Sunday, 28 February 2016
The days of the soapbox as a vehicle for racing are long gone (except for a few diehards) but the name lives on and the Art Deco Weekend Soapbox Derby is one of the most popular events. It took place just after miday on the sweltering sundrenched Saturday morning with a huge crowd lining Napier's Tennyson Street.
There were numerous categories and entries including a 4-7 age group. Given that these machines travel quite quickly and are often hard to steer it must be quite an adventure for a 4 year old.
There were many machines and these are some of them:
Tnen they raced:
There were so many categories and prizes and I have no idea who won in which categories and a trawl of the various articles on the internet have been of little help but, hey, who cares? For the spectators it was just a case of watching the fun.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
I'm told that 20 years or so go there was very little in the way of coffee café culture in Napier. Now it's a huge industry. I was sure that I'd blogged about this on my other blog but I can't find any real reference to it. Anyway this is a very small selection of some of the ways to spend time having a coffee or meeting friends in the city. One of the things I've always found curious is that many cafés are open very early (one opens at 4.30 am and many at 6.30 am) but almost all (Starbucks excepted) are closed between 3 and 4pm.
The first two shots are of a café named Ujazi. I was the first place I had a cofee in Napier in 2005. Wendy said "I'll meet you in Ujazi" and that became a meeting place for a long time.
I should add that some of the café pictures like that of Café Devine were taken pretty early on before things had got going last Saturday. There wasn't a vacant seat in the place for most of the rest of last weekend.
And two Taradale cafés: the first being the one that opens at 4.30am.
And then to Ahuriri:
This was where I used to go in my early days here when it was Café Ahuriri run by Cheryl about whom I blogged a week or so ago.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
I was up at 0630 last Saturday morning by which time Wendy and Martin had long gone to the gym. It was a glorious morning so at just after 7am I decided to go and photograph the centre of Napier again before the Art Deco Weekend hordes descended for the Vintage Car Parade and the many other attractions of the day. Between that time and arriving back home at about 2.30pm I managed to take over 600 photos so I shall have no excuse for not blogging over the next few weeks although some of you may get rather bored with photos of vintage cars.
Firstly, however, I shall regale you with some photos which show why Napier is such an important Art Deco icon.
Saturday, 20 February 2016
I have no idea how many times I have seen Puccini's La Boheme on stage and on DVD and I have listened to it countless times as well. This evening we went to a superb and, for me, moving performance at the Napier Municipal Theatre as part of the City's Art Deco Week.
Friday, 19 February 2016
Today we celebrated a friend's birthday at Café Ahuriri. When I first came to live in New Zealand I used to cycle right around the seafront of Napier from the first place I stayed to Ahuriri and there I used to have breakfast and coffee and do the crossword before cycling home again. It was a good distance but a 6am start would see me home and showered ready for croquet at 0930. I was fitter then!! At that time the café was in the 'village' centre. In 2009 Cheryl who has the café acquired a largeish old property out of the centre (which was a movie theatre from the 1930s) and converted it into the new Café Ahuriri. It has lots of shelter and an outside walled area as well as inside space but many, me included, thought that the move was a big mistake. However we have been proved wrong. It's lost none of its old homely character and home cooking but it now also has a lunchtime chef and new dishes for lunch each week. It's also about the least expensive place to eat in Napier. I absolutely love it and am delighted that it appears to be as strong and successful as ever.
|The café with Bluff Hill (Napier Hill) behind it|
Thursday, 18 February 2016
In March 2011 I wrote a post The Hills of Hawkes Bay on my other blog. They have always had a very strong emotional pull for me. When I did that post the hills were unusually lush and green for the time of year. Today I decided to drive up Te Mata peak once again and take some photos of the surrounding hills. The temperature was nearly 30℃ and the wind strong and warm although the rains were visible in the distance.
Looking to Napier
I enjoy paragliding but off this? Never!
Monday, 15 February 2016
I'm 'home' again in Napier. It was a wonderful few days away and I'm very glad that Judy invited me to play at the tournament. The second day of the Open Championship Singles wasn't as successful for me although it was just as enjoyable as the first day. I managed a respectable 5th out of the 14 of us playing. The winner was an old friend who often stayed with me at The Cottage when he played in Napier: Mike Crashley. He only had two losses (one of which was to me!).
Kate also took me to visit a mutual friend (whom I first met at Aftermas some years ago) which was wonderful.
This morning we set off for 'home' down the dark blue route.
One might say that roads are roads whereever one is in the world but New Zealand is a country the size of the UK with a population (about 4.6 million) only 2/3 the size of Scotland and about 7% of the UK population. The roads we travelled today are the main arterial highways of this country with its scattered population. Vehicles were relatively few and far between and although ships transport goods into the country at many ports those goods still have to make their way inland on heavey lorries with their trailers, and logging trucks take logs throught the country to their ports of export. To that can be added the dairy tankers which supply the dairy factories and the lorries taking the finished products (principally dried milk products, butter and cheese). The Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited is a New Zealand multinational dairy co-operative owned by around 13,000 New Zealand farmers. The company is responsible for approximately 30% of the world's dairy exports and with revenue exceeding NZ$19.87 billion, is New Zealand's largest company.