Te Matau ā Pohe

It was a crisp clear winter’s morn

The town was still waking

The bridge was awash in early morning glory

Breathtaking beauty in a moment

Of luxury and peaceful contemplation

These moments are cherished

The moments where our existence

However minuscule is in perfect harmony

With the world around us.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

 

Te Matau ā Pohe is the name of the bridge in Whangarei, it was opened on Saturday 27 July 2013. The bridge spans the Hatea River from Pohe Island to Port Road. Its name means the fish-hook of Pohe.

The symbolism of the fish-hook, it represents strength, good luck and safe travel across water.

This was written in response to d”Verse poetics. Link here:

d’Verse poetics abridged

I took the photos on the morning described, I had taken Ellen to work very early one winter’s morning and just had to pull over and take in the beauty of the moment.

#d’Verse

 

The resilience of trees.

 

In response to the daily prompt Photo challenge.

This is one of a stand of Kauri trees at AH Reed memorial park Whangarei which we visited last week. Kauri trees grow for thousands of years. The size is not possible to fathom without human interaction. The largest living Kauri in NZ is Tane Mahuta and he majestically resides over towards Kai Iwi lakes in the Waipoua Forest and is about 1500-2000 years old.

They are the epitome of resilience, they have survived and bear witness to time beyond our time and understanding. When you stand beneath them you are made very aware of how short our existence and life is in real terms and how our plights and pleasures are relatively insignificant when put in true perspective next to such greatness. What would they say if they could talk.

Resilient

Beauty in the eyes of the beholder

Tutukaka and Wellington’s Bay from the Lookout point.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but I suspect you would find it hard to find someone to fault the beautiful day and the beautiful vistas. We took a trip out to what have been some of our favourite local haunts over the years. Tutukaka for lunch and to take in the Marina and the sound and smell of the boats, and then on to Wellington’s Bay which has always been our safe beach when the children were smaller and our family favourite. Today I wanted to visit the lookout point as I had never ventured there before. It was  a little windy to say the least but it was worth the effort and the views from the top were stunning. A good day to live. A good day to be out and about.

Photo Challenge: Magic

via Photo Challenge: Magic

These images are from the Town Basin and represent the magic that is always present in the landscape around us. The nuances of light, the changing seasons, being able to focus on the smallest minute detail and experience the awe and wonder of what surrounds us. It is the magic of the landscape that often refreshes, revitalises and nourishes the soul.

Treasure of the week. Soju shots- an enchanted kingdom.

Ellen tells me that soju is actually a Japanese drink. How she knows this is beyond me- she is 17 going on old soul. Anyway last week I passed a poster in a window telling me of the work of Soju shots in an upstairs room on Rathbone St. The picture immediately grabbed by imagination- it reminded me of the Henkies and I knew that Ellen and Emily would love to see the pictures, but the staircase looked a little uninviting and I was a little too scared to tackle it on my own. Instead I took a snapshot of the poster to remind myself that next time we were all in town together we might tackle the staircase. That day was Friday, my last day of freedom before returning to work on Monday, we had lunch together at Mokaba and then walked around town. Ellen and I both spotted the poster simultaneously and we instinctively knew it was time to investigate further.

The journey upstairs was reminiscent of ascending into some long forgotten flat that no-one really owned and the smell of fried food from somewhere nearby was overpowering but we continued on our journey, up the stairs along the uninviting corridor and then there it was, like the old curiosity shop of my dreams. I had anticipated a little wisened old lady standing at a till saying “yes dear” through dislodged spectacles and a few pictures to adorn the walls, but what I was met with was a far greater treasure trove. The images were fabulous, creative, imaginative, each touched with some kind of kindness and magic, even the monsters were friendly and inviting. There were tote bags, Christmas cards, mugs, cushions, and of course pictures and prints in frames. The back part of the shop was a workspace and there sat in the window was the artist himself and he was absorbed in what I assume is a new piece. He was as magical and enigmatic as his work. It was a very heart-warming experience.

We could have bought the whole shop, we loved it all, the images, their stories, the magic. We had walked into a cavern of childhood stories and memories. There they all were Hansel and Gretel, the kittens who lost their mittens the three little piggies, a huffin and a puffin and some wonderful creative ventures through new and old dreams- fears mingling with plays on words of wisdom. I purchased a few cards and Ellen a couple of Mugs. We were limited in our purchases by what we had in our wallets at the time, but we will go back. If you are looking for something a little different for a loved one this Christmas to make it special it is well worth a visit. I suspect therein is just a small sprinkling of fairydust. Peace be with you.

http://sojushots.blogspot.co.nz/

https://www.facebook.com/konbae/?fref=ts

Henkies- trolls/goblins who danced with a limp.

Whangarei Love my Life Northland.

These are some images from this last month, whilst I have been out and about walking, mostly in and around the Town Basin but also at the Whangarei Falls. Northland is a beautiful place to live. The scenery is stunning from the wild and windswept vistas of Ocean’s Beach to picturesque coves and inlets at Tiaharuru, all sheltering amongst the giant embrace of Mount Manaia and Mount Aubrey. Whenever you reach the summit of the Brynderwyn’s heading northwards you can see its beauty and you know it calls you.

The Town basin and the sanctuary it provides has always been one of  my preferred go to haunts. It is a little bustling community of bingly-bongly shops, higher end gift boutiques and wonderful eateries, with a smattering of art galleries, beautiful gardens, unusual architecture and the ever present bohemian appeal of boats from afar moored in the safe confines of the harbour.

It is a town that knows its place and isn’t afraid to try something new and reinvent itself. It is a town with pride and more than its fair share of artists and artisans all seeking to maintain its quirkiness and individuality.

It is simply stunning at this time of year, the sun shines and everything looks bright and vibrant the flowers are in bloom, the flax flowers entice the Tui, and the banks and bushes along the river and estuary are teeming, full of song and new life. A stroll along the new Hatea Loop reveals hidden treasures, a derelict pier, some fine sculpture. an adult playground with gym equipment, some excellent outdoor artwork and the occasional glimpses of Heron’s and Cormorants feeding close-by.

Whangarei, Love my Life Northland.