Living in Wellington for a few weeks has been a real treat. I don’t think that we realised until we had been here a couple of days how often we had been on the move over the last few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, it had never seemed rushed (not that rushed figures in our lives nowadays) but we were always aware that the next transfer was only a few days away. We are certainly enjoying having this little airbnb apartment all to ourselves as well. Reminds us of the old days when we had a our own front door, oh yes and walls, floors and furniture. We are only a 15-20 minute stroll from the centre of Wellington and the return trip is definitely giving us a work out. Steep is an understatement but at least it works off a few calories.
We have been exploring Wellington at our leisure and it certainly has a relaxed feel. Despite being the capital, I think there are a lot of people passing through either for business or travel which all leads to a vibrant feel. A couple of days ago we could tell that there was a cruise ship in, even though we couldn’t see the harbour. Lots of groups of people with lanyards on with their little cardboard designer bags of shopping, with the obligatory ribbon handles. I, on the other hand, have found The Salvation Army Charity shop which has some pretty good bargains for the budget traveller. I think they should have their own brand “De Salva” who don’t provide bags because they are an ethical, eco and morally grounded retail outlet.
The harbour area has had a make over in stages and is now almost complete. The old wharfs and original cruise terminal have seen converted into shops and apartments which are intermingled with little retail units, restaurants, kayak and paddle board hire. We even found a very poor imitation our beloved German beer gardens. We swiftly moved on.
Having said all this – you have to pick your moment to take a stroll along the prom prom prom. The occasional Wellington winds can flare up at any time and the gusts are unreal and quite scary if you are in a built up place with lots of signage, flag poles, bars with sun umbrellas. This happened to us on our little walk so there was nothing else but to head for Mac’s Brewery to sample some of the craft ale.
The Force Awakens Art Deco Style
We had promised ourselves a trip to the cinema whilst in Wellington to see the new Star Wars film. Being lovers of the first three films (and not so much of the last three) we decided it was just one of those films that you have to see on the big screen. We found a cinema which was built in 1924 as the Embassy Theatre. The interior was fabulous and had two marble staircases, tiled and mirrored walls and Blondini’s Cafe and Jazz Lounge which was serving Star Wars cocktails. Even the toilets were opulent and no doubt frequented by celebs when the theatre hosted two world premiers of the Lord of the Rings films.
We were a bit concerned about whether the film would work for us. The last couple felt a bit corny and CGI’d . Added anxiety about using original stars, such as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, to compete with the new generation of Jedi and Resistance sidekicks was also a concern. (Move over Claudia Winkleman – we can do our very own Film 2016.) See what happens when you don’t go to the cinema much? It gets built up to some huge soul searching decision. Anyway, we loved it. Ready for the next one now.
For you veteran blog readers, you will remember we have visited one or two cricket grounds but never got to see a game. Well, you will be pleased to hear that we got to a full day of cricket. It was at the Basin Reserve, known as The Basin, a 20 minute walk from our current home.
It is the oldest cricket ground in New Zealand and has Heritage status. The first game being played in 1868 between Mount Cook Jail prisoners and officers and crew of HMS Falcon which was docked in Wellington at the time. Bet they weren’t wearing the fetching shell suits of the Wellington Firebirds and Auckland Aces.
It was a lovely warm day and play began at 11am. Sadly it was not well supported even though it was a Sunday but there were some families picnicing in the grassed area. We moved around every 20 overs or so to various vantage points to compare views of the wicket. It wasn’t the most lively game for falling wickets and 6’s but it was a great day out. I did, however, find the scoreboard a bit of a challenge to comprehend. Before you judge, so did Jon. It was a brilliant manual scoreboard but the little team of volunteers obviously found it all a challenge and figures seemed to be displayed in various random locations on a whim.
For example, with the game over using about 88 of the 100 overs, the “Overs left to play = 148” . So unfair, with me as a fledgling spectator trying to get my head around it all. We are hoping to see a Big Bash game in a few days time NZ v Pakistan so we are hoping for some “big bashing” and a decent scoreboard team.
By the end of play, the weather had turned and the Auckland Aces secured their victory before heavier, slightly wind-resistant bails were needed and the windy wicket in Wellington warning was given.
A final note. Thank you for all the virtual hugs so warmly received. We may be a long way away in our minds but our hearts are closer to everyone when a message, and especially a virtual hug, is received.
13.1 – 17.1.2016