Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Taranaki Trip

This post is a little belated (I've been back for a week!), but in my defense, I have been under the weather. I came down with a cold the day I left for NZ, and it's finally winding down now.

The trip was pretty eventful! The drive down from Auckland to Taranaki was very scenic - we passed through some amazing gorges covered in native bush (the combo of pongas with nikaus was unusual to my eyes), and through lots of pretty countryside.

Once we arrived, party preparation was all on with band rehearsals, errands to fetch food and people, and wrangling giant to-do lists. Just as well we had highly-organised people on board... especially as I was properly sick by then, and kept needing to disappear for naps. In the end, the party was a huge success, and I enjoyed hanging out with Rowan and playing a game of pool while the band played.

Willie, Julian, Chloe, and Julian playing at Sue's birthday

After that, the pace of our holiday became much more holiday-like!
We relaxed in the garden, wandered around the nursery, and even went on a short bushwalk up the mountain.

Knitting on the porch, enjoying the sunshine

A wonderful mass of cosmos flowers!

Bees doing their thing <3

The apple trees in the nursery were covered in apples, as they were on our last visit. I always eat masses of apples when I'm in New Zealand, as I find Australian ones just can't compare. We also gathered a big box of feijoas, my favourite fruit! If you haven't heard of them, they're very much a Kiwi thing, a seasonal fruit that lots of people grow in their gardens.

Brian and Willie strolling in the nursery


Under the trees

Feijoas on the bush...

...and feijoas in the hand

All too soon we were off to Auckland again, where Willie and I visited our old friend Karen, and then back to Melbourne.

I've been taking it easy this past week while I recover (from the trip and from my cold), and doing a lot of knitting, which means I'll have some new things to show you soon! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Today we're off to New Zealand for Willie's mum's 60th birthday celebrations - there's a big party planned, and 'The Sibling Band' will be providing some of the music. Hence we've been spending a fair percentage of our evenings at band practice recently...

I've been using the inevitable waiting-around time during practices to work on a couple of knitting projects: a simple shawl with mesh-lace sections, and a striped-and-textured hat.

Hat in progress, feat. Madelinetosh DK and Vintage Purls Max

The remainder of the shawl will be my travel knitting, as it's nice and mindless. But I managed to finish the hat at last night's practice! I even wove in all the ends, using a tiny cymbal as a pin-dish. ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing some NZ countryside again, especially as the route from Auckland down to Taranaki is going to be mostly new to me. Hopefully I'll get some good photos to share. I'm also excited about getting to see some old friends at the party and in Auckland. Yay!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A good Good Friday

Last night was my big Bach concert! My choir and a fantastic Baroque orchestra performed the St. John Passion. As a first-timer, I had to put in a lot of practice to make sure I had my head around all the rhythms and my tongue around all the rapid-fire German. And it really paid off - on the night I wasn't nervous, and I really enjoyed the whole experience.

Willie, Julian, Chloe, and Hamish came along to hear us,and Willie took a couple of photos:

The Scots' Church is really pretty.

A chorus in full flight! I'm near the middle. :)

At home afterwards, enjoying a well-earned hot cross bun.

Here are a couple of my favourite choruses, performed by The Monteverdi Choir. The first is one of the fast, tricky choruses, and the second is the final chorus (which I adore)...

If you're a Bach nerd like me, you might want to poke around the All of Bach site, which will eventually house free videos of all 1080 of Bach's surviving compositions, performed by the Netherlands Bach Society. Bach's other great Passion setting, the St. Matthew, is the newest addition.

Happy Easter, everyone!