Monday, February 23, 2009

Week 8: Cuba Street Carnival

For something a little different, this week's photos are all from the same day - the Cuba Street Carnival. It was bright, sunny and windy with throngs of people lining the streets that were closed to cars, and crammed into the pens that were established due to liquor bans. We were only there for a few hours during the day, although it continues into the evening with more bands and a parade. Still, we managed to get our fill of designer hippies and people making money out of drop-out chic.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Week 7: Playing around

The play for which I am rehearsing (Necessary Targets by Eve Ensler) is set in a Bosnian refugee camp. Our director has made this charming (not-to-scale) model which we all love. Of course she has imagined the little details, finding swatches of fabric and cutting out fragments of lace for tablecloths and curtains. Secretly I think we all like to play make-believe in our miniature dolls' house.

After the Sevens, the box in the hallway is full of leftover bits of costume and rejected clothing. As you can see from the poster advertising the Cuba Street Carnival, Wellington has already moved on.

There are things to see and do in Wellington. The Fringe Festival is on, there is a beer festival this weekend, the Impressionists are at Te Papa, and the Summer in the City programme is in full swing. There's almost not enough room for all the posters.

Chilling out in the morning over coffee and the newspapers is the perfect way to recharge the cultural batteries.

While out for a walk at the weekend, we stumbled upon a film set under construction on the Miramar peninsular. I'm not sure what it's for but there are faux-stone castle walls, classic pillars and very neat piles of timber!

The real aim of the walk was to visit the Massey Memorial, which commemorates William Ferguson Massey who was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1912-1925. It's a huge structure made of Coromandel granite covered with Kairuru marble. It looks like a cenotaph and it is fitting that Massey led New Zealand through the First World War.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week 6: Mixed up world

I love this statue of a jumble of words on Lambton Quay. My head was full of half-formed thoughts and ideas, and I was mentally compiling lists of things to do when I saw it. The clouds were drifting across the sky and things seemed to be in an odd state of static movement; a lot like my mind.

Chester is a fan of tight spaces and smelly running kit. Hence Dad's suitcase seems the perfect place for a cat-nap. I make a mental note to check the parents' luggage before they leave for England.

My boss is the one on the left in the picture. Everyone wears fancy dress to the Wellington Rugby Sevens (well, about 90% of folk anyway), but it is slightly disturbing to see one's manager dressed as a Clockwork Orange droog and ready for a touch of ultraviolence. I love the way the bowler hats shade their eyes from the sun. A cruise liner floats at berth in the background. If those tourists are only here for the weekend, they must find this a very strange place. I'd love to see their travel journal; 'The natives are odd, wearing peculiar dress and indulging in senseless revels involving egg-chasing.'

Again, I know this is not a great photo, but it was a highlight of the weekend of the Wellington Rugby Sevens tournament. See the Kiwis dejectedly leaving the stadium; see the blank screen that was prepared to show repeats of New Zealand winning in their own back yard; see the effect of the camera shaking from my excitement. I don't think anyone was expecting that result, so I thought I would get photographic evidence.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week 5: Life's a beach

In Wellington, everything depends on the wind. People paddle in the bays near the coast, while sail boats catch the breezes further out. A lighthouse stands guard at Pencarrow - the first lighthouse in New Zealand. The way the winds swirl around that harbour, it is an absolute necessity.

You can find shelter if you know where to look. The path over the hill to Breaker Bay and Pass of Branda is fragrant and lined with fennel.

Meanwhile, on Seatoun Beach, the kite surfers are using the wind to their advantage.

At a barbecue re-union for a play I was in last year, the director is still in charge. Phil Mann keeps the sausages and the chicken kebabs sizzling.

Athough this one was a lot of fun, I'm not actually that big of a fan of barbecues in general. It would seem I'm not the only one...