Weekly Photo Challenge – My 2012 in Pictures
For me, this image sums up my 2012 and points to a beacon of light for 2013. Last year was quite a challenge for my wife Valerie and me – not the year that we had envisaged in January. A straight forward looking year turned into one of unplanned trips and a crippling accident which entailed several long periods away from home.
The above image was taken at Cape Palliser near the entrance to Wellington Harbour. We visited this remote cape as a side trip before journeying to a family wedding. When I look at the stairs they represent the long haul through the year where out-of-town family child minding trips dominated the early part, followed by Valerie’s recovery from a skiing accident in the latter part. The lighthouse at the top represents the beacon showing a clear passage for the year to come.
In between all of this we fitted a whale watching trip to Kaikoura on the north eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand, a holiday on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and a lovely couple of days skiing before the accident.
We are grateful that our wide circle of friends have given us encouragement and support throughout the period since August, for which we feel blessed indeed. Such is Val’s recovery that we are already planning our travels for this year and are excited by the prospects of what is to come.
The stairs also represent my journey with photography and blogging. It has been a year of learning and experimentation. Each new discovery leads me towards the next summit. My blog received its 10,000th visit just before New Year’s Eve, which was one of my goals for the year. I don’t do this for the numbers but, being a retired numbers person, I am interested to watch how the visits increase and where they come from. This blog gives me an outlet for my photography and a reason to keep on finding new material and to improve my craft. I am grateful for those who take the time to visit and explore my blog, and especially for the growing number of followers. In return I follow the blogs of others and get great enjoyment from reading what they post and how they see the world.
Thank you for your support. Best wishes for 2013, and may you succeed in all you do and have a happy and healthy year.
Just the place for a quiet weekend get-away from the hustle and bustle of Wellington?
Memorial Square, Martinborough in the Wairarapa District near Wellington. The early morning sun casting shadows across the square.
Its 7.30 am and the sun is rising over rural Martinborough. The local postmen (“Posties”) are in the sorting room next to the postbox lobby bundling letters to put into the bags on their bikes to start their rounds. The streets are still quiet but traffic is beginning to move as people head off to work in the town, or further afield to Wellington over the Rimutaka Hill. Newspapers lie on the ground waiting to be inserted into postboxes for townspeople to collect on the way to work.
Between Frank Kitts Park on Wellington’s waterfront and bustling Willis Street lies Civic Square. To reach the square from the waterfront it is safest to use the sculptural footbridge over hectic Jervois Quay. Here you can linger to look at the view of the harbour or over the inner city buildings to the hills that surround the city.
Civic Square is home to City Gallery Wellington, the City Libraries, Wellington City Council and the Michael Fowler Centre for performing arts. Prominent in the square is “Ferns”, a silver globe sculptured by artist Neil Dawson, suspended by cables above the courtyard area. It provides an interesting counterpoint to the surrounding buildings as well as a prop for visitors posing, Atlas-like, for photographs showing them holding the globe in one hand above their heads.
Victoria Street is reached by a short walk from the square past the Wellington City Libraries. Nearby, between Victoria Street and the parallel Willis Street, is Chew’s Lane. An early Wellington entrepreneur, John Chew, established a successful timber yard in Chew’s Lane in the 1880’s. By the late 2000’s the lane had become neglected and an opportunity was seen to rejuvenate the area and develop a new precinct. Chew’s Lane is now a popular walking shortcut with a mix or retail shops, cafes, apartments and offices. Views of the old Chew’s Lane can be seen in the opening and closing scenes at the “Golden Days” exhibition at Te Papa – New Zealand’s National Museum.
Hikitia – Wellington’s Heritage Floating Crane
Built by Fleming and Ferguson of Paisley, Scotland, in 1926 Hikitia then sailed to New Zealand to commence work as Wellington Harbour Board’s floating crane. At the end of its working life for the Wellington Port company, Hikitia was sold to a group of volunteers in 1990 with the aim of preservation as a heritage vessel. A full description of its life can be found here. Hikitia is usually moored near the National Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa – on Wellington’s waterfront. These images give just a glimpse of this grand old lady.