Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That Summer!

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  • Sacha,

    has anyone else noticed how Stephen Joyce is always interviewed in super close-up?

    So you don't see the wires..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    hmmm... I'm lovin' the heat really, but knowing it has to come to an end...

    My summer was busy - tramping around Tongariro (magical even if the f**ken tramping boot bought expensively turned out to be one size too small, and now I have a bruised big toe as a souvenir) - we are going around Ruapehu next summer - will be magical!! That landscape around there is breathtaking...

    Then we had Xmas with folks - which was lovely - particuarly the folks playing with the large purple flag we got for them - they loved it - bought from the Grey Lynn Festival.

    Following that was a week in Perth and 5 days in Melbourne - Perth hot and sunny but dry - with two days of 44/46 temps. We went to see Avatar in 3D on one of those days. Melb a little cooler but still nice. Readings Bookstore should come with a danger sign - you can easily lose several hours in there.

    Then following that was sailing for a week with family in the Hauraki Gulf.. Kawau, Great Barrier (via a lunch stop at Little Barrier - the bird life is remarkable - you can't land but anchor 20 mtrs or so offshore and the birdsong is dense and loud!) then Waiheke (Garden Cove), before final night at Rakino.

    To top it off was my nephew's wedding in TGA - a nice affair.

    So really, not at home much to enjoy Auckland... which I think a shame - cause a hot Auckland summer is a treasure to savour.

    Next summer will be a home affair methinks, except for a weeks sail with family.

    Jacqui - my brother has MD - thankyou for your work during Bow Tie Week.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Helen Searancke,

    I'm not ready for that chill in the morning yet.

    My summer has been spent entirely in Auckland - friends and family visiting here kept us in the city. I love Auckland at Christmas/New Year when the whole place seems to empty out and there's room to breath. And we have so many beautiful places to escape to for restorative day trips. Walking up Rangitoto with husband, our two young kids and a dear friend on New Year's morning was a highlight. Especially when the three year old has been going through his 'volcano-nut' phase. Sliding down the long dry grass on the (outer) side of the Mt Eden crater on a scorching afternoon was equally satisfying. I felt like we'd escaped the city up there even though we were right in the middle of it.

    Beaches nearby are great at high tide - especially early(ish) in the morning when no one else is around.

    Barbecues in the backyard have been fabulous - this year we've come close to the perfect marinade and I've really enjoyed the occasional sausage-less barbecue (everyone should try a sausage-less bbq - it's radical!).

    The Laneway Festival made me feel optimistic, half my age, and delighted to hear such great music. The XX were the stand out for me. And Chris Knox and friends are indelibly etched on my brain. Roll on Wilco in April.

    Personally, I love the heat of summer, love the humidity, love the balmy nights. Long may the warmth linger through autumn.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    I don't care about your summer, because my eye was caught by the ad top right for The Verlaines tour and here I am on the wrong side of the planet and no longer 18 or even 19. Even if it is an absolutely lovely early spring day here in Eastern Scotland, the sky is blue with unthreatening puffs of white cloud and there is actually detectable warmth in the sunshine. The crocuses are out and the daffs are poking their leaves above the surface.

    Dammit!

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    We came home to New Zealand for nearly three weeks, and then spent a week on Kangaroo Island, where we saw lots of wallabies. Also an echidna, sauntering across the road, and disappearing into a ditch on the other side. We came a complete halt to watch it.

    Thank goodness, there have been no massive heatwaves this summer; in 2008, we had 15 days in a row with temperatures of 35 or above, and in 2009, we had a 12 day stretch. That was not very nice at all. We've had barely any rain, so my garden is very, very dry, but other than that, the summer has been very pleasant, not to say dull, or maybe even soporific.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    webweaver, I'm envious - the town of your youth sounds idyllic! Did it actually smell of chocolate as well? That would be perfect.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1411 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Dearden,

    Did it actually smell of chocolate as well?

    It still does, quite a lot of the time. Until a little over a year ago I lived just off that map. I didn't look at houses closer to the chocolate factory in case I stopped loving the smell.

    Birmingham, UK • Since Jul 2008 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Just spent the last few days flogging around Central Otago on a bike.

    That sounds so wonderful.

    Otago Rail Trail is vaguely on the agenda for us with Kerry & Si one March in the next few years. You and Fi would be welcome to jump in with us if you wanted.

    Having to book a year ahead might be our biggest stumbling block :)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Otago Rail Trail is vaguely on the agenda for us with Kerry & Si one March in the next few years. You and Fi would be welcome to jump in with us if you wanted.

    I've been discussing cycling with her, actually. Returning to the tennis court after this particular ordeal seems a stretch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Richard,that is not the London Cosmo I know. The one I know has huge claws, and has adopted my man's sister. He is large ,black with yellow eyes and a face much the same as a panther.Thinking about him now, the local fox had a few injuries. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    It's been a lazy, quiet summer really. I got out of the office more than the previous summer, and even made it down to Welly at the start of it with the Girlfriend (I seriously plan on moving into the Comfort Hotel on Cuba St just so I have constant access to French cafes and Scopa.) Also spent a lot of time doing as little as possible as often as possible-I never realised how enjoyable lying around on the couch could be until I didn't have the time to do it!

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I've been discussing cycling with her, actually. Returning to the tennis court after this particular ordeal seems a stretch.

    We'd be doing the comfy version of the Trail, 'natch. Not too many K's per day, a proper bed at night and a decent amount of the local produce and beverages every evening.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    It's just been a really happy fun summer - and I have no idea why.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    The Nelson pub crawl sounds choice. I do loves me some sweet micro brewed beers.

    i been putting off using my christmas pressie chainsaw to good effect in piling up wood for winter but not for much longer. The last few nights we've had to sleep with the window closed in our room and i even contemplated throwing another blanky on the night before.

    Been making the most of the tides and sun coinciding for regular swims and paddles with the kiddlies, but it still hasnt stopped me from putting on about 5kg of padding since i stopped working, and my lady started. It's probably my cooking. She's all exotic and refined, i'm all 3 meat and veg plus i'm the better baker :)

    Musically and strangely, i dont have a soundtrak for the summer and rather than try and keep up with the trainspotters, i've been going after classic 'best of' compilations from my youth. The latest one being 'Kool and the Gang' with 'Earth Wind and Fire' next on the hit list. Whatever happened to the big black funky ass band ?

    Can't wait to shoot some late autumn pics. Summer light in Nelson is harsh and flat, see what i mean...

    http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/96/summertractor.jpg

    ...and to get the good light it's either sparrow fart or late in the PM, at which time i usually have other things to do than bust out the camera.

    Haven't quite adjusted to the oldest daughter not being around, doing the things eldest kids do to keep the others in line. Shes chuffed though having scored a 2IC job in a fashion shop in chur chur and i'm chuffed she's bucking the jobless poly yoof stats. What with the way courses are getting chopped, it might be fortuitous to hold off on selecting tertiary studies.

    As for me, I think i need to join a gym eh...

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Regarding the Otago rail trail, if you think you might like it, do it

    No one I have spoken to regrets it; it really does live up to the hype

    A couple of pointers, autumn (March- April) is the best time; we booked through an agency and had the luck to pick up a cancellation.

    The high lights were the scenery (think Grahame Sydney) and the people
    You travel in pulse, from pub to pub mostly,having all left at a similar time with the same nightly destination, accordingly you really get to know your fellow travellers
    Fortunately the locals have not got tired of tourists and are very friendly although we as a group had local contacts at all the stops that gave us a better insight than most people get

    Like I say at the top if you are thinking about it just do it
    I am going to

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    What's this about having to book a year ahead for the Otago rail trail? In my experience, you just DO it, and there should be a bit more accommodation available than 4 years ago, which was our last effort.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    What's this about having to book a year ahead for the Otago rail trail? In my experience, you just DO it, and there should be a bit more accommodation available than 4 years ago, which was our last effort.

    Sorry yeh, there's no booking for the trail itself. It's for the accommodation in peak season (Feb-April), we've been advised to book a long way ahead if we're going at that time.

    I've had a couple of mates who've just ripped through in less than a day. Solves the accommodation problem but kind of defeats the point :)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    webweaver, I'm envious - the town of your youth sounds idyllic! Did it actually smell of chocolate as well? That would be perfect.

    Jolisa - as Richard says - it did and still does. Bournville's a completely magical place, even now. It's always felt to me like a village in a time-warp. I'm sure my childhood there can't have been much different from those kids who were growing up there in, say the 1930s or 40s - well, except for the war, of course :)

    George Cadbury certainly did a fabulous job of creating a model village for his workers - and although it's now one of the most popular places to live in Birmingham - and consequently not everyone who lives there works at the factory - it's still as closely aligned with Cadbury's as it ever was.

    Don't get me started on Kraft's takeover. It made me cry...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Cadbury used to be such good chocolate makers (and employers.) Their product has turned to - I was going write 'shit' but it has simply thrown the quality it always used to have, and opted for a sweet, faux fat, product that really is properly at home with Kraft...

    Power to Whittaker's!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Yeah you're right of course Islander - it's just that - to me, Cadbury's is my childhood...

    *sniff*

    Anyway... so YAY to Whittaker's bringing out a FairTrade chocolate bar. Hooray! I know what I'll be buying next time I'm at the supermarket.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    These warm light evenings have been great for discovering all the tracks around the Wellington hills. I am very happy to pay any amount of rates for such good upkeep. It is wonderful to stand on the top of a hill overlooking the Wellington region at 9pm on a still balmy night with the full moon rising. Or sit at the top of a steep grassy slope (very barefeet friendly) and look right down into a concert or game in the stadium. Some suburban streets turn into bush or farm walks. All very safe too.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2099 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O webweaver! An internet hug - because such deep matters (and taste & smell are truly visceral) are some of the things that make us - us-

    Hilary Stace - wandering barefoot anywhere around here used to be a given: now, there are so many toiletless camper-vans around, you just cant do this anymore. I loathe and despise all the Jucy's and Wickeds et al, and if I could-

    they wouldnt be around anymore. They are *throughly* unwelcome.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    No unauthorised vehicle access to the Wellington hills. The steep slopes are best tackled barefoot (jandals too slippery).

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2099 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    I've had a couple of mates who've just ripped through in less than a day. Solves the accommodation problem but kind of defeats the point :)

    I was about to say. It's only 150km end-to-end; even on a mountain bike, that's just one reasonably long day, isn't it? ;)

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I'll echo everyone who recommends the Otago Rail Trail.

    My partner and I were fortunate to cycle some of it last summer; we had planned on doing about 8k or so, but the lovely guys at the cycle depot said, that's boring, we'll drop you up at Lauder and you can cycle down. Which is what we did, and it was marvellous, but a long day.

    We found out later that Lauder is near damn halfway, which explained my strong need for a stiff G&T at the end of a long day.

    So I strongly recommend doing it slow and proper like - but you'll have to book ahead... like now.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

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