Friday My Town Shoot Out's first "In The Limelight"!!
Our first guest interview is with Pauline from New Zealand. You can visit her spot in the world at
When did the photo bug bite you?
I caught it from my youngest daughter, Justine, who is an avid photographer. There was no money for a camera in my family when I grew up but my grandmother had old photo albums that we looked at every school holidays. I loved the touch and smell of them, loved looking at and learning about the generations before me. My interest grew as I became more grandmotherly I think, as I became aware of my responsibility to educate my grandchildren about older generations. The passion grew as my pace of life slowed and I spent more time appreciating the beauty of the world around me.
What was your first camera and what do you use now?
I think the first was a Kodak Instamatic. I never knew where it was and when I did take photos I often forgot to take the film in to be processed. Thank heavens for the arrival of the digital age. Now I have a little Canon Power Shot A710.
Have you ever taken any photography courses?
No, I’ve always thought they would be too technical for me. But I’m thinking about joining a Camera Club, I think I’d learn better that way.
What inspires you to turn on the camera, the gotta have it shot?
Oh gosh, what doesn’t? I live in such a beautiful place, the mountains and creek never look exactly the same as the day before. On a day when the light is good I can take hours to get home from work, I just have to stop to get this or that shot...today, it might be different tomorrow. I think the locals are now used to seeing my car stopped by the side of the road. One day the local vet stopped to check that I was OK and when I explained I was trying to capture how lovely the road looked in this light, he turned around and looked, shook his head, smiled and said, “Of course” and went on his way laughing.
What is on your equipment wish list?
The whole shebang! A whizzbang camera that takes great photos despite my incompetence. Is there such a thing? I’m very much an amateur at this photography game.
Have you missed an awesome shot because you didn’t have your camera with you?
My camera is nearly always with me or nearby. Most times it’s a matter of not having the skill to capture what I know could be an awesome shot. I’m still regretting one morning last winter when I hadn’t allowed the extra 10 minutes to drive to work to compensate for creeping through the fog. As I came around a corner I could see, through a gap in the roadside trees, a bull hazily outlined on the top of a hill right in the centre of the soft ball of light that was the sun. I can still see it and still wish I had risked being late for work. After all, it would have been a first (being late for work, that is) and I know my boss would have understood.
Blogging since 23 January, 2009
Why did you start blogging?
Why did you start blogging?
A friend said, “You should start a blog, I’ll send you the link to my sister, Bev’s.” Another friend helped me get started. In the beginning it was the place I planned to put the little stories I have written for and about my grandchildren , the poems I have written and stories about my childhood, perhaps a little family history. My first post was a little story, “The creek and the mallets” which one of my children still thinks is my best. So, in the eyes of one, it was all downhill from there.
Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
Not really, it’s just where I live. If I had to come up with a clever name for it, I would never have gotten started. When my son and daughter-in-law first bought this farm and told me there was a little cottage on it for me, my house stood in the middle of a paddock with no fence around it, cows grazing right up to the doorstep. It was immediately nicknamed The Paddock. The other name I nearly used was “The barely contained wilderness” as that was what I wanted to create after the fence was erected but I didn’t know if I would succeed (I think I am well on the way now, three and half years later).
What does blogging mean to you now?
In how many words? A hobby? A weird compulsion? Hopefully not an obsession. For years I’ve had a personal need to write something nearly every day and this took many forms. My blog has centered my focus somewhat. As a rather solitary person it gives me a connection with interesting, creative people and, thanks to blogging, I have met a now dear friend. Since I discovered the Friday My Town Shoot Outs, I have the opportunity to appreciate beautiful places I would never otherwise see. I am so glad I overcame my inferiority complex about my photographic ability and joined.
What advice would you give to a new blogger?
If you have the inclination, just do it. It can be a bit like sitting down to write an essay or a school assignment. Just get started and something will come to you. Visit lots of other blogs to help clarify your vision. And remember it’s your blog, do it your way!
Do you have a favorite time of the day to write posts?
Either in the afternoon when I get home from work or after about 8.30 pm. Basically I’m a night owl so it would be later at night if I didn’t have to get up for work the next morning.
Have you set any goal about your blog? Anything you want to achieve with it?
Planning has never been my strength. No, I will just go with the flow. For as long as it gives me pleasure I will continue, the focus might change, I think it probably will shift back to my original idea when I retire. The one thing I do want to achieve is better photos.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
The answer comes in a heartbeat - to Brazil where my son Bernie lives. I am an avid follower of Ginger. I see through her eyes (or lens) what surrounds my Bernie.
What would you like to teach others?
Gee, I’m not the person to teach anything to others. I’d rather think about what others could teach me. But, if there was one secret to a contented life that I could pass on to others it would be to take pleasure in the simple things, the laughter of children, a raindrop on grass, the things that cost nothing but the moment it takes to notice them. They can enrich our lives so much.
Which adjectives best describe you?
I wonder, should I choose those I think would describe me or as others might? My oldest daughter said “Delightfully different”. I liked that, then read on. She clarified that by adding is there a word for “nearly, but not quite eccentric”? My grandson, my beloved Michael, said “insightful”. I think different adjectives apply in the different roles we have in life.
What is happiness to you?
Whew! After that last one I needed another easy question. The love of my family. Being with those I love. Knowing my children have grown into fine adults, watching their delightful children grow. Hearing the ranch slider being opened and “Hello Granny”.
What are your basic stats that you would like to share?
I am a transplanted Aussie, the oldest of 12 children of Irish Catholic descent. I’ve lived in New Zealand since December, 1973, except for four wonderful years in the mid to late 90s when I returned home. (I only had one grandchild then, Michael, and I missed him so much. When my daughter told me she was pregnant again I was practically on the next plane back.) I have four children and dozens of terrific nieces and nephews. I now also have five grandchildren with high hopes of a few more (no pressure, Justine and Bernie). I have reached retirement age and work part-time as an administrator at the local polytechnic, NorthTec.
Besides blogging or photography, what is your favorite thing to do?
Play with my grand-daughter, Georgia. Walk and talk with Georgia. Any activity with Georgia.
Favorite saying or quotation: (or any comment you would like to make)
I love Edith Wharton quotes and always have one of hers on my refrigerator door. I swap them around from time to time if I think I need to be reminded about something. My favourite is:
"Beware of monotony, it’s the mother of all the deadly sins."
And there is Maori proverb I love:
Turn your face to the sun and the shadow falls behind you.
Can I please add my appreciation for the TownBlogger Team who keep the shoot-outs going for the rest of us. I’d really like to see your names listed under a separate heading on the side bar.
I found that adjective question the hardest. Pauline