Thursday, 2 January 2014

Old Year and New

Old Year

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?

The highlight for 2013 was a trip in June - July to Paris (for my 60th birthday) then on to Germany to meet our son's partner's family and from there to Kyoto to stay with our son and daughter-in-law and family. 
We had a terrific time. So many memories to cherish.

A few days after Christmas we drove through Central Otago to Queenstown, stopping off along the way at  couple of fruit stalls.

We can thoroughly recommend the real-fruit ice creams ...

 Farther down the road and armed with a parcel of fish and chips (from Clyde's gluten-free fish-and-chip shop) we stopped by the Clutha River to eat the f'n'c at a picnic spot popular with jet-boat owners.

We spent a pleasant three days in Queenstown with Robert's family, celebrating Robert's birthday there in the town where he was born and where he lived until he left home for uni. at 19 years old. (It is also where his parents have lived now for nearly sixty years). 
This time while staying there, I wasn't in the mood to take photos - I just wanted to read.

New Year

On New Year's eve, we made our way back home again from Queenstown, with a one-night stop-over at my brother's in Miller's Flat. 

On the way there, we made another stop to have lunch by the Clutha River - this time below the Alexandra bridge.

We also decided to check out the town's clock on the hill.

Spot the difference:
Those with sharp eyes will note the passing of nearly two hours (and indeed the differing weather conditions) between the two shots above and those below.

That's because the first two photos of the clock were taken on a different day. 

The first two photos were taken when we were going to climb to the clock a few weeks ago; on another trip we'd made through Alex. However, on that day it began to rain, so we'd canned the idea.

December 31st, 2013, we finally made the climb (it only takes five minutes ... maybe a bit longer for those of us not built like a mountain goat).

The clock is an impressive engineering feat. It is one-of-a-kind; planned, designed, engineered and built - largely by locals - in 1968. It has kept perfect time there on the hill for over forty-five years.

To get to the clock, you cross the Shaky Bridge - a narrow swing bridge that has been built where an original, wider and older bridge once spanned the river. The original had to be wide enough for horse and dray. The new one, considerably more narrow, is for foot-traffic only.

After spending a quiet but pleasant New Year's eve in Miller's Flat with family, we travelled back home to Dunedin where our daughter-in-law cooked us a New Year's Day dinner: Mediterranean lamb chops with mint sauce, roast courgettes and peppers and a Greek salad. Delicious indeed!

 We'll take a cup of kindness yet, 
For the sake of Auld lang Syne!


Avus said...

Hell Kay! You could lay out a full table from the list of available products at those Otago fruit stalls.

That brings me back to Graeme Miles' wonderful song, "Somewhere in Otago" (sung by Martyn Wyndham-Read). Looking out of my window onto the wet and windy winter afternoon here one particular verse comes back to me:

"Now winter time is setting in
And the wind blows roaring bitter;
And grey as slate the sky above,
Never known such rough weather.
I often think of Sam the lad,
Far from the sleet and snow,
I'll bet he's lying in the sun
Somewhere in Otago."

You have to hear it sung - it has an aching longing to it!

Kay Cooke said...

Avus - I have never heard that song (or the singer)! Must look it up ...

kj said...

Happy new year, my friend. I delight in your relationship with your children an d their partners. How well I understand its joy and importance.

What's in store for you in 2014? :-)


Kay Cooke said...

kj - Thanks. I am hoping for a smooth, gentle year full of present moments and not to miss my sons and partners (all living away from where we live)too much. :)

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...