Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Years Day - Wellington

For us it was a sleep in - no children - and then we went to the movies after a scrummy lunch at Gordon and Di's.

Harry went to the second Hunger Games movie and Theresa and I went to see Philomena.

The movie is based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.
It is a true story of a woman who kept secret the fact that she had a baby boy conceived out of wedlock - something her Irish-Catholic community didn't have the highest opinion of - and given away for adoption in the United States.

Philomena Lee searches for her son who was taken away from her when she was forced to live in a convent. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn't allow for any sort of inquiry into the son's whereabouts.

After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith, a BBC reporter with whom she decides; after fifty years, to discover her long-lost son.

The movie focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee and Sixsmith and the barriers they come across.

The movie was held at the Embassy Theatre, at Courtenay Place in Wellington. It has changed since the days of old red seats when I used to go there. But some of the interior has been preserved.

The inside has been refurbished and I found the entrance way to the front lounge caught my eye.

The convenience was that Theresa just lives a few doors down so it wasn't far to go from parking the car, which was just as well because by then it was pouring.

Harry got a bit wet running to his film.

On returning to Gordon's I watched some of the native birds feeding from their balconies.


A pair of Kaka (New zealand native brown bush parrot) have come to feed. They give them almonds which they are rather partial to.

And the usual Tui's (Parsons bird) feeding on sugar water.

And then we (Gordon, Di and us) were joined by my other brother Stuart and his wife Liz, Theresa and Steven and had a lovely New Years meal and time of family sharing. Relaxing around the table I realized how precious our family are and that we are blessed with good relationships.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Time in Wellington

On the first full day in Wellington I was able to go with Theresa while she had some routine tests for her pregnancy. I considered  this such a privilege as we live so far away I haven't been able to really be a part of all her progress so it was good to just sit and chat while she waited.

We then went and had lunch at a favourite restaurant of Theresa's Floriditas  in upper Cuba Street.

I had scrambled eggs with avocado & tomato on grain toast. There were many egg dishes on their menu along with other choices.

Such a wonderful place to just sit and relax and the service was so polite and unobtrusive.

We were sitting just behind (to the right) of the decor divider in the photo below.

After an hour we were on our way to see a few other shops down in Lampton Quay near where I used to work in the ANZ bank many years ago.

I was looking for a magazine I am keen to get on a monthly basis and I also wanted to have a look at the Christmas window displays at Kirkcaldie and Stains as they are always very 'magical', as well as the Christmas shop.
I have always love Kick's as we called it and in our lunch time some of us young ladies would pop in to the millinery department and try on some of their fine hats.

It is a very fine but expensive store even with a doorman. I always imagined that if the Queen were to go shopping in Wellington this would be were she went.

The window displays were a lot smaller now than the full window displays of yesteryear but they were still displays with lots of moving figures. It was with disappointment that we arrived on the third floor to see some store assistants boxing away the last of the Christmas trees and this only on New Years Eve. I don't know if they had an after Christmas sale but there was certainly no real time to pursue some beautiful bargains. Perhaps that was just as well!

So what to do now.
View Larger Map

We decided to go up to my brothers for the rest of the afternoon and so walked to the railway station to catch the Johnsonville unit to Crofton Downs.

By the time we got to the Station there was just enough time to buy a ticket and find a nice seat on the new Units.

Arriving at Crofton Downs we then walked up the hill to my brothers and had a well earned rest before Harry took Theresa home.

Later that night Harry and I had a New Years Eve Tea with Gordon and Dianne. And talked until the year ticked over.

2014 A new year for Harry and I to step out in our new life of a year after our nest emptied.

View of Crofton Downs Railway from Gordon's

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Surprise Visit

For the summer holidays we were going to trip around the East Coast of New Zealand but unfortunately the days we had planned were going to end up rather wet for camping so we decided to head to Wellington, a 460 kilometer trip.

We hadn't told anyone (although I did check with my parents on the morning that it would be alright to stay at their place) and as a surprise we decided to call on our eldest daughter Theresa and her partner Steven at tea time and ask them what's for dinner.

Well with things needed doing before we left we weren't on the road until after 12 (mid-day) and with the speed restrictions tight for the summer break it was a slow trip.

Most of the time it drizzled too so one had to be careful. We made it to Wellington by 7.45pm and I rung Theresa from outside their apartment.
In Theresa's apartment - sorry a bit blurry

She was suitable surprised/shocked and let us park in their parking spot in the building.

She took a pic - us sitting on a couch resting up - and sent it to her sisters as none of them knew we had headed this way.

Fortunately they did have enough for tea and we had a special time just being together, organizing what we were going to do over the next couple of days, sharing and enjoying each others company.

We then headed up to my brother and sister-in-laws place for a well earned nights sleep. We had rung them to get details of staying at my parents and they just invited us to stay at theirs which is always lovely.