sister’s place for a family dinner for my niece’s birthday. A great way to end the first day of the rest of my life !

A shot from the day, a sticker from Occupy Aotea. I don’t mean to be political, but I am not a fan of our current government.