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Showing posts from April, 2012

The Way

We have a dinky little arthouse cinema in Dunedin. There are maybe 50 seats, a coffee machine and a personable  guy with a few days stubble and an encyclopaedic knowledge of movies who sells the tickets, makes the drinks and chooses the flicks. We go as often as we can, and this Saturday afternoon past it was to see The Way . As veteran readers of this blog will know, we walked half the Camino Santiago in 2009, and we are planning on returning to Spain this coming September to walk the last 400 km from Sahagun to Santiago, so we had been wanting to see this particular film for a while. The 2010 movie, written and directed by Emilio Estevez and starring Estevez's real life father, Martin Sheen is about an American doctor who "accidentally" walks the Camino Santiago. Travelling to Spain to collect the body of his son (Esteves) who has died on the first day of the Camino, the one that takes pilgrims over the Pyrenees, the doctor (Sheen) decides instead to cremate the b


This weekend past we went to Stewart Island, whose Maori name is Rakiura, land of glowing skies. The long gentle summer we have been enjoying in the deep south continues, and the trip there and back was across a Foveaux Straight as flat and calm as anybody has ever seen it. We travelled, as usual, on the ferry, a large, modern catamaran which makes the journey in about an hour, and we stayed with Peter and Iris who run a very comfortable B&B on a hill overlooking Halfmoon Bay. It's the sort of place which manages the almost impossible feat of being simultaneously homely and luxurious, and our hosts were knowledgeable and engaging. There was a very fine dinner and good wine and lots of conversation. On Sunday morning we woke to one of the skies from which the Island gets its name, and a dawn chorus dominated by the sound of Kaka: a sound that must have once been common throughout New Zealand, but is now heard only in Oban. There was a leisurely breakfast and some

Downtown in the ruined city

For the last couple of days I have been in Christchurch at a meeting of bishops . We stayed in the Chateau on Park Terrace, which I remember being built and to which, when it it was new, and providing I had had enough time to save up,  I would take those girls I really wanted to impress. Back then it was about as flash as it gets in the Garden City but now  it is a comfortable, middle of the range place with quaint early 70s architecture. By and large it is in good nick for a Christchurch building: all that wood and pointy roofing and odd windows seems to have stood up to the rock and rolling pretty well, which is more than can be said for the bits of the city we saw on Thursday. For an afternoon we donned dayglo vests and hard hats and travelled on a big red Christchurch bus through the CBD. I have some photos here . There are fences around the centre of the city and guards in camouflage jackets and we all had to be counted in and counted out and there was not a lot of traffic i

One picture is worth...etc etc

We've had the Sydney branch of the family over to stay for the Easter break. It's been wonderful: Picnic on the beach; breakfast in the Dunedin sunshine; youngest member of the household establishing, by divine right and with the rapturous approval of her subjects,  an absolute monarchy for the duration; time enough to pick up my camera for the first time in weeks;  you know, all the usual stuff.