Travelling North

The flight landed in Wellington in New Zealand, and with a freshly picked up car, the three of us head to Palmerston North.

The wedding day dawns.

Brilliant blue skies and sunshine.

Just what they’d hoped for.

The wedding is at 10am in a park, in a spot specially picked out, and rows of chairs placed for the guests to be rested off their stilettos.

The skies open.

Down down down comes the rain.

A sea of umbrellas.

Soggy ground and shoes.

Soggy bride and groom, but absolutely beaming now as man and wife.

To the reception at the Race Course we head.

A lovely occasion and with friends and combined families, it was for them the sunniest day possible.

In the morning we meet again for brunch, at Fusion Cafe.

Now this looks like a wooden box from the street, with a door and couple of windows.

Really you think.

Inside it becomes what you’ve been hoping for – somewhere to get a great coffee and breakfast and with outdoor garden seating if you like.

10/10 on both.

Just delicious eggs with blue cheese and touch of crispy bacon.

Hardly touched the sides.

We wished the happy couple adieu and hit the road back towards Te Horo – about an hour north of Wellington.

An essential detour first though, to the family cemetery in Bulls.

A funny little town which seems to adore making fun of it’s own name.

Very creative signage on every building.

How could you not!

Fraserfield is a few minutes drive towards the mouth of Rangatikei river, ( featured in Lord of the Rings! ) and it’s awfully rainy as we drive towards the gates.

J and M, each with an umbrella explore the headstones seeing where distant relatives now lie.

These brave folk arrived in New Zealand in 1840, and most them are here.

They both love this stuff.

We stay on friend’s small farm that night.

So lovely to be here. So Peaceful. Nothing but the sounds of nature.

They moved from the city about 5 years ago and have taken to self sufficiency like the proverbial duck to water.

We are taken on the tour of vegie gardens, fruit orchards, barns and sheds, 4 sheep, and of course to see the Scottish Highland cattle.

Each with a name.

How gorgeous are those big soulful faces.

And who are you you can see them thinking.

Babes will be born to about three of them soon, and one by one others will be sold to other farmers or perhaps end up in the freezer.

We did in fact have a magnificent steak dinner that night.

Apparently it was Rory!

Time to head to Wellington.

J has a flight to catch.

Up the Cuba Mall we go, to Olive Cafe, a favourite of ours.

Staff are a bit offhand. Mmmm. Don’t they know who we are!

Coffee and a small plate of something are very good luckily.

The two of us go to Island Bay, one of the suburbs clinging to the rocky edge of the coast.

Time to pick up my gorgeous cousin and to Chocolate Fish Cafe, further round the bays, and beside one of Peter Jacksons many ‘Weta productions’ collection of former military buildings.

Quite an eclectic cafe but a good place to lounge about a bit and catch up on family news.

Does one feel a little hobbit-like being so close to all that?

That evening it’s to Lower Hutt, to see our nephew and their two lovely little ones.

What a gorgeous family.

Miss 6 year old, so shy at first then very excited to show us how well she can read, and the drawings she can do.

Master 3 year old has no shyness issues and loves a good rough and tumble game.

Milton is excellent at that.

He’s also an expert at challenging those little minds.

Has done it to every kid we know including our own – and they’ve turned out fine! We think!

Kids love being teased and challenged.

They’ve met just the right person.

Back that night to Te Horo and next morning a scrumptious breakfast and leisurely chat before we hit the road for Taupo.

Taupo in New Zealand is where our 3 day Sketching Workshop takes place.

Over the 3 days we are here, for those new to it, sketching becomes a passion.

Sketching is discovering, observing and recording.

And happiness.

We certainly see some excellent views and vistas, although we keep our sketches simple as we learn to observe.

Here are a few of my demo sketches.

These are done as I’m discussing how to get your shapes down, how to get your composition on your page – with white space around – not running off the page, and comparing shape against shape.

Then ways of applying colour, always leaving plenty of white – it gives your sketch dimension.

Each evening from our lakeside home, Milton & I are fascinated by the cloud patterns and sunsets.

The colours are glorious. A painting but not a sketch.

Taupo is so gloriously scenic.

More adventures to come. Watch this space.

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