Friday, April 27, 2012

Art Unveiling at Amesbury

A magnificent piece of art was unveiled during a ceremony at school today.  The art work was commissioned by the building consortium and gifted to Amesbury School. The work, by artist and sculptor Jeff Thomson, is made of corrugated iron. The outline shape is New Zealand but it is made of many small parts in the shape of meccano pieces printed with illustrations of flora and fauna of New Zealand.  It was interesting to talk to Jeff afterwards about how he creates his works. The printing, similar to screen printing, is done onto flat pieces of metal that are then corrugated and assembled.  It was a lengthy process to make the individual 'meccano' pieces but only took two days to assemble the whole 'country'.

 Now I know why Jeff came to the library yesterday to request a map of New Zealand.  They were attaching the art to the wall and needed to make sure that the islands were positioned correctly. 

Detailed view of the pieces. The corrugation and overlapping give the work a wonderful 3-D look. 

Part of the ceremony included the boys performing the haka for the first time. 
They were fantastic - loud and enthusiastic. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Museum Visit

Today I was a tourist in my own city. Actually it stills feels strange to think that Wellington is my home now and although the Northern suburbs are very familiar I still feel like a tourist when I go into the central city. Today my mother and I were tourists as we visited the Museum of Wellington City & Sea. It's a collection of some important, quirky, tragic and interesting items and records of Wellington's history. Mum was particularly interested to see the Wahine disaster display and documentary.

Something that I found funny was the account of the first car journey in NZ and how it ended:
Cars first arrived in New Zealand in 1898. They were imported by William McLean, a Wellington businessman and politician, who bought two of them in Paris. One he named Lightning, the other Petrolette. On his inaugural drive he set off along Kent Terrace, one of Wellington's widest and straightest streets. McClean failed to take the first bend and crashed into the Basin Reserve fence.

The most fascinating display was probably the holographic telling of a Maori legend. The holographic characters looked so real - like miniature people performing on stage. The little boy beside me was genuinely perplexed about where the narrator had gone when she appeared to disappear into thin air on the stage. The video below is from YouTube. It flickers a bit and you don't really get a feel of how real the 3D images looked but it gives you an idea of what it was like.

Monday, April 9, 2012


The first 9 days of April, and heading into mid-autumn, have been the best weather-wise in the three months since I moved to Wellington. The weather forecasters predicted bad weather over most of Easter but they were completely wrong and Wellington has sparkled under blue skies.

We celebrated the end of the first term at Amesbury School by going out to dinner at a restaurant at Queens Wharf. We watched a Cook Strait ferry arrive as a full moon emerged over the harbour at dusk - beautiful.

On Good Friday I spent an hour and a half at Wellington airport catching up with a friend who had a stopover on her way back to Australia after a visit to Christchurch. For once I was happy about a flight delay as her plane departed Wellington half an hour later than scheduled and we fitted in a little more chat time.

I went up to Raumati South yesterday for some family and chocolate time. Alison and I hid 59 little Easter chocolates around the deck area for Zak and her partner's son Bronson to find. The final tally was one chocolate to the dog, 56 chocolates to the boys and two chocolates still missing because we couldn't remember where we hid them all. Oh well, 56 chocolates was more than enough, especially as Zak had already demolished most of a large chocolate rabbit after his bowl of cereal at breakfast time.

After some backyard badminton and a fresh from the tree, crunchy apple each (a token gesture at something nutritious) we headed down to the beach. I shivered just at the thought of the water temperature but the others, all hardier souls than I, went swimming, while I enjoyed people watching and the view. The South Island was clearly visible in the distance and from Raumati Beach there is a beautiful view up and down the coast and across to Kapiti Island.

Ears gone, five minutes later only legs left.