Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

It’s been a busy week or two. I just had time after our Foodie Escape to catch up with the laundry and clean the house before my sister arrived. It was supposed to be a visit with her daughter (Charlie) and husband, for us all to go see the World of Wearable Arts (WOW) show, but there was a scheduling conflict, so Charlie and her dad ended up in Auckland at a Hockey tournament, and my sister visited with us solo. Which wasn’t a bad thing for her, because we had a lovely adult sisters time together!

So Y, the Husband, and I headed off to WOW together on a miserable, rainy night. It was a fabulous show, with great lighting, choreography, aerialists and singers backing up the Wearable Arts, all of which were amazing, some of which were hilarious (a fence post and fence), all of which were inventive, maximalist and minimalist, colourful and monochrome, made out of a wide range of materials. Taking binoculars definitely enhanced our enjoyment of the evening. We felt quite smug about that, as our seats (booked relatively late) were not near the front, but with the binoculars we could still make out surprising details of the art pieces. (It’s hard to call a fence post with barbed wire a garment!)

Travel Tip: If you ever come to Wellington or New Zealand in September (not always the best time to visit, unless you are a skier), be sure to schedule in a night at WOW. It is one of a kind, attracts entries from all over the world. You won’t regret it.

My Daily Delights blog has more info both on WOW, and the delights of my sister’s visit.

This morning a kaka visited our oak tree. It is now full of tiny new pale green leaves, and if only I’d had my camera at hand, the contrast of the big brown parrot against a sea of pale green would have been a beautiful photo. I realise that being a photographer perhaps means that I am just as consumed by the shots I don’t get as by the ones I do. That’s not a positive way of thinking, but I have the picture in my head, and that is a bonus, I guess!

How is it October already? And I know that in September I said I wasn’t ready for spring, but we have … wait for it … snow forecast in two days time. Given that the last time it snowed (properly) in Wellington was 2011, this is ridiculous! I know it will be cold. But I’m not holding my breath that we’ll actually see snow, especially now I’ve been stupid enough to mention it. Watch this space!

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It’s been over a year now since we sold my in-laws’ house. Apart from the people, I miss the lemon tree, and its “impossible to eat” fruit. The last ten or twenty years it has been unnecessary for me to buy lemons because there were plenty from this tree. I make a lemon slice that is delicious, I love lemon cakes, lemon in stir-fries, lemon in drinks, and lemon to make buttermilk (when I haven’t thought in advance to buy some) to make scones. Earlier this year, there was a real shortage of lemons in New Zealand due to supply chain issues (they were out of season in New Zealand, and import deliveries were delayed), and I really felt the loss of this tree. I hope the new owners are enjoying the copious harvest of their new lemon tree.

PS. I might talk about the trees behind the lemon tree sometime in the future.

Another in the Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here this week.

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Summer finally arrived in Wellington last week. This often happens – we don’t get a stretch of decent weather until after Christmas. We had a lot of warm/hot (for us) days when staying with my sister. The heat there was humid, and it was hot and sticky. My husband and I wilted a little in the heat, as does my sister. Swims were welcome. But needless to say, we were pleased to get home to a chilly night to sleep easily!

A few days after we arrived home, we drove over the hill on New Year’s Day for a gathering enjoying a hot (30+C/ 86+F) but very gorgeous afternoon of food and wine and croquet. Much more civilised than a party the night before! And a return trip is scheduled.

But the temperatures warmed up last week, and we had wonderful days, and thankfully, cooler nights. Everything felt summery. We’ve had three barbecues in one week, which is about two more than we had the whole of last summer! Given the stable temperatures and lack of wind, I even planned a barbecue and meal to be eaten outside on the deck knowing that my niece and her family were visiting Wellington on the same night as my sister and her family were staying the night. But we were told the wrong night. No problem, we said, and we shifted our plans by a day. But in Wellington, oh, what a difference a day makes!

The temperatures plummeted, and my sister and family – who had swum in Lake Taupo on their drive down – arrived and immediately started shivering, and went looking for jeans and sweatshirts. (The South Islanders were fine!) Then it started raining. I should have made a big curry, I thought, as we looked at cooking all the food in the oven rather than on the barbecue. Fortunately, a break in the weather gave the Husband time to go cook everything outside, with help from the Great-Nephew and step-Great-Nephew. The rest of us stayed inside in the warm!

Weather in New Zealand is nothing if not changeable. Weather in Wellington is changeable, but with smaller temperature variations. I read or heard somewhere recently that long-term Wellington residents develop a narrow temperature tolerance – about five degrees either side of 15C (60F). That’s not a total exaggeration, I have to say! Today, though, we’ve had a lovely 23C (74F) which is about the perfect summer temperature to me, the windows are all open, and the birds are chirping in the trees. I’d better finish this, because I think a drink on the deck might be calling to me. And who knows, it might be too cold tomorrow!

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