Local Heart, Global Soul

May 29, 2018

Finding The Beehive…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the buildings in Wellington New Zealand is not only iconic and famous, but also etched into my childhood memories.

That building is of course the “Beehive”, the name of New Zealand’s Parliament building.

It stands next to the old parliament building, of typical English colonial style, square, grey, columns, graceful and formal.

The Beehive in contrast looks exactly like it’s name, taking the form of a medieval beehive, an upturned basket, small, compact, and … round!

Interestingly New Zealand’s national co-ordination centre for Civil Defence is (or at least still is, as far as I know) in the depths of the building, ready to co-ordinate all sorts of agencies, rallying in times of a national or large disaster.

When there are “events” such as the large Christchurch earthquakes, all of the emergency services become quickly overwhelmed.

Help is therefore recruited from local organizations, businesses, clubs and volunteers who have practiced for these situations.

For example: four wheel drive club members turned up to help get Doctors and Nurses to hospitals over broken roads impassable to anything except off-road style vehicles. Businesses go through practiced drills to account for staff members and get them into safe areas.First Aiders will gather at places like schools to help assist with the many minor injuries and triage those who need urgent transportation to hospital. The irony is that the Beehive sits on top of a huge fault line, how they would manage co-ordination should the “big one” hit Wellington, I don’t know, but I assume that they have a range of measures in place. My sister, Mother and I did a holiday tour here in our early teens; I still remember our time in the old parliament building, and eating lunch in the sunshine on the steps outside afterwards. The building is not high compared with its downtown neighbours, and there are so many new high rises that we found the Beehive harder to locate than we thought. It peeks out with us on the wrong side of one-way streets, until finally it pops into view.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 28, 2018

Both Foreign And Familiar…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON,WELLINGTON & REGION — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Following on from yesterday’s post, Himself and I are driving back into central Wellington for a dinner appointment with the daughter of one of my oldest friends. I’ve known her literally from the day she was born, and even though we have been continents apart for most of her life, there have been plenty of visits and time spent together over the years. She is a very talented artist and is finishing up her Fine Arts degree in Wellington. On our way to her flat (apartment) we take a look at the center of Wellington city. It’s changed a lot since the first time I visited here as a kid, I feel that with each visit more high-rise buildings have been added. The rain abates for part of the journey and I try to document a city center that is both foreign and familiar.

(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)

May 27, 2018

Raindrops Are Falling On Our Heads…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON,WELLINGTON & REGION — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch spent Christmas 2017 near Wellington New Zealand, catching up with friends and family.

We’ve been both busy and relaxed, and sharing as much time as possible with one of our hosts who has terminal cancer.

That is the biggest reason we are spending Christmas here and not in the South Island.

One of our little excursions was into Wellington, first for a look around and later for Himself and I to go out to dinner at the home of the daughter of one of my oldest and best Kiwi friends.

The daughter has just finished a Fine Arts degree and is winding up her time in the city, due to go back home to Christchurch in a number of weeks.

Unfortunately her arrival there is just days after our New Zealand departure so we arranged to meet up whilst we are here in the Wellington area.

She has found a wonderful boyfriend, we have hints that he may very well be “the one”. Inspection time from one of her mother’s oldest friends. (just kidding, but I am curious to meet the person we’ve heard so much about).We have news that in Christchurch the temperatures are soaring into the late 20’s (82 + in Fahrenheit) , but here the temps have been around 22 C (71 F) and it’s been either heavy rain, patchy rain, drizzly rain. It’s time to get out of the house, in the morning and have a little sight seeing tour, and get some photographs of some very brooding weather.

(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)

May 26, 2018

The Funniest Fish Faces…

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Directly next to the “hippopotamus” building of my yesterday’s post, we find this adventurous mural. It’s huge… the fish swim in a large school that covers the entire length of the building. Traffic behind us meant that pulling over wasn’t really an option, and the rain was getting harder. I had to compete with the windscreen wipers for space to see out of the windscreen: this is one funny mural, someone with an excellent sense of humor painted these fish. Wellington, New Zealand is excelling itself with beautiful murals and the decorative arts…Kudos!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 25, 2018

Let’s Put A …WHAT? On The Roof!

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Visiting Wellington New Zealand in the summer rain is not the easiest of sight-seeing tours. (“Just more buildings Mam?”) Luckily we are having a small run of fun and whimsical sights to relieve the kid’s boredom. This one is a golden hippopotamus on the roof of the ground floor verandah. As you do.
I think it’s fun… and I’m adding it to my list of quirky, whimsical sights that brighten up my day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 24, 2018

Bright, Humorous And Quirky!

Filed under: ART,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Having visited the excellent Brickworld LEGO exhibition in Te Papa, rain or no rain, Family Kiwidutch decide to take a small look around Wellington City. We don’t have to drive far before we see this mural. As a “collector” of these kind of images, I quickly tried to get a decent close-up. This mural is bright, humorous and quirky… right up my street!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 23, 2018

“People Probably Won’t Even Notice”… But They Do!

Regular readers of this blog know that I am always on the lookout for quirky things. Detail stands out like neon for me, I see it everywhere. There are thousands of functional items on a single city street, somewhere, somehow , sometimes, someone had the opportunity to make part of these functional items decorative. I’m fairly positive someone also uttered the phrase “I wonder why we bother? people will probably not even notice this” (the decoration).

Well Mr or Ms Designer: I notice! Even whilst I’m waiting in the Te Papa, parking area for Himself to pack the wheelchair into the car, standing with the crutches so that he can put them in last, I notice that the top of the bollards around me are decorated with Kiwi’s! I haven’t had the chance to see if there are more of these around the city of Wellington, but hey, this is brilliant. Just sneak tiny little pieces of detail into some of the thousands of pieces of functional items on city streets, and make (at least some) people smile.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 22, 2018

Waka: Canoes That Ruled The Sea…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON,Wellington: Te PaPa — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before leaving TePaPa I am keen to look at one exhibit in particular, the beautiful Waka on display.

Unfortunately for me it is housed in low light settings and since I am not a fan of using the camera flash this presented a problem.

Himself was getting restless by now, and keen to wheel me to where the other were waiting, the smaller children from our hosts extended family being rather overly tired by now. I therefore took these photographs under less than idea circumstances. Nevertheless, the carving is stunning and I hope to return on a future trip to photograph it better. The first photograph in this post is of the entrance area.

Waka” (pronounced: “wok ah”) are Māori watercraft, usually canoes ranging in size from small, unornamented canoes (waka tīwai) used for fishing and river travel, to large decorated war canoes (waka taua) up to 40 metres (130 ft) long.

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Waka taua (in Māori,waka means “canoe” and taua means “army” or “war party”) are large canoes manned by up to 80 paddlers and are up to 40 metres (130 ft in length.

Large waka, such as Nga Toki Matawhaorua which are usually elaborately carved and decorated, consist of a main hull formed from a single hollowed-out log, along with a carved upright head and tailboard.

The gunwale is raised in some by a continuous plank which gives increased freeboard and prevents distortion of the main hull components when used in a rough seas.

Sometimes the hull is further strengthened, as in the case of Te Winika, a 200-year-old design, by a batten or stringer running lengthwise both inside and outside the hull just above the loaded waterline. The resurgence of Māori culture has seen an increase in the numbers of waka taua built, generally on behalf of a tribal group, for use on ceremonial occasions.

Traditionally the war canoe was highly tapu (sacred).

No cooked food was allowed in the craft and the waka had to be entered over the gunwales, not the bow or stern which were highly decorated with powerful symbols. Canoes were often painted with black or white with black representing death.

The main colour was red which stood for tapu. Sometimes a waka would be placed upright as a marker for a dead chief with the curved bottom of the hull carved.

Māori told missionaries during the Musket wars that battles between waka took place at sea with the aim being to ram an enemy’s waka amidships at high speed. The ramming vessel would ride up over the gunwale and either force it under water or cause it to roll over.

The enemies were either killed, left to drown or captured to be used in cannibal feasts or as slaves if they were female. This description matches the attack on the ship’s boat of Abel Tasman in Golden Bay in 1642 when a Māori catamaran rammed a cock boat and 4 Dutch sailors were killed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waka_(canoe)
Wikipedia / Waka / Maori Canoe / New Zealand

May 21, 2018

Star Wars LEGO, Not Just The Box Is Hefty…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON,Wellington: Te PaPa — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Exiting the Brickworld LEGO exhibition, Little Mr and I find ourselves once more in the “pop-up” shop outside.

This time we look inside (it was tiny so this didn’t take long) and there were the usual conversations about how some of the sets were on his wish-list, hints about his upcoming Birthday and the like.

The usual responses were uttered, practical elements of just-how-on-earth-would-we-get it home?

A reminder the a trip to the LEGO shop in Singapore is already planned for the return journey, etc etc.

Little Mr is not “into” Star Wars at all, but we both stopped in our tracks (wheels for me) when we saw this Star Wars set.

The box was large and heavy too (I went to lift it up for a slightly better camera angle, having first asked if would be ok to take photographs).

It wasn’t just the box that was weighty… the price was pretty hefty as well.

Eight hundred ninety-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents, Phew!!! I looked up the currency conversion and got these results: Euro 525.66 and US Dollar: 621.34. Even Little Mr. thought that this was far too expensive for LEGO bricks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 20, 2018

From Concorde To The International Space Station…

The next pieces in the Te PaPa Brickworld LEGO exhibition concern Man’s innovations into breaking free from the confines of earthly barriers. The first is the breaking of the sound barrier in “normal” passenger travel, and then even further free from our atmosphere in the shape of the International Space Station. Family Kiwidutch visited a real Concord: (https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/new-1587/ This Old Lady Was Once Faster Than a Speeding Bullet… ) when we visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum in the town of Yeovilton, England, so we had a reference to compare the details of this model to the real thing. One thing that is very striking is the tiny space in the passenger cabin. To say that this plane is skinny is an understatement, Concord is positively anorexic in the width of the passenger cabin. I know one person who has travelled on Concord, he saved up for the trip and flew to New York. He rated it as a very special experience, but it was almost too short a trip for the amount paid for the ticket. Sadly the drain on his wallet meant an economy flight back to Europe, the experiences poles apart.

(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)

The model of the International Space Station was appropriately enough, far above our heads. I captured what detail I could, it’s a bigger model than I bargained on, and getting it to hang up must have been no small feat either.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concorde
Wikipedia / Aircraft / Concorde

Wikipedia / International Space Station
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station

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