Sunday, 10 November 2013

Was I Away Somewhere?

I've been back in my Napier home for 96 hours as I start this post.  During those hours I've slotted back into my New Zealand life as if I'd never been away.  There was a time when I walked back into the Croquet Club, for example, and people welcomed me back as though I'd been away for half a lifetime.  Having been back to play my first game this afternoon there were some "welcome back, stranger" comments but it was almost as if I'd not been away during the previous 6 months.  It was the same when I had my hair cut.  Then there is the television: the same programmes; the same adverts.  

What is different is the centre of Napier.  Many buildings have been torn down and are being re-built.  The new Farmers has opened and the old shop has, fortunately, been taken over by another company and is not lying vacant.  A lot of shops have closed and a few new ones opened.  Like everywhere though the signs of the recession in the retail trade seem to be showing.  How so much change can take place in 6 months is amazing.

Friday afternoon was special.  I collected Catriona from Woodford House where she is a weekly boarder.  She had no idea that I had returned or that I was collecting her.  Her welcome was to drop all her books (carefully!) and rush up to give me a huge hug.  We then stopped off at The Strawberry Patch for an ice cream which we ate sitting in the sun.  I took her back to school early this evening (Sunday).

It's 124 hours as I end this post and time for bed (said Zebedee).  Ermintrude would have been very happy with the last few days.

Cloud mass in the deep low over the North Island that greeted my return
First priority: make cornflake crunch
A rally of several hundred motorcyclists this morning at Ahuriri where I was having coffee with a friend
I'm not sure what it was in aid of but most of the riders had teddy bears with them
The Ahuriri boardwalk forms part of many kilometres of foot/cycle path around Napier
Lots and lots of these wild flowers made a wonderful contrast with the azure waters of the Bay
Kiwis doing what Kiwis do
Modern mixes with traditional on Bluff Hill.
All overlooking a friend's house (in the foreground) down on the waterfront
And in front of The Cottage the wonderful scent of Honeysuckle
in full bloom

31 comments:

  1. Great photos GB. Is Catriona your grand daughter?

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    1. Not by blood Carol but it was a promise I made to her in 2005 when she was 4 that led me to return in 2006 and to my dual life here and in Scotland.

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    2. Oh wow! How fascinating. Please don't feel compelled to answer my question on today's blog post. I appreciate that it may be too personal to Catriona and yourself, and I should have read your reply here before I asked the question Why? I like the mystery ~ fascinating.

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  2. "sigh" I want summer!!! It is a particularly grey and cold and wet day today, which doesn't really matter because it is Sunday and this weather gives me an excuse for staying in and read, watch TV and play The Sims all day if I like. But seeing that board walk makes me so want to go for a walk or a run there, and feel the sun again on bare arms and legs!

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    1. Meike there were (despite there apparently being no one on the boardwalk) hundreds of walkers and cyclists and families just having picnics and a day out on the beach. It was warm (despite a coolish breeze off the sea) and you would have loved it.

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  3. SO glad you have had a great first weekend :) Lovely pics too.

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    1. Couldn't have been better Fi. And today the serious croquet starts.

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  4. Summmmerrrr! Yay! It got up to 27ºC here today! Coincidentally I bought a honeysuckle recently to go over an arch... That one of yours looks so,so pretty in the sunshine.

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    1. Woa Katherine. We got up to 24ºC and I thought that was pretty good.

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    2. My Step-Ma says we topped NZ charts yesterday - airport temp - got to 34ºC on the from verandah. Phew.

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  5. Flowers...sun...sea...how can you do this to us, GB?

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    1. Sorry Frances but I thought it might cheers you up in a cold, grey England.

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  6. Sounds like someone at least has been missing you (Catriona)! :) Your lovely photos make me off give a sigh too, I could copy Meike's comment almost word for word (just leaving out "play the Sims" and "run"!) I'm always amazed at how easily you seem to switch from one environment to another - but happy for you that it does work like that for you! ♥ "Keep us posted" :-) ♥

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    1. oops - how did 'off' and 'give' manage to switch places? I can't remember giving them permission to do that!

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    2. That's quite weird Monica. I read what was supposed to be there not what was actually there: even when I was looking for it.

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  7. What a welcome surprise for Catriona!!! I could feel her happiness through your words.
    To top it off GB's spectacular cornflake crunch....she must really love you a whole bunch.
    It's amazing how much can actually change in six months, some good and some not so good, but life moves on.
    Oh what a great life it is....croquet, coffee, cornflake crunch, Catriona, Comet....aye the c's have it....continue to enjoy.

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    1. Yes Virginia the cs obviously have it.

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  8. You've got a full variety in this post from motorcycles to houses to flowers. Interesting that Napier is going through a major change.

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    1. Yes Red, Napier is going through a rather sudden and extensive revamp of part of the commercial/retail section of the town centre.

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  9. Amazing impressions of summer. You indeed are torturing us unlucky ones, whose lives are filled with fall and rain. :)

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Mersad I can not deny that I enjoy summer here in NZ but when I spend winters in Scotland I take the opportunity to hunker down and do winter things. In a funny sort of a way I rather miss that.

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  10. Hooray! You're back safely! What glorious blue skies, GB, and what fabulous houses. Enjoy the sunshine. xoxox

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    1. Thanks Carol. I shall do my best however much of a chore coping with all the sunshine may be.

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    2. Good for you! We alll appreciate a valiant effort! :O)

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  11. I can imagine Catriona's delight at seeing you! I would be worth travelling thousands of miles for one of her smiles. Looks like you have captured the perfect summers day. The honeysuckle look wonderful, with the scent as a bonus.

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    1. Pauline in some ways Catriona and Georgina have a lot in common. We are both very lucky though.

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  12. Gorgeous images, Graham! Great to hear you arrived safely in NZ!

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