A great week in New Zealand, totally nqr

Over the past couple of weeks I have had very little time for anything at all related to email or blogging and will try to do gooder over the next few weeks, although I will be on the move again, in the USA, including QN07, SAQA and SDA, with a couple of brief family visits fitting in between them.

The 8 days in New Zealand, based on Waiheke IS off Auckland, with my two sisters, was fabulous . On one day we spent several hours in Auckland’s War Memorial museum where there is a wonderful design gallery where I took some snaps of a few interesting fibre related things and pics of these will pop up in the next couple of days. We also fitted in some time to browse in book and shoe shops before going to a terrific comedy show, The Kransky Sisters, a rather dark domestic comedy routine from Australia – that seemed appropriate since we three were there together. The dynamics of each 3-sister group , Kranskys and Padmans, were at times parallel, and we totally related to them.

We visited the home of a noted NZ interior designer Neil McLachlan and marvelled at the design features there, including a beautiful enclosed courtyard garden complete with almost art deco gates, and as always seems to be the case in NZ, a fabulous view. Everywhere we went it seemed so hilly, up and down all over the place, that either reflects or formed New Zealanders’ hardy national character, I’m not sure which way that went, but I feel less indomitable people would never have persisted !

One thing I was very aware of was the water themed nature of the NZ contemporary art and fine craft I saw in various places. By contrast, Australian equivalents are earthy, land-themed, and this is especially noticeable in colours used in each country. To me it is a perfect reflection of the different history of human colonisation in each land mass- the Maori people came from Polynesia by sea, the Australian Aborigines moved over land, for the most part, from the Asian land mass, and much further back in time. I know from my passing, ie not very deep, acquaintance with the mythology of both peoples that their legends also bear out this different ancient history.

Apart from a bit of local history and culture there, we spent a few days up in the north of the North Island around Tutukaka and went beyond up to Kerikeri to see the very early mission station up there, which in the early 1800’s was under the supervision of an early twig in our Aus family tree, The Rev. Samuel Marsden, aka The Flogging Parson of Parramatta (in the aus colony then known as New South Wales) Reading through some of the mission station records, what we were totally amazed at is how this man, so dreaded and loathed in NSW, was so totally beloved by the Maori of the northern regions.

So, I have crossed the Pacific and am cooling my heels in Santiago once more awaiting a flight to Montevideo very early tomorrow. More soon.

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