About The Occasional Photoblogger

About The Occasional Photoblogger – The Long Version

I have lived in New Zealand more years than he cares to remember – in fact more years than I can actually remember!

I came to New Zealand from the UK before my second birthday with Mum and my older sister. We had followed Dad who had flown to New Zealand some months before to work on the country’s new hydro schemes.

Growing up I lived in Mangakino, then Maketu, and finally the family settled in in a small town called Ngongotaha, near Rotorua,  where I completed my schooling.

I left school at 16 and started my first job as a Technical Trainee at radio station 1ZC – a commercial station of the government owned New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. For the next 26 years I was engrossed in, and passionate about, radio.

I travelled back to the UK in 1970, and lived and worked there for 4 years, first at PYE TVT in Cambridge as an electronic test engineer, then at Radio City 194, Liverpool as a broadcast engineer.

It was in Liverpool that I become a very keen supporter of Liverpool FC (as opposed to Everton!).

On my return to NZ I went back into radio and in subsequent years ended up not only starting a couple of new radio stations, but also managing one or two as well.

Then the axe fell! A major restructuring of Radio New Zealand (the re-incarnation of the NZBC) saw me lose my job, only to be re-employed by RNZ on a contract basis, and then to be made redundant again a short while later. Such is the price of industry restructuring!

A move into the electronic service industry was followed by a move into the software business in a marketing role – then the axe fell again and I was looking for another job.

Being made redundant regularly was quite stressful so I moved into retail electronics and computing, then after about 9 years doing that I took up a role in the office supplies sector.

Some Of My Favourite Things

Travel: Travel is right at the top of my list of favourite things.

By working hard and saving hard, my partner Lyn and I have been able to travel to some wonderful places and done some wonderful things such as:

  • visited the UK from where we tripped around the UK and to Prague, Rome, Paris, Seville, Gibraltar (2005);
  • toured Europe by motorcycle (2011);
  • travelled west to east all the way across Canada by train (2014);
  • cruised the Inside Passage of Alaska on a small 76 passenger ship (2014:);
  • ridden the City Of New Orleans train from Chicago down to New Orleans (2014);
  • done a river cruise from Amsterdam to Bucharest, and visited some amazing places along the way – including Dracula’s Castle at Bran in Romania (2018);
  • spent a fortnight in Turkey and enjoyed the wonders of Istanbul and hot-air ballooning in Cappaddocia (2018);
  • holidayed in Fiji and Rarotonga several times;
  • and so it goes…..

It’s a wonderful life!

Music: My musical taste is quite varied. I enjoy most jazz – both modern sophisticated jazz, as well as traditional style jazz. Although getting longer in the tooth I still enjoy (some) rock music and have a real liking for Queen. There is also space in my music library for light classics, with Sibelius, Elgar and Smetana being amongst my favourites. I also enjoy today’s version of “elevator music” – lounge-style-chill-out music that streams into our home over the internet for long periods of the day.

Television shows: Television now plays second fiddle to Netflix in our home. Like radio, which we listen to for news in the morning, television is now primarily to catch up with the evening news.

Movies: Almost any action or thriller movies that doesn’t require to much intellect to understand. In other words I enjoy blobbing out in front of a movie. If there is one movie I would call my favourite, it is a movie I generally keep ery quiet about, because certain friends and certain family members give me a hard time about it so I rarely mention its name.

Hobbies:  Photography is my number one hobby, although work commitments Monday to Friday, and chores around the home at weekends always seem to curtail my photographic activities. Roll on retirement when I’ll be able to get out and about more, as well as get back into another of my hobbies – trout fishing.

Some of my not-so-favourite things

Our current government!

Drivers who run red lights – it happens far too often here in my hometown Invercargill.

Cigarette smokers who dispose of their butts – still burning or otherwise – on the street.

Fast-food-eaters who regard the open window of their car as the quickest way to get rid of their leftovers.

Bullies.

My camera gear

My “primary” camera – now getting a little out of date technologically – is a Nikon D5100 DSLR. I use two kit lenses with the Nikon – 18-55mm zoom and 55-200mm zoom.

I have a small collection of functional 35mm film cameras. Of the functional cameras, my favourite is a cult classic – an Olympus Trip 35. The others are a Canon EOS1000, a Nikon F75 and a Yashica TL Electro X. The Yashica appears functional but I have yet to fully test it.

My “fallback” camera is an Oppo R7 smartphone – photos from which I have yet to publish here.

And just added in June 2019 – a Praktica 35mm SLR circa 1982-1984.