Local Heart, Global Soul

October 13, 2018

Woodn’t You Know It, It’s THIS Challenge Again…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch had just settled into our accommodation in Hanmer Springs in January 2018, when we received notification that the winter firewood supply would be arriving.

We were asked could we keep the garage open so that it could all be stacked inside to dry out for winter please?

could we  also please arrange a time convenient to us for this stacking to take place too?

Kiwi Daughter suddenly jumped up with an emphatic exclamation: “Stacking wood? MY Job! I want to do it!”

Her request was relayed to a very surprised Hanmer Holiday Homes staff who manage the house and bookings and Kiwi Daughter got her wish.

Kiwi Daughter has happy memories of completing a firewood stacking challenge almost five years previously:  “Kiwi Daughter Wood Prove Me Wrong…”  (https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/new-2374/) and clearly is relishing the physical challenge once again.

They came with a trailer and dumped a very decent sized heap of wood in front of the garage door, closer at least to the stacking site than in the playhouse last time. She immediately grabbed the gardening gloves and set to work with gusto. In fact she worked so hard it was difficult to get her to some for dinner… a very familiar theme to that of the last time. She did however admit that it seemed to be harder work this time than last time, and that her hands were suffering a little in spite of the gloves.

Aches and pains aside Kiwi Daughter was proud of herself for persevering, and rightly so, we were proud of her too. She got through more than half of the pile the next day, but a sudden change in our holiday plans put the completion of her task on hold for several days. She did however get back to the task in hand as soon as we returned, and did an amazing job. Well Done sweetheart… this is a challenge you completed almost single handily this time and “Woodn’t” you know it, this city kid can get stuck into a heavy manual job and do herself proud!

October 12, 2018

When Weather Fronts Collide…

Our first night in Hanmer Springs brought a spectacular sunset. The little alpine village lays in a small basin lodged between the smaller hills that separate it from the coast to the east, and the foothills of the Southern Alps to the west. Each of these coasts of New Zealand’s South Island have their own unique weather patterns and sometimes, on evenings like this, we sit in the exact spot to see the two collide. There is a weather front on the west coast colliding with one on the east and the result is an amazing cloud formation that was a stunning sight as the sun set. These photos were all taken in less than ten minutes in a 360 degree view around the little house we were staying in.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 11, 2018

Library WiFi And Local Botanicals…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch arrived in Hanmer Springs in January 2018 on some of the hottest days of the summer.

After dinner in the alpine village we tried once again to hook up to the internet at our accommodation.

As per our attempts in the afternoon we met with no success, much to the dismay of our offspring.

The little house we are staying in is supposed to have Wi-Fi (which by the way is pronounced a “Why Fy” in English but “Wee Fee” in Dutch and many other European countries) and not only is it a luxury, on this trip it is also a necessity.

Our kids are out of school (with special permission) during the school term, but one of the provisos is that, as much as is possible they need to not get behind with homework.

Kiwi Daughter in particular, nearing the end of her penultimate year, is anxious to not fall behind, none of us really realising how much work she covers in school in a week until she had to catch it up on her own during this trip.

Himself needs to keep an eye on clients and work emails for anything out of the ordinary, I have most of my blog ticking over on the WordPress Schedule, but some posts need fine tuning and I’m trying to not get too behind with replies to comments.

The luxury part is of course that kids today feel that even if they swim, walk, bike and what-ever during the day, that the world will probably collapse if they can not watch their favourite You Tuber’s latest post or movie in the evening.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Trust me, if you have a teenage and near teenage kid feeling this way then as parents you want to find Wi-Fi a.s.a.p. for the sake of your own sanity, especially if you have several rainy days in a row.

Of course kids should not be melded to their devices, but in reality going cold turkey does not make for a relaxing, peaceful holiday. 

Whilst Hanmer Holiday Homes were trying to sort out the source of the Wi-Fi problem at the house, we went in search of a place to log on.

The local library provides a free Wi-Fi hot-spot which is well advertised at various accommodation and information spots so we were not the only ones finding a spot to sit in front of the building.

I took photos when a family group left, but others quickly came to claim the empty seats. The temperatures have been above 30 C during the day so even at eight thirty the temperatures is a balmy 25 degrees or so.

After checking my stuff I turn my attention to a plant nearby, but not being botanically inclined, I can’t name it.  

I love the idea that whilst we sit in this heat, this plant has a pattern on it that makes it look the edges of its leaves are rimmed with ice crystals and frost. The silver under-sides of the leaves contrast wonderfully with the various shades of green on the top and the leaves have a lovely texture to them. These are beautiful examples of leaves that I may well like to draw so I’m saving these photos here on my blog for my arty reference library files. There is nothing icy about this beautiful plant, in fact it heats up many ideas about how I might draw these in the future.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 10, 2018

Voting Achieved Nothing Except A NZD 400,000 Blowout…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In recent years there has been much debate about the New Zealand flag.

Many kiwi’s wanted to see the removal of the Union Jack since ties with the United Kingdom have for decades not been as they were when New Zealand was part of the British “Empire’.

With the empire long gone it is only natural they we should loose this part of our flag since it is no longer relevant.

The biggest problem was deciding what to replace it with. submissions were made from across the nation, from everyone from commercial design companies to school children.

The thousands were whittled down to around one hundred, and from there down to around forty. The next problem was that those chosen few who decided on the last forty appeared to have decided on the flags that everyone hated the most.

The one flag that people did like (the long standing unofficial black flag with fern leaf) was not on the shortlist either. Who knows why not because it was popular with the people. The following problem was one of timing: Queen Elizabeth II still lives, and be you republican or loyalist, she has garnered a large amount of admiration and respect for her lifelong service as Head of State, so no one is really in the mood to change anything whilst she reigns.

Lastly the working on the voting paper was not clear for many people, if it had been better worded and given the options correctly there may have been hope. This campaign was therefore almost certain to fail from the outset and fail it did. The vote was inconclusive and no new flag was chosen, there was just a hole blown in the budget to the tune of 400,000.– New Zealand dollars to show for it.

That doesn’t mean that everyone remains happy with the current New Zealand flag though, so it was little surprise that I spotted one of the many “alternatives” on show in Hanmer Springs. Whilst it is not my favourite it is also far from the worst of the forty on the final shortlist. From an artistic point of view I’m interested in how the flag moves in the wind and how the image changes accordingly. At least my few photographs don’t blow the budget…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 9, 2018

Our Saints Meal Was Heavenly…

Arriving in Hanmer Springs again brings back many happy memories. the New Zealand summer has turned up the heat, delivering temperatures above 30C and we are enjoying every moment of it. We are having lunch at “Saints”, a restaurant, café, pub, in the village, burgers and salads on our menu. The outer seats were full when we arrived so we sat in the cool shade inside. The staff were very friendly, the food was great and we were very happy customers indeed. There is nothing like a good meal to get a stay off to a great start… You might even say that our Saints meal was… heavenly!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 8, 2018

Not Connecting These Four Today…

It wasn’t just the ” Rudolf” of yesterday’s posts that we saw when we arrived in the car park by “Saints” restaurant, café and bar in Hanmer Springs. There was also a giant version of the “Connect Four” game, complete with red and black disks to put down the slot. I eyed it up for a game but the temperature was 29C  (84.2F) and we were hungry so everyone was more interested in shade and food. Regular readers will know that I love this kind of thing, fun and quirky, What’s not to like?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 7, 2018

An Unusual Welcome Awaits Guests…

The Saints restaurant, café and bar in Hanmer Springs has an unusual welcome for Christmas time guests. We are greeted by our very own Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer, albeit a fake one made of wood. I think he’s delightful and an excellent way to be welcomed to their establishment.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 20, 2017

Mount Isobel Takes The Final Call…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

One of the things that I miss most after my accident is being able to just go for a nice walk.

Three years ago I also missed out on a decent walk, but one a little more taxing than I have ever made in The Netherlands.

Family Kiwidutch were on holiday in New Zealand, staying in the alpine village of Hanmer Springs, and the walk was in the top of Mount Isabel.

A long time friend of mine from Christchurch was visiting with her husband and daughter, she stayed with me and Little Mr, whilst her husband and daughter joined Himself and Kiwi Daughter getting some serious exercise.

The photographs were taken mostly by my friends husband and daughter, a few were taken by Kiwi Daughter and I think, none ended up being taken by rather cameraphobe Himself.

I mentioned earlier that I am missing a lot of the photographs that I took on this trip, of course I will add them at a later date if I find them.

In the meantime these are the last of my photographs from this trip so it’s probably easier to let the pictures talk for themselves…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

In the following photograph, Conical Hill is the one near the centre (almost covered in dark trees) it’s the walk that has become infamous in the Kiwidutch family (story yesterday) and is a very popular walk from the Hanmer village behind it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

A rather fuzzier close-up of Conical Hill…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Mountain stream, water was apparently very, very cold…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Mount Isobel as seen from below…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Very windy at the summit…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Kiwi Daughter (blue jacket) and my friend daughter (red jacket) images edited for family privacy (they know who they are after all!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Rocky decent…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

The long grassy stuff that they are walking though is called “tussock”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Considering that Kiwi Daughter grows up in The Netherlands which is as flat as a pan-cake, this hill is an accomplishment to be proud of!

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Conical Hill with the dark trees in the centre of the photograph, Hanmer Springs behind that, and on the other side of the hills in the far background, the road back to Christchurch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

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