Anticipation and preparation.

It is with mounting anticipation that I am looking forward to flying to New Zealand to spend 4 weeks visiting family and friends over there. I think of New Zealand as my spiritual home and it is 2 years since we last visited.

I already have the important part of the preparation in place having found, 3 weeks ago, a lovely couple on the “house carers” website to come in and house sit for us. After house sitting ourselves it was exciting to be on the other side,  advertising and then meeting Thelma and Alan. They retired 18 years ago and have, since then, been house sitting all over Australia. They have some great stories to tell and comparing house sitting experiences, I feel we are going to become good friends. Now the house and garden are in competent hands I relaxed. But time whizzed by and suddenly it is only 2 weeks before departure date. Time to gather the necessary documents. Print out the plane tickets, check the New Zealand bank account, gather the passports.

Then, shock horror, Jack’s passport expires in 6 weeks….

But all is not lost. After contacting the passport office we are told a priority passport can be issued in 2-3 working days. But it will cost an extra $200 on top of the passport fee. Plus a train trip to Brisbane.

Next day it is an early start to go to Brisbane. It is hot, 35C (95F) and the passport office is not easy to find. Following directions we end up in front of a coffee shop. Wandering around asking passers-by, even a courier delivery person, still no joy. Finally a friendly trio of business men come to our aid and consult their phones, then actually take us to the coffee shop!!! But looking closer there is a door behind the shop leading to a lift with a small sign saying “passport office” 17th floor. Finally, mission accomplished.

Now we can have lunch then go to the Brisbane art gallery to indulge in our love of art.

As I wander through the various galleries one word pops into my mind.


Yes the “Len’s-Artist photo challenge” is at work on my conscience again. So here is a random selection of what I noticed. untitled-1-1_5085x3814untitled-2-2_5184x3888These tiny houses had a spotlight on them that slowly dimmed turning from day to night.untitled-9-9_5184x3888


In this room these shapes swooped around the walls and a sighing whispering sound track filled the air. I thought they were sperms. When I read the caption of the installation I was totally wrong. What do you think they are?

Almost 2000 sculptures evoking birds in flight, knowledge and new ideas circling above our heads. A soundscape of wind, breathing, bird calls and indigenous language animates the space

But again it was the shadows that intrigued me.untitled-14-14_3888x5184These sumptuous, huge velvet looking wall hangings had interesting geometric shadows below them. I felt like touching and stroking them. But again, what a surprise when I went closer.untitled-13-13_3888x5184They are made of thousands of shiny metal pins of various sizes. What a monumental work of art and I did not feel like stroking them now, but I was in awe of the time and patience needed to create them.


These thousands of tiny figures I found rather disturbing with their blank expressions and child-like modelling and of course each had a shadow.

But we had been here over 4 hours and feeling a bit weary it was time to catch the train home. It was almost 5pm and the buses were pouring into the depot to take the workers home.untitled-19-19_5161x3871One last shadow caught my eye as we arrived at the train station. untitled-20-20_4898x3296

This is  my take #2 on the “Len’s-Artist photo challenge”. I would also like to join Cathy”s community at “Wander Essence”. She invites us to tell her about our anticipation and preparation for trips we are going on.



  1. Well done turning a bit of an emergency into such a worthwhile arty trip, and coming up with an original take on Lens Artists’ shadows. An extraordinary array of work. I think those little clay figures may be the the work of UK sculptor (Angel of the North) Antony Gormley. Good luck with the rest of the travel preparations. So exciting.


    • We’ve been meaning to go to Brisbane, but were waiting till the weather cooled down! But it was cool and air-conditioned in the art gallery. Didn’t make a note of the little figures sculpture but they were all Asian pacific based artists. I googled Antony Gormley and they are like his style. I am excited to be going to NZ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love museums and what amazing photos that fell into place for you there. My youngest brother lives in New Zealand, although I have never been as it is so costly to fly there from the US, but he visits every few years. My mom (when she was still here) flew with my dad a couple of times and on one of those visited Australia. I will be thinking of you and do hope you will enjoy your time away. How nice you can spend four weeks there. Have safe travels.

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  3. Exciting to be going to NZ Pauline….we have been discussing a trip later in the year too. I thought the sperm were tadpoles! They look more like that to me than birds.

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  4. How exciting about your upcoming trip to New Zealand, Pauline. What a hassle to find Jack’s passport was about to expire, so all the rush in trying to get it resolved. Also, how perfect you found a great couple to do your house sitting for you. I’m sure you will become great friends! And how exciting to find that great exhibit at the Brisbane museum, with all those amazing shadows. It’s an extra special treat that makes that passport hunt so much more rewarding. Thanks for linking to mine; I’ll link it to my post of Feb 22. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My heart almost stopped when I read about the expiring passport, the nightmare scenario. So glad you got it taken care of and also had a good trip to boot. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your trip and what a joy to know you house and garden will be in good hands.


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  6. Passport renewals here don’t take very long usually, but when you are that close to departure you can’t take any risks! I’m glad you found someone nice to look after your house and garden. Especially the garden 😀
    The bird sculpture does in fact look like the starlings that swoop over the fields here – starling murmurations are a spectacular sight. Or swarms of bees. When I get to Brisbane I shall make a visit to the gallery.

    And I love the way shadows have inspired this post.

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  7. I’d love to see New Zealand, Pauline. 🙂 🙂 One of our walking friends has family there and just left for a visit this week. But it’s outside our remit, so I’ll simply enjoy your photos and stories. Take care till then!

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  8. How exciting to have a wonderful trip to look forward to. Thank goodness you checked the passport early enough to get a new one. I know someone who turned up at the airport to leave the country without realising his passport had expired. He had to make a rush trip into the city to get a new one, at huge cost.


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