Wednesday, 21 March 2012

March Photo Rally

Rather than following a list of instructions in order, this rally presented us with a list of photographs required. It was up to the driver and navigator to determine their own route from the starting point at Western Springs, around the city collecting the necessary shots, and finishing at the Chelsea Sugar works on the North Shore by a specified time. The area covered ranged from Onehunga through to Takapuna, but the allocated time was tight and made you choose whether or not it was worth spending 45 minutes in a cemetery looking for that elusive headstone. Additional points were on offer for various inclusions in your photos, eg. an asian female, a police officer in uniform, etc.

Karen and I went to Onehunga first (a shot of the navigator in front of the Historic Places Trust plaque at the Blockhouse) and worked our way back through the city via Cornwall Park (shots of the car being driven), Mt Eden (the kiosk), the Domain (both driver and navigator outside the Auckland Museum) and Parnell (more historic houses). Whilst at the Museum we came across a couple having their wedding photos taken, and asked if we could have our photos taken with the bride, who was of asian extraction. No problem, said the photographer; although it was hard to tell whether or not the happy couple were all that happy about it.

We then drove into the central city and parked close to the cemetery under Grafton Bridge where we needed shots of the headstones or plaques marking the each of the graves of Governor Hobson, the first lawman, and the first headmaster. This task was far harder than it at first seemed. The cemetery is very old, quite large and parts are exceptionally run down. I think most people managed to get 2 of the 3 required here - the headmaster seemed to be the most difficult to find, yet oddly it was the first I came across.

After this, it was across the Harbour Bridge with two sites left to visit but not a lot time in which to do it. We visited the small cliff-side area directly under the northern end of the Bridge and grabbed the shot of the plaque commemorating those who lost their lives during it's construction. With only 15 minutes left, we decided Lake Pupuke and the last shot outside the Pumphouse was unobtainable so proceeded to the Chelsea Sugar factory.

It seems that despite being directionally-challenged (yes, we led everyone on a scenic route to the post-event cafe), with our photo taking skills - or perhaps that should be our photo "non-deletion" skills - we managed to capture first place by a very close 1 point ahead of Paul and Delia. Others attending were Gavin, Bud, Brian and Bev, Bob and Gwen, and Ngaire.

Many thanks to Chris and Jo who organised an excellent run.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Galaxy of Cars 2012

With a change of venue, and somewhat haphazard organisation by the Lions, my hopes were not high for this year's event. But surprisingly, we ended up with a primo site (under some trees) and the day ran reasonably smoothly.
Karen and I again arrived early and managed to get in before the queue. Early on, the entry process for display cars seemed to be much smoother than in the past. Some of those that arrived later however found that older cars were held up whilst a stream of modern Commodores were allowed what seemed like priority access!!
Despite some fears by the Lions that there was not going to be enough space for all display cars, there was room left over; and with a little better utilisation of the inner field of the speedway track, many more vehicles could have been on display.
The crowd this year seemed a bit smaller. I guess being held after Concours rather than before may have had some impact, but it's also quite likely that the $12 entry price put many off. Perhaps the organisers could be a little less greedy next year, and we may see a larger crowd again.