Saturday, 18 February 2017

Foxton NZ

There are many Dutch people in NZ. Most of them arrived after World War 2 as there was no work in the Netherlands and the country was in a bad state. People received free tickets from the government to travel to America, Canada or NZ if they wanted to emigrate and my husbands dad got one of those tickets and traveled to NZ when he was only 18. In that time they had to come by boat, a six month trip.

In Foxton, a town on the West coast of the North Island you can enjoy the Dutch culture. We passed through this town last month and had a great time.
On the left a Dutch Windmill which you can visit and you can find some information about it  here

In the mill is also a small shop and of course
we had to buy some Dutch drop (liquorice)
from Petronella, an authentic Dutch lady.

Opposite is a Dutch bakery and cafe. On the back of the windmill they are building a  Dutch museum which should be ready by June this year.

There are some beautiful Art Deco buildings in the street

When we walked through Foxton we had a chat with a New Zealander who invited us to his house where he showed us this beautiful Dutch organ and played for us "Tulips in Amsterdam"
This organ was made in France and owned by Perlee, an organ rental company in the Jordaan in Amsterdam. The NZ-lander had bought the organ in a bad state in America and fixed all the mechanics himself. We really enjoyed this visit.

btw we were shown another few beauties like this one.  It is a Chicago coins band box jukebox orchestra from the 1950's When it plays a record the curtains open and the band starts to play.  So cool.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

On the art of poetry

Life and work have kept me busy. It is summer and there are so many walks and outings in this time of the year. The last weeks have been hot and we had some beautiful sunsets.

The bad thing is that it is very dry which caused two fires in the Port hills. It is in its second day and is still not under control. The one above is seen from Kennedy's Bush Road, and this fire started in Early Valley Road. The fire has spread here over 548 hectares and on Marley Hill over about 36 hectares. One house is destroyed and 24 houses evacuated.
One helicopter pilot who was fighting the fire crashed and lost his life. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this hero.

Update: 15/2 On this third day the wildfire has spread towards Governors Bay and more houses were evacuated last night

Update: 15/2 the state of emergency has been declared. More than 300 people evacuated.

Update 16/2 The two fires have merged and 2000 hectare is burning, 450 properties are evacuated and 11 houses destroyed

Update: the fire is contained and guess what It is raining


The helicopters pick up and drop 1500 ltrs of water
in monsoon buckets at the time. There a hotspots
of 500 degrees so the battle continues and will for
weeks as there is a big risk of flare-ups

A huge thank you to all firefighters for the tireless
and dangerous work and all other people involved
in the battle against the fire.

 I also joined a poetry meetup and the prompt for the next meetup is : Why do you write poetry

On the art of poetry

My live, a drop in the ocean
My words, countless pebbles on the beach
Occasionally I experience 
The depth and beauty of the ocean
Occasionally I add to it 
shedding tears of sadness
These profound feelings can’t 
just be put into words 
 be added to the shallow pebbles
Each stone must be carefully carved
Each stone must be gently polished
Each stone must be lined up and combined;
to create the art of evoking feelings
to create poetry
and when you share these pebbles
with the ocean and they touch one drop
the universe will smile 
with a stunning red sunset

Friday, 6 January 2017

Arthur's Pass

Happy New Year to you all. Let's make it a good one!

Last week we travelled with my brother,  to the North Island which was beautiful. I'll show it to you soon. Today we went up and down Arthur's Pass to walk to the Devil's Punch Waterfall. I didn't take my camera as we have been here lots of times but there was a cold snap last night and the Pass looked spectacular. That's the difference; The North Island is beautiful The South Island spectacular. Anyway I took some pictures with my phone Not as sharp but you have a good idea how it looked like.

 Even the foot hills of the Southern Alps were snow capped but as the temperature rose it was all gone when we returned.

Lake Lyndon

Castle rocks

Lake Pearson

Lake Pearson

Lookout from Bealey Hotel where you can get great coffee and snacks and gorgeous views around at the same time.

Devil's Punchbowl waterfall which is a good climb and about 30 minutes walk from the highest point where you can find several cafes and an the visitor centre.

On the way back we followed a gravel road beside Lake Lyndon and ended up after a long drive at Lake Coleridge

Monday, 12 December 2016

Happy holidays

I wish all my blogging friends and every visitor

A Merry Christmas and a beautiful 2017.

Thanks for visiting my blog in 2016 even though I have been away lots of the time. This is going to happen again as work is busy, my brother is coming soon to NZ, it is holiday time, Christmas time and I already have lots of plans for 2017. I love blogging, taking photos and writing poems so whenever I can I will be there.

What I wish for 2017 is peace. Personal Peace in the first place so I am able to pass it on next year as much as I can and create peace around me. I defenitely hope there will be more Peace in the world.

So my symbol for 2017 is the peace symbol ✌☮

"If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's his problem. Love and peace are eternal." John Lennon

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Peace begins with a smile."  Mother Theresa

The following add is beautiful and it really happened.

I leave you with a poem by Suzy Kassam, an amazing poet, writer, philosopher and more


I was born the day
I thought:
What is?
What was?
What if?

I was transformed the day
My ego shattered,
And all the superficial, material
Things that mattered
To me before,
Suddenly ceased
To matter.

I really came into being
The day I no longer cared about
What the world thought of me,
Only on my thoughts for
Changing the world.

Suzy Kassem

See you somewhere in 2017
Marja Out for 2016 :)

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Christchurch preparing for Christmas

A real cool Kiwi Christmas song, which reminds us that christmas is coming up as in NZ it doesn't look as Christmassy as in Europe. Here most people go on holiday around christmas and spend time on the beach. There is some traditional christmas with Turkey on the table but most Kiwi's just have a BBQ. We will too and my brother is coming over from Holland and join us.

We discovered this Santa in the windows of Ballantynes

Another Father Christmas on the roof of the container startup mall. Have a good look as this is their last Christmas as the containers are going to be replaced by real buildings.

Another part of the new city mall open. On the right is going to be an open cafe and people can sit in the middle to have a drink. For now people can start their Christmas shopping. Christchurch is going to be the coolest city in the Southern Hemisphere

Christchurch has become very multi cultural and thanks to that we enjoy the influence from different countries. Today they held a Korean day on the square in Christchurch.  There was lots of dancing on modern Korean music

There was a lot of traditional Korea is wel, like these ladies in beautiful dresses

and this cutie pie