Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Lord of the Rings Plane

Hi there

It's a long time since "The Lord of the Rings" movies put New Zealand on the map.  I remember when publicity came out for the movies, I was ambling through The Cutting (the entrance way to Miramar, just beyond the Miramar Wharf).   I looked up at an Air New Zealand plane appoaching the airport runway, and flying low.

On the side of the plane, from top to toe, were pictures from the Lord of the Rings movie.  There was Legolas and Frodo, and many great scenes.

I was at Queenstown Airport recently and in a glass case beside the cafe was a replica of The Hobbit plane.  It brought back memories.

It's a crumby photo and I took it into the light, but if ever you're at Queenstown Airport, you'll know to hunt for it.

Friday, May 11, 2018

outdoor markets

Hi there

Whilst I was ambling around the Queen Victoria night and day markets in Melbourne, it got me thinking about other markets I'd been to.  Great successes and abject failures.

Some New Zealand markets consist of only half a dozen stalls selling limp fruit and $2 shop products.  Other markets, like the Martinborough February and March country fairs, have hundreds of stalls selling everything short of escorts and elephants.  When I'm driving around the North Island on a Saturday or Sunday, I often chance across small markets.

The town of Taupo is beside Lake Taupo in the middle of the North Island and has quite a vibrant Saturday market;  knick-knacks, vegetables and fruit, hot food, cup cakes (yum), soaps, garden stuff, and, you know, the usual sort of market sales. They've added a trash 'n' treasure area, which is sort of a car boot fair.  And every year, on one Saturday per month except winter, there is an artists market on a lawn between the lake and the town's main restaurant area.

Here's a pic of the sit-down area at Taupo market.  They obviously have a stylist.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hataitai Beach, winter approaching

Hi there

The last three days swimming at Hataitai Beach in Wellington has been quite bracing.  Cold.  Three days ago it was raining and choppy, but the water wasnt that bad.  But afterwards, when I got home, I really felt the cold in my bones.  We tell ourselves every year that no matter how much we're enjoying our swim in the cold weather we must not stay in the water for too long because we pay for it later for the rest of the day when we're huddling over heaters and  wearing layer upon layer of winter woollies.  And a further word of warning for winter swimmers, never ever ever go shopping in Countdown after a swim.  Brrrrrhhhh!!

Hataitai Beach changing shed, toilets, deck are being renovated.  It is going to take about 6-8 weeks starting in a few days.  Huh?  What will J, myself, and The Young One do for changing after our swim.  We will have to think up a new strategy during the time involved.  Driving home in wet bathing suits?  Changing beaches?  Pitching  tents?  Becoming "wild" swimmers and going naked? - nah, don't think so.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Those CBD malls in Melbourne

Hi there

There are three big malls in Melbourne CBD and lots of alleyways and lanes that house quaint little shops and cafes.

I could walk from one mall to the other quite easily.

Quite easily?  Well, I'm not too sure about that.

I was lost in one of them.  I think it was Emporium.  But where was the exit/entrance?  Had I escalated up?  Down?  Was I on the same floor I arrived on?  I hiked around the floor.  And around again.  I went down a floor, then up a floor.  All the shops were posh, the products expensive.  I was too scared to look in a window in case I got charged a look fee.

Ah, here was a concierge!  If I've spelt this right (or even wrong), I know the word is French.  In a  normal average mall, the counter would read 'information'.

"Hello. (darn, perhaps I should have said 'bonjour'?).  Could you tell me where the exit is please?"

"It's behind you."

Of course it was.  The same thing happens to me in supermarkets.  After I've been searching for the product for what seems like hours, I finally ask an assistant and I'm told the product is behind me.  It's a talent I have of miraculously being able to stand in front of the exact thing I want but not realising it's there.
above:  Inside a tiny section of the Emporium (I hope!) Mall.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Commonwealth Games Gold

Hi there

I was in a mall in Melbourne.  I looked up to a giant tv screen.  And there were the ladies of the New Zealand hockey team joyfully jumping, laughing, hugging each other, screaming and crying in excitement .  They had just won a gold medal.

In huge type running along the screen were the words "Congratulations, Australia!"  And in smaller type,  "silver medal winners."

Give us a break, Aussie ....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Things I dislike

Hi there

In life, there are two things that I have always hated with a passion:  soup and scarves!

On my last day in Melbourne when the temperature dropped down to 12c from 30c, and the wind was worse than in Wellington, and the rain was non-stop thundering down, and I was plodding through the Queen Victoria Market with sore feet and cold bones,  I gave in to both of my dislikes.

I bought a scarf.  I got myself a bowl of soup.

Ooohhhh, yes, the scarf was so so so cuddly, and the soup gave my insides a deliciously warm feeling .  Suddenly my world was better in a nice rainbows and roses sort of way.

Have I been converted?  Who knows? It's hard to break a 50 decade aversion.  Tune in on the next really cold Wellington day.  The story continues ...


below: another pic of Queen Victoria Night Market:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wellington taxis

Hi there

My plane from Melbourne was running late and it got me home to Wellington about 1 am.

I had to go through the usual stress and worry over getting a taxi.  Drivers hate me because I live about a four minute drive away from the airport.

During those four minutes, last weekend,  my taxi driver told me that he'd been waiting in line an hour and a half for my lone plane to come in and that he could have been getting a bigger taxi fare from people who lived in the outer suburbs -

"But I'm not complaining," he said.

Well, dear reader, he not-complained five times on that short journey.  Even as I paid him, he was still telling me, parrot-like, that he was not complaining.

I was so ashamed that I had taken up so little of his time that I gave the driver a $5 tip.  But  I'm not complaining.  Much.


More Melbourne pics:

below: my dessert plate at Observatory buffet restaurant

below:  walking along South Bank, I came across these structures

below: at the Viking exhibit, Melbourne Museum.  Weapons.