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Monday, 26 March 2007

Tiger Tea Anyone?

Today started out a little cooler than yesterday's mild and warm autumnal treat. Autumn mist appeared over the tops of the peninsula hills.

It was Otago Anniversary Day - so no work. I went for a little explore and found myself in Port Chalmers. Or to those who live here, 'The Port'. Or even just plain 'Port'.
Because the channel closer to the city itself is too shallow to allow most ships, the container port is situated at the mouth of the harbour.
This view down the sloping main street is the view that greets you as you cross the railway line and turn into the small town. The towering loading machinery looms over the smaller buildings of the town. The black and white building bottom right is a typical bluestone building which is a feature of some of the older buildings in Dunedin.

Logs piled ready to be loaded on to ships.

Near to the Lookout over the port, there is a sculpture garden that was opened last year. It features four sculptures that blend well into the native plants and the harbour backdrop. I was particularly taken by this figure standing on its head. I remember reading on the plaque that the sculptor's first name is Sharon ... I forgot to take note of her full name. I do know she has Maori heritage.

Port Chalmers is quickly becoming a base for people of a creative persuasion and there are lots of galleries to look through. Unfortunately Monday (even on public holidays) is the day they are all closed. Except for this one gallery.

The Tavern was open, but I opted for a cafe where I ordered a flat white and a BLT bagel. To scaredy-cat me, this hotel has unwritten signs all over it ear-tagging it as one of the last bastions for rugged kiwi working blokes. If I'd entered its dim interior, I'm sure I would have felt very out of place. (Another indication were the two typical-kiwi-blokes outside laughing at me taking a photo of ...

this mailbox.) This is another indication that we are in an area that has a 'creative vibe' going on. On the street where I live, to have a mailbox like this would seem pretentious and a little silly (it would probably even detrimentallly affect your house price!) But in Port, no, it is completely acceptable, because, don't you know, it's an arty-farty place. (Aren't people funny?)

This wee shop on the main street took my eye. It reminds me of shops in the country town of my childhood. It seems to add to the quaint, folksy character that Port Chalmers is promoting.

Unlike this faded wall I saw on the trip back home. I just had to stop and take a photo. Can you see the faint outline of the same Tiger Tea advert? But I kinda like that we still have faded walls and derelict buildings and shops are allowed to quietly tumble down. I'm sure this is one wall that is tagged for an overhaul. I'm glad I got a photo before it happens. Once again, it reminds me of the towns of my childhood.

Even though folk-art mailboxes aren't 'quait' the thing to do in Dunedin's orderly city suburbs, painted bus-shelters are. This is one I spotted in between Port Chalmers and Dunedin city.

Well ... work again tomorrow. Alas and alack. No more wandering about the countryside taking photos.


apprentice said...

I love that shed! Great series of pictures. I can sense autumn in them, and I feel a little guilty, like we're having a fight over the light bedsheet, and for the moment it is coming my way!

Catherine said...

You're clearly making good use of that camera! Is the Lane's bottled sunshine the same as Lane's emulsion I wonder? I remember as a child, there used to be a sign just outside Oamaru that said "Welcome to Oamaru, the home of Lane's emulsion".

dinzie said...

How interesting ... Must make sure McD takes me there next time we visit :O)

Cam said...

Loved the tour of Port. It seems like the perfect sort of place to just wander through on a quiet, fall day.

Katherine said...

Great pictures! Jeez, Port has gotten prettier since we lived there.

Clare said...

Fascinating, CB. A couple of things struck me, used as I am to a more crowded little island. One is the space that seemed to be around everything, another is (and I think this is connected) the structures seemed new...even though they were weathered. I think this is because they had their own space and were not the result of being fitted in (as everything is here). And the other thing is (and I am afraid to say I found this quite exciting) that shot of the islands in the sea they seemed so clearly to be drowned scenery to me. I could almost see the sea-level rising.

Anyway, thanks - it gave me a very strong impression and it was quite entrancing.

Avus said...

I like this sort of thing - pictures of the "un-noticed" as opposed to the great tourist scenes - this is real life and interesting (loved the mail-box).
The island pic took me back to sitting high above the Albatross Centre and looking over similar scenery. Memories...........

Maya said...

Ooohhhhh! Yeah for the camera! I love the picture of the logs going down towards the ocean.

mcdinzie said...

we have unleashed a photographic genius....woo hoo!!!!!

great piccies...I dont think I have ever been to Port

Remiman said...

I love the days when I can take the time to wander the byways and click away to my heart's content. Like you, I'm drawn to capture the decaying and tumbledown as a way to preserve a memory. As well, I like the beautious sites of nature. Such as harbor and sea shots, sunsets, and rainbows.
Have a great day.

Becky said...

Wow, CB, what a great tour you have given!!!! It's all gorgeous and your commentary is better than any Rick Steves!!!

Nice job with the camera, btw


paris parfait said...

The painted bus shelter is terrific, as are your other photos. Sounds like you had a good day and thanks for the virtual tour!

chiefbiscuit said...

apprentice - Amusingly and aptly put!

catherine - No Lane's was a soft drink company. I'm sure Oamaru has changed its image since then!

dinzie - yes you'd enjoy looking around Port.

cam - It was and there was hardly anyone else about which added to the atmosphere.

katherine - I think it has - but the two laughing men made me realise its basic character hasn't really changed.

clare - How interesting ... thanks for that perspective. It makes me look around my neighbourhood with different eyes!

avus - I just loved my day out with the camera.

maya - Thanks - I found the pattern of the logs pleasing to the eye too.

mcdinzie - Oh I would never go as far as to say that ... Time to rectify the 'never having been to Port' matter immediately. When are you next coming down here?

rel - If only there was more time.

becky - Why thank you so much.

PP - My pleasure.

Shameless said...

Great, these are really what I was hoping to get when you talked about getting a new camera. Wonderful, like a new eye on NZ! :)

herhimnbryn said...

Thankyou for taking me with you on you day out. All good images, but i liked the side of the building with the old ads on best.

January said...

This is such a great community, and I love the mailbox. Thanks for posting the photos with your words.

chiefbiscuit said...

shameless - Thanks - I'm having fun trying to make you homesick!

herhimnbryn - Yes I was pleased with the way that photo turned out. I'm also glad to have a photo as I'm sure it will be painted over soon.

january - The mailbox is rather cute isn't it? I guess I get the last laugh on the two laughing pub patrons.

Anil P said...

It's late, but still - Thank you.

chiefbiscuit said...

anil p - Hi! Thanks for dropping by.

pepektheassassin said...

I left a comment here earlier, but blogger must've eaten it...can't remember what I said, but I'm sure it was much better-said than this one.

I love there photos. They are charming and look very story-bookish. Nice post.

BTW. I woke up this morning with the names "dinzie" and "McDinzie" going round and round in my head like a song.... :)

chiefbiscuit said...

pepek - Blogger does that to me all the time - so annoying.
Thanks for kind comments - I am enjoying the camera very much indeed.
That is so funny about you having my sister McDinzie and her partner Dinzie going around and around in your head! Poor you. I would go mad!!! (Just kidding McD & Dinz ...) ;)

Anonymous said...

I found your blog while looking for information on Lanes Bottled Sunshine. Very enjoyable. And I wanted to say that a couple of years ago I noticed the painted advertisements being "refreshed". And done very carefully too. So somebody cares about that wonderful heritage advertising! And I agree - something lovely about this aspect of our past being still present.


'how this all harbours light'