Saturday, January 26, 2013

The South of the South. Part 2.

People have been beating down my door for this. Okay, one person text me. But let's not quibble over trifling details.

We left Lake Hawea and journeyed to Ophir for new year's eve, with our first stop en route being Mt. Difficulty winery. It's a shame you can't take a photo of the amazing surrounds of Mt. Difficulty without a particularly unattractive shed getting in the frame, but such is life - not all sheds can be as great as the one you're about be introduced to.

Next stop was Clyde, one of my new favourite small towns in New Zealand. I was slightly concerned when halfway through my giant South Island cheese roll (honestly, were those large cubes of butter really necessary?) Alex pointed out that the damn could break at any time and the whole town would be in major trouble.

The issue of damn breakage means I could never live there without constant worrying. Which is a shame, because Clyde was home to one of the best sheds we encountered. Bear with me, but also, the colours are amazing!

I hope I didn't build it up too much.

Other highlights of Clyde included the angel on top of the war memorial and the latticework on the verandah of the Four Square.

We got to our little old cottage in Ophir in time for a cup of tea and some of chocolate slice the woman who owns the cottage had left. Ophir is on the Otago rail trail and is basically just one long street, but it has some pretty nice old buildings and seems to have had a bit of a rebirth thanks to the rail trail. The cottage we stayed in was old and so cutely decorated on the inside, a bit like an old lady lived there, but cute all the same. There were chickens in a big long coop that ran the length of the driveway, and a beautiful little garden.

After our tea and slice, we drove about 25 minutes to St Bathans to see some friends who have only very recently returned from overseas. I'd never heard of St Bathans before but it was very cool.

There we were, driving along empty country roads when suddenly we arrived in this buzzing little one road old gold mining town where the mine has turned into a lake.

Hannah's Dad and step-mother own the old constable's cottage and up behind that are the ruins of the old school. Everything is old, just the way I like it.

We had beer and chips outside the Vulcan Hotel which looked like a pretty popular new year's eve spot for the locals.

And I think that's enough for today. Stay tuned for Part 3.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The South of the South. Part 1.

I did get better. And the South Island was really awesome.

I think I'm going to have to display the South Island in two parts, because, as per usual, I took a millionty photos. Including some pretty great photos of sheds. So:

Some definite wins in Geraldine. The woman in the shop that is home to The Giant Jersey of Geraldine informed us that her husband knitted the jersey and she sewed it together. Team effort.

One of my favourite parts of driving through South Canterbury was the wild flowers - such amazing colours. I got a bit carried away with taking photos from inside a moving vehicle.

So there we were, driving along, listening to a Canadian post-rock band (I don't know what that means except that some of their songs are a million years long and parts sound like someone forgot to turn off the amp while plugging things in and moving equipment around) when we came around a bend and there was some brilliantly blue water. I had been occaisionally looking at the map but I didn't really know where we were and Lake Tekapo took me by surprise. I think it was the one moment where I went, 'Wow. New Zealand is pretty amazing. I can see why people go on about the scenery.' So there you go, you can quote me Tourism New Zealand. It honestly looks like someone is putting a lot of blue food colouring in the water.

The little church at Lake Tekapo is pretty cute and probably has the best view in New Zealand.

The first two nights we stayed at Lake Hawea, near Wanaka. On the first night our air bed deflated, so it was two nights of sleeping on the ground. Dreamy.

I was not a big fan of Wanaka as a town. The only building I liked was this one (I went in on the Sunday and was all, 'Oh do you think we'd need to book for dinner tonight?' and the man was like, 'We're already fully booked.' Shame.):

It seemed like 90% of the other buildings in Wanaka were glass and stone rich people monstrosities. There was no sense of history and I was not a fan. But the actual Lake and surrounds were nice. We drove around the Lake a bit for a picnic in what turned out to be kind of a marsh.

Then we walked around part of the Lake (the Lake is really big) and I took some artful nature photos.

THEN, we went for a little drive up a gravel road (turns out I love gravel roads; I think it's just been a while since I've been on one) and found this gorge.

And this shed which is the first shed in the Shed Series. It's a good shed, but nowhere near as good as the best shed, which will have to wait for Part Two. This is just like the 2012 Shortland Street finale - so full of suspense.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A less than cherry Christmas

Because I couldn't eat this Christmas (a cruel twist of fate for someone who loves food as much as me), I had to take in the simple pleasures of Christmas day - in between lying very still on various beds in great heat.

I did manage some jelly tonight though so it wasn't all bad. And it made me think of all the people a lot worse off than me on Christmas day and other days. I hope people in hospitals and hospices and nursing homes and just alone found something to enjoy today.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

All of the things. ALL OF THEM.

And now, Christmas is two sleeps away. And I am in bed sick. Good times.

Because it would take far too long to properly recap on the last month, here is a collection of photos with some context.

Lots has been going on at work - first of all, Ed designed this amazing Christmas poster.

Pip moved out. It was sad. But she made us an incredible goodbye dinner featuring pulled pork, spicy coleslaw, and lemon meringue pie.

My letter to the editor was published in the North & South, which confirms my future as an angry letter writing old lady.

I went to Auckland and ate like a Queen, saw the musical Little Shop of Horrors which was a really fun time, and saw 'Who Shot Rock & Roll' at the Auckland Art Gallery.

I went to Toast Martinborough for the third year in a row, this time with Ed, Nick and Little Claire. This is a chicken and quince pie by Ruth Pretty at Ata Rangi. Sadly there was no creme brulee this year which was honestly one of the reasons I wanted to go to Toast. I think I'll have a break from it next year, it was a good day but I need a rest from it.

We stayed at my family's house in Masterton after Toast and went for a walk to Rathkeale to walk off all the food we'd eaten.

We put on a Christmas sing-along show and I went to Auckland. Again.

To help market the show the cast and a couple of others (actually just Kate the Stage Manager and I), went and sang at the Christmas markets in Frank Kitts Park. It was really cute and some old people loved it.

We had a party under the dome in the Grand Hall upstairs at 1 Kent Tce to say Bon Voyage to BATS while we temporarily relocate to the corner of Cuba and Dixon Streets for 2013. My last week at work was spent in a makeshift office upstairs with a 12 metre drill below.

I got to go to carols at Longwood again this year, it was lovely as per usual.

Then I had a roast dinner two nights in a row, at the second one we had amazing bread pudding with chocolate, pears, and sugar syrup.

On Friday night there was some South Island road trip planning and a visit to the Telecom Christmas Tree. Then yesterday a visit to Alex for her birthday where there were some beautiful flowers and a beautiful baby. He is so cute.

Now, I'm really looking forward to feeling better (please let it be soon). I was meant to be in the Wairarapa already but I felt too sick to drive over. So I'm hanging out in bed watching first the clouds and then the fog roll in and magically disappear the harbour. It hasn't really felt like Christmas much yet, I haven't decorated a tree, didn't get time to make Christmas cards, I haven't done all my Christmas shopping, and I've only listened to A Very Cherry Christmas a couple of times. But my first 10 weeks of work have been crazy and we made a Christmas show, so that probably has something to do with it.

On the 28th I'm going down South for a little drive around (although, not so little really, one day involves five hours of driving...) as I've never been south of Christchurch. I'm excited. Let's hope Boy Alex (my Mum insists I stop calling him that, 'It makes him sound like Boy George' - but I've got too many Alexs around, I need to differentiate them somehow) and I don't get too sick of each other. I plan to take lot's of photos, so stay tuned.