This year has been frenetic. Wonderful, but frenetic. Life’s taken some brilliant turns, followed by occasional hardship. Right now, we are facing some personal challenges, in the broader context of success. For now, we are taking some time to concentrate our energies towards being with others who need us, and who we need to be with at this time. But we have loved sharing a little of ourselves on foldedcranes this year; we have so enjoyed writing, photographing, and interacting in this space.
Resplendently red, Kiwi “Christmas trees” – native Pohutukawa – line the walk to Wellington harbour
We would like to wish everyone a great Christmas, and, for those of you who have them, wonderful holidays. We need to take some time away from the blog, but will be back soon in 2013, posting as close to every day a we can manage. Thank you all for the feedback and encouragement. We are looking forward to catching up with everyone soon.
This tree lights up spectacularly when dark falls. Wellington has stepped up its Christmas icons whilst we’ve been away. The biggest irony: “Winter Wonderland” was playing from around the tree, as the sun shone on this brilliant Wellington summer’s day. We are so far from our adopted European home town of Leiden! No snow can be found in these parts…
– PJD & CIA
Photos by CIA, Wellington Waterfront and Waitangi Park. There’s an amazing Christmas tree down there, that lights up beautifully. It’s brilliant being home again.
Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum, has a new exhibition open for the summer: Game Masters. It looks like it will be pretty epic, and we loved seeing that the museum staff seem to be getting well into the spirit of the exhibition, with this Mario-theme post-it art adorning some Te Papa office windows. This post-it note art looks pretty fresh, and aren’t these windows in particular just perfect for it? A fun sideshow to a walk home from work!
We were lucky to have won tickets to the first public screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. We were seated quite close to the front, but the free popcorn and coke were a nice bonus. Because really, who wants to pay for popcorn? Free popcorn really does taste better.
Meanwhile, some excellent spot prizes were given away*, after which we settled in. But for what were we settling in? Many people at this screening (at 12:01 am, 12 December) were very excited, and appeared determined to love the film. We were a little more ambivalent — were three films necessary for the very slim Hobbit? is the fuss over the frame rate warranted? what about its troubled start in life? could Peter Jackson and his team create the same magic again?
So, a few days on, having had some time to ruminate, here are some thoughts on An Unexpected Journey. As a warning, there will be elements below that may constitute spoilers. If you don’t like spoilers, perhaps it would be wise to stop reading here.
…Because sometimes there is no way out.
Photo by PJD, at the second summit, Mt Victoria. This poor spider built an impressive web inside this glass-cased map, but to little avail as small insects were disinclined to join him there.
Tonight as we drove West, a golden sunset drew our eyes to the horizon. The beauty before us reminded me of a golden sunrise which we were lucky to experience together earlier this year, during a very special trip to a stunning island.
Photo by CIA or PJD (who knows, it was after all five o’clock in the morning!), Fafa Island, Tonga, February 2012.
We have been hearing about a (large!) gingerbread house which word on the street said had been constructed inside Te Papa Tongarewa (meaning Our Place – New Zealand’s National Museum, situated on Wellington’s waterfront). We always love hanging out at Te Papa – regardless of what special exhibitions are on, the long-term exhibitions and art are consistently engaging and interesting – but put baking, Christmas and museum altogether in one, and we knew we had to get down there and check it out for ourselves. So that’s what we did tonight (long may Te Papa’s late nights on Thursdays last!). The house has been constructed to encourage donations to the Wellington Children’s Hospital – gingerbread house making kits are available to buy at the museum. Click on the photos below to check out what we found… (look for the photos with the details of the building and baking, quite astounding!)…
The gorgeous Te Papa gingerbread house was baked by Te Papa’s Executive Chef, Bernd Lippmann and constructed, installed and decorated by the chef along with a dedicated team – see how they did it in the video below! The house fills the museum with a delicious “it’s Christmas!” smell of warm spices, and it is clear that the team who decorated the house has an eye for detail.
The house bought a huge smile to my face when I saw it, and was a nice reminder of the European Christmases we have the pleasure of enjoying for the past two years in the Netherlands. Seeing this gingerbread house also took me back to very happy memories of the gingerbread house competition which takes place annually in Sweden with a different theme each year and is exhibited at the Arkitekturmuseet in Stockholm. Read more
It’s human rights day today. So that has me thinking about Marc Chagall‘s Peace Window on the ground floor of the United Nations headquarters building in New York City. Created in tribute to former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace, it is a beautiful piece of art with a deep message.
Doesn’t Chagall’s glass work look beautiful in photo form? We were also in awe of his monumental series of stained glass windows in the Fraumünster in Zurich. No photos allowed there though, so be sure to take the chance to check them out if you find yourself in Switzerland and haven’t already had the pleasure of seeing them.
Photo by CIA of Marc Chagall’s Peace Window, New York City, New York, United States, January 2012.