Sunday, April 28, 2013

Te Waipounamu

Last Wednesday we returned home from our almost 3 week trip around the South Island with our visiting Canadian family, a bit tired and laden with treats (cheese, fudge, rose petal mint tea, cider and the like) from the various farmers markets and artisans visited along the way. Someone commented on one of my Instagram photos that New Zealand is a landscape miracle, which really is true. I'm so glad we decided to do it as a road trip and driving through the alps or passing by seal colonies on the Kaikoura coast with snowy mountains to the right of us will be pretty enduring memories. We are lucky people in this little island country of ours.

I've taken approximately a million photos, so I'll take my time posting them on here along with a heads up on some of the favourite places we visited. For now, I'm so happy to be back in my own bed and getting back into a bit of a routine. There's also our Kinfolk Flower Potluck coming up this Friday so be  sure to get your tickets if you haven't already!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Southward Bound

Last Friday we started on our three week journey around the South Island with our Canadian whanau, via a couple of nights in my favourite - Wellington. We were only in the capital for a short while so I made sure to stuff myself full of veggie po' boys, curly fries and and a shake at Sweet Mothers Kitchen while making many plans of what we'll do when we get to return.

We then hopped a ferry across the Cook Straight to the South Island, which is just one of the most incredibly beautiful journey's I can think of doing. Such a proud kiwi. I took about a billion photos along the way, but here are a few Instagram snaps for now. Watching the water change colour as we went through the choppy open waters into the stillness of the sounds was mesmerising. After a quick lunch by the water on the other side, we drove down the coast with snow capped mountains on the otherside. Seriously, it doesn't get much better. That bottom right photo is the seal colony we stopped to watch along the way and if you looked really closely you can see the babies playing in the tide pool. As we drove off Richard sighed, 'I love nature!' So nerdy and so true. Take a look over here for a quick little video and injection of cuteness if you like!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The break.

As I've mentioned we've been in drought here for what seems like ages. I love the sun but living out of the city where it gets pretty dusty and how dry the hills are is so apparent, I have been so ready for it to break. Over the past couple of weeks it has tricked me a few times, I've pulled the quilt on and off the bed and even this morning I put on some wool leggings to meet the chill in the air but then had to change after getting completely hot and bothered. Finally though, not long after, the rain came.
I often work sitting outside on the deck with this crabapple tree in view, so it has been a bit of a gauge of seasonal change starting from before any fruit or green shoots had appeared just before spring last year. It smelt incredible when I was taking those rainy photos, the ripeness of the fruit effectively baking in the sun. While I'm not a bit wearer of red, I can't seem to get enough of the burnt orangey tones of those tiny sour apples. 

We're off to Wellington tomorrow to start the southern leg of our New Zealand family tour. I have the feeling I'll be getting the colder weather I've been craving down there. I can't wait for mountains and lakes!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Flower Potluck: A New Zealand Kinfolk Gathering

Those of you familiar with Kinfolk Magazine will likely be familiar with the dinners they have been holding throughout the US and now further abroad. The Kinfolk manifesto celebrates small gatherings, the sharing of food and a balanced, intentional lifestyle. This year they have moved into once monthly gatherings based around a theme or the learning of a new skill such as baking, making home cleaning products, beekeeping and outdoor cooking. I have loved the magazine since it started and always wished to attend one of their dinners so I am so excited to let you know that Richard and I will be representing Kinfolk here in New Zealand!

Our first gathering will be a Flower Potluck at my dad's vineyard here in Hawkes Bay on May 3rd, where we will eat delicious platters of local cheeses, breads, preserves and dukkah as well as take part in a wine tasting. Autumnal flowers will be on hand but we also ask that the guests bring blooms and foliage of their own to share, just like a traditional potluck dinner, and we will learn to make bouquets together. If you'd like to come along, you can find more information and purchase your tickets here. Spaces are limited to 20 so please buy your tickets soon if you would like to come.

While this and possibly a couple of the other gatherings will take place in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand is full of clever people that I would love to both share a meal with and show off so the plan is to spread the events around the country to ensure as many people can attend as possible.