Thank you for your lovely comments & emails regarding my Moo Cards & my Traveller’s Tales. It is an illness with me, I have to write! When I am away from my work-a-day world is when I feel the need most strongly, I have the time to reflect & observe & want to create a record of what I am experiencing. I guess it’s another form of art. As far as the other kind of art goes – I have had lots of inspiration but not much opportunity……so that’s a little neglected…so here is the latest of my Moo Cards, inspired by the red that I am seeing everwhere I look here – created again in Adobe Photoshop.
We have travelled on now, after spending several days in Auckland, taking a leisurely drive down the west coast of the North Island. The great thing that I have found travelling through this lovely country is that there is plenty of fresh, moderately priced food available and regularly dotted, clean public toilet blocks. (As an aside, not only are the toilet blocks clean & well supplied, they are very interestingly designed, each town different than the other). We have discovered some new words like: Trundler (which we know as a shopping trolley); Jandles (aka Thongs or ‘Flip-flops’), Judder Bars (speed humps) & Kyp (or sleep, not that we were wholly unfamiliar with this one).
Another Auckland discovery that I made in Auckland was Tile Studio called Middle Earth. What originally attracted me to the shop were some organic shaped lamp columns made from honed marble. They were wired for standard lamps, however they glowed like alabaster, they had such an ethereal look about them. They hand makes the most beautiful tiles I have ever seen. The range of colours had a brilliance that can only be achieved by hand glazing. There was a whole ‘New Zealand’ style, but they also had a stunning range of gothic & Italian tiles…….it was an interior designer’s nirvana, believe me! They are works of art & some of them look like the wall plaques of Sid Dickens.
ANGLICAN HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL
Before we left Auckland itself, we visited Auckland Anglican Holy Trinity Cathedral & St. Mary’s Cathedral. They are both on the same site & both varied examples of Gothic architecture – the first is a modern adaptation in magnificent formed concrete that has the look & feel of Santiago Calatrava’s work – with wide open spaces, simple lines & forms. The roofline is a huge A frame & has beautiful modern leadlighting including Maori motifs & designs & wide open seating arrangements & plenary spaces.
The older building – St. Mary’s is Auckland’s original Cathedral built in 1886 & was visited by the Queen on her Coronation tour in 1953 for Christmas service. Although unmistakably Gothic in style, it has a heavy, rusticated feel about it that you don’t see in the old Gothic Cathedrals of Europe. When the newer building beginning to be used & nearing completion in the mid ‘70’s, St. Mary’s (situated across a main road) began to be less used & fell into disrepair.
An ambitious proposal was adopted in the early ‘80’s to integrate the two buildings onto one site by moving St. Mary’s across the road (some several hundred metres). This is all pretty phenomenal to contemplate when you see the enormity of the building. It oooosed the presence of God. It was so beautiful.
Apart from the amazing architecture, a treasure that I encountered was a huge ‘Vinegar’ Bible that was printed in 1717 by the Royal Printer, John Baskett. A very rare treasure, it is so called because of a printing error that calls the Parable of the Vineyard in Luke 20, The Parable of the Vinegar. It is a massive thing – weighing 20kg (40lb) & measuring 600mm long x 350mm wide x 150mm thick (24” x 14” x 5”)
We travelled many kilometres to take us all the way to New Plymouth. We have seen amazing countryside, with fern gullies, little brooks, wide sweeping coastlines & huge mountainous rock faces that look like Mt.Rushmore. We have literally seen ‘mountain goat country’; (almost vertical slopes with spindly goats on them) which to date has just been a colloquial term we have used to describe hilly land. The other surprise of a drive through New Zealand is the way that colour is used so whimsically. I found this Murano looking glass chandelier hanging in a little road side café deep in the mountains where we stopped for icecream. It had two lime green walls & two aqua walls & the rest of the light fittings were colanders turned upside down, painted red! In fact, a deep cherry red is probably the most prevalent colour that I have been noticing here.
Last night we went out to the beach & had a walk, the beach at night was amazing, the sky so black & clear it was mesmerizing – but the search for a decent bed in budget accommodation continues!