Thursday, March 11, 2010

Late Summer in Wellington

The weather has been special this week, and there is nowhere on earth better than Wellington on a good day. Apart from 50 odd hours of work what have we managed to squeeze in...

Well first it was Karapoti, New Zealand's most famous bike race. 1000 people traversing the Akatarawa wilderness north of Wellington and then coming back again. Penny did great and had a big smile on her face at the end despite her dire predictions (I knew she was well and truly tough enough to enjoy it). My effort was not quite so good, breaking a chain after 5km, and completing the remaining 45km by scootering, free wheelin and pushing. I got to yarn to lots of people though, going past me.

That evening we camped with some friends at Kaitoke Regional Park, the home of Rivendell, lovely forests and copious camp spots. Its location so close to the suburbia of the Hutt is unusual, but it is a well managed and beautiful spot. And its close to the blueberry cafes of the Akatawawa valley where we brunched. They couldn't get eftpos so they gave us an iou, hears to that and pancakes.

Back into town and it was a couple of hot hours at the Newtown festivals with myriads of stalls and buskers. There is always something interesting to see in Newtown, but this was something else as were the samosas.

Then finally for the weekend a bit of opera. Clementine Lovell, a friend of a friend, we had heard her sing at their wedding, so were up for a trip over to historic Thorndon and the interesting venue of the "Moorings", which is an old ballroom/den/secret society ritual room, located at the back of an old villa, the bottom right bit of the following photo...

I have never really "got" Opera, but hearing it in the flesh is great, the distillation and magnification of emotion is intense, at times I felt the hairs standing up on the back of neck. And watch for Clementine Lovell, New Zealand's next international opera star?...

The working week started well, with Swing dancing to look forward to. We are following in the footsteps of our friends Penny and Nick. Check out this outrageous first dance from their wedding over summer, which we were honoured to attend on Waiheke Island.

It might take a while to reach quite that level...

Ah and then what else has happened, a 5km race and meetings on Tuesday, then an evening hanging around with an old friend Tom on Wednesday, checking out the local Tibetan solidarity movement and watching a film on the latest environment issues in Tibet, then an amusing time heckling at the Backbenchers political debate....its easy to keep busy!

1 comment:

Bob McKerrow said...

A busy week Jamie. I hope you also celebrate the brave feats of Rifleman McKie, who showed that Kiwis can still tough it with the best soldiers in the world.

Bob