A and I Poetry Challenge – Reminder

Just a reminder that September Poetry contributions close next weekend, September 30.

This month we wrote some Limericks on seasons.

Please post your limerick on your blog, linking your URL to Ineke or Amanda’s blogs to get included in the September roundup and also for other bloggers to read.

For more information on how to participate click Here

Host bloggers are, Amanda  from Australia at


and Ineke from New Zealand at


jointly host the challenge.

Ineke mostly does the poetry in Afrikaans, while Amanda uses English.

The challenge is open to all, from first-timers up to well-advanced poets.

The Challenge runs from March to October 2018.

October is the last one for this year. Amanda will put the October Challenge up in the first week of October.

A and I Poetry Challenge

Something poetic to Ponder About


Walking Around in Whitby

Named after British explorer, James Cook, this place is as far from its namesake town locality as it could possibly be, so what is there to see in Whitby?

Join me for a walk and see….


New Zealand Whitby 137
A suburban street in Whitby


You may have read about my previous visits to New Zealand, but it is Whitby, a suburban area, located north of the capital, Wellington, that featured on our walk today.

There is strong evidence of middle income suburban New Zealand, here, but Whitby also offers some unique but lesser known features, which I was to discover on a family walk among its well manicured streets.


Coniferous trees relish a cool, temperate climate, quite different to the sub-tropical flora my kin might see at home.

Seeing them along dotted along the littoral fringe and stream that bisects this town, our minds filled with thoughts of hobbits and elves and ‘Middle Earth.’

Well, we were after all, in New Zealand!

New Zealand Whitby 078

The path, to the right, next to the tunnel of trees, along the littoral fringe.



New Zealand Whitby 077


The flowers alone are worth walking miles for….


New Zealand Whitby 140//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js


Plants like the Protea, above, and this spectacular hydrangea bush, that I struggle to grow back home, relish the cooler, more wet humid climate and seem to grow like weeds!



What is that definition of a weed?

Just a plant in the wrong place!


But it is not all trees and flowers we spotted on our walk.


The Kiwis are not at all overly formal in their manner, their sense of humour being evident in this unusual garden statue.


New Zealand 2013 088

Who wants a regular garden gnome, anyway?


ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard


Besides being named after the British birthplace of explorer, Captain James Cook, the attraction about Whitby for me, was found in the unique, natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Visible from practically any street in this locality, it is easy to be mesmerized by the distant mountains which remind me of convolutions of a green Giant’s velvet brain.

Our walk encompasses a stop at a flat-topped Spinnaker Summit Lookout, at which the mandatory photo stop was required.


New Zealand 2013 133

The mountains of green velour on the far side of the lake look as if a giant laid down a carpet and then slept on it, failing to smooth the grassy covers when he arose from his slumber.

One feels like you could rub your hand over them just to feel their soft, velour texture.

I have never seen hills like this anywhere else in the world.

It is said that New Zealand has some similarities to Norway, well, maybe not in this area…..


A backdrop of mountains and hills like the convolutions of a green velvet brain


A walk around a suburban area often gives one a feel for the personalities who live there.

The diversity of boutique letter box designs was a delightful recurring theme in Whitby.


letter box


I would like one of these letter boxes!

letter box

Walking further from the lake and Summit lookout, we spotted several Tui birds relishing the blossoms, hunting, as they were for some food.

This species of honey-eater is not under any threat, having adapted well to the urban environment in the North Island.

Wiki states that apparently the early European colonists called it the Parson Bird but, as with many New Zealand birds, the Maori name ‘Tui’ is now the common name.

[Source: Wikipedia]





After a good hour of strolling the suburban streets, Miss H and the young ‘uns were getting that glazed look in their eyes that said,” I’m soo bored” – you know the one that teens do so well, thus, a extension to our walk was quickly made to Adrenalin Forest, Porirua, on the outer edges of Whitby!!! Now it was the kid’s turn to dictate the direction of the “walk,” as the “Adrenaline forest” is an aerial obstacle course consisting of flying fox, high ropes, climbing through barrels, nets and steps, suspended above the ground, which makes for a fun and energetic few hours. The kids are harnessed with two dual locks, so it is impossible to remove both clamps from the harness at the one time, making it a perfectly safe activity, even for the most reckless individual. Furthermore, the attendants give full instructions and a good dose of practice on ground level before starting the course.

Adrenalin Forest


I venture to say it is a kids only activity, as I didn’t see any adults participating in the course.


The parents/carers were all down on terra firma, shouting encouraging thoughts above, who were hanging by the harness up to 60 feet above them in the tree tops.

The course becomes incrementally more difficult, and Miss 11 who was part of our group, piked out at Level 3, and had to be ‘rescued’ – which meant that an attendant had to climb a ladder and disengage you from the course.

Miss 13 and 16 kept going till Level 4, but were exhausted afterwards. A real endurance activity for some.



The Adrenalin forest is loads of fun if you are ever in Wellington, or Whitby surrounds.

Kids have exercise, fun, learn new skills, conquer their fears and the bonus is they are sun safe (in the shade) and cannot check mobile devices whilst they are up there!! I noted there was limited seating, (and nowhere to purchase refreshments) for adults who are watching, and the constant looking upwards was a posture most adults are not used to.

Like me, I suspect most of them could use a neck brace of sorts afterwards.

Something the young 19 year old me would not have to Ponder About

New Zealand
Restless Jo
Monday Walks

Sharing to Jo’s Monday Walks

Poetry Writing tips and Challenge for April

A and I Poetry Challenge

The A and I Poetry challenge is jointly hosted by Amanda and Ineke and is open to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced writers or aspiring poets. The challenge will run from March to October, 2018.  We will share tips, offer a monthly prompt and post link backs to your published Poetry posts.

Please scroll down to see April’s poetry writing tips.

Instructions for joining are on the Poetry Challenge Page. You are very welcome to enter.

You can write any kind of poem that you like, as the prompt is merely a suggestion. Write in any language you like; it certainly doesn’t have to be in English. As this is a joint challenge with Ineke, she will also post the challenge in Afrikaans on her blog, so if that language suits you better, visit her here.

N.B. Please leave a comment here if you wish to be included in the Ping backs for this month.



Poetry Challenge – April Prompt:

Write a poem that begins with the last thing you can remember someone saying to you yesterday. So if you can use that line two to three times throughout your poem.


Here is my Poem for April, inspired by Anie, who is one of my lovely readers: –



Anie’s Rain

Like raindrops falling on to glass, I can not fight this force

that propels me forward to the end.

Like raindrops falling on to glass, it is fruitless to fight

what I cannot control.

Like raindrops falling on to glass, each journey individual, different from another.

Some hurry, sliding past, more sort of slow and steady,

one might falter at the start, coalesce or lose identity in groups,

Softly seductive, their lifetime short, imprint merely temporary,

All one substance.

One end.

~ Amanda


I can’t wait to read what you come up with this month. Don’t forget to link back to this post, on your poetry submission post, and leave a link and comment here so Ineke, Amanda and others can find your post.



Poetry Tips

  • Write poetry as often as you can.
  • Designate a special notebook (or space in your notebook) for poetry writing.
  • Embrace metaphors but stay away from clichés ( I find this especially difficult!)
  • Don’t be afraid to write a bad poem. You can write a better one later.
  • Don’t back away from your thoughts or feelings. Express them!


Poetry Techniques –  Metaphor and Simile

Whilst there are many different styles for writing poetry, you may find one or more works for you. No matter what style or techniques you use, a poem can reach people in ways that other text can’t. It might be abstract or concrete but often it conveys strong emotions. Some common techniques used in poetry are onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, rhyming, simile and metaphor. Using metaphor and similes will bring imagery and concrete words into your writing.

The difference between simile and metaphor is explained here:

A metaphor is a statement that pretends one thing is really something else:

Example: “The lead singer is an elusive salamander.”

This phrase does not mean that the lead singer is literally a salamander. Rather, it takes an abstract characteristic of a salamander (elusiveness) and projects it onto the person. By using metaphor to describe the lead singer, the poet creates a much more vivid picture of him/her than if the poet had simply said “The lead singer’s voice is hard to pick out.”


A simile is a statement where you say one object is similar to another object. Similes use the words “like” or “as.”

Example: “He was curious as a caterpillar” or “He was curious, like a caterpillar”

This phrase takes one quality of a caterpillar and projects it onto a person. It is an easy way to attach concrete images to feelings and character traits that might usually be described with abstract words.

[Credit: Relo Pakistan]

Note: A simile is not any better or worse than a metaphor. The point to remember is that comparison, inference, and suggestion are all important tools of poetry; similes and metaphors are merely one of the tools in your poetry writing toolbox that will help.

Somethingto PonderAbout

Amanda ~

Something to Ponder About


Poetry Challenge and Entries for March

Cylinders Beach Stradbroke Island

Fellow blogger and writer from New Zealand, Ineke from scrapydo2.wordpress.com and myself, Amanda from Something to Ponder About, are jointly hosting a poetry challenge in English and in Afrikaans, in the WordPress community.

The challenge is open to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced writers or aspiring poets. The challenge will run from March to October, 2018.  We will share tips, offer a monthly prompt and post link backs to your published Poetry posts.

Below are links and snippets of March’s wonderful Poetry entries. If I’ve missed anything, or anyone, please let me know. Pingbacks have been known to fail, so it is always helpful if you leave a comment on this post, to flag that you are joining in with the challenge.





Poetry Entries for March

Take a trip through Poetry around the World. Browsing the entries will take you to Australia, South Africa, Slovenia, Denmark, India and Pakistan to read this month’s contributions to the A and I Bilingual Poetry Challenge.

  1. Ineke’s poem whispers in the mist – scrapydo2.wordpress.com
  2. Hester has written a beautiful Haiku of transient moments – hesterleynel.co.za
  3. Gerard from oosterman.wordpress.com/  writes about politics and war. You will find it posted in the comments of my challenge poetry challenge post.
  4. Eliza gave us a lovely reminder to be more accepting of our dearest ones – anitaelise.com/
  5. Amanda has a different take on friendship in hard times – wordpress.com/post/penpunt.wordpress.com
  6. Manja celebrated World Poetry Day with a poem about belonging and love –manjameximovie3.wordpress.com
  7. My contribution is about the potentials in life  – forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com
  8. For a young poet, Tanya has some salient words for everyone – https://pandapoet96.wordpress.com/
  9. Melvin tells us about the way surprising strength in everyday things –  https://melvinoommen.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/it-was/


“You told me not to be sad three times.

Does sea-sick mean to be sick of the sea?” – ManjaMexi


Would you like to join in this month?

  • Write and post a poem in any language you wish, during the month of April, adding the Tag: A and I Poetry Challenge to your post.
  • Leave a comment on Amanda’s and Ineke’s blog letting us know you are participating.
  • Please link back to this post, so we can find your entry.
  • The topic can be one of your choosing, however if you want to try a fun prompt, the suggestion for April will be posted on Something to Ponder About,  tomorrow, Monday 2nd April, 2018.


    Remember, you do not have to use this prompt, at all. The prompt is only there if you feel you want a topic to work from, or you find it hard to come up with an initial idea.


    A and I Poetry Challenge
    Ineke and I have created the above logo for the Poetry Challenge and you are very welcome to paste this onto your blog post or sidebar, so that others can also find out about the challenge, if you so wish.

    That is it!

    Oh and have fun writing!!

    N.B. Ineke and I will post link backs to the blogs who have joined in with the challenge in the poetry challenge post in the following month, so that you can all find each other’s blog posts and build a new poet’s community!

    Let us build a Poetry Community in WordPress.

    And if you haven’t had enough poetry yet, there is NaPoWriMo 


    Something to ponder about



Monday Mystery Photo – Last Time New Zealand

Every second Monday, I post a photo of a ‘mystery’ location, and sometimes a mystery object. 

I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location, or what the mystery object might be.

The Mystery Photo, this week, comes from Arundhati and you’ll find her at the awesome blog: Thetravellingdiaryofadippydottygirl

Thanks so much for a great photo to make us ponder about.  And here we are continuing with another statue theme, this week.

 Arunhati Dippy Dotti Girl

Can you guess its location; do you know who it depicts or why?

If you do guess correctly, I will link back to your blog in the follow up post, when the answer is revealed.

Comments will be released in the intervening Monday (Australian E.S.T.), so as not to spoil the fun for latecomers. If you have a travel photo you would like featured on Monday Mystery, please leave a comment or contact me on my email which you will find on the Contact page. You can find my email by hovering over my Gravatar and viewing my Profile information.


Previous Monday Mystery Photo

Ineke from iscrap2 supplied us with a great challenge this time, to determine the location for the following statue.  Some readers thought it was a European  Statue, or even Icelandic, and I have to admit, this one was quite a tricky location, but if you have been following my blog posts recently, you would have found a clue there. 

The statue is actually located in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington, New Zealand. Ineke tells us about the location of the statue –

“It stood in front of the Upper Hutt station since 1979,
called the Maternity statue, depicting a mother and two children.

The station walkway has been completed the end of last year. The statue has been moved southwards to a new area and is more visible to pedestrians and motorists.” -Ineke

 Ineke 1

The clue for the location of the photo, is that it is also the subject of the logo for a poetry challenge which runs once a month for six months on Our blogs: Iscrap2 and Something to Ponder About.

A and I Poetry Challenge

Join in, if you wish! It is something you could ponder about.

Information on the challenge can be found here