Saturday 26 March – Tuesday 29 March 2016 – Auckland, New Zealand.
El and I arrived back in London two days ago. With my body clock completely wonky I was fully awake at 5:30am so spent some time in Lightroom and finished sorting through all the photos I took in New Zealand. After staring at completely blank pages where notes should have been written in my notebook, I suspect that this post will be quite short. It is a wrap up of all the days between doing other things, things that I will write about separately; in the not too distant future.
Our time in New Zealand was short, we only have 12 days in the country and for five of those days El and I are heading ‘up north’ on a wee road trip. I am really looking forward to that, getting out of the city is something I always want to do when I come back, and showing El more of the country I call(ed) home is exciting too. Of course, I am really looking forward to spending time with family and friends as well. With such a short time I am not going to see many of my friends unfortunately, but I expect to be back in November and will make more time for people then. If I didn’t see you this time round – I am sorry.
After a shaky start to the weather since we arrived on Thursday, Saturday morning broke nice and clear. I have rented a car for nine days and El and I caught the bus into the city to pick it up. We left nice and early and I got a bit of record shopping done on the way, picking up a new compilation LP of material from an old Dunedin Flying Nun band The Stones – I have no idea how they got away with that name! I also got two LPs by another Dunedin based Flying Nun band, The Clean. One of the LPs is a vinyl reproduction of a cassette that came out in 1982 – ‘Oddities’. I did not know this existed and I was so happy to pick it up, the cassette copy I had is long gone and the title track is my favourite The Clean song.
After shopping we dropped in to my daughter’s recently refurbished cafe for breakfast and coffee. The place was pretty busy, though the food was fabulous, and the coffee was good enough to want to have two. Mel and her halo 🙂
After breakfast we picked up the car and headed north to Orewa Beach to visit El’s only New Zealand based friend, an ex-work colleague from London. We arrived a little early so parked up and went for a walk along the beach, stopping for a half pint in a small bar. It is Easter Saturday today, when I was a kid Easter weekend was usually the last weekend you would expect to go for a swim, so it was pleasing to see people in the sea today. Actually, to be honest it was just pleasing to see the sea, the beach and the sun!
We had a good afternoon with El’s friends, I was driving so it was light beer for me!
On Sunday we moved to stay at my sisters house for a couple of nights, we had a family lunch and I managed to sneak a few more photos of Mason , it was a great lunch and good to see my nephew and ex-brother-in-law as well.
Four generations of Platts… (and a Wither Hills pinot gris :))
I love my sisters house and after a nice walk – which I covered in the last post, El and I slobbed on the couch over a glass or two of pinot gris – a wine we drank a bit of while we were in NZ.
The sunset was pretty good too!
Monday was another fine day, now we had a car we headed back into town again, aiming for lunch with some friends. Unfortunately I got the day and the time all horribly wrong and there was no one home. We drove down to the waterfront, and up to the viewpoint at Achilles Point with its great view out over the harbour, the gulf and Rangitoto Island.
Some wonderful friends of mine had a BBQ at their place with a few of our other friends along for the fun. It was great to catch up with people again, a short but brief catch-up this time, and one of only two opportunities to catch up with friends.
On Tuesday El and I went back into the city again, we had coffee at Mel’s cafe again – it was nice enough to sit outside this time.
We then crossed over the road to Albert Park for a walk around the magnificent old trees there, really old Pohutakawa and Moreton Bay figs, I love these venerable old guardians of the park. When I get back to London I am going to look for a course on how to take photos of trees, something I want to get much better at.
On the edge of the park is the Auckland Art Gallery, I always visit when I come back, and this time was no exception. We did not have a huge amount of time, so did a quick pass through. I liked this giant web from John Ward Knox, though I missed an exhibition by Fiona Pardington which I am a bit annoyed about, she is a wonderful photographer.
We had arranged to meet mum for lunch down by the old ferry building and once united with her we walked out to the Wynyard Quarter, a more recent development along the waterfront. To think, that not six years ago I used to work just around the corner from here…
It was a really warm day and we found a nicely shaded table outside one of the many cafes that adorn this section of the harbour side. Lunch was excellent, washed down with yet another pinot gris. After eating too much we walked out to Silo Park, I used to come here to take photos a few years ago, especially on foggy mornings – but there was none of that today. I still like the lines and shapes made by the old silos.
Street artist Askew One, painted some of C.K. Stead’s poem ‘Auckland’ on the side of these tanks as part of the broader ‘Tank Art’ project. The title of this post is the opening line of the poem.
The next day El and I headed off on our road trip and I will write about that shortly, but we did have an awesome time away.