Mara's Musings

Mara Kelland is a folksinger/harpist/pianist and more from Auckland, New Zealand. This is where she shares bits and pieces.
Recent Tweets @lavoixhumaine


“There is this new movement that is trying to teach people about the dangers of cutting their daughters. It is good for us to be able to discuss these things in school. We have been able to form our own opinions about the issue.”

Neshwa, 15, is one of millions of girls around the world to have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). She hopes to become a doctor. Let girls be girls: #GirlSummit

I like this one!


First you must love yourself

before you can love another truly.

First you must find your worth

before you can find your value duly.

First you must know yourself

before you can know another’s beauty.

First you must love yourself

before you can love another truly.

-Jerry Harris III

It’s almost here! an accessible camera for the blind. And it comes in a product that lots of people use - the iPhone.

With the iPhone’s built-in screenreader technology, VoiceOver, and a little app, the talking camera is here!

Here’s the story. The iPhone camera is accessible and it’s quite a good one - has 8 megapixels on the iPhone 5/S/C. The camera itself is accessible with VoiceOver. Problem comes when trying to name the photos. IOS names them with the date and time stamp but this is not really useful to blind photographers.

Enter PikSpeak Camera. This is the app that you can use as you would your iPhone camera. only difference is it records audio at the moment of shot so the problem of naming photos is pretty much over! You can audio tag your existing photos and when you go through the gallery inside pikspeak camera it plays the audio tags.

You can even share them on FaceBook and Twitter. Only thing I want is integration with instagram to share the images.

In an aside there have been apps emerging over the past few months that do the same job as PikSpeak camera. One, specifically designed for blind people, is called Talking Gallery but that’s only available in the US.

So I am having much fun tagging photos. Thanks to the developer.

Last year we began work on remodelling our house - what a mission! All the lino was replaced by tiles which my mother says are like coffee - smells great but tastes awful. She said she should never have made them white. The tiling took some 6 weeks - maybe longer - and now some of them are broken. [Well just a couple]. And the grout came out so now they have to be regretted.

After the fixes it’s time for the wallpaper. It’s such a pain and now I am living out of cardboard boxes. Much fun!

This is something I found on the blind film critic’s tumblr. Enjoy…

Hello to all on tumblr- That’s a sign I really have nothing to say when I start with that. For isn’t a blog s’posed to be a column? A column doesn’t have hellos in it, does it?

I am rather busy teaching piano and . training to get better.

Interestingly this month, June 2014, is audio Month on audio boo. It’s a time, kinda like NAWRIMO but, but instead of writing novels in a month people post audio every day for a month. Have been helping people out setting up Tumblrlogs and stuff to do with IOS.

But now to the point, I think tv is so stupid. Specially Police 10-7. Police 10-7 for those who don’t know is a show in Aus/NZ that is about the cops and what they do and why, sometimes why. Mostly it’s about drunken people or noise control incidents which the police break up. The funniest part is that they edit out all the cursing and swearing particularly the F-word but they didn’t edit out the C-word which I think is even worse.

Have also been discovering which is kinda cool. I have catalogued on it all my adult reading material and some I have borrowed from the libraryy. Have rated a lot of it but not written reviews…yet.

A stormy day

I have some great news! I have 5 piano students and all are progressing okay.

This month of June is AudioMo over on audio boo - a bunch of people posting audioblogs for month every day. I decided to do it this year and am in a day late.

In other news Di Brown, my friend from up north, came down here for the weekend and we made lots of music, shopped and had fun!

That’s about it for this post. Hope everybody is well!