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ELECTRA: intelligent, organised, practical, creative & strong; mum, wife and person.

WANTS TO VISIT: Germany, Portugal, Spain, & France, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Andorra, Bulgaria, Thailand, Phillipines and Venezuela for starters.

29 January 2015


Atlas shot this footage while we were in the Coromandel and I couldn't help but try to overlay some music to it so I could share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

[He didn't come out intending to shoot a video and you can probably tell from the elementary graphics and effects that it is my first time editing, right?!]


We've only watched the sunrise as a family a very few times - all while we have been away from home.  

I can see how if you are in a mobile home without black-out curtains, you would be up earlier in the morning anyway, so perhaps we may see more sunrises (and sunsets) on the road.


Here are a few other still images:







How can we learn to see and appreciate the sunrise, beyond the metaphorical, as an opportunity to start afresh each day?

27 January 2015


The process of applying for a class 2 drivers license in New Zealand consists of passing a driver's medical examination, an eye test and a 35-question theory test.  The later in which you may only get two answers wrong.   Here is a list of places (NZTA agents) where you can sit your test.
There are various ways of studying for the theory component.  
You can buy the (up-to-date) road code for heavy vehicles from a bookstore, or NZTA agent and read it from cover to cover.  It has all the test questions in the back of the book too which you can use to check how well you are comprehending what you are reading.  The slight problem with this method is that whilst reading through chapter by chapter you won't know which questions are for which class and may end up cramming more than you need.
If you have registered for an advanced driving course some will send you out a theory study workbook as part of your fee, if they require you to obtain your theory license prior to participation in their 2 or 3-day intensive workshops.  Others include teaching the theory component and sitting the test with them as day one of their course.
Another way is online. is a website that is permitted by NZTA to re-produce the questions and answers to all their theory tests: Car, motorcycle, heavy vehicle; and even one for tourists (that some rental companies require visitors to take prior to hiring).
The quizzes contain questions about:
  • basic driving knowledge
  • driving behaviour
  • parking
  • emergencies
  • road positions
  • intersections
  • signs
  • legalities and theory
  • additional specifics for both motorcycles and trucks
You can choose to take a quiz in any of these areas separately too.
If you get a question right your answer will be enforced by an affirmation and brief precis summarising the background to the question and answer.  If you get a question wrong you still get the summary and the question is marked for you to revisit at the end of a quiz.
Sitting there doing a random test after test online initially seems like a perfect solution, but they are not iterative (ie they don't leave out the questions that you answer correctly and focus on re-introducing the ones that you don't) and would take many random tests before you covered all the possible theory questions.  That is the only down-fall that I see to the site.
So another way of focussing in on areas you need to learn/revise is doing the separate quizzes in each of the sub-sections above.   This seems to be a better way of making sure you cover all of the possible questions and it helps that they are logically grouped together in the way that your mind would access the information again later.  
If you were parking a vehicle you'd think about all the parking questions; if you were at an intersection then you'd need to recall all those specific questions.
Driving Tests also have a pay-for android application and an i-phone one too.  
Other apps are available but look as if they are only relevant to class 1.
21 January 2015

Tree weta


It's not often that you'd see a weta, and certainly not around a suburban area.

So I thought you might like a photo (above) and a short video (below) of one that was spotted feeling it's way around the beach house.

They look quite fierce with their barbed legs, pincers; and long antennae thrashing about like swords.


For more about the NZ native Weta see Wikipedia.



We can't forget to mention the film studio behind Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit shares the namesake - Weta Digital