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Saturday 10 December 2011

My Favourite Five

Following my great mate Roger Fleming's  challenge to post the 5 favourite photos of 2011 which I took, here they are; not in any particular order of importance:

As many regular visitors to this blog will remember, we spent 3 weeks in Vietnam earlier this year.  All countries are special but for us, we left a bit of our hearts in this country.  Wonderful, friendly and open people, fabulous food and stunning scenery.  I love the picture below because it shows the sheer enterprise and energy of the Vietnamese.  A pavement maintenance operation for servicing bicycles and motorbikes while you wait.  They appeared to be extremely thorough - oil change and cable lube as part of this job and they even had a plastic chair for the customer.  Innovation and capitalism in a (mildly) socialist country - right in the centre of Saigon!

The enterprise of  glorious Vietnam!

This photo was taken at sunset close to our house, looking over the Firth of Thames.  Not only does it reflect the sense of peace and tranquillity we get from living in Coromandel, it's also where Jennie and I spend time together fishing from our boat.  The little dots in the water  are commercial mussel farms and we moor the boat to them.  The fishing here is fantastic (10 snapper and 1 trevally between us in a 2 hour spell last Thursday!) but even if we didn't catch anything, floating in those surroundings is medicine for the soul.

Coromandel sunset in winter

This is our granddaughter Molly at her christening last weekend.  We were waiting for the ceremony to begin and I happened to notice that she was resting her head on the cathedral pew with a faraway look.  And it makes me misty-eyed....

 Our gorgeous granddaughter Molly

This is Annie.  We found her in our garden as a tiny kitten which was very, very hungry, and very friendly.  Despite our best efforts, we couldn't find her owners so we let her adopt us, despite already having 2 cats!  As it happened, my older cat developed an infection which he didn't recover from only 2 weeks after Annie showed up. Annie immediately made it her business to take away as much of the hurt as she could.  A special bond, with maybe a dash of Karma thrown in for good measure!

Little Orphan Annie

And last but far from least is the photo below.  It's Philip McDaid, Chief Examiner of the NZ branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.  He was just completing the report form on my first assessment ride back in April.  His expression made me want a pee on the spot but it was more a case of  "safe enough, but needs a hell of a lot of work".  Being damned by faint praise was just the spur that was needed and I honestly can't remember when I'd worked so hard at anything.  Eight months later, a test pass as a full member of IAM and now training to be an Observer.  Oh yeah, this photo is special all right!!!

Eight months of reading, thinking and dreaming about that bloody test!


  1. Five brilliant photos of captured special moments Geoff....not a bad life really is it....

  2. All very good picks. Meaningful and beautiful. Love Molly and Annie.

  3. Cheers Dylan
    Things could certainly be a lot worse!!

    Thanks Lori
    Molly is going to be a heart-breaker when she grows up and Annie isn't bad at it now!

  4. Great Geoff, all of them are terrific, holy crap molly is a cutie...gonna break hearts that one. Excellent selection

  5. Roger,
    Thanks mate, it's been a good year one way or another. Molly is one smart young lady too; she'll do just fine!

    Thanks again for the superb idea.

  6. So special moments. I see the look of a long distance rider in Molly's face. I am sure she'll go places... Orphan Annie reminds me of my dear cat. If I would only spend more time at home I would have one adopt me... I have envied you long enough for your gorgeous view, I am so over it... NOT. The IAM was a great accomplishment for you and you were willing to share 'the ordeal' with us in the virtual world, thanks! Isn't life great?

  7. Mark [Marcus Argentus of MV]11 December 2011 at 11:45

    Geoff, what a great selection - must have been difficult to choose. somehow you have covered all the bases - family, friends, animals, and machines. Where would we be without all of those in our lives? Thank you for sharing both the pictures but, also, the story that goes with each one.
    Cheers, Mark

  8. Awesome photos Geoff. I agree with Roger, Molly is going to break some hearts. I bet she has you wrapped around her little finger.

    And Annie is adorable too. Her markings are stunning.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. "Coromandel sunset in winter", Wow! I can only imagine what it looks like in summer.
    You were quick on the shutter to catch Molly like that. She is adorable.
    I was wondering how Orphan Annie was doing, pets just know what to do don't they?
    I can't wait til you make a student pee their pants, congrats.
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. Cheers Sonja!
    Funnily enough, I jokingly said I'd buy Molly a mini-bike for her 5th birthday and I swear the look I got from her mother dropped the room temperature to below zero! Yep, cats love the company. Neighbours always feed ours when we go away but when we get back, the cats let us know in no uncertain terms that it's simply not good enough!

    Thank you! They sort of chose themselves and really reflect the incredibly varied and good year which 2011 has been.

  11. Trobairitz,
    I couldn't possibly comment about the finger-wrapping abilities! Her Dad says that he'll let her go on her first date when she's 30, hehe!

    With respect to Annie, we were watching a Joanna Lumley TV doco on cats recently. Apparently, tabbys originated in the Middle East and the "M" in the fur above their eyes was allegedly bestowed by the prophet Mohammed. No charge for this bit of trivia ;-).

    Just wait until the next post for a summer shot of Coromandel I took today when out for a ride! Yep, pure fluke with the Molly photo. I had the camera open to see what sort of shot I could get of the font and I just happened to look down and see her. Guess the accidental ones are sometimes the best.

    Yes, pets are incredibly sensitive to emotions. I wonder if our pets actually regard us as their pets??? Its a fair bet!

    Hahaha - thanks for the idea... the Examiner from Hell, hehe. Have really been enjoying your journey so far - very best wishes for the future.

  12. Geoff - great pictures! Molly is stunning and I am sure her dad is going to need a loaded shot gun to keep the boys away! The sunset picture is absolutely stunning. It is true what they say about pictures they do say a 1,000 things. I look at all of the picctures I have taken all year and they hold a lot of memories and it was hard to pick just five.

  13. Thanks Dar! I think Granddad ought to buy a shotgun too :-).

    I was the same as you, going through Picasa and trying to figure out which ones held strong memories. There were about a dozen and it was hard work to get them down to the five.

  14. Beautiful photos and moments, Molly and Annie are adorable. I better start looking through my photos :-)

  15. George:
    Many thanks. Funny how the females of any species totally captivate the guys eh?

    Look forward to seeing your photos!

  16. Nice choices. The one of Molly is adorable, and a very nice portrait.

  17. Thanks Kari - Molly is really photogenic with those killer eyes!


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