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Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

One of the nicest things about coming home after our Christmas away was being greeted by our favourite trees. As soon as we came off the motorway, we saw pohutukawa in bloom, and as we turned into our street, it felt as if they were forming a guard of honour on both sides of the street, welcoming us home.

In the north of New Zealand, where we had spent Christmas, and where pohutukawa originally grew naturally, their blooms had fallen weeks ago, so I had missed their green and red Christmas cheer. There are very few in the South Island, where I grew up, as I was reminded when we had my niece and her family visit last week. “So that’s what all those red trees are!” she said.

They have been planted profusely and thrive here in Wellington, and late December/January is full pohutukawa season. Hence my blog header at this time of year. A transplant from the South, pohutukawa have featured in some major events in my life, and I have taken them to heart, as many of you who have read me for a few years or more will know. So a few days after arriving back home, when I went on a walk on my usual route, I snapped away at the trees I now love. I noticed the gold tips on the blooms – red, green, and gold, very seasonal indeed. There’s the bloody aftermath of their flowering too – the red footpaths and gutters of the fallen flowers, and the patterns they create on top of cars parked under the trees themselves.

Note: Indian readers might recognise the name of this street. I live in a suburb filled with names from India, and its surrounding countries. It was originally settled in the mid-late 1800s by people who had lived and worked in India.

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

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Summer!

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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It’s summer. It’s late December between Christmas and New Year. I’m with family. Normal transmission shall resume later this week.

Some snaps from the last few days:

Our view at dinner tonight
Dinner at the beach
A Christmas Day walk
My swimming spot yesterday
Christmas Eve sunset
A tui

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