Saturday, 25 June 2016

Grand achievements

Congratulations to my brother and his wife. They are married 25 years today. They have achieved a lot together. One piece of brilliance is their garden. A treasure to discover as you can see above. There are beautiful flowers and plants and pots, sculptures and other treasures they found on markets and op shops (opportunity shops). Two lovely dogs ask for attention and are happy to pose for a photo or two.
It was a treasure to drink coffee in this garden, which is ever developing. Good luck for the future guys, keep up the great work and up to the next 25 years.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Time well spend in Holland

Back again online. I have been hanging out most of the time in Holland in the last month or so. Holland?


 What is Holland for me? It is my birth country. The place where my family and part of my friends live. So that's what I love about Holland and I spend most of my time with; family and mostly with my mum. and uh I didn't go to Amsterdam this time.

lunch with my brothers and their gorgeous families

Like every Dutch person I spend some time biking. Biking is so much fun because you bike mostly on safe biking paths, without helmets, on  oma (grandma) bikes. It is the best way to see the country and I will spend a post on one of my bike tours.

You see these oma bikes, often with baskets on the front, everywhere. I owned one once and they are sooo comfortable.

Holland is the land of flowers. They are everywhere and very cheap compared to New Zealand. These are a few of many I came across on the market.

Of course I have indulged in Dutch food. I declined most of the cake and tarts but I ate my favourate: Limburgse vlaai which is a tart of pastry filled with fruit.  I also put two euro into a slot in the wall, pulled a handle and took out a croquette. Of course I bought a raw herring with onions on the market and I ate drop or liquorise.

Now I have indulged into all of the delights above, I feel satisfied :) 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Nelson lakes

We went to the Nelson Lakes for a few days over Easter and had a stop at St Arnaud a little community at Lake Rotoiti which is part of Nelson lakes

A classic little steam boat dropped off some tourists

Another end of Lake Rotoiti. The Lakes are beautiful. The only problem is you get eaten by the sand- flies. We were supposed to be armed with bug spray but the bottle was hidden in the suitcase on the first day so we did develop some bumps on arms and legs

We stayed for 3 nights at the Rotoroa lake which is part of Nelson lakes national Park as well. Lake Rotoroa is completely surrounded by Beech forest. Rotoroa is Maori for "Long lake" It is popular for trout fishing and there is a big hunting, fishing and adventure lodge at the start with this view.

If you don't like fishing you can go for a canoe trip of course (bring your own)

We were hiding in the chalet on the left. No TV, Internet or cellphone coverage here, but being in a piece of paradise we didn't miss it at all.

The view from our little house for 3 days. This view  continuously changed by the light and the fog. Gorgeous

We went for a walk in the bush with many ferns and a mossy beech forest floor. The men went up further to a waterfall but my friend had knee problems so we  stuck to the flat forest floor.

A quick walk to the Lake at night for some evening shots

and another and ..................

On the last day we drove  to the West Coast before heading home. You see many Easter island head like carvings on the West coast. They must have come from this shop.

In Greymouth there was plenty of driftwood. They even build a fort from it.

After picking up some nice pieces of driftwood, one more view from the window in the fort. Then fill up the car with Stairway to Heaven from Led Zeppelin and Air from Bach and drive back home through paradise

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Tai Tapu sculpture garden

I went with a friend to the Tai Tapu sculpture garden. An exhibition of contemporary NZ sculptures, held once a year in a native NZ bush garden tucked away in a valley. I had some problems with my camera but still managed to get some shots. After our visit we went to the Raspberry cafe and had a great lunch in the shadow of a birch tree.

Heaven Sent by Llew Summers

Feathered by Rebecca Rose

Oil Snake by Hanna kidd

A photo of my friend underneath an amazing sculpture
A landscape with too many holes, Waiting for St Francis - A Gateway    by Bing Dawe

 the front and the back of another amazing sculpture 
We are shaped by our childhoods by Terry Springer

Not a very good photo of the blue Venus sculpture on the left but I loved it. The owner of the garden had visitors one day and gave them all a piece of clay. The blue Venus was modeled by the post boy who got really into it. These are just a few of them. Annabel Menzies casted the figures in glass and they are now sitting in the fertility Goddess Grove

We also loved this wave of swallows reaching out over the garden
Vortex by Neil Dawson

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Drum festival in Little River

On a warm Sunday morning at the drum festival in little river the drums spoke of the Arabian nights awoken by the light bouncing off  the hills in Okuti valley in Little River

The belly dancers moving gracefully to the drums

Turn on the heartbeat and soul of Africa

Imagine listening to Koffie Fugah from Ghana who teaches many to pick up the rhythm by playing the African drum

Or to let it vibrate in your body learning the African dance

Moving on the beat in the shimmering light

while your feet brush up the dust 

The day ended with Japanese Taiko drumming by the  Takumi group from Christchurch

Taiko was used in ancient Japan nearly 2000 years ago. Taiko uses large drum and is used in religious ceremonies and on festivals. 

The Takumi group has 50 members. They practice twice a week for 2.5 hours and that shows

Michiko with the blue top is a friend who learned to master Taiko drumming since she came to NZ

Thanks to her and her family we were introduced to this amazing festival