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.
Photo by PJD, on a fine summer evening, Wellington 2013. CIA was a semi-willing accomplice.
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.
Fridays are always a good day of the week. The weekend is just around the corner, and on a Wellington Friday when the sun is shining, worker-bees flock to the waterfront and eek out every last minute of their lunch-hour, making the most of the proximity of the CBD to the wonderful harbour. This Friday lunchtime, as we ate our lunch shading our eyes from the glint of the sunlight bouncing sharply off the sparkling water, the harbour became an aquarium before our eyes as we spotted a large stingray pass sleekly by. Surely there aren’t too many places in the world where a stingray would be your lunchtime company?!
Photo by CIA, Wellington Harbour, Wellington, New Zealand, 8 February 2013. In past weeks we have been reminded that the Wellington Harbour is so full of interesting sea-life – check out some of our other harbour wildlife encounters here and here.
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!
…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.
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
Tui, looking south, Mt Victoria Lookout
Tui, looking north, Mt Victoria Lookout
Photos by PJD, Mt Victoria, Wellington