Only weeks away from 5 weeks of travel in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia, this morning saw me laughing at myself as I walked back home from my local Asian supermarket with a small bottle of Thai fish sauce. The very ingredient that, in 2002, during my first trip to Cambodia, I swore I would never use again.
However, it’s not possible to cook Asian food without a good fish sauce, and today I’m making a sauce that requires it – and my current bottle is well past its use by date.
Travelling around the Battambang area on the back of a motorbike (as all 50 plus solo-travellers do, surely) my young guide took me to a village that specialised in fish: drying fish as well as making fish sauce. It was the smell of these tiny fish, layered, in barrels that made me think ‘I will never use that again.’ Like many things I’ve said ‘I’ll never do again’, I of course did, and like today, do, do them, or use them, again and again :-).
Today our regular U3A Monday morning walk continued on the terrorism and grief path when we visited a wall of love at Victoria University. these photos are in order of being taken, the bulk are of the students’ messages of love and support.
My walk photos started with a poster on Cuba Street, we met at the wharewaka, walked to the cable car, past some autumn colour then along to Vic Uni, where we also saw their tuatara, before heading back to the city and the National library where some of us signed the Book of Memories for the victims of the white supremacist terrorist murders of 50 people – innocently praying – of course, another 48 were injured and are mostly still in hospital. a coffee and food and there are my 13,000 steps done by lunchtime 🙂
The #worldsweakestman #cowardly #whiteSupremacist kills fifty innocent people -these 50 in New Zealand (pop. 4,792,409) are the equivalent about 3500 people dying in a country with the population of the USA (329,093,110). Puts it into perspective!
My Monday morning walk today was to visit the local Wellington Masjid – three days after the terrible terrorism in Christchurch at the Al Noor Mosjid resulting in fifty deaths – and still, people, all over New Zealand, Kiwi are coming to pay respects, to offer help and leave flowers.
Al Noor, Christchurch
Masjid Al Noor
My Monday morning walk was to visit the local Wellington Masjid – three days after the terrible
terrorism in Christchurch – and still, people are coming to pay respects, to offer help and flowers. As we arrived a local boys’ school was performing a haka.
The Classic Villa has five stars, is eco-friendly and this historic, beautiful, bright pink villa has lived many lives!
Starting in 1897 – just 4 years after all New Zealand women won the right to vote – it was first owned by Christchurch boys high school as the chaplain’s house and, after many incarnations, including an old-folks home (that I always saw myself as being eventually spending my final years in) through to its current reincarnation as a superb Italian style luxury B&B boutique accommodation – where I do stay! Erected on land during Christchurch’s early European settlement days and known as Ravens Paddock, it’s opposite the old Christchurch Boys High School and Canterbury College where Lord Rutherford studied.
With 5 Stars, it’s friendly, laid-back, efficient, and comfortable with the hosts serving sumptuous Mediterranean, /continental or traditional breakfasts. The kitchen island is almost overloaded with cold meats, avocado, tomato, cheeses fruits, cereals, and juices, it’s a magnificent spread, all enjoyed a communal table with Peter, the consummate host, making sure teas and coffees flow -and of course, answering questions about where to go and what to do.
Step outside 17 Worcester Boulevard – a quiet one way pedestrian boulevard – and tram – and you’re in the centre of Christchurch’s cultural precinct including the Art Centre, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu Museum, Botanic Gardens, Cathedral Square, historic tram, punting on the Avon River, Hagley Golf Course, and of course, excellent restaurants, cafes & inner-city shopping: see more on their website The Classic Villa
I’ve always stayed in the ground floor rooms which have traditionally polished timber floors, kauri doors, ornate plaster ceiling roses, wood fire effect heater, luxury bedding, and mirrored wardrobes. The walls have art by Rhonda Campbell – which former President Bill Clinton took a fancy too. Good taste!
Evenings are great with a complimentary glass of something and nibbles in the lounge or garden and barbecue area.
Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city. It’s a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping and award-winning attractions.
Known internationally for award-winning gardens, Christchurch is also a great place for events, festivals and its street art.
The world’s largest celebration of Māori traditional performing arts is in the capital.
Held every two years, Te Matatini is a whānau-friendly, alcohol-free and smoke-free event and I’m one of the thousands to watch kapa haka’s finest 46 teams (out of 163 contenders this time) competing for the ultimate prize: as well as pride, the title of te toa whakaihuwaka.
I just heard a kaumatua say, on RNZ National, that matatini is for all, ‘from two to toothless’ 🙂
Here is a glimpse of the prizes they want to win;
And some action from the powhiri at Waitangi Park on Wednesday … more to follow on Instagram and other social media tomorrow – from inside the Westpac Stadium here in Wellington.
Every Monday I join a U3A group ( University of the third age) for a walk in Wellington. Sometimes we bus to one of the outer suburbs or beaches but often we prefer to wander the inner city and learn some of our history, go to the botanic gardens, see artworks, or just enjoy the sights.
These photos were taken yesterday – from the Wharewaka beside the lagoon to the National Art gallery café – coffee is the high point of our walks
Of course, I could be accused of being prejudiced – I lived opposite the gallery as it was built, so heard and felt every pile being driving into the stoney Canterbury soil, so agree, I do have a feeling of ownership.
It’s only a week away and I’ll be at Te Matatini: the 2 yearly, highly competitive, the Olympics of kapa haka festival – la creme de la creme from Aotearoa New Zealand’s many iwi.
As soon as one competition is over, the training starts for the next. These men and women need to be haka-fit. As someone who was involved in low-key Māori performing arts, I know just some of the hours required to be ready for the stage. I admire them all 🙂
Matatini moves around the country and will not be back in Wellington for at least 20 years as the other years have already been assigned to places around Nga Motu.
These photos – of mine – are not part of any Matatini festival but come back soon and I will have blogged about the events. Buy your tickets here