The daffodils are out in the garden even though the temperatures are icy and the skies mostly grey.
The light is often white and stark which meant the feijoa leaves took on a very wintery look in this photograph.
We made a visit to Hawkes Bay last weekend to visit my father in law before Xmas. Not only did we enjoy time with him and other family members we also found summer.
Spring here has been long, cloudy, cool, grey and windy. We know that Hawkes Bay experiences vastly different conditions thanks to a large mountain range that shelters it from the prevailing damp, howling winds and rain that come in off the Tasman Sea. It enjoys and thrives in the rain-shadow effect.
We rented a small, self contained cottage just outside the village we were visiting.
It is on a life-style block where the owners are growing and farming organically and also operating this commercial kitchen. Check out a great initiative here.
Look at the bounty of goodness that is so abundant in this part of my homeland.
Bounty awaiting in these Feijoa flowers.
The birds were doing their bit to pollinate these beauties that speak of heat and flavour and the traditional colours of the approaching Christmas day.
Beauty in tall, fragrant rose bushes.
You can see how dry it becomes here. Drought is common.
We had hot weather, intense blue skies which faded out to a hazy, pale blue as we left for home in the glare and brightness of the sunshine. But while there we had sat outdoors in the shade in calm conditions, we had strolled in the evening warmth and soaked up Vitamin D admiring gardens.
I was surprised and delighted to see a smile inside my breakfast kiwifruit this morning. The pale flesh normally forms a circle but today it was a smile shape….perhaps it was in honour of my grandson’s third birthday?
We had a great party this afternoon with lots of fun and food.
There was a fifth fat Feijoa but I enjoyed that on Saturday. It was sweet and succulent.
Delicious autumn fruit.
This time last week I was anticipating what a roadtrip and weekend away could mean for me. I have checked the meaning of the word “anticipate” and found the following aspects that applied to me and my planned weekend.
“Anticipate”: To realise beforehand
And: To look forward to
So before we left I realised that if I prepared some food in advance we would not need to trek back and forth to unfamiliar supermarkets and no one would have to spend a lot of time preparing meals. So we went reasonably laden, including some old favourites such as Date loaf and Spiced Apple Cake, a delicious beef casserole that had been cooked in the slow cooker and a simple meat loaf. Our accommodation at The Shed offered full kitchen and cooking facilities so there was no stress or distress arriving to find that we only had a microwave oven to use and a tiny fridge designed for one person!
I also knew that feijoas, a favourite seasonal fruit is plentiful and cheap in Hawkes Bay so I thought about finding at least one bag of those to come home with. I also thought about Arataki Honey Centre and decided we would call in there and buy some comb honey.
I also spent some time considering what I was looking forward to about this weekend. I was really keen to feel a sense of relaxation and comfort in the accommodation we booked and photos of The Shed reassured me about that. I planned early nights and on one morning I took my cup of tea and the paper back to bed…..no cats climbing all over me, no chores needing to be done……bliss.
I anticipated walking the long driveway and looking at the orchards alongside. (Many of the trees were still laden with a heavy crop of large, red apples.) I anticipated seeing new rural vistas as well as the familiar hills of Te Mata Peak and by contrast the totally flat land of the Heretaunga Plains.
I realised that I had not visited a relative’s burial plot in the cemetery so anticipated a visit to that spot. Mostly I was looking forward to a change of environment, a change of pace and some refreshment.
Was my anticipation realised? Yes! Now with Easter almost here I might spend some time anticipating how this long weekend might be for me…..or I might just trust the process and go with whatever happens…..