Archive for the ‘Wellington’ Category

I’ve shown Ti Kouka or cabbage trees before. Quite recently in fact. But I find in my “Trees” photo file there are a lot of cabbage trees, especially ones snapped recently. I could, of course, eke these out, providing material for four different Thursday Tree posts, rather than one. But today I’m combining them all. There are always more cabbage trees in different lights for future posts. I love their sculptural, spiky, shapes. I love them crystal clear against bright blue winter skies. I love their glow with the low winter light coming through their leaves. And I love the shadows they create. I hope you do too.

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

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Well, NZ has had new cases of community transmission, and so Auckland is in a form of lockdown again, and the rest of the country is at what we call Level 2, which means we can do pretty much everything we would usually do, except a) visit rest homes, and b) enter public places without social distancing. What I have noticed here in Wellington, where there has been no community transmission (as far as we know), is that people are more casual about maintaining social distancing or using contact tracing apps than we might otherwise have been. It’s a little disappointing, as no-one wants this to run loose in the way it has in Victoria, Australia or the rest of the world. I suspect that as soon as we hear of a case in our city everyone will start to behave a little better!

As a result, the PM announced today that our election will be delayed by a month. It probably had to be done, but I hate election campaigns, and ours was just ramping up (yes, we only have about a four-week long campaign!). The US AND the NZ election occurring in the same year and within a few weeks of each other is going to be stressful!

I really appreciate other writers’ great lines. I read one this morning, describing the opposition politicians’ suggestions of a conspiracy therapy as stooping “lower than a base isolator.” I think that’s a great description, almost uniquely NZ (base isolation was pioneered here), and probably only those in earthquake-prone countries are aware of base isolators’ existence. I hope I remember it, and remember to use it in the future. I am not above plagiarism when the writing is clever!

Aware that being able to travel freely (except to Auckland) is a privilege in these times of potential lockdowns and travel restrictions, my husband and I decided to go for a brief drive up the coast on the weekend, to take a walk along the beach, and drive back over a different road. It was a cold day, necessitating a scarf (an unusual requirement this winter) and windbreaker, and mildly windy, which of course set my eyes streaming. The sun came out later in the afternoon, but it was struggling to burst through the clouds as we took the steep Paekakariki road home. Stupidly, I had decided not to take my camera, but found these patches of sunlight playing on the calm Tasman Sea looked beautiful. So my phone had to suffice as my camera. I don’t think it did a bad job, do you?

View of Kapiti Island

I haven’t done any baking for a few weeks. So this afternoon, as my husband is at golf and once I have finished my Microblog Monday blogging, I’m thinking of trying a new chocolate cookie (NOT chocolate chip) recipe. In fact, I’m keen to try new recipes all round, having slipped back into my usual cooking habits with one or two COVID-acquired dishes now part of my repertoire (ie Klara’s Slovenian Bread, and home-made pizza dough). I have a new food magazine subscription that was chock full of recipes I want to try, so I have plenty of inspiration! Happy Monday!

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Week 13 of Blogging with Friends

Today is a public holiday, giving New Zealand a long weekend. After the lockdown, and with domestic travel approved, many people took the opportunity to leave town. We didn’t, though we’re planning (hopefully) some days away sometime soon. The weather was predicted to be very bad, so when Saturday dawned bright and sunny, we decided to take advantage of it, and go for a walk. We took this particular walk for the first time just a few weeks ago, when lockdown was finally lifted and we could leave our suburb.  It felt remote and safe, yet liberating, so was perfect for what we needed at the time. I suspect I’ll always associate this walk with the 2020 pandemic, lockdown, and freedom.

First we drove down the gorge from our suburb, along the motorway that tracks the faultline and the western shore of the harbour, then turning off to go east, along the Petone foreshore, and down the eastern side of the harbour, past the seaside suburbs nestled into the hills and native bush there, till we got to the end of the road.

From there, we went on foot. The unpaved road is gated, but only locals are, I think, allowed through. We walked south, and from that side of the harbour, we look through the heads of the harbour, across the ocean straight down to the South Pole. On Saturday, one or two mountains from the South Island were clear. They were capped with snow, the white peaks sharp against the blue sky.  As soon as I saw this scene, I kicked myself for not bringing my camera, and its zoom lens. Though if you click on the photo below, you can just see it in the distance.


The shore is stony – not quite sandy, although in spots there is coarse black sand, and not very rocky.


Shags stand on the few rocks there are, sunning themselves, and enjoying the mild winds, until my photographic efforts caused them to fly off.

There are piles of driftwood, and some hardy plants that I didn’t actually photograph.

IMG_20200530_124207-01 pencarrow

We could walk along the beach, but that would be hard work, and risky on dodgy ankles. Besides, the track is clear and smooth, and allows us to keep up a good pace. It winds around the (sadly) gorse-covered hills that come right to the coast, where the occasional intrepid sheep can be spied on the steep slopes. At times we are shaded from the wind, and welcome the relief and the warmth from the sun. That’s when I think it would have been nice to have brought a picnic. Other times, the wind whistles around us, inevitably causing my eyes to water, and by the end of the walk, my ears start to ache from the cold.

The sea is a deep blue, and the sky is a strong blue, interspersed with clean white fluffs of cloud, and the sun – so far from us at this time of year – is very low. There’s not much going on in the harbour, not out close to the entrance. It feels peaceful, private and remote. We could walk further, to get to the lighthouse, and will do that one day, but not today. There are things to do at home. After about 40 minutes walking south, we turn and head back to the car. Our return walk is just as pleasant, and I stop to snap some photos. But walking into the bright sun makes me squint. So much for the grey clouds and rain that were supposed to arrive.





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