Sunday, June 19, 2011

We're all going on a summer holiday-lah-de-dah-dah

Well, it wasn't a 'we' going on a summer holiday, just 'me', all by myself - and it wasn't just "a" summer holiday, but seven (repeat seven of them). Talk about greedy! And I loved every one.

First it was four days in Auckland. Good swimming, usual beaches - Waiheke, Takapuna, Mission Bay. Then I went for 5 nights to my beautiful Eketahuna holiday home (look up The Cottage Eketahuna on the web)

Then I went for a week to Queenstown. I stayed at a Manchester Unity holiday home (see picture above right) but - oh dear! it was up the top of a very (very) steep hill. Okay for people with a car but I had to walk it a couple of times a day. I could have taken a taxi home every day from the town but I resented having to pay the $12-$15 fare. But in compensation the view was out of this world (see picture above left) and I was staying in a very cheap place, for Queenstown. I swam in the lake almost every day. I was worried at first because everybody had said that nobody swam in the lake; it was glacial. What rot. It was wonderful. I had a 20 minute swim every day. I hired a kayak another day but kept to the edges of the lake because I was told that if I fell out in the centre of the lake hyperthermia sets in after 20 minutes. I loved walking around the edge of the lake to Frankton and did this most days, bus-ing back to Q'town. By flashing my gold card on the bus trip from the airport to town, I managed to get a 'free' bus card for my holdiay

Next holiday was a long one, a month: Ohope Beach (boogie boarded all the time because water too wild for actual swimming), Mt Maunganui (stayed right across road from a good boogie-board beach, but got my daily afternoon swimming fix at more serene Pilot Bay), Whitianga (horrible for swimming, there'd been a big storm and for most of the time, there was a lot of debris in the water)., Lake Taupo (nice relaxing, swam every day).

At Whitianga I'd been out snorkelling off a boat and when I clambered back on board I was told about the big Christchurch earthquake. Couldn't believe it, told the woman who was showing me a text on her cellphone that she must have been reading about the September one. How sad, awful, I was shocked.
Planning next summer's holiday.....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

VIP Roxy Theatre Party (that I wasn't asked to attend)

A few weeks back was the opening of the brand spanking new Roxy picture theatre in Miramar, Wellington, owned in part by Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk (also partners in Weta which is a movie special effects company here in Miramar). Prior to the opening there was a special VIP evening.

I wasn't invited but because I live around the corner I trotted along, with my friends, to stand outside the theatre and see who would be turning up.

About 20 people at very, very most stood right outside the main doors, but about a hundred or so stayed in a herd for some reason across the road where they might have got a good panarama view but they werent close at all to invited guests. Maybe they stood there because the tv cameras were there. But TV cameras have zoom lenses

Very soon, I had to make the decision whether to go for autographs or photos, and I chose the autograph option. Maybe I made a mistake. Anyway, I managed to be the first one to recognise and pounce(!) on Ian McKellen, James Breslin, Martin Freeman, Brett McKenzie, Richard Taylor, Tania Roger, Jamie Selkirk, and a few actors from The Hobbit. I got to Martin Freeman (Bilbo) just as he got to the door. I called out, "Mr Freeman", and I heard someone beside Freeman say to him, "You almost made it."

I don't think the crowd were (professional) celebrity watchers. I think they were just Miramar-ites. Maybe this explains why nobody recognised the stars until I swooped in.

All invited guests had been asked to wear clothes from the art deco age to fit in with the theatre's decor.

A very late guest was a guy in a Rocketeer outfit. He jumped out of the passenger seat in his car and hurtled into the theatre. It turned out to be Oscar winner director Peter Jackson! I took a few hopeless photos of him through the frosted-patterned window

I did take a nice photo of Roxy co-owners Jamie Selkirk and his partner ,and Richard Taylor and partner Tania Roger. I spoke to Richard's father; what a lovely man and so justifiably proud of his son.

A side note: my friend, staying with me from Australia, and I went to the very first movie at the Roxy (King Kong). I suggested we sit in a certain row, in the middle, and ushered my friend in first. Jamie Selkirk came out and said there was a prize under one of the seats. It was under my friend's seat.! She got four King Kong signed artist prints, and limited edition signed by the artist King Kong bookends. I was so full of jealousy, I wanted to throw a tantrum! But I had to act all nice and thoughtful and congratulate my friend, and help carry the prizes home, and take photos of her parading around my kitchen with the prizes, and then email the photos to her loved ones in Australia. Sighhhhh.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The mangificent Richard Taylor, Weta

A couple of Sundays ago I was power walking(blame Oprah!) past the Weta Workshop in Miramar and I spotted a City Council worker spading up gunk from the road gutter. As I got closer I saw that the wheelibin he was using had the name 'Weta' written on it. I thought, "Oh, the guy's some unlucky minion from Weta." I got closer and saw that the shoveller of the gunk was multi-Oscar winner and co-owner of Weta ..... Richard Taylor!

I was so surprised, I could only blurt out "What are YOU doing?!!" He said that Sunday was the only day when there werent many cars in the street blocking the gutters. I told him that he'd always been high in my estimation and now he'd gone up something like 500 points. I like to think he'd been wandering along the footpath and the thought suddenly came into his head that the gutters were gunky, and he rushed inside to get a wheelibin. No pointing to a minion and ordering anyone else to do the job when he was just as capable!

A friend told me that if a New Zealand newspaper had photographed him, the heading would have been something like "Multiple Oscar winner shows he's one of the lads". If it had been the National Enquirer from America, the headline would probably have read "Mean millionaire takes job from the poor".

I so applaud Richard Taylor. He's such a lovely natural person. Good luck to him and Weta.

Monday, June 6, 2011

swimming Winter 7 June 2011 Hataitai Beach

Well, my swimming friend and I have decided to swim again throughout the Wellington (NZ) year. But this time twice a month (last year it was at least once a month) We've both managed lots of times in Jan, Feb, Mar, April, and May of course (but none of these months were really cold). We went 1 June this year ........ It was coldish. Today, after gym we laughed about it raining and intimated what a silly day to go swimming. Then it became a case of will we/won't we/I'll go if you'll go. As we plopped into the (quite) cold water it started to rain. But we did it in the rain, back and forth across the bay at Hataitai Beach. We were so proud of ourselves though my friend's husband who was timing us from the shore thought we were a little mad.

My swimming friend is an artist and she painted an absolutely beautiful painting of the view from Hataitai Beach and it is so lovely... and she gave it to me. It fills me with such wonderful memories when I see it. I'm going to try to remember to attach it to this blog. It is now hanging above my computer so I see it every day.

So many wonderful, unusual things have happened to me so far this year that I havent had time to note them down but I promise I'll backtrack in future blogs.