The flight to Wellington was booked for 9.40am but it was delayed and didn't leave until 10.30am. But the flight was short, only 30 minutes and Jack and Jan were patiently waiting for us. Jan is a Lusk by birth and we met throught the internet 12/13 years ago but so far we have not been able to connect the family although her Lusks do come from Ayrshire so the chances are that there is a connection somewhere. She also has Baillie connections and we could be related through this line too..
Stopped at Scorching Bay on the way to Upper Hutt. A lovely bay with cafes along the waterfronet. We went to Scorch-o-rama, a cafe situated on the front and the only thing coming between the cafe and the beach was the road, which the waiters crossed diligently and often to greet patrons.
Mr T had Veggie Pizza , I had the Tomato and Saffron Seafood Broth, Jack had quiche and Jan had Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart. It was a very hot and clear day, headed to the supermarket for provisions for dinner and of course a bottle of wine. Jack always the gallant host made us a G & T before dinner and during dinner Mr T and I sampled the red whilt J & J had the white, not much changed there then.Tuesday
After a leisurely breakfast, we were on our way to the Dowse Museum in Lower Hutt. They had a display of designs by Kristian Fredrickson for the New Zealnad Royal Ballet. There were stunning designs on the walls of the artwork of the designer and the costumes which were made to his specifications were magnificent. Materials of Lace, jewels and feathers all used to enhance the costumes.
From her we drove to Petone, the area where the first settlers arrived, after a short while it was apparent that this was quite a blustery coast and then moved around to what is now Wellington. Lots of shops here and many cafes. Jackson Street is a haven for the cafe culture and the small boutique. Many Art Deco buildings in this area to admire.
Jack wished to call on an African Shop called On trays where he had bought some wine before at a good price. Unfortunately he was not as lucky this time. The assistant came forward and offered us coffee (which we declined) and we browsed the shop.
Later tonight about 5.30 Jan and I headed ito the Arizona Bar in Wellingotn City for a Bookcrossers meeting. Ten of us arrived including a bookcrossing virgin (Carl from Quebec) who had only joined that morning, he is also a SERVAS member like us, he was taking time out to travel and had met many friends along the way.
Bookcrossers here are Lusks, Sherlockfan, Discoverylover, Edwardstreet, LizzieP, JessieP, Missred58, Carlos51, Daisy-a-day and Captainsdoxy. Great to see you guys.Wednesday
Was overcast this morning and had been raining overnight so J & J suggested a run over to Porirua which is over the hill from Upper Hutt and has a micro-climate so if overcast in UH is could be fine in Porirua, and it was.
Went to the Pataka Museum which had an exhibition of the Samoan-German relationship, which none of us knew about. It seems the UK asked New Zealand to go and take Samoa from the Germans at the start of the First World War and this was done in a day without any bloodshed, they just gave up.
Lots of craftwork from local artists adn a photographic exhibition called Nollywood, which was a Nigerian Film/Photo producer who was interested in the macabre. Lots of very weird photographs which after the fist few we decided to give this a miss, not my cup of tea.
Headed back down into Wellington City and the Botanic Gardens. Parked the car and walked past the rose garden and into the Picnic Cafe, J & J had a rose wine each, I had a Orange and Mango Juice and Mr T had a Flat White. Across from the Cafe was the Peace Garden with the flame brought from Hiroshuma and kept alive in a lantern in a pond which had loads of ducks and plants, also a piece of stone brought from Hiroshuma was at the entrance.
The Lantern holds the Flame.
Walked through the Begonia House and through another hot house which had a risen pond at the end with lots of liles and very small fish.Thursday
Meeting Marrisa of The Dawes Family in New Zealand was always on the cards if we were going to visit Upper Hutt. Marrisa and family came out to New Zealand about 5 years ago from Yorkshire and I had been following her blog for some time. I phoned her on Tuesday night and arranged to meet her this morning in a the Fig Tree Cafe at 10am, a short walk from J & J's. J came with me and we sat outside to await Marrisa's arrival. Immediately after the introductions it was like meeting a very old friend, we went inside and had coffee and talked and talked, Marrisa's parents are due to arrive this Tuesday.
After lunch at J & J we drove up Whiteman's Valley and past the Short Straw Cafe (a dawb and wattle building). Near here J was explaining about an english couple who came out to settle in this area and before long all their neighbours from back home had followed suit and now there is about 6 bungalows all belonging to this crowd.
Next stop on our journey was Te Marua and a quaint quilters shop and next door The Stonestead Cafe which sold Devonshire Teas. Kevin the owner was a bit of a character and we were surprised to learn that he was a ballroom dancer and his partner was the quilt lady. They got the idea for the tea shop after competing at ballroom dancing in Blackpool and most of their friends didn't think it would take off but it has. He was quite happy to allow us to have coffee with our scone, jam and cream and Mr T had a cola, Jack was the only one to have tea and he picked a Christmas Tea from all the teas on hand to pick from.
Had dinner tonight with the Coopers, J & J family in Upper Hutt. a wonderful chicken dinner, salad and potato salad.Friday
Going back to Christchurch this afternoon after a wonderful 5 days with J & J. We headed out of Upper Hutt and over to Mainuiomata to Moores Valley and the Garden Centre there. J & J are trying to think of what to plant in a new plot just inside the front gate. Their choice would be flaxes, but I spied something I liked and bought them it as a thank you gift. It was a Chatham Island Forget-me-not and the name is very appropriate as well as my favourite flower and I carried this in my wedding bouquet.
On the way back we stopped at the Lookout to take in the view.
Headed to the airport at 2pm but our flight was then delayed and we did not arrive back in Christchurch until 6pm.