I stand at the magnificent height of 5′ 2 1/2″ – please don’t ask me the metric equivalent. I know it’s somewhere around 160cm…somewhere…
I don’t often feel tall among adults; why would I?
But there was one time – just one – where I simply towered.
Some years ago, while exploring Buenos Aires, I needed to use the bathroom in the local mall. I entered the room and dutifully joined the long queue outside the cubicles. Public loos are not really conducive to conversation, especially when you don’t speak the language so I kept my head bowed so as not to seem too nosey.
But in order to see how much longer I had to wait I raised my head and saw a line of heads reflected in the mirror in front of me. One was much higher than the others. I looked closer. It was me … a tall me! I was a good head and shoulders taller than anyone else.
What was my first thought?
After squaring my shoulders and rising to my full height, I chuckled to myself thinking that they might well be looking at the amazon in the line and envying my long legs!
I must apologise to all of you lovely people who’ve chosen to follow my blog. My recent inactivity is due to total pre-occupation in securing a new job.
My life has taken a totally different turn. My new job is at Wellington Zoo – not as a keeper mind you. My new role is to ensure the business thrives now and into the future.
I am SO happy – as happy as a pig in clover in fact!
I am surrounded by the cheerful chatter of animals and children all day long. Every day I learn more about the wonderful animals we share our world with, and appreciate more the love and skills of those who care for them. It is fascinating and so rewarding. In the photograph I was being shown how to feed a lion (not that I need to in my job) – it was all about raising the tasty morsel of meat in my flat palm UP to the netting, and letting the lioness take the meat from me. My first two attempts were abysmal as fear made me pull my hand away too quickly.
But on my third attempt, I held my palm up and felt the gently stroke of Zara’s tongue, and the soft fur of her muzzle.
What an incredible privilege!
I love my new job … the idea of working in a zoo had never registered on my radar even though I absolutely love animals. I was determined to work in arts for the rest of my working life, honing my skills toward that end.
My surprising change in direction came as the result of a chance encounter.
Further endorsing what I have always told my children – make the most of every opportunity!
Lost in the detail of this yummy plateful of bruschetta (devoured last night at Wellington’s Maria Luca Restaurant) is the tangy taste of the fresh tomatoes, aubergine, feta and garlic and the delicate crunch of the lightly toasted ciabatta.
Oh my god – this dish was divine. And before you think we were short changed on the corner of the plate, two of my fellow diners whipped their first tastings off the plate before I could navigate the password on my cell-phone.
I will return to Maria Luca just to have another plate of bruschetta. Forget sharing – I’ll have one all for myself!
You’ll have to come to New Zealand to read the poetic inspirations dotted around Wellington’s waterfront – known as the Wellington Writers’ Walk. The challenge for tourists is to find all the quotes …
The series of large, concrete, typographic ‘text sculptures’ designed by award-winning Wellington typographer and graphic designer Catherine Griffiths are sited at various points along the waterfront. Each sculpture contains a quote by a well-known New Zealand writer with strong Wellington connections. There are currently 11 text sculptures.
This sculpture features the words of Denis Glover (1912-1980).
In New Zealand, the red blooms of the Pohutukawa tree herald the arrival of summer. The theory goes, that the early the flowering, the longer the summer.
This summer the Pohutukawa flowers have been spectacular. So has the summer – intermittently
I took this photograph while climbing to the summit of Mount Maunganui (on the Coromandel Peninsula) early in the morning on New Year’s Day. I was not alone; many other walkers and runners started the year with the same good intention.
I loved our few days spent in Mount Maunganui. Great beaches, great surf, great food -surrounded by beauty. Hidden by the tree on the right hand corner of this image is Tauranga. Mount Maunganui Beach is to the extreme left, with Pilot Beach (lined by Norfolk Pines) is centre.
Pohutukawa blooms below.
New Zealand native Pohutukawa … our Christmas flower
It had been a miserable day, with unrelenting rain, so last night we went to Wellington’s Embassy Theatre to see Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.
The Embassy is a theatre, which was opened in 1924 and was refurbished in 2001, in time for the world premiere of the first of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The theatre is gorgeous – an very stately old dame. As you enter her wide doors on Cambridge Terrace, you ascend to the first floor via elegant curved stairways with beautiful art deco tiles in deep blues and greens lining the walls. She always takes my breath away.
Last night I searched for the tile I’d heard about at a recent funeral. One of Wellington’s beloved, an extremely kind and generous philanthropist, funded the tiling of the walls. All he asked for in recognition of his generosity was for one tile to be placed honouring of his parents. I found it exactly where I thought it would be, very simple and discrete – with only a christian name for each of them and the initials of their surname – perfect. I felt so moved by this one simple gesture that I wanted to hold my fingers to my lips then press them gently against the tile.
Choc-dipped ice cream in hand, I settled into my sumptuous leather seat, sponsored by another well-known Wellington identity. The lights went down plunging the auditorium into near darkness but for the latticed domes on either side of the screen. After a one-handed scrambling at the bottom of my handbag for my camera clutching my ice-cream cone in the other, I managed to take just one photo. If I’d had more time, and two hands, I would have tried to show the magical lattice effects on the surrounding walls and ceiling.
These dresses were part of the annual New Zealand Fashion Week which includes a category for young designers to design and construct a cocktail dress made only from toilet paper. The results, many taking hours and hours of painstaking work, are clever and stunning.