Happy New Year, Winter Solstice, and Matariki!

Matariki

At Earthsong:  A time to plant, and a time to rest and reflect… Tanya and Yuki have planted a hundred garlic cloves in the Earthsong community garden for harvesting on midsummer day.  But with looming frosts and lots of rain, better to wait a month or two before planting most other crops outside.  Trays of seedlings nestle on our deck awaiting […]

More Matariki Events…

Patricia Grace

Our first Matariki event was an afternoon tea with distinguished Maori writer Patricia Grace at the refurbished Edwardian Masonic Hotel in Devonport. Patricia  was introduced by Mere Whaanga who is currently the writer in residence at the Michael King Centre in Devonport. Patricia Grace has just launched her new novel, Chappy, her first major fiction work in […]

A Treat at Tongariro

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We ‘ve just had an invigorating break in the dramatic Tongariro National Park in the Central North Island. We enjoyed the icy air and  rosy snow-capped mountains at dusk on our first day,  exploring the mounds on the plateau left by an ancient avalanche, a drive up to Scoria Flat on the rocky volcanic slopes of Ruapehu, misty bush walks beside […]

Coming Home…

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A couple of interesting discoveries on the way home from National Park.. In Owhango, a pair of pensioners having a cuppa in a shop window caught our eye, so we stopped to inspect them more closely – a cleverly crafted quilted couple…and just as Tanya was about to snap a photo, the owner of The […]

Right of First Refusal..

or Refusal of First Right? We are appalled that Nick Smith, Minister of Housing, has driven a bulldozer through Ngaati Whatua and Tainui Treaty settlements, claiming that the “right of first refusal” enshrined in them means nothing – that the government is entitled to sell designated Crown land (some already offered to iwi) to private […]

Arts, Animals, Admiration, Ambivalence..

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We had an unexpected opportunity in late April to visit the Gibbs Farm Park in Kaukapakapa, north of Auckland. On earlier journeys we’d glimpsed from the road Bernar Venet’s corten steel cluster (called 88.5° ARC x8) but were even more impressed by Neil Dawson’s beautiful Horizons and Maririjke de Goey’s The Mermaid, above…     […]

Defiant Architecture

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre

  We’ve been stimulated and inspired by several films in the recent Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, particularly three about extraordinary women, and two about New Zealand’s own Ian Athfield. Three Women’s Worlds Those who Dare, Win featured Zaha Hadid,  born in Baghdad in 1950, and  widely regarded as the most extraordinary architect in the world at […]

ALL FRESCO: K-Road Art 2015

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Dingy alleyways and dirty walls around Karangahape Road are blossoming with art works. Congratulations to the K-Road Business Association for inviting good street artists to enliven some of the bare walls in the neighbourhood.  This is a very creative alternative to fighting a losing battle against random taggers! Once a good piece of street art is created it […]