Back in the workaday world after drinking in (and drinking, in!) the glorious Spring sights and sounds of Auckland…
Yes, I did take some pictures. And, yes, I will inflict them share them with you.
Beyond this thicket of acacias, eucalypts and bladey grass is the log cabin we called home for almost 20 years…
...and here… the winery and restaurant and more vines.
We stopped overnight near Brisbane to visit an old friend and, just for laughs, he drove us back to the village where we all lived til a few years ago. They say “never go back” and I have no desire to, but it was fun to see how things have changed, if only to strengthen the resolve never to return!
The gardens, once the showpiece of the winery, appear to have been ripped out. Granted, it’s still early Spring, but what has become of all the roses? I still bear scars from the annual pruning of some venerable “Albertine” and “Milkmaid” and “Dorothy Perkins” and many other pricklies. No sign of them now, so ,presumably, their woodland underplantings will also have been ripped out…
So…an evening of talking, laughing, eating, drinking, reminiscing, eating, drinking…and then an early trip to the airport.
About halfway up the motorway, one of those lightbulb billboards flashed: accident 2kms ahead. right lane closed Oh, great! And there is no way to get off this damn’ road! So we slowed to near-snail -speed and by the time we got to the supposed accident, all was clear.Not a sign of broken glass, crumpled fenders, ambulances. Nada! I think they just like to scare the bejeezlehoop out of people en route to the airport!
Most of our trip was to do with family stuff. No, really, it’s not interesting blog material!
I had hoped to catch up again with blogger friend Denise, but between meetings (me) and workmen(her) we were not able to connect. Next time, eh, Denise? And we did not go South this time so that’s another reason to look at the 2009 calendar!
But the Fujica got a work-out!
It’s been a long time since I saw cherry blossom, but this trip made up for it! The flowering cherry lines just about every street in the suburb where we stayed.
Magnolia, almost at the end of its season…
And it would not be an Auckland Spring without kowhai
Clicking the link will take you to Wikipedia’s much better photo (personally, I reckon theirs is stuffed ‘cos these birds are incredibly acrobatic when feeding; I think it might have to be “tripod time” if I want to get decent shots!) Despite The Man’s mother having kowhai in both front and back gardens, with tui reeling drunkenly from one to the other, I finally took this picture several streets away. Heard them, too, on this trip.
I went “a bit mad” with the Toon pictures…
Toona sinensis; hundreds of Aucklanders have these in their gardens, but it’s only now, in their Spring pink foliage that they are noticed.
Let’s take a little break from gardens…
This is a picture of a 1973 Mustang Mach 1.
It is also a picture of The Man, who bought it in Toronto, drove it to Vancouver (oh, c’mon, you don’t need a geography lesson!), shipped it to Auckland and drove it there for 5 years before selling it to a friend. This friend still drives it every day.
And if you still want gardens, look at the lovely broad beans against the fence!
Another bright garden…
On a trip further North, to visit a friend at Warkworth, we had a day out seeing various sights
Female Paradise Duck at Tawharanui Reserve…. and here with her mate
This reserve has an electronic gate, part of the pest-eradication programme, at the entrance. Once inside, you are free to get out of your car.We did, braving the cutting wind and threatening showers.
Part of an interesting enamel information board…
Looking towards (I think) Kawau Island . Or maybe Little Barrier Island. I should know, as I’ve sailed over to Kawau more than once!
Never mind the multi-layered tropical tourist – just look at that beautiful crab apple!
This is the entrance to famous Morris and James Pottery at Matakana, an hour or so North of Auckland. Apart from some lovely ceramics, their small cafe has an oh-so-scrumptious menu!
We “hit the ground, running” on our return, with The Man back to work on Monday and me back to school on Tuesday. Then, of course, there was the Big Shopping Trip to the supermarket, the tangle of stuff in the garden, the mail to sort through. What? Back-read all the blogs? Surely, you jest! I’ve managed to get around some of you and will try to catch up as I go. Better than that I cannot possibly promise. Especially as I have added swimming to my programme!
Yep! I finally got back into the pool yesterday, after too long on land. I never was fast or stylish in the water and am now very “rusty” so it’ll take a while before I have any hope of racing my friend on our weekly dips. But I’m sure the exercise will do wonders for my creaking shoulder. Coupled with regular elbow-bending, I could be a force to reckon with. At the pub, at least!
Before I go…I had an email from our sculptor friend telling me I had mis- credited him with the steel sculpture in his garden. These striking birds are, in fact, from Zimbabwe. Sorry, I don’t know who made them, but thanks, Adriaan, for pointing it out.