Tag Archives: Wellington

No place for a Brand

The Government of my country have decided that we need a new flag.  Apparently the new flag, if the country votes to change it, will be a “Brand” that can be used as a marketing tool around the globe.

Here in the Hall of Memories at the National War Memorial in Wellington is no place for a Brand.

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A little pictorial history of Makara Beach

Another view at Makara Beach, July 2015
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These two photos appeared on the Old Wellington Region Facebook page a day or two after my recent visit to Makara Beach. (Blog post here)
Makara Beach 1907

High St, Makara Beach 1906

“High St” seems a very grand title for this rough, rocky track.

Living right on the edge of the beach back in 1907 was courageous to say the least. Back in this time it was thought to be a predominantly Italian fishing settlement. I note from archival notes that the area was evacuated at the time of WW 11 and gun emplacements from that area are still to be found on the various walkways today.

Remembrance

On the first anniversary of my brother’s death I visited the Wellington Botanical Gardens where he and I had left small footprints as children, visiting with our parents.   And where in the mid 1970’s he left more footprints when he worked there as a gardener.

During my visit I wondered if perhaps had he stopped work and stood and enjoyed this view

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Or perhaps he had rested in the summer heat under this Weeping Willow tree

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Or trudged up this path amid the greeneryDSCF2487 (1280x960)

Or cut this long, steep, grassy bank.

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And behind me as I took these photographs was A Field of Remembrance.

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866 white crosses bearing the names of Wellingtonians who were casualties of WW1 between 1914-15.

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This field is but one of many that have been established around our country to commemorate those who lost their lives.

In April of 2015–2018, part of Wellington Botanic Garden will become a place to reflect on and remember those who died World War I. Sited on Salamanca Lawn, towards Salamanca Road, the Fields of Remembrance will feature replica Flanders field poppies and 866 white crosses to commemorate the Wellingtonians who died in service in 1915. We’ve worked with the Fields of Remembrance Trust to make this event possible. 10–28 April.

Gallivanta in Christchurch has posted about visiting the one in her city.

A steady trickle of quiet, sombre, reflective visitors moved amongst the crosses and spent time with their own thoughts, feeling and memories.

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It was once a museum

On Wednesday last week we were invited to attend an awards ceremony for our daughter who is studying at Massey University, Wellington.
The venue was in a building that takes me back to my early childhood years in Wellington where Mum and Dad, especially Dad, would take us on Sunday afternoon visits.

The building was the old Dominion Museum. Now apparently earthquake strengthened and used fully as a University facility.
Thankfully the strengthening and renovations have seen many of the features of this wonderful old building left for visitors, staff and students to enjoy.

The camera was not doing well in the very low light but here are some photos I took during our visit.

Kiwis on the stair rails
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Surveying plaques

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The Great Hall where all the Waka and Whares and Maori taonga were once displayed but where students sit exams now. It has a very high ceiling.

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Beautiful tiling in the Tea Gardens
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Door grills leading off the Great Hall
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This building holds so many happy memories of time spent learning and exploring ( sliding drawers open to reveal gorgeous rare butterflies, examples of native insects, exhibitions of fish and ocean life and so much else) with my Dad who loved it all too. As a young parent I took my children to this Museum and they recall their favourite places, the sounds and smells too.

New Zealand’s national museum is now on Wellington’s waterfront and is called Te Papa, or Our Place.

Earthquake update

Thank you for all your kind wishes and messages of support and concern.

We have only felt a few of the aftershocks here but they continue unabated in Cook Strait where the fault-line is shuddering. Others in Wellington City and at the top of the South Island, particularly in Seddon and Blenheim are feeling many, many more of them. I think of them often and wish that the earth would stabilise quietly so they can gain some peace of mind.

Today is back to normal routines for us all and it has required some deep inner strength to confidently leave the house and travel to work, study and appointments etc. We watched people in Christchurch do this and take encouragement from their resolve.

For now it is a calm, cloudy, winter’s morning with birdsong filling the air providing a lovely focus.

Ferocious storm

I live in a city which carries the nickname “Windy Wellington” and last night the name suited it very well. A ferocious storm has hit the whole country and has come straight off Antarctica. Around 6pm the storm blew into my town.

Last night we rescued our outdoor furniture just before it was blown through a glass sliding door.
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And we lost power twice which meant we were very cold. Our gas heater relies on electricity to power the fan! Without the fan the heater cuts out. Bed was the place to head but only to listen to the power of the storm as the house was buffeted almost non stop all night. The wind shrieked and howled with noises resembling banshees, wild monsters and other horror story characters. There were thumps and bumps and the sound of chain saws as emergency crews cleared the nearby fallen trees off the roads.

First light shows a section of very old fence has blown over, a gate (also old) is reeling on its hinges, we have a leak in the loo ceiling (seems an appropriate room for a leak to spring!) and the largest kowhai tree is at an odd angle. I hope we can rescue that lovely tree but time will tell on that one. So only minor damage really and for that we are very fortunate. Others have not fared so well.

It is still very stormy and freezing cold this morning so no photos as yet. It is a day to stay home with the heater going and the slow cooker preparing lamb shanks for dinner tonight…..well as long as the power stays on!

A stroll along Wellington’s waterfront.

Yesterday dawned hot and sunny again! We had a mid afternoon pick up from the airport to do so we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Oriental Bay. As it turned out we joined many thousands of others who were enjoying the weather and the wonderfully accessible waterfront that Wellington Harbour now boasts.

We ate under the benevolent gaze of St Gerard’s Monastery (the lean is mine, not the buildings, although I think there are concerns over its strength in an earthquake now)
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We watched people enjoying this stretch of beach along Oriental Bay.

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This is an area of very desirable real estate and you can see why from views such as this.

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After lunch we joined the throngs and strolled along the waterfront and found these points of interest. A bollard painted pink.
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Others along here were yellow. A poem by Katherine Mansfield about how windy it can really be in Wellington and along the harbour’s edge.

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This wonderful statue illustrating that at times the wind is sooooo strong that one can lean into it without falling forward. I really like this chap and his flexible back.

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And a new feature on the waterfront for people to leap from into deep water below. This chap was very sure of himself and I captured the marvelous splash he made.

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On the way back to the car we passed these two buskers who had wisely chosen a spot under a Pohutukawa tree and within the shade of a building. It was a very hot afternoon.

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We are very fortunate to have such a pleasant waterfront to enjoy in Wellington.

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In addition it is a very busy working port. It is interesting and vibrant, containing new innovations and older personalities.

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And we only managed to walk a section of it yesterday. The photo below shows the part we did not get to yesterday.

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I will go back again and take some more photos to share with you.

Middle Earth

The world premiere of the film The Hobbit happened in Wellington last week amid much excitement and hype. The vast film studios are located in Wellington and the film maker Sir Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) lives nearby and has made films based from Wellington all his life. He is easy to claim as “ours” and to feel very proud of his successes and creativity.

A quick pick-up at Wellington airport this week saw us enter a different world.

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Gandalf, the dwarves, the Hobbit and other characters are found portrayed in different images around the terminal.

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Gollum is an immense 13 metre long replica suspended from the ceiling catching “juicy sweet fishes”. He weighs in at 1.2 tonnes and is made from polystyrene, coated with epoxy resin. It had to be created as 9 separate pieces in order to fit through the airport doors.
He is easy to walk around and under and offers an impressive installation to appreciate.

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The bag collection area resembles the shire and features hobbit holes and various characters. A local Porirua sign writing firm (Henshaw signs) was responsible for this impressive piece.

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People arriving at our airport are under no illusion about the part of earth they are entering as part of the launch of this film. It opens next week in cinemas. It promises to be a fantastic journey with two more parts to come.