Our week began with a gorgeous day of sunshine! The weather report claimed that we would have four days of sun, but Loren and I did not leave it to chance. We took advantage and went out to Otari-Wilton’s Bush, a forested park of native trees and trails where we spent a couple of hours hiking around, as the clouds began returning.
It was easy to capture a better photo of the large wood pigeon. This one seemed quite happy to pose straight overhead. Their wings make a loud whooshing when they fly away. And, finally I caught my first tui photos – any time we have seen them before, they were either too hard to see or moved too fast from view. The tui has a unique repertoire of noises to their calls. It was lovely to see them better and to hear them once again.
We also saw the 800 year old rimu tree here. We were grateful that we had gone as the report was wrong – we were in for several days of clouds, one with nonstop heavy rains.
The next day I had the opportunity to attend a Workshop and Master Class at the studio where Loren and I have been practicing yoga, with a special visiting teacher from California who has extensive knowledge about the Bikram Yoga method. I had taken Craig’s master class many years ago at my home studio, and it was great to spend the afternoon with him again, especially now that I am a certified instructor.
During the introductions, a young woman from out of town claimed that she had attended my same Teacher Training. She did not look at all familiar though, so during my introduction I told her that we would need to talk.
On our first break she immediately was at my side, and I realized that of course I knew her, once she showed me a photo of how she had worn her hair four years ago! With her last name starting with K and mine with a W, we only saw each other in passing during the nine weeks of training. I was able to take her class the next day and am proud to call her my littermate. I have had the privilege to teach two more classes myself this week, and will teach one more before we leave Wellington.
I was able to spend a couple of hours seeing the second half of this year’s Academy Awards. Like the recent Women’s Olympics Ice Hockey game, there are eloquent, emotional, exuberant winners among the many Oscar nominees who cannot also win. It was entertaining and moving to see some of the additional artistic presentations.
I noticed this list on a post card as we walked around town:
Fish & Chips
and I realized that now Loren and I can say that we have tasted all three of these New Zealand specialties. “L&P is Adult lemonade,” per our waitress one day, and she added “lemonade with a fizz to it.” It was quite refreshing! I have also enjoyed finding the tasty Ginger Beer here that I had first discovered while we were traveling in Africa in late 2015. And, we just had to buy a container of Hokey Pokey at the supermarket on the recommendation of Loren’s Godson – vanilla ice cream with chunks of toffee sprinkled throughout. Delicious! I wonder how come this flavor has not made its way to the USA?
Two other unique foods that we have enjoyed here include the delightful Egmont cheese – like a gouda/cheddar blend, and, a lean venison. We were advised to try it as it is not as gamey as the wild deer we have each tried in the US. When Loren and I had driven around the North Island last month, we were surprised to occasionally come across a large herd of deer on a fenced off hillside. We learned that the grass-fed venison medallions are popular here. We finally picked up a package to cook for ourselves, and I am hard pressed to call it even slightly gamey and can now suggest this dish too!
The City Gallery – an art gallery had been closed for remodeling until this week, and we paid them a visit. The theme going on currently is all about New Zealand, teaching us more about the country.
The gallery was showing the 1995 film Forgotten Silver. Loren and I were impressed with how well made it was, but, the story it tells – about the recovered films of an early 19th century film maker, is incredible. Rightly so. The writeup that we only briefly read as we entered the viewing included the word hoax, and that stuck with me. I took a photo of the account as we exited, and in pursuing it online later, I found how Loren and I were quite easily duped as were many New Zealanders when it was first aired. I love the second sentence of what one of the directors had responded to an angry reporter who was also duped, which was included in the review: “The art of storytelling is the art of spinning a convincing lie. I’m not going to apologise for doing my job well.”
To conclude this week’s post, I am including a few random photos from walking around Wellington, where we have very much enjoyed holing up for nearly a month.