Lighthouses and Rugby

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get most of Saturday off courtesy of Mr Oh Waily.  I spent it walking and cheering.

So that sounds like an odd combination, and it would be if I were doing it all in one activity, but no.  I didn’t.  Late morning I took myself off on a walk that I’d been wanting to do for some time and knew would not be possible with the little people yet.

The Pencarrow Lighthouse had been nagging at me for a few months, but as Mr Oh Waily spent most of the first couple of months of the year gadding about overseas, I had to put it off.  But on Saturday I finally got to do it.  Here’s a link to the Google Map for those who aren’t familiar with Wellington.   And, here’s a link to a bit of the history of the lighthouse for the curious.

Naturally at this time of year the weather was a bit hit and miss.  I started out in sun only to be greeted fairly shortly into the walk by a rain front coming up from the south and across the Strait.  This made my plan to stop and take my time photographing things a bit difficult.  In the end I managed to get some photographs before the rain and at the lighthouse but that was all.  So here they are…

Yes, it’s true.  We are a nation of sheep.  They even go to the beach like the rest of us when the sun is out.

Sheep on a beach

No, really – all the way along the walk they were either on the beach, under the scrub or hanging off the side of a cliff. Although, as you can tell, they aren’t fond of surprise visitors gate-crashing their seaside picnic.

Picnic at the beach, anyone?

And while the sun was out I was chased and flirted with, then flitted off from by a huge number of Silvereyes (or Wax-eyes – you tell me what the difference is?) so I was lucky enough to find a tree they decided to sit in at one point. Otherwise they’d have kept giving me the bird equivalent of a thumbed nose and there would’ve been no actual wildlife photographs at all. (Sheep don’t count.)

Silvereye or Wax-eye

And, a slightly different angle after waiting patiently for another one to land and hang around.

Silvereye or Wax-eye?

I like them. They’re pretty, small, nippy and cheery birds to watch playing amongst themselves. I’m also amazed that I managed to get even one image vaguely in focus considering how fast they move, the large lense that I had on the camera and my own innate wobbliness.

So some time later (approximately an hour and a half – thanks rain & wind) the stubborn person that I am, made it out to the lower lighthouse.  It turns out that I could not have timed my eventual arrival any better.  Serendipitous I’d have to say.  The Interisland Ferry just happened to be entering the harbour just as I arrived at my destination.

Pencarrow Lighthouse

And it came so darn close to shore I could probably have had a chat with the Master.

It would’ve been nice, at this point to have caught a ride back to town, as I discovered that my walking shoes were not quite as broken in as I had thought.  Ouchie.  A nasty big blister eventually appeared by the time I made it back to the car and Eastbourne.
But it’s a small price to pay for having knocked off a walk that I’d been wanting to do for ages.  Next time I’ll give the upper lighthouse a go, but only if it’s not windy.

After a short while at home feeling like the conquering hero and bragging to my small people about how fabulous their Mum was at walking for miles and miles and miles, I got myself and my dodgy blistered feet back into the car and drove in to town.  I was going to have a night at the rugby.

And like the good little trooper I am, I was dedicated to both my adopted team, the Hurricanes, and to my reviewing responsibilities over at t’other blog.

At the rugby

Capping off a great day out, the lovely boys in the background gave the visiting Waratahs what for.  I couldn’t have asked for a better end to the day.

Have you had a day out lately?  What did you get up to? Something fun, challenging or both?

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A Plethora of Anniversaries

I’m sure it has seemed quiet in this part of the blogosphere lately.  The month of August and, now, September brings with it a range of anniversaries that require Ms Oh Waily’s attention.

Back on August 17th my little girl, Miss Oh Waily, stopped being so little once again.  She turned four.  Although talking with her sometimes you would be forgiven for thinking there was a much older personality residing in that still delicate little body.
We were lucky to have Gran and Pop Oh Waily visit us for that week, and Miss Oh Waily lapped up all of the attention and the gifts.

Then just a little over a week later the Oh Waily family could celebrate their first full year of living in our capital city.  We have spent equal amounts of time on both sides of the large and beautiful harbour.  And we are most happy living here.  It will be something of a shame to remove ourselves back to Auckland when the time comes.

Then a matter of a few days ago, on the first day of Spring, my little boy turned two.  Where did that time go?  It doesn’t seem so long ago that he was a little babe in arms.  And now he is chattering away like there are not enough words in the world for him to learn and use.

But events do not slow down on our anniversary front, Gran Oh Waily has a birthday in a week and Auntie H has a milestone the following week.  It is certainly a celebratory time of year and just in time for the fine, crisp Spring weather to shine down on us.

European Masters Exhibition

This exhibition at Te Papa has been on since November and is due to finish up at the end of February.

I had been putting off going since it is $22.50 for an adult.  I know, I’m tight.  But with a good reason.  Many moons ago I did my OE through Europe and one of the main visiting points in most cities were the world famous art museums.  So when you’ve been to the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, Museo del Prado, the National Gallery and so on and so forth you tend to have an unrealistically high expectation of what constitutes a European “Master”.

Then luck would have it that we had to book accommodation for a business visitor from Singapore.  We chose the Museum Hotel next door to where we live.  Nice and convenient.  What we didn’t know was that they were giving tickets to their guests.  As the visitor was only in town for a day and a half for business only, he passed those tickets on to us.  They then sat on our kitchen counter for a month or two and Christmas came and went.

Then Nana Oh Waily came to visit.  She is a painter.  What better than to go to the exhibition with someone who paints !  So we did.
Luckily Nana OW is very understanding of the ignorant (me) non-painting comments.  But we did between us decide that Tischbein’s painting of Goethe has a dodgy foot.  His right foot, no matter up close or from a distance looks like it should be his left.

It was an interesting and reasonably varied selection of paintings.  It covered an extensive time period, a lot of the artists were German which shouldn’t be surprising since the Städel Museum is in Frankfurt am Main.  But I am glad that I didn’t have to pay the $22.  I would’ve been disappointed by the selection of art and artists I think.

If you haven’t been to many “Masters” exhibitions you may find this of great interest, but if you have been to some of the best static collection art galleries in the world you may be disappointed.  Better still I think the exhibition may be free to Wellington ratepayers.  If you fall in to this category and want to see it, then for free it is a good deal and worth the visit.

And frankly, I still prefer the Goldie in Te Papa’s open collection on the 5th Floor.

Why I love Welly…

I’m a convert.  Not that it takes an awful lot, really.  And frankly that sounds really JAFA of me.  But what the heck.

I thought I would like it here in Wellington for a lot of reasons, and have had others tell me I would too since they themselves had.  But it’s a bit different when you have kids and aren’t just a couple on your own, so I was a bit concerned that it would be a bit of a tough transition.  But it hasn’t been.

So here’s some of the reasons why I’m loving it after three months…

1. Public Art
Please excuse the next few photographs.  Most were taken at dusk one night when I was able to escape from the house on my own for about an hour.  Click on them to see a larger version.

Poetic Art at the Wharf

Nikau Palms

Mimetic Brotherhood

Ferns

Albatross

The Bronze Man

Footpath Tiles

Per Capita

Per Capita 2

For better images of some of these pieces of public art, you should visit the Wellington Sculpture Trust website.  Frankly I’ve barely scratched the surface with these few pieces.  There’s at least four pieces in a one kilometre run from Evans Bay Parade to the roundabout just before Miramar and the Airport.  You can see those at the website link above, just as we do every time Miss Oh Waily goes to her daycare.

2. Children’s Bookshops
So I’m a bit sad about books.  It’s an addiction, okay?  Let it go.
Anyway, in Auckland – population approximately 1.4 million people – I’ve come across one (1) children’s bookshop.  Dedicated to kids books only.  That’d be Dorothy Butler in Ponsonby.  There may be more but I’ve never seen them.
So far, here in a city of less than 500,000 people, I have come across two.  I thought I was in heaven when I found The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie, but then today I was in Petone and found the Story Time Books for Kids shop too.  How wonderful.

3. Cheeky Monkey
The ladies of Cheeky Monkey – Wellington chapter 😉 have been fantastically welcoming online and in person.  Thanks Sharyn for setting up a forum that allows people like me to make new connections, especially when we move to a new place.

There are more reasons, not least the ridiculously pervasive coffee culture, and when I get some time I will elaborate on them.  But I think these three are a pretty good starting point.

Oh, and who can deny Lonely Planet’s taste.