I was collected by my sons and we all gathered for a bakery lunch. We feasted on steak and cheese pies, deep fried lasagne squares, filled rolls and sausage rolls, doughnuts with cream and custard squares. Not necessarily in that order. All freshly baked and just fantastic.
After a wee lie down we glammed up and went out to a very big Christmas Bash at St James theatre down in Courtney Place. Lots of champagne, hugs and meeting up with old friends. And now after waking up nice and early to the roar of lions and the polite remember-me cough of a big dog in the backyard, after attending to my obligatory headache, making a cup of tea and pulling a cardi over my nightie, after climbing back into bed with my computer, we are ready to begin our morning weblog posts again.
When we were tiredly tottering up the steps to my son’s house in the dead of night last night, then standing at the door waving the babysitters goodbye, I deeply inhaled the scent of New Zealand. While listening to the snuffles and creaks of the new baby.
Every country has a particular scent. New Zealand is a small country in mass but it has a protruding backbone of high mountains and an extensive coastline. New Zealand has the tenth longest consecutive coastline in the world. 14,000 kilometres, (or 8,700 miles) of mostly rugged coastline along its small islands. It is about the size of California but with a tiny population of around four million people and completely surrounded by sea. It borders the more rambunctious Tasman Sea and the gentle Pacific Ocean so the scent of New Zealand is hugely influenced by the sea, open space and trees. There is a hint of salt, beaches, pine and hibiscus even when you cannot see a flower.
Our islands stand in the way of massive currents driven by the trade winds through the South Pacific and across the Tasman Sea that result in a constant tide of warm waters crashing up onto the coastline with a subtropical climate in tow. Because we are so tiny and these winds that drive the sea up to our coast divide and meet again on the other side of New Zealand we are blessed with a wonderful continuous re-freshening of the air by the sea.
New Zealand smells good.
Good morning. Wellington is the capitol of New Zealand and is at the bottom of the North Island. I will be here for a week or so. It is endlessly buffeted by these winds. I have always said that you know a Wellingtonian by the way their heads and shoulders are bent slightly forward all the time, their chins down, leaning into a wind, walking fast even on those few days when there is no wind. People in Wellington do not stroll about, they stride out at speed. But my youngest son lives in a little valley very close to the Wellington Zoo. We are able to duck our heads down below the winds here, and today I shall go out and sit on the steps in the deck, with my cup of tea, camera and paper and pen and just enjoy that wondrous scent of a clean New Zealand, and listen to the lions. As our only native mammals are a bat and a tiny fat pig called a kunekune, you can imagine how incongruous that sentence really is.
Have a lovely day.