Sadly I was unable to visit Laura and Asher – silly me, left my driver’s licence at home but I look forward to meeting them in a couple of months in Charlbury. Laura has been offered a veterinary job nearby and Asher is an artist.
However I was able to catch up with Linda, Leigh’s cousin. She picked me up at the end of Gill’s road and took me over to Mount Victoria, a part of Wellington I had not yet visited (how did she know that?!). It was great to meet up with Linda at last. Leigh had introduced us on FB and she had even commissioned me to paint her son’s dog Barkley and her cat, Lisa, no longer around.
Linda pointed out various locations to me including where she lived just below us, and then explained how strong the winds can be in Wellington, especially where we were. Fortunately today it was calm and warm.
Next she took me along the coast, the opposite side from Eastbourne – she pointed it out to me far across the harbour. Eventually we arrived at what used to be an Airforce Base and the empty buildings were now occupied by artists. What a wonderful place for artists to run their businesses. It reminded me very much of my artist friend, Marie Robinson, who’s is now successfully operating in the same way in High Wycombe back in the UK. You would love this spot Marie!
There was an artists’ cafe here where we stopped for a coffee, tea and cakes before moving on to an area where film Director, Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) operates from. There wasn’t time to go inside, but Linda showed me Weta Caves, various buildings connected with film making and accommodation for actors all in and around the village Miramar, the ‘Hollywood’ of Wellington.
Linda then dropped me off within walking distance of the Quay as she was meeting a friend for lunch. Thanks Linda, good we were able to meet up after all. I then spent a leisurely time walking along the quayside, such a lovely atmosphere there.
I stopped in at the Crab Shack again and ordered a scoop of mixed seafood ‘fresh from the sea’ with coconut sauce and, yes, a glass of Sav. Apparently the shellfish were Moon, Tuara, a huge one called Stone and, of course, green lipped mussels.
I got chatting to an American couple at the same outside table from Colorado. We chatted about travels and Wellington and then they asked me what I thought about the UK joining the European Union. Why do people keep asking me that – because I’m British I guess! Someone from the UK then joined in the conversation but she was just complaining about the fact that her daughter had moved to Australia and that she was helping organise her wedding there. She had been on a tour of the government buildings in Wellington and recommended it. So as I wanted to see inside the old St Paul’s Cathedral that I missed yesterday, and parliament was nearby, I made that my afternoon excursion.
St Paul’s is a delightful white wooden building completely timbered inside and out. It has some beautiful stained glass windows and a tiny ring of 5 bells above the main entrance which you can see through a Perspex ceiling above. I almost missed these and just noticed them on the way out.
I then wandered down to the Parliament buildings where I had booked myself on a tour.n I was still quite early for the tour but enjoyed an hour in the Public Gallery watching a bill being put forward about the natural environment and saving the wildlife in the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately I had just missed John Key. His chair was empty but the experience was very interesting. Later I joined a tour which took us through various parts of the buildings including the famous beehive.
I finally returned to Newlands on the bus and Gill and I enjoyed a tasty meal of homemade quiche, mixed salad and new minted potatoes from her garden. Thank you so much for having me Gill, I’ve had a great time here with you.