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Vogel Street Party 2015 – Dunedin NZ

Vogel Street Party 2015

Images from the Vogel Street Party held on Saturday 10 October 2015.

Daytime images in Black and White and Night time images in colour. 

This is just a sample selection I have an album on my Flickr account with 70 images and many more offline 

Paul Allen

Paulusthebrit on Flickr

Vogel Street Party 2015 PSA - 10

Vogel Street Party 2015 PSA - 4

Vogel Street Party 2015 PSA - 21

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Vogel Street Party 2015 PSA - 69

Vogel Street Party 2015 PSA - 59

All images ©Paul S Allen 2015 All rights reserved

The Original Gypsy Fair – Dunedin 2014

The Original Gypsy Fair travels around New Zealand every year and always visits Dunedin at Easter.

It has become a tradition for us to visit and enjoy (and purchase goods) every time they come to town.

Here are some photos of people from the fair.

Jypsy Jude
The Glass ManOld Weta HatThe Original Gypsy FairThe Original Gypsy FairGarryJossThe Original Gypsy FairThe Original Gypsy FairThe Original Gypsy FairThe Original Gypsy FairThe Original Gypsy Fair

More pictures here

The Original Gypsy Fair – Photos by

Paul S Allen

To love the unlovely

How the unlovely, the broken and the disadvantaged are treated is the measure of society.

If you go behind all our masks, behind the tattoos, the makeup, the hair, the gender, the orientation, the religion or non-religion, you will meet a human. Someone who breathes the air, has blood in their veins, eats, rests, and generally lives from one routine to another.

We are all human.

My eyes were opened one day when a feared gang member stopped outside a food shop to buy his lunch. What I saw that day was a person, who probably ordered and paid for his favourite sandwich, and looked forward to eating it.

A man with a hunger, a need, a desire for something, normal, satisfying.

I got to know this man in a small way over a few years, I knew him as a person who looked out for his friends, he was a caring man, he tried to protect youth when needed. He shared with me his concerns about children playing in a derelict building site. He had a desire to improve his circumstances and of those around him.

He was also a gang member, he wore a patch, I am sure he had earned it in a way I did not want to know about. He was an outcast from “normal” society.

What I mainly saw was the man, a human.

A desire to change from someone with a less than “normal” past, whether that be criminal or other anti-social background  (mental health especially has a stigma that people need to overcome) requires us to change our attitude, it requires us to get out of our comfort zone to reach out to the one wanting to change.

It means taking a risk.

Unless we are prepared to take a risk to reach out to others who are different from us how can we ever expect to improve our community.

To ostracize the unlovely, the broken and the disadvantaged is an indictment on the society we live in.

We need to be a community where forgiveness is a norm, where there is acceptance of the different, and where those wishing to and needing to change can find a place to do so and people who can help.

To love the unlovely is to love your fellow human. Something we are all called to do.

Paul S Allen

(aka paulusthebrit – twitter)

Technology versus the personal touch

Paul S AllenThere’s an assumption – be it in government or enterprise – that people have the understanding and the skills required to use technology.

For example, filing company returns has to be done online, and accessing assistance in some cases can only be done via a website. So many services require people to have an internet capable device/smart phone to get the best value or benefit. But what about those who for one reason or another do not or cannot get access to the internet? Should they be penalised or disadvantaged?

This is a reminder to all:

* Not everyone has access to the internet! Of those who do, not everyone has access to quality broadband infrastructure. New Zealand has one of the poorest broadband infrastructures in the developed world.

* Not everyone has a mobile phone! Not all mobile phones are smartphones.

* Not everyone has a Facebook account or is connected to the world via social media.

Now don’t get me wrong: I love technology. It can be a fantastic tool for social interaction and productivity. I love my gadgets and hardware, I love broadband connectivity. I have met (virtually) many people both here in New Zealand and all over the world because of social media. But these virtual networks will never replace real, personal and physical interactions that are important for normal human life experience.

The more I use technology, the more I start to value walking into a shop and interacting with the staff or picking up a telephone and talking to someone, rather than sending emails or status updates to each other.

The online experience should enhance offline personal interactions – not replace them.

I have been shopping around for a walking stick for my wife who has a long-term debilitating illness (Myalgic Encephalopathy / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I did not just want any walking stick; I wanted one that was practical and most importantly looked good.

We had seen a few around and found a great selection on the Disability Resource Centre website, but the small thumbnail gave no impression as to how it felt or how true the colours were. It was only when I called into the showroom in Auckland on a recent trip and spoke with the staff that I chose the right size and colour. The staff were incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and friendly, especially important for the type of purchase that I was making.

Now I have seen how this organisation works and who the staff are, I would have no problem using their website for other orders, but if I lived closer I would still prefer to call in person.

Technology can be a great benefit for many and even provide a way to communicate with the outside world, but to assume that everyone has access or adequate services is a mistake.

No matter how good your website is or how accurate the information, people often need someone to talk to, to bounce ideas around with and who can give an immediate response to questions.

Making the assumption that everyone will use your app, visit your website, read the information, or even know where to start looking, could alienate the people you need to connect with.

Social interaction doesn’t just mean setting up a social media account – it means a real person connecting with a real person.

Paul S Allen 

Also published on Idealog Magazine 


RWC Italy vs Ireland Prematch Party

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To much alreadyItaly vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch party
Italy vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch partyHopefulMayor Alex FamiltonBluestone
Italy vs Ireland Prematch partyItaly vs Ireland Prematch party

RWC Italy vs Ireland, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:RWC Italy vs Ireland Prematch party

Photos by Paul S Allen

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