In November we had the pleasure of watching these two beauties get married. Brendan’s sister & her partner Sandy celebrated in Masterton at The Landing where it was all sunshine and flowers and happiness.
That time in which I get to dream about things I want and make lists and buy presents for people I love.
Here’s some of the things I love right now:
- Stay home club tee
- Bacon & Cheese MC (M)
- MEAT (M)
- And the plain black soft AS Colour tees (women’s L)
Pretty pretty plugs
Anything with swear words
Am I predictable or am I predictable?
Anything with a fox, deer, Harry Potter, or tree branch theme
- An Espresso Patronum mug with the Grimm inside!
- Silver deer antler cardigan clip
- Polyjuice potion flask
- Vouchers for Bunnings, Briscoes and everything else (not limited to those starting with B)
- Vintage plates and tea cups, ceramic dishes, pretty pots. Try something like these heart dishes.
Other things to consider
- Did you win lotto? Wouldn’t this transformer book be amazing for editing photos while travelling?
- Ooh and this Fujifilm camera would also help me pack lighter (go for the x100 second hand over the x100s or x100t though)
- I will never say no to chocolate covered coffee beans or a coffee from Customs Brew Bar
- Whisky! Anything from Islay is good, extra peaty is good, sea salt and caramel is good. And some shortbread to go with it.
- This cottage ring is really cute. I’d love to get a chunky signet ring but it’s hard to find one for my tiny fingers and specific wants. This norse one is pretty cool though.
Reykjavik reminds me of Wellington in a few ways. There is great street art and the people can be very sarcastic and ironic, it was nice to share inside jokes in a foreign country. We’re both laughing at this ignorant tourist, haha.
Art transcends language but it really helps when everyone has learnt your native tongue at school.
The months, where have they gone?
On 40 hour work weeks, buying a house, moving house, and starting a family of fluffy dinguses all in the dark cold of autumn and winter.
And now? Well, Minerva the tortoiseshell cat is finally allowed outside, Percy the petulant pembroke corgi is learning to listen, and our house, while still bare of art has at least had most of its lights fixed.
Photography though? Ha! As if I have had time for anything more than listening to Harry Potter audio books and playing candy crush. But once again I’d like to start that anew.
Without pressure. Cause I do not do well once I stumble on a routine.
Expect tumblr and instagram like bursts. Maybe.
Words by Brendan Schenk
Before leaving there were high hopes for Vancouver. There’s just something about Canada that is quite alluring. If you forget that the government is yet another one packed full of right-wing morons bent on short term gain, the country has a charm much like New Zealand
Vancouver is a cool place. The people are really friendly. Even the bus drivers greeted us warmly every time. In Wellington that is unheard of.
The food scene is great, hell I even found a good coffee there. We stayed in the West End, which is gay-friendly central. Decorating the street were rainbow flags, and one crossing in particular used the flag instead of zebra stripes on the road. There was a parade a while back that blocked of a section of the street, which was turned into a pedestrian area with benches and tables. They decided to keep it that way. The city is massive, but our location was great. It was a short walk (a few blocks) to any of the shopping areas we wanted to hit. Just around the corner there was a community garden filling up an empty lot. Around the other corner the city changed completely as everything became residential; Amazing houses on tree-lined streets, it was hard to believe that the bustling city was all around you.
The public transport was easy and efficient; though my sister, who lived there at the time, didn’t happen to think so. Compared to what we have in Wellington, it was a breeze. Getting anywhere we wanted to go was a piece of cake. So we explored.
The Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park was fantastic. It is home to two beluga whales, and two rescued pacific white sided dolphins. Their rescue program is awesome. There’s a wall of cute pictures of the various animals they’ve helped over time, matched with equally awesome names such as Wellington the seal, or Dumbledore the other seal. I mention the cetaceans as they are the main attraction, given that there are two shows each a day showing off their various skills in the water. You can also see seals, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, heaps of frogs, reptiles, tropical fish, and jellyfish. Tonnes of jellyfish. When we visited they were doing a special focus on the gelatinous creatures.
After our tour of the aquarium we walked through Stanley park all the way back to our apartment. Despite its size the city is walkable, if you don’t have too many other places to go.
Granville island was also really cool. There’s a huge market there open every day, filled with butchers, fruit stands, spice stalls, anything you can think of. Living near there would mean no supermarket shopping ever. Outside they have amplified buskers performing everyday. As such, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but the atmosphere is pretty great. The Granville Island Brewery is easy to find, and you can sample a range of their products. The beer was good, unfortunately the bartender was a bit of a dick.
We took a ferry to north Vancouver at night to see the skyline from across the bay. We also visited Gastown, another area of the city that stands out from the rest, where a lot of colonial buildings still stand. The downside is there’s a tacky souvenir shop every second door, but it’s still nice to walk around. Near to there is Chinatown where there are some fantastic gardens. Unfortunately there was some big movie being shot in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden, but there’s a free one around the other side that you can stroll around.
As far as shopping goes the city has everything if you know where to look. There is some great op-shopping to be had down commercial drive. You can find brand stores on Howe Street. I’m sure there are other spots out there.
We also visited Kitsilano, where my sister was staying, but only got a feel for the residential area, which is nice. There’s a beach nearby that would be awesome in the summer. A unique feature is the rows of large logs lined up on the sand. In the little park area nearby there’s a tall totem pole worth looking at.
We only had four nights in Vancouver, but could have used more. The city is expensive, but who cares when you’re traveling.
Wednesday, April 2: Invited to the Foxglove menu launch as Laura’s +1, delicious cocktails and delicious but awkward to obtain food.
Tuesday, April 8: I did take a selfie, but it’s awfulllll. So just imagine my shocked excited nervous pixellated face reacting to the news that the offer we put on a house was ACCEPTED
Wednesday, March 26: I guess that resolve to not eat things that make us sick didn’t last very long. Who I am to think of denying Brendan cake when he’s sad? (And wow, another forgotten photo so soon?)
I never thought the Tongariro Crossing was something I’d be capable of doing even if I wanted to. I guess 11 years in Wellington have trained my legs well.
When Kate decided she’d like to hike the crossing I signed up without much hesitation and I’m so glad I did! We spent the weekend at Discovery Lodge in National Park with views of Tongariro and Ruapehu and had the most glorious Saturday for the climb. I was prepared for crazy alpine weather if it hit us, but was quite pleased to not be blown around, rained on, or burnt to a crisp.
I owe a lot of my success and enjoyment of the 19.4km hike to walking poles. They were worth every single ounce of dignity I may have lost by looking so uncool, cause who was still able to lunge the next day? Me! (And then a couple of days later my knees gave out and I couldn’t walk well for two weeks, so I suppose the poles were worth even more than that because they kept my knees from giving out while I was actually on the trail.)
Thursday, March 20: Sometimes you’re sick of eating such a restrictive diet for the sake of your health so you make mushroomy pizza on wheat bases. And then you wake up in the morning swollen and sore.