04 December 2014

An incredibly talented artist in residence outside the function centre


There was no doubt that a lot of planning and money went into making the Havelock North Carnival BIG last Saturday.

It was big on stalls, big on music, big on bouncy castles, photographers and fire engines.

There is nothing wrong with that unless you are a young child, mind auditory overload or value your privacy.


Vega and I snuck into an op shop or two and that was a welcome break from the noise and crowds.  She even bought a flowing white dress which was rather a deviation from her regular style.  I am sure she will change it somehow though!


The boys liked clambering in and through the fire trucks as always, and Kita took a shine to a random scissor lift left at the roundabout (probably for the $1000 cash drop which we definitely weren't staying for).  They didn't get to jump on either bouncy castle though as waiting times, locations and logistics didn't make it easily possible.


The day was fine but windy which saw several stall-holders and buskers literally having to hold onto their wares.

Most visibly the silk artists who were hanging onto billowing fabric suspended metres above the ground, from a tripod strung together by wire running from each leg across the grass.


While this may be a fun, family day out for some, I feel it would better suit older independent teens and adults who could venture forth wherever they pleased at their leisure.  With children in tow you simply don't have the opportunity to really look at what was on sale; and the poor wee tikes get so bored being dragged from one stand to the next.  


What I found the most fascinating were all the various art and craft groups at the Function Centre who were showing us how it was done, not just trying to sell us something.  Potters, quilters, felters, painters, weavers etc.  I could have happily sat and watched the painter (above) complete the piece he had started.


One of several silk artists who braved the winds

Hawke's Bay
20 November 2014

Looking seaward from the Mill Road bridge along the Tukituki River


Once a year in November, Haumoana School organises the biggest Market Day in the Hawkes Bay, held at the Memorial Park.

We hadn't been in the fifteen years we've lived here, so it was about time we did it for the first time!

Where we'd usually turn down towards the little township and stony beach, we were instead shepherded into a field to park our car, and informed that we'd be ferried the 2.4km by bus or mini-van to the fair.  Cows had previously grazed therein as evidenced by the incredibly uneven terrain and clumping of grass.  A 4WD would have been nice, and advice to wear flat sports shoes perhaps.  Across the road was a chicken farm so each time the wind blew we caught wafts of feed that added to our wainting-in-line experience.


Waited and waited we did.  It was probably a good 20-30 minutes before we were boarding one of the 4 buses (and 6 mini-vans) - a first for Kita.  Many passengers struggled wedging their prams into the aisles which made me thankful that we'd left ours at home.

There was a voluntary gold coin donation to enter the grounds in exchange for a raffle ticket.

The gala was a combination of specifically school-supporting stalls, food stands, and other vendors the like of which attend the Night and Farmer's Markets; others came from further afield.

There were people everywhere that made it challenging to take in what you were passing especially with children in tow, or should that be leading us on a merry goose chase.

Near the entertainment stage was a free sun block station which I thought very responsible of the organisers.


Part-way through we sat down to the morning tea we'd brought (quite out of the way) behind the food caravans, which gave us a break from the crowds.

Two hours later we were leaving with a few books in hand; and a couple of bags of homemade russian fudge.  I was so excited to pick up a good paperback copy of "The Non-designers Design Book" by Robyn Williams that I'd previously borrowed from the library.  It was one that I had intended to get out and review again so as to keep the ideas in the forefront of my mind and put into practise.

I do wonder how those who bought more fared, returning via bus to the paddock?  Apparently the Market Day draws in more than 10,000 visitors, and with 100 stall-holders it would seem a sure thing that the school reaches their fund-raising targets each year.


It was an enjoyable outing even if only to say we have been there done that, and had a bus ride in the process.  It made us appreciate the sense of community that a smaller place like Haumoana has; and the richness that it contributes to the greater Hawkes Bay. 


The website isn't kept that up-to-date but they have a Facebook page, and the photos were put up on the school's Facebook page


View to Te Mata Peak from Mill Road

Hawke's Bay
30 October 2014

On our trip half-way across the North Island this week to check out a house bus we took an unexpected back-road detour ending up meadering up and down narrow windy roads and navigating rock falls spanning both directions.

As the driver I didn't get to take my eyes off the road, but Atlas managed to capture a couple of photos to show me afterward.  I reckon they are pretty spectacular.