Sunday, July 27, 2014

Photography and a holiday in Lake Ferry

During the last school holidays we decided to cross over the Rimutakas and spend a few days exploring the Wairarapa. In particular the area around Lake Ferry (Lake Onoke).

This is a strangely isolated and beautiful spot which is probably a lot busier during summer. But when we went it was still absolutely breath taking. The lake is formed by a large sandy spit which has cut off the freshwater lake from the Tasman Sea. It appears to be a popular area for fishing and camping and is apparently a very good area for surfing as well. However the blustery, cold wintery weather made visiting the one and only restaurant/pub in the area more appealing.

The Lake Ferry Hotel is perched on the edge of the coastline and is the only facility of any kind in the area. Thankfully it is warm and welcoming and the food is likewise. We spent two evenings there eating and enjoying the cheery warmth surrounded by the few other hardy holiday makers in the area.

Martinborough is about a forty minute drive from Lake Ferry and we spent an enjoyable morning nosing around the shops and cafes there. We also took the kids to the Pinnacles which is one of the locations from Lord of the Rings. The scene when Aragon visits the underworld to get the army of the dead.

This is a spectacular walk but not as creepy or scary as the film made it appear. As a geographer I find it a fascinating example of the power of water to create and change landscapes.

As it was my birthday whilst we were there I took the opportunity to mess around with my new tripod and lenses and I am quite happy with the results!

A winter sunset over the Rimutakas.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Your Majesty

I can't say I really paid attention to when Her Maj actually had her birthday before we moved over here. But now, as we have a long weekend every year on the Queens official birthday, it has become a date that is always highlighted on our calendar.

The long weekend tends to be really needed at this time of year. The days are shorter and the nights are colder. Most nights our little wood burning stove is lit and the kids have to wear their slippers and dressing gowns in the morning to keep out the chill.

Although it never really gets as cold as it does in the UK, the clear nights can be surprisingly chilly and frosty. The wind chill factor in Wellington should also never be underestimated. Our house has double glazing and insulation but occasionally we do miss central heating as the wood burning stove has to be fairly constantly maintained once it is lit.

Luckily this year the long weekend has been bright sunny and warm and I actually ended up in a t-shirt on our wintry walk this morning.

I thought it was quite appropriate that since it was the Queens birthday we ended up at Queens Elizabeth Park.

It's a great place to walk the dog. Ted always meets lot of other friendly dogs to run manically about with.

There was literally not a cloud in the sky.

The model airplane club was enjoying the good weather today. I got told off for stopping between the signs and gawping at the planes. Apparently this is very dangerous as the planes fly low in this area. You have been warned!

This is the tree that, according to my kids, I always stop and take a pictures of. Well in my opinion its a beautiful tree. So here is another picture of it to add to my collection.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ermmm...... it has been a while.....

Life....its that little thing that gets in the way of blogging every now and then!

We bought a house and then spent a great summer doing it up whilst my parents came over to visit and then work, school and the general routine of family life got in the way.

Well I love writing and taking photos and I have missed being able to record life on here. So my other half has just been kind enough to buy me a new laptop. My intention is to use it to start updating the blog again.

A lot has happened since I last logged on here. We are still in New Zealand and unless I am forced by a super human and very brave assailant, we are unlikely to move anywhere in the foreseeable future. I have fallen in love with our Tree House and it really feels like it has welcomed us into its branches and accepted us a it's new permanent residents (along with the dog, the cat, the rabbit and very fat guinea pig).

We are beginning to feel like we belong in this little village and when taking the dog for a walk will almost always meet someone we know to have a quick chat with. I do find it an advantage some mornings to take the dog out before the sun comes up just so the walk is over and done with quickly. Otherwise I am almost guaranteed to meet someone I know. This can be very embarrassing as I often can't be bothered to get properly dressed that early in the morning and will have wondered down the road in jeans and coat hurriedly pulled over the top of pirate pyjamas.

So in summary, life is good.