Tag Archives: wellington

Greetings from the Middle of Middle Earth

The Hobbit fever/mania has been building up here in Wellington, New Zealand culminating in the world premier of The Hobbit today.  And according to our daily paper today’s date is Hevensday, Blotmath 28,2012.

To get into the spirit of things today we went for a walk to see for ourselves and to enjoy some of the excitement.  We walked through the crowds gathered at the side of the red carpet that has been laid along Courtenay Place in the central city.  It was a beautiful Wellington Day – as we say “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day” whether we are talking about our weather, our sporting heroes or our movie friends.

Some 100,000 fans have flocked into our city to see the stars arrive for the premier.  Streets around The Embassy Theatre are closed to traffic and many people have firmly staked their place along the red carpet having been there since early yesterday evening hoping to get really close to the stars who will walk along the red carpet to The Embassy where the premier will be shown.  Click here to see what we are watching at 6 pm on Wednesday 28 November 2012.  Earlier Sir Peter Jackson talked about making the movie, then a chat with Sir Peter’s daughter, Kate and some of the cast members and also some of the others who were involved in bringing this story to the screen.

All around town there are flags declaring the is Middle of Middle Earth, people are sporting tee-shirts also declaring this, NZ Post have a series of stamps both to use and to keep commemorating this event.  Passengers flying into  Wellington International Airport are greeted by a gigantic sculpture of Gollam

Hobbit at Wellington Airport

and even the National Carrier, Air New Zealand has had a 777-300 aircraft painted  in Hobbit-theme initially to bring cast and crew to Wellington for the premier, and after to fly the Auckland Los Angeles London route.  They also released the “Unexpected Briefing” in-flight safety video – viewed over 10 million times on YouTube.  If you haven’t seen it, click on the link now.  It’s really innovative.

Air New Zealand HObbit decorated plane

Last week a huge installation appeared on the verandah of The Embassy Theatre – including a Gandalf sculpture and what appears to be the front of a Hobbit house.  Again traffic was stopped in the surrounding streets to allow this installation to happen.

So now we are off to get together a simple meal so we can enjoy the rest of the partying.  As my friend lives only one street away from Courtenay Place, the centre of the activity, we can hear the noise from his apartment.  But it is very happy noise telling us that thousands are enjoying themselves and the spectacle.

And here’s a sneak preview of the trailer for the movie.  Enjoy!



Tulip Time at The Botanic Gardens

It has been a perfect Spring weekend – sunshine, warmth and little wind. In Wellington we are very fortunate to have not only the bush and the Town Belt in which to wander but also The Botanic Gardens. Today we took ourselves off to the Gardens to ooh and ah over the magnificent display of tulips.  Words are not necessary…

TulipsYellow tulips

The Gardens were teeming with people; young couples, older couples and definitely old couples, families with children all sizes and ages and dogs of every breed and some unknown breeds.

Saturday Again..

OK so it’s Saturday again.  Where did this week go?  Must have been  having fun!

Six word Saturday button

If you want to play along either click on the above image or go to http://www.showmyface.com/.


A couple of days ago  I wrote about a very simple pleasure bestowed on me by two little girls and I thought how lucky I am to live where I do, rather than in a retirement village surrounded only by other ‘oldies’.

So to Saturday.  Today started out as grey and very windy so as is my wont, I stayed in bed with my book having been brought breakfast –  juice, coffee and toast  – until well into the day.  When I did surface the wind was blowing and I thought it would be a stay at home day.

However, shortly after lunch I finished my book “The Dying Light” by Henry Porter and thought we should sally forth to the supermarket to buy whatever we needed for dinner.  While I had been reading about intrigue in the highest echelons of British politics, Prime Minister et al, my friend had been reading the daily newspaper and discovered there was a new (?) lookout on the hills above Wellington.  So we decided that we would try the walk to the lookout and then go to the supermarket.

By the time we worked out where we were going, the day had changed completely,  the sun was shining, the wind had dropped and it had become an almost perfect Spring day.

We found the new lookout Te Ahumairangi and marvelled at the sight of the city spread in its glory in front of us.

We also found this great place to walk Lotte without her lead.  She was really excited as she rarely is off the lead when out of the house.  On the walk we met several people exercising their dogs, so Lotte has a whole lot of new friends to meet on her walks in future because we will certainly be going back to this area of the town belt.

I have written before about how lucky we are in this capital city to have the town belt and how so many of the citizens fail to take advantage of the peace and serenity that it offers us in this busy world that we inhabit.  We certainly appreciated it today – the wind was absent for a short time and the sun shone.


My rainbow

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Wet Wild Windy Wellington Weekend

Well it’s the second weekend of Spring but somebody forgot to tell the powers that be.  We should be out and about smelling the spring flowers, enjoying the balmy weather and wearing our lighter spring attire.

Alas, both yesterday and today the fickle Wellington weather has proven to us once again that it cannot be relied upon.  Yesterday we had wild winds and today we have had torrential rain and gale force winds.  We have hunkered down only venturing out when absolutely necessary.  Fortunately for me (and Lotte) my friend is quite happy to take her out for her walk while I sit reading my Charlie Fox novel.

I have written before about Zoe Sharp’s protagonist Charlie Fox  and today I read Fifth Victim.  At the end of the earlier novel – Fourth Day – Charlie’s lover Sean Mayer was critically injured and now lies in a coma.  Charlie is attempting to come to terms with this as she sits at his side each day hoping for some sign of life and/or recognition from him.  But he lies unmoving and unresponsive and she wonder what will become of her without him.

Her boss, Parker Armstrong head of the Close Protection Company, Armstrong-Meyer determines that Charlie needs to do something and so he assigns her to guard a rich young woman.  The young woman, Dina lives in the Hamptons with her  mother and fills her days riding her champion horses, shopping  and attending social  functions and parties.   Because of a spate of kidnappings among the children of the fabulously wealthy set in which her daughter moves, her mother is fearful that she might be the next  victim

While Charlie strikes up a friendly relationship with her charge she is hard put to keep her out of harm’s way and when another of the set is kidnapped and brutally murdered Charlie must unravel the mystery of who, what and why.

This is another well written, fast paced novel that is hard to put down.  The very thing to fill in a wet, wild, windy, Wellington day.

Obviously, I am completely taken with Zoe Sharp’s character and can’t wait for the next book.  I hope you are sitting at the computer writing away now Zoe.

Related Posts


More on Weddings

This is the post I originally wrote on Sunday and then after it was posted, I got cold feet and changed it.  However, I do know that some of you read the original before it was deleted and don’t appear to have been offended by it.  So I thought I would re-post it. The changed bit comes after the wedding quotes. It might be a little different to the original but you get the idea.

“I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.”
~Author Unknown

For several years I acted as the Wedding Coordinator at an historic church here in Wellington.  New Zealand is a very young country, so historic in this instance is only some 140 years.  However, I enjoyed my time there and loved being involved with so many brides and grooms.  Each year we had around 90 weddings, so there were plenty of people for me to interact with.

For whatever reason, today I found myself looking through some of the poems that had been read at the ceremonies.  Of course, there were those that were used again and again, eg  from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

“….Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two…”

and the Apache Blessing

“Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you….”

and of course 1 Corinthians 13

“… Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

And many others.

And then I wondered about synchronicity being at work.  When I opened my emails today I found this. I apologise wholeheartedly to my blogging friends in Virginia but it is posted without malice.

Have a good day

An Earthquake.

On Tuesday evening we had an earthquake.  Quite large as these things go.  In fact is was 7 on the Richter Scale.

Map of New Zealand

The long, rolling quake, at 230 kilometres deep, was centred around New Plymouth (that’s the sticking out bit on the western side of the North Island)  and was felt throughout the lower North Island and upper South Island. We are told that buildings shook and evening workers reported being shaken about in their offices.

The first I knew about this large shake was when a friend called me shortly after 10.40pm to ask if I was alright.  “Yes” I replied “Why wouldn’t I be?”.  You see I hadn’t felt a thing but so far haven’t spoken to anyone else who was unaware of the quake.  So what does that say about me?  Oh Lotte rushed into the bedroom where I was preparing for bed, but I thought it was because she had just realised I wasn’t in the room with her.

New Zealand has always been known as the Shaky Isles and as Wellington sits firmly on a fault line we are all aware that at some time – whether now or in 100 years time – the city will experience a large earthquake.  However, this latest one, felt by so many did little damage.  And it was larger than the one that devastated Christchurch and resulted in the death of 185 people in February 2011.

We now have a host of predictions about earthquakes and our preparedness (or lack thereof).  We are told that it could take 40 days to restore the water supply to even a basic level, while road access could take up to 120 days, according to “worst case” predictions presented to the region’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, following Tuesday’s quake.

That could leave Wellington residents or commuters trapped in the city for months, and dependent on water rations being distributed by authorities for about six weeks.  Grim predictions indeed.

But for most of us, we go about our usual business heedless of the many minor quakes that shake our city regularly.  But are we being foolhardy?  and how many of us have survival items readily available in case of such a disaster?  I suspect that if I did even a small poll amongst my friends and family, most would be aware of what should be in a disaster kit, but many would not have made any provisions for surviving a disaster.

“We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.”
Abraham Lincoln

What a Difference a Day Makes


“What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain.”
As sung by Dinah Washington

After yesterday’s miserable Moaning on Monday post, Tuesday dawned with sunshine and no rain.  And after a good night’s sleep I was back to normal, looking for the positive in all things.

After a morning sitting at the computer beavering away for my real estate friend, Lotte and I went for our usual walk this afternoon.  I have talked written before about the bush that surrounds our city and the great walks that are available to us.  So we rugged up warmly (very cold again today) and set off.

Central Park, Brooklyn, NZ

We started our walk in Central Park (named after the area of the same name in New York).  The park separates Brooklyn (where I live) from the city.  The park was established in 1913 on Town Belt land, the park features among other things, a set of wrought-iron gates at its main entrance: gifted to the city and its inhabitants in 1920 by the then  Mayor, John Pearce Luke.

It is interesting to note that during World War II, American forces established a military camp in the park between 1942 and 1944. In October 1942 building work started with an initial requirement to accommodate 416 men of the US Marine Corps. The partly built camp could accept some occupants by 22 November 1942, and by July 1943 it could accommodate 540 personnel.

And just for fun

If you live in Brooklyn, New York where is the furthest you can go from your home  yet still arrive in Brooklyn? The answer is Brooklyn, Australia, about thirty miles from Sydney.  The distance is about 10.530 miles.

And the second furthest?  Why Brooklyn in Wellington, NZ.  The distance between Brooklyn, NY and where I live is about 8,946 miles.

Now back to our walk.

It was late afternoon; the sunshine had disappeared and it was shortly before sunset.  The sun set today June 26 at 5 pm.  The trees were pretty bare and in places the fallen leaves which were damp were rather treacherous to walk on.

Lotte has to be kept on a lead in this park but in Tanera Park in Brooklyn she can roam in the designated dog area without a lead.  So we left Central Park and went into Tanera.  There Lotte saw a couple of friends and two very large strangers.  I am constantly amazed that my little dog thinks she is the same size as these Rottweilers, Dobermans (Dobbermen?) et al that inhabit our world.  But after an initial sniff, they seem to get on well.

Feeling thoroughly invigorated, but very cold, we returned home to our warm house for hot chocolate for me and water and a sleep in front of the fire for Lotte.

So yes, this has been a good day and quite a different day to yesterday.

“Every day is a new opportunity.  You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again.”
Bob Feller, American Baseball Player. 1918 – 2010

Saturday again!

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

Just a typical winter Saturday in Wellington NZ

I rained heavily through the night.  Not that I heard it as I was in a deep, dreamless sleep for about 7 hours.  But this morning the evidence was there.  All the cars parked in the street were wet!

Toast and marmalade

I got up and made some tea and toast to take back to bed with my book for an hour.  Soon I was disturbed by the patter of hail on the roof.  That was so strong and hard that it left a white coating on the patio.

Wind blowing cloud

via Clipart

Having been disturbed I got up.  The hail and rain had gone to be replaced by (almost) gale force winds.  They were so strong that the patio furniture was blown around.

And now the sun is shining brightly.  So what else will the weather have in store for us today?

Sunny, Busy Saturday

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go. If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

                      RUNNING, WALKING SHOPPING – IN ONE DAY
That looks good but I must hasten to say that I didn’t do the running.  After a trip to the garden centre (again) where we had lunch of tomato and basil soup,  we went for a drive around the Town Belt.  This is an area of some 3,000 acres set aside by the City Fathers in 1840 (or thereabouts) to keep as recreational areas for the people of Wellington.  Click here  to see and hear our local MP discussing plans for this area.
Lotte dressed

It was cold so Lotte had on her red jacket

 I have written before about the joys of walking in the bush that surrounds our city, and today was no exception.  We parked the car and went for a walk.  Imagine our surprise when we suddenly encountered a host of runners pounding down the path towards us.  We couldn’t find out who the competitors were or even what the race was, but we were told by an official that these runners had just completed 5 kms of a 10 kms race through the bush. 
The terrain there is anything but level and these runners were working hard going up and down the hills.  We left them to it and continued our walk in a leisurely fashion.
golf ball plant
So,  the shopping was at the Garden Centre where I bought two reasonable sized pittosporum each in the shape of a golf ball.  As part of my Christmas present, my daughter presented me with two garden pots and a gift card to purchase plants to put in them.  My excuse originally was that while I had on my Big Red Boot  I couldn’t go to the nursery but that excuse has been lost for several months now.  So today I decided this was the day.
Lotte really loves the garden centre and the people who work there love her.  She sat quietly while we had lunch and then wandered around with us taking it all in – well I guess she was really checking out which dogs had been there since her last visit.
The running was done by the harriers and other crazy fit and enthusiastic runners competing in this race.
And the walking was a leisurely stroll with my friend and my darling companion Lotte.  Another almost perfect day.  And as one of my favourite authors says:

Happiness is – That’s just it–
You can’t drive it, you can’t wear it, you can’t live in it,you can’t drink it,
smoke it, snort it, you can’t travel to it.
Happiness is the experience of the journey.
The experience of  happiness is the result of how you look at things.
When I look at something I say, can do,no problem;
that’s not going to make me unhappy.
Happiness is a choice!
Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and writer and author.
1933 –

Wet, Windy Wednesday in Wellington

After a few lovely sunny days the rain has returned to Wellington.  We awoke to pouring rain and Lotte decided to stay just where she was.

Lotte in bed

You expect me to go out in that?

But it is Wednesday so no such luxury of staying snug in bed with my book for me.  I have to pick up grandson or maybe grandsons from school and then spend the afternoon and evening with them.  I’m not complaining.  I love Wednesdays but would prefer the sun to shine when I am with the boys as it did last week.

And the wet weather is not confined to our area.  Many parts of the North Island are coping with floods, road closures, landslips etc etc.  So I shall put on my raincoat and put Lotte’s raincoat on to her and we will go for our walk.

But I don’t think we will venture very far.

Stormy beach

The beach near us will be badly blown with stormy waters and while that is lovely to look at from inside the house, it will not be pleasant to walk in.

Khandallah Bush Walk

The bush will be dripping and most unpleasant.

So we will be walking around the streets of Brooklyn for a quick short burst.  I wonder who we will meet today.

Must rush, so until tomorrow when I do hope we will see a rainbow, here is mine to cheer you.


My rainbow

As sunrise follows the night, the rainbow will always follow the rain.  Just look for it – it will appear.
Judith Baxter