Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A busy few days ...

I was sitting here at my laptop, preparing to go through a week's worth of images and decided to take a little time out to write ...

Today began at 5.45am, allowing Corryl and I to arrive at Brussels Airport at 8.30am. She flies today, leaving me far the richer in terms of having had an old and dear friend around to talk easily with, without having to explain the history of this thing or that.

Walking home, I thought through the last few days.

October 3 and I was the freelance photographer working with the British Army magazine on an interview with singer, Hayley Westenra.

October 4 was crazy busy with the Prime Minister of New Zealand attending more than a few commemorations for the 90th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele.

That was the day that began with a 6.30am breakfast, an early morning press briefing, a moving misty commemoration ceremony at Gravenstafel, followed by an ANZAC commemoration service at Tyne Cot Ceremony. I was fortunate with my place in the press area each time and was cosy-ed up next to the Television One camera crew at the second ceremony.

There were lovely people out there. Needless to say, I'd been a little worried about being the newbie who found herself eased to the back of the media scrum (a rugby thing for those who don't know) but there was no scrum and I was fortunate enough to find myself in the front row each time.

There was a lunch in Ieper with interesting people before heading off to the reburial of the Zonnebeke Five. The five were first world war Australian soldiers recently discovered in Westhoek. New Zealand's prime minister was in attendance, as was the Governor-General of Australia and it was an incredibly moving ceremony that needs more than this little post to describe all that was experienced.

From there I was whisked off to the New Zealand memorial for a small ceremony with the prime minister and met a friendly Sun photographer from England. They were hoping for an interview with New Zealand's recent Victoria Cross recipient who was also in attendance.

We sprinted away from there and yes, that was me, caught on the locked gate we had to climb in order to get ahead of the prime minister. More photographs were taken and then we were off up to the final shoot where I was once again seen sprinting in for a photograph ... clearly a warm-up for the my stint as sports photographer on 7 October.

It was a huge day that ended with me sitting on the steps of the Zonnebeke Chateau, home to the Passchendaele Museum ... listening to the free concert Hayley Westenra gave in the huge tent erected for the performance.

It was midnight before I had the images from that day processed and mailed.

October 5 and Gert, Corryl and I headed for France ... Lille to be precise, and had a lovely time wandering.

October 6 I was back in France, this time traveling with the NZ Veterans as photographer. They were a superb bunch of people and I was delighted with some of the images.

One of the delights of this particular job was the fact that the only internet connection available for my, already much-loved, little laptop was in the bar at the Peace Village in Mesen.

I had to work there ...

October 7 and we had lunch at The Old Cheese Factory, close to Zonnebeke. If you ever find yourself in the area, I recommend a meal there. The 7th was my sports photographer day ... the London NZ Rugby Football Club was over playing a French team and it was sublime to find myself in this small corner of Passchendaele, completely immersed in things New Zealand.

I was photographing the veterans in attendance and then there was the fun of following the game with my camera.

Yesterday was a day out in the city with Corryl and a continuation of the sending of photographs in the evening.

It's been hectic. Today began again at 11am and has to be a combination of working here and washing, as I get ready to head back and finish up the photography contract over the days ahead.

I hope alles goed in your world.


Alexpr said...

Hi Di,

Glad to hear you are a busy person - now that you are a pro!

Hop over to the new Blog from Italy, and look for your name down on the right sidebar.

All the best,


Di Mackey said...

Alex, you are a very kind man!

Alexpr said...


Prego, no worries.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,


ML said...

This is so wonderful, seeing all your stuff and knowing that I know a famous photographer@@@ Wow!! wish i had been with you! love ...

Di Mackey said...

Ummmm, less 'famous' and more 'employed' ... it was grand.

And yes, you would have loved it all!! :)