Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A short sojourn in New Zealand part 1

In March I flew to NZ for my week of soul catching. (this photo I got from the Manawatu Estuary Trust - Bird Sanctuary facebook page and was taken by Terry Oliver-Ward who posts wonderful photos of Foxton Beach bird life) - of Godwits and I spent my arrival day at Foxton Beach checking out the bird life. Sadly it was raining - a lot - and I couldn't meander as much as I would have liked. on the Sunday they had a day of farewelling the Godwits when they set off on their marathon flight to Alaska to breed. Amazing.

There is a viewing platform and since it was raining and I only had sandals I stayed there and just got wet. The Estuary is always interesting and somewhere I roamed a lot when I was young, biking to Foxton Beach - you could go anywhere so long as you were back before dark and for tea.

My view of the birds and other wild life was a little limited 

 The Pukeho - I saw a few running around

On Day 2 Bev and I went on the river road trip up the Wanganui River - I did a wee bit last year and it was on my bucket list. 

I had actually done some preparation which is unusual for me and I took lots of photos and printed then our on my sprocket - love this little photo printer - so easy to use. 

The countryside is lovely and  - the river winds its way up

We drove through to Jerusalem but some of my photos will not turn around - this letterbox was made for us - The Sisters

 Now you have to turn your head on the side to check out Bev in front of the church - Jerusalem is famous for James K Baxter and the church which is in pristine condition with seats to sit on and things to do for religious people. We enjoyed the gardens.

Drove through to Raetihi for coffee and a bite to eat and then drove back to Palmerston North via brilliant countryside

This is such a beautiful photo so I am only sorry it is on its side.

And the back of my zig zag book

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A holiday in Provence

In October we had a week or so in Provence at one of our favourite places - Menerbes in Le Petite Luberon. We have stayed here a few times now and always love it. My favourite from Rousillon

This year the jujubier berries were atill out in flower - they are apparently very good for you so I ate some. They have had no rain in the area since April or so and it was very very dry. 

We went to lots of markets this time - this is in Gordes - always love the spices and herbs. And always buy some and then hope I can get them back into Australia. Never a problem so long as there is no citrus stuff.

Looking back at Gordes

St Remy de Provence - a busy market  

We managed to buy more then we needed and had to leave them for Stephen when we left

And we bought too many olives but don’t they look fabulous

At Aix en Provence there were loads of interesting mushrooms - overwhelming really because we don’t see these in Perth
One of our favourite spots is Rousillon - the home of the wonderful ochres 
Lots of great doorways and steps
It was very dry and we haven’t seen the vines like this before - not good for lavender either they told us  

Oppede le Vieux - love the hidden little places  

I took heaps of photos of pumpkins so I could draw some and play with my watercolours
We went to the markets at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue whre we saw all sorts of interesting stuff and bought a bit as well. In fact there was no money for lunch or a drinks so we had to go home with all our goodies. 
Les Baux de Provence - another fabulous spot but it was extremely windy and cold but packed with people even in October
The absolute highlight of our week was a visit to Carrieres de Lumieres at Les Baux - just fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area. Just can’t imagine how we have missed it before.  
A visit to Apt

Trying to capture the old vines and the leaves  

Farewell to Menerbes for 2017        

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

More Lake Garda

Annette and Terry came to Lake Garda for a few days so we have all been getting together. They stayed in a hotel right by the water's edge so we watched the Italian Nationals from there and swam in the pool - no rocks under my pummeled feet here.
Very nice too  
One of my little watercolours - it is so picture esque here.
Then we had an exciting night of thunder and lightning and when we woke we had no power - no water - and couldn't get the car out of the gate of course but a srt of substation arrived - apparently this was for the water - lots of activity and eventually all was well and off we went.  
It was not a sailing day so we took ourselves off for a drive and went up in the mountains to Lago di Ledra - beautiful spot 
There is a town top and bottom and potential for 1000s of people but it was quite quiet when we were roaming around  
Lots of boats big and small and camping and hotels and walking paths - very pleasant indeed. Be lots of snow in the winter too I imagine
My little skecthbook cover is coming along too 
Another sketch and watercolour - I am getting behind but that's okay
Yesterday's watercolours - a couple of daylilies - i nearly fell into the garden looking at these.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A trip to Verona

Yesterday we went on a trip to Verona - love all the props outside the Arena - when you go to a production you don't think about all the work involved. The opera changes every day. I can imagine the City of Vincent having a fit if this was all around Perth Stadium.
It was stinking hot weather - we decided to check out Juliet's balcony along with 5 million others.   
Spent timelooking in a coffee shop - full of ideas like this - coffee for one or two and all sorts of different tops. Someone has been busy coming up with a new idea. Most of us have cupboards full of stuff we don't use. But it was fun to see. My purchases for the day - 2 pot mits - 1 small useful colander - and my perfume at half what I usually pay on line.  
A prop all ready on the Arena wall
We had dinner before the show where we could sit in air con - very nice meal just what we needed and you simply choose your wine - had a lovely Sicilian red 
Rocking up to the Arena  
Inside the Arena - it wasn't full by any means. We had seats in a great spot for viewing but BOY - so uncomfortable. Fortunately we could all move up and spread our feet out on the seat below and it was so good you forget the pain after a while.  
We saw the modern version of Aida - had no idea - it runs until 23rd (different event every night though) and then the 1913 setting starts. It was fabulous - this was the Nile scene - I loved the colours and especially the friendly crocodiles - they movedthrough the water on skateboards. For us it was an experience of a lifetime - we made it back to Cassone and in bed by 3am. The opera lasted 4 hours.  
My watercolour for the day - a lone geranium - I try
One day I might try tackling a bunch
Another of Ian's photos of Cassone foreshore on our walk back the other night


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