Sunday, 15 December 2013

Arty Bees

I found a treat as I wandered up the street after the movie, an amazing bookshop. I now have the beginnings of a collection on my mantle. I have one to post to a small girl in Antwerp too. Arty Bees Books in Manners Street is a treasure trove of preloved books, Wellington's largest apparently. I was in heaven looking through the shelves, a good balm after the movie.

The shop is open late, a bonus for me as I live a little way away. I made a relatively quick, well very quick compared to others I book shop with, pick of five books. Four I've not read, written by favourite authors. One I've read a few times and have given away a few times. One worthy of a couple of reads. I'm relieved to find Arty Bees. I was a bit worried that I would finish my one real book in the middle of the night and have to download one.

Reading them from the iPad is just not the same. I don't actually find it relaxing and I'm never that sure of how far I am through the book. I know there's easy ways to find out, I haven't really tried. It also flips if you don't hold it up the right way, not read it in bed friendly at all. Preloved and new books that sit on my bedside cabinet are more my speed.

I finally got to read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, the other book on my shelf. I bought a copy in London, carried it around Europe then lost it on the way home from Portugal. It fell out of my bag on the plane, I hope the person who found it enjoyed as much as I did. A profoundly moving story I didn't want to end. Khaled is a gifted story teller and shares a history through people. It's much more gentle than this other two books I've read.

So my house is feeling a little more homely with some books on view, it's the small things. I love the area I'm living in. It's so close to everything with the bonus of some excellent walks right outside my door. Native bush, native birds, steep hill walks with places to sit and enjoy the view.

This morning I looked out my kitchen window and saw a tui in the huge pohutukawa tree, his beak worrying the flowers for their nectar. He was there a while, I watched and he sang a little as he systematically probed each flower. Amazing, I need to keep my camera in the kitchen just in case he comes back. My big shots today were not as good as my close ones, here's the city from one of the lower lookouts on the track.

Wellington, on another good day

Northern Walkway

I wandered the Northern Walkway again today. I suspect it will take me a while to explore all of it.

Saturday, 14 December 2013


Two in one day. I must be inspired, more likely unmired. I decided to take myself off to the movies this evening. The Paramount is apparently the oldest theatre continuously running in Wellington. It showed the first talkie in NZ. So the lovely man who sold me my ticket told me while he was pouring my wine. It's a grand place, worth the short bus ride to get there. I'm getting the hang of the buses, the number 3 saves me walking back up the hill.

The movie that inspired me to go out and about was Inch'Allah. It was harrowing, shot like a documentary, the truth with a story woven around it. Compassionate, sad, the story of a time and place where there are two sides. On with might, one quelled and controlled. The value of life different for both sides. This movies touches on that, a little.

Having had a border crossing experience in that part of the world, having had experiences I could hang this movie on, people in it who look and sound like friends. A language I understand snippets of, made it much more than it might have been. I feel so incredibly sad for the people of Palestine, sad that their efforts at self determination are so crushed, that their fight for basic human rights ignored by those powerful enough to do something about it. It felt odd leaving the theatre and stepping out onto a Wellington street, a whole world away.


So far a lazy Saturday, checking out what others are doing around the world, writing a few messages, sitting in the sun. Mostly sitting in the sun, enjoying this rare glimpse of real sun with heat in it, eating my toast. Smiling slightly at a day with nothing planned.

Well there is some planning done, the sound of the washing machine down the hall tells me it's almost time to hang out another load. Hanging out washing, a treat for this one who has been without a true washing line, an outside line, for a while. It was actually one of the prerequisites of my new place, one of the small things on the list that actually turned out to be bigger than expected. Balconies are not the same as hanging out washing on an outside line.

The line here is interesting. It's on a pully like the ones in Genova, it's low hanging over some riotous plants that have long stalks of sweet smelling flowers. At least I think it's those flowers that smell, I've not got that close yet and I'm not exactly a gardening genius. So hanging sheets out has posed a few issues. I don't mind the towels dragging a bit, the sheets are white. So this morning, feeling a little pleased with myself, I managed to hang them high enough and get them spread out enough to hopefully dry today.

It took a few goes, I'm sure the neighbours enjoyed the show. Wet white sheets draped over me then flung onto the line, folding king sized sheets to make them easier to fling. Oh, did I mention there's a fence to lean over and a small drop on the other side into some wilderness. The fence may be about as safe as the chair that collapsed under me, the only place I had to sit for a week or so.

And needing to get the sheets dry in a day as they're my only pair, that should be over by next weekend. Seven to 10 days they said, I'm keeping them to that. The last leg of the journey for my goods that have gone from the UAE to Cayman to Christchurch. There are some treasures I'm really looking forward to unpacking. i have places for some of them. The photos on the mantle of the not working gas fire in the living room. some of the other treasures on the hearth.

I now have a bed, not just a mattress on the floor but a proper bed. It's really comfy and the same height as the bedside cabinet I bought. A good fit. I also have a couch, a black leather couch that has a fold out bed and a storage place for those awkward to store things. It was one of two they could deliver the next week. It works and I've already sampled it for sleeping.

Suffice to say, I'm enjoying being in a proper house. A sun drenched house, north and east facing, with a view to the harbour. A glimpse rather than a view to soak up but that's okay. The view to the west is one of native bush, the east out over the city and the Botanic Gardens. Today's place for a wander.

There goes the jangle of the washing machine telling me it's finished. Outside time, I'll check out where that gorgeous smell is coming from. I wonder how they getting washing dry here?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

More than 1300

Photos to sort though, to edit and to enjoy. Memories to revisit. That's just from one of the memory cards, the last one I used. Photos from Hungary back to New Zealand. The Europe, UAE, Asia, Australia and New Zealand photos. Just a few here, I've not had much time. When I saw the yachts in the harbour from my Airbnb in Khandallah, I couldn't resist. Lovely time taking pics from the balcony and enjoying the back drop of bays and hills.

Here are just a few, there will be more to follow and stories too. 

Racing on Wellington Harbour

A wise friend - Perth

A day off - Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I'm back!

Well, here I am in Wellington. In my new place, with the internet, sitting on my new couch enjoying the peace and quiet. My new place is lovely, old and a bit rough around the edges, peaceful and sunny. I now have my Mac back so I can get the rest of the photos from my travels uploaded and shared. That's a job for the weekend, this working lark is tiring and for now my brain is full.