In search of a my urban landscape mojo I scouted one of New Zealand’s oldest buildings. Christ Church is situated in a suburb of the Hutt Valley nestled now in an industrial estate with the train line running at it’s edge. Like many places of historic significance there is tranquility, a sense of peace. I only had half an hour to wander around and with the sun high in the sky it was a dreadful time to photograph but I’ll be back on another day and time to see if I can capture the essence of heritage that I so love in old buildings.
Archives for March 2011
A walk in the local park has a distinctive new mood. Mists, dew and rather more seagulls and ducks that you would normally see. It’s not quite the uplifting start to the day I like but nevertheless being able to get out in the open air and stretch my legs. There’s been too little opportunity to do that in recent weeks.
Darker mornings, shorter days. It’s soon time to readjust the clocks and reorganise routines into winter mode. For now though the sun is blasting out it’s powerful rays to transform the tomatoes red and bring on my figs which I really can’t wait to taste straight off the tree – or perhaps baked with some lovely Waiheke Honey born from the garden of a friend of mine. Choices, choices.
It’s been creative torment on the photographic front. I’ve an assignment which I just can’t get into. I’ve tried really hard to work away at it but it’s just not happening. I’ve taken, and deleted, heaps of photographs. I fear my mojo has left me. In an effort to crack the block I went out this morning and photographed gateways – yes, I know, what the heck. I was trying to find my sense of place but instead got rather sidetracked photographing drains. I wonder what this mean. Local fishing point perhaps?
I’m four weeks into a new photography course and have to admit it’s a struggle. I’ve scouted numerous locations for the fine art landscape assignment I’ve taken heaps of pictures none of which resonate with me. Time is running out but I’m trying not to panic. I’m relying on the fact that I often do my best work under pressure to a deadline.
One of the things I loved about our short break to Akaroa was that I could take some time out with my camera to chase the light for no other reason than I could. On our last evening the golden light was wonderful and I walked up to visit the vineyard that our hosts have created it was like finding a secret world with the most stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
I wanted to indulge myself with a spot of sunshine so here is a selection of my favourite photographs I took that evening.
Trawling through my Akaroa photographs I was struck by the how this was a quintessential kiwi view. Water, canoes, bush and beach. Time and time again it is the New Zealand coast that captivates those that visit and live here. If I win the lotto tonight you can be sure I’ll be finding a kiwi bolt hole to spend the southern hemisphere summer.
Even though the days are getting shorter and the air has a chill I’m still urging summer to hang in there for a little longer. My calls encore are largely being answered but I’m not sure how much longer that will last. I realise I’ve have to get my head around this changing season for my own sanity if nothing else.
Life has been busy work wise – rather too busy for my liking. I’ve really missed my daily walks with the hounds and find myself craving for home in the country as I move from one office to another in Wellington CBD. There is light at the end of the tunnel coming though as my busy period starts to get under control and I can once again start to think about getting on with some bigger jobs around the place.
With new foods coming up from the kitchen garden it’s time to get my cooking mojo back too. No doubt there was something special about the smell of home grown red cabbage braising in the oven last weekend. That deep rich and warming feeling overwhelmed me for a moment but it’s all too confusing when I’m still picking strawberries and pleading for more sunny days.
I know that we’re slipping gracefully through autumn – it’s time I embraced it. I’m making that my project for the weekend.
The prospect of a spot of photography elsewhere in Wellington was enough to get me out of bed and into town earlier than I normally would. I had an all day meeting out at Lyall Bay which is on the south of the city right next door to the airport so plenty of photographic fodder.
Right on cue the weather of late has had it’s summer spell broken so instead of beautiful sunshine I was left in howling wind and lashing rain. It didn’t seem to stop the hardened surfers that converge on Lyall Bay to ride the ways. I was seriously impressed with this young woman who had no fear of the weather whilst I was huddled up in the car with a large trim flat white to keep me company.
With surfers, dog walkers, airplanes in action and ferries and boats riding the ways out on the Cook Straight there was plenty to watch. Shame I’m such a fair weather photographer.
The pumpkin patch has been attracting my attention all week – flashing that deep orange colour and demanding to be lifted off the ground and into my kitchen. Today I relented and scooped up my pumpkins. Well actually I grappled with them from the ground and lugged them for they were too heavy to be handled any other way.
I didn’t take any chances but brought the garden tractor and trailer down to carry my bounty up the garden. I didn’t want to put my back out with such a heavy load in my barrow. I’ve got all manner of pumpkin and squash recipes lined up and ready for our autumnal feast.
Confusion still reins a little in the kitchen garden though. Our strawberries are still cropping and could do for another few weeks if the weather holds up. The blackberries are coming to their peak as are the late raspberries so we’ve masses of berries to enjoy still.
I’ve also started potting up new strawberry plants as the original plants start to spread their wings and multiple rapidly. All being well I should have enough strawberries growing next year to make our own jam as well as keep us supplied for regular desserts and cream teas.
The tomatoes are still giving me their annual angst but I’m over worrying about them. They either will or won’t and the only difference will be is if they make it to tomato sauce or green tomato chutney. There is no escaping either way.
It’s starting to get hard work again down the garden with heaps of clearing, weeding and seed sowing to be done. I just wish I could contain my enthusiasm when it comes to planting seeds. I just can’t bring myself to throw away seedlings and last counted 100 leeks planted up as I didn’t want any seedling to go to waste. Good job we have plenty of neighbours who are happy to have a bag a veges dumped on their doorstep when we have a little excess to share around.