2014 Approaches

R0019944So we have reached the end of another year. New Years Eve is a time of great celebration. A time of reflection. A time to make new resolutions and commitments. And for others, just another day.

Thanks to all of you who drop in every now and then to look and read mikehawkey.com. The year, in reflection, has just flown by.

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“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
― Brad Paisley



A visit to Western Springs

River by springsTackling the on and off rain/sun this time of year often brings, we took a visit to Western Springs (once known as Waiorea prior to European settlement). A place I have posted about some time ago.

Summer well and truly here, there was a nice mix of water fowl, from small babies, to ‘teenagers’ and adults. Armed with some bread, we took a stroll around the lake/springs and I took a few snaps on my Sony Nex and old Jupiter 8 lens.

Breaking my usual posting mold, I thought I share the series I took on todays visit.

baby firstGeese were out on Mass!

baby2And very cute!

Baby3Not to mention keen for more food.

babiesSome great scenery 

over the springs

Trees at the springs trees2 at springsDucks

duck1 duck2Located right next to the Auckland Zoo and Motat, its a great place to visit for a picnic, walk or run.

resting in the grassI’ll have to go out and take some more photos for tomorrow now!









Pickling Gherkins


  1. Wash the cucumbers, remove stems and fit them into the sterilised jars. Add the onion rings, dill, carrots, cucumber slices and spices to the cucumbers.
  2. Bring the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to the boil. Pour the hot brine into the jars of cucumber and spices then seal immediately.
  3. Put the jars into a large pan full of water at 80 degrees C and sterilise for about 20 minutes on the stove. The jars should be covered by at least 3 cm of water.

Mt Vic View

As the year winds to a close, we often experience fairly changeable weather around the Christmas/New Year time.
Aside from a few drops of rain, we have been pretty lucky so far.
Taking a trip to Devonport,we ventured up Mt Victoria to see the view.

The Flower Pot Men

Flower Pot MenWe have gone a little overboard growing different types of chilli plants this year. Two such sit in these fun little pots I picked up at the local gardening store.

December 24th. Christmas eve. Reflecting back to my childhood, the 24th always stuck in my mind as possibly more exciting than the 25th. I think its the buildup, the anticipation.

I have not made it to the lights display at franklin road this year – mostly due to my back playing up and disliking walking and such at the moment. Never mind, always next year.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas – enjoy Christmas eve!


Santa in the City

Santa on QueenAn early Sunday morning wander (actually, a slow limp as I’ve hurt my back) through Aucklands CBD, Queen Street, featured a familiar face. Old Farmers Santa. A bit of old iconic legend in Auckland, this 20metre tall, 4500+kg jolly man is now 53 years old!

I recall his pre-facelift years where he had a summoning finger and winking eye – characteristics which brought about the title of being the worlds creepiest santa last decade (the size and design reminds me of Stay Puft from Ghostbusters) . Since his ‘facelift’ in 2009, his finger no longer moves, and his eyes stay wide open. A bit of a shame, but equally, probably for the best.

I don’t recall the reindeer in earlier years. Imagine the warehouse needed to store this lot when christmas is over!


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