Public spaces like this – which are beautiful both by day, and night, should be encouraged, in our increasingly urbanised planet.
A pretty place to be, I think you will agree. Recently, I learnt that the square was designed by visionary Wellington architect Ian Athfield, whose brilliant and sometimes odd work scatters the city (seek, and you shall find Athfield creations in Wellington’s many corners!), enriching the urban landscape. I don’t think I will ever tire of the eclectic mish-mash of buildings, old and new, which shouldn’t work together but somehow do, interesting public art, patches of soft green space, around a fully accessible multi-level square, crowned by Neil Dawson’s wonderful sculpture, Ferns. I love to spot Ferns’ shadow, at different times of the day as it dances around the space. Whether I am passing through en route home, or sitting leisurely on a bench in the sun (or, let’s face it, wind!), Wellington’s Civic Square is a fitting heart to the city which I am thankful for.
– Photo by CIA, Wellington Civic Square, March 2013. Around the square from left to right: Wellington Town Hall and Civic Chambers, The Majestic Centre (tall tower in the background), Wellington City Library, and the City Gallery.
We had a birthday in our house a few days ago (yay PJD!). To mark this special occasion, I baked a cake. I went in search of a most delicious chocolate cake recipe, which not only had to be relatively easy to make, with not too many ingredients, but which also had to be scrumptious in the way that chocolate-cakes-when-you-were-young tasted. After much leafing through recipe books, um-ing and ah-ing over which recipe looked and sounded the best (sometimes it’s easy to get drawn in by an amazing looking photo in a cookbook only to discover the recipe is overly complicated – don’t you agree?!), I settled on an aptly (if somewhat un-originally) named “Never-fail birthday chocolate cake with chocolate icing”. This recipe comes courtesy of Australian cook Bill Granger, found in one of the most reliable go-to books in my cookbook collection, Bill’s Holiday.
Bloc Party visited New Zealand this week. It had been six long years since they had last seen these shores. Yes, they kept us waiting, but the wait sure was worth it…
…I think it probably made the concert even better than we had hoped it would be. More tomorrow!
Photo by CIA, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand, 7 March 2013.
Recently we journeyed to the top of New Zealand’s South Island, to one of the sunshine hubs of the country, Blenheim. During our travels I spied this shelf of teacups in a cafe, which were so sweet, I just had to take a picture.
Photo by CIA at Raupo Cafe, Blenheim, New Zealand, 23 February 2013.
The weather has been unseasonably warm in Wellington these past weeks. I say unseasonably, because it’s never this warm in Wellington, consistently, in a way that you wish you were outside at lunch time every single day, and not cooped up in front of your computer screen at work! So, perhaps this explains our lacklustre efforts to post of late, given that as much as possible, we have been outside, making the most of every bit of this wonderful golden weather before it ends (let’s hope it continues past the official end of the season tomorrow!). This photo of a scrumptious ice-cold smoothie which we enjoyed recently at one of our favourite spots just screams Summer, don’t you think? Yum.
Photo by CIA at Maranui Cafe, Lyall Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, February 2013.
A stingray isn’t the only encounter we’ve had with wildlife lately. On Christmas Eve we heard an odd noise, and upon investigating found ourselves face-to-face with a tree frog*. It was a lively moment, and no easy task to keep the frog in frame.
Photos by PJD, Auckland, December 2012
* or some other kind of frog.
In the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), you can find this magnificent sculpture. The setting of the sculpture, surrounded by Eucalypts, creates a marvellous effect.
On a bright sunny day, it lends itself well to playing games with reflection.
Sometimes the result is mind-bending.
The sculpture is by Bert Flugelman, and is entitled Cones. Should you ever pass through Australia’s capital city, the NGA is absolutely worth stopping for. (The collection inside the gallery is wonderful).
Photos by PJD, on a borrowed camera; with thanks to CHD.
…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.
These window-shutters – spotted during the course of our meanderings in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, earlier this year – take the saying ‘home is where the heart is’ to a new level. In fact, they weren’t the only heart-shaped window decoration I spied in Switzerland during our first trip there together this past May.
Perhaps the Swiss figure that putting a little more love out into the world can only be a good thing?
Photo by CIA, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, May 2012.