Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Low Tide

This is from a lookout on my way to work. I found an interesting pattern on Tahunanui Beach. The green area is the rugby ground where everyone can play and execise.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Our local theater, Theatre Royal on Rutherford Street, has been looking for money to renovate its aged venue for some years. The space above the window is usually reserved for banners advertisement the current show, but since Nelson does not have regular theatre productions, it is being used for solicitation. Nice for comedy and tragedy to pitch in.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wot? Another Photo?

The small hill near Farewell Spit Cafe, at the start of Farewell Spit. (The tiny green patch approximately 1 inch NE of Port Puponga.) These guys were so used to being photographed, I had to wait 25 minutes for the one showing her profile to turn around this much.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Nelson Lakes - Lake Rotoiti

This was taken near Mt. Roberts Ski Field in Nelson Lakes National Park last summer. There are two lakes here; the other is called Rotoroa. In North Island, there is a Lake Rotoiti in Rotorua, and a Lake Rotoroa in Hamilton. More information at Wiki or NZine.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Ale House, ex-Chez Eelco

Chez Eelco, at the top of Trafalgar Street, was arguably the most celebrated 'Coffee House' in New Zealand at one time. Opened in the 60's serving coffee to a tea-drinking nation, it had an iconic status in Nelson. In the years we've been in Nelson, the Cafe housed local arts, functioned as a Internet cafe, possibly the first in Nelson, and kept an international staff to cater to visitors from around the world.

Since the late-90's, with Eelco's retirement, two owners (one his daughter) tried to hold on to the legacy while modernizing the interior and the menu, but in 2004 it was sold to the current owners.

Founder Eelco Boswijk has been a tireless patron of arts and culture in Nelson, supporting the Wearable Arts show from its inception (more on this in the future), and we have seen at least three paintings/prints with the signature red-and-white stripped awning, parasols and table clothes. Eelco's own bust is soon to be erected, but the City Council and Nelsonians want it outside, the Ale House wants it inside.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Speaking of red scooters, this is our favourite cafe in town. They serve great pizza and salads as well as excellent coffee. Yes, the name of the cafe comes from the famous Italian motorcycle. They display real Lambretta bikes (Lambrette?) just outside the entrance and inside the cafe.

In between cold mornings and chilly nights, we have been having gloriously sunny days.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Red Scooter

Found in the parking lot near the bus stop, only a few meters away from the Great All Blacks car. (Yeah, Edwin, I'm sticking to it. Hope Singapore is being good to you.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Tree Backpack

I thought some kids put a green plastic bag up a tree as a joke, but looking around, I found every tree had one. All the trees on Trafalgar Street have fairly (Christmas) lights, so these bags must store the ... whatever they store to make the lights work. You can see the power line hanging from the bag.

Quite inadvertently, I caught a glimpse of THE stained glass at the museum. This was also the very first shot on my new camera.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The One Ring... or Six

"The Ring" (acually six of them in different sizes) in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trillogy was/were made here at Jens Hanson Gold & Smilversmith, at the corner of Church Street and Selwyn Place, by father and son, Jens and Thorkild. Jens passed away in 1999 before the film was released. They also made the Air New Zealand Cup, the revamped rugby National Provincial League, but this another time.

The lettering on the rings were all CG; you can buy "The One Ring", sans the writing.

We will be in Auckland for a week.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

No Pooch

On Tahunanui Beach, dogs are not allowed on the Rocks Road/Tahunanui Drive side, but are allowed beyond the Beach Cafe and towards the back of the Tahunanui Holiday Park (reputed to be the largest camp site in the Southern Hemisphere.) Here's a link to a satelite photo.

The concrete slabs you see on the left were installed last year to prevent further erosion of the beach and sand dunes. General consensus almost a year on is they are still ugly, but seem to work.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Boat Shed Cafe

The Boat Shed Cafe on Rocks Road sits right in front of The Cut. It is vary fancy place, good seafood, I am told, but I have never been there. As the name suggests, it was originally a boat shed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cold Morning

7.30AM, Tuesday 15 August. It's warmer around dawn, then the temperature drops for a few hours.

The land between our street and the water used to be all sheep paddock until the mid-70's. It was still largely residential when we moved here 10 years ago. Now it's small industries, the airport runway, and a golf course.

(And, people, a very funny caption contest in Slinger's Twin Cities. )

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lake Tennyson - Rainbow Road

From Rainbow Ski Field south of Nelson to Hanmer Springs, there is a fantastic 4WD road called the "Rainbow Road" we are allowed to travel only in summer. It passes through a few sheep stations (ranches). We happened to travel there on the first weekend of March, the day before it closed. Lake Tennyson is at the Hanmer Spring end. Camping is allowed. Another shot taken on this road can be found here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Cabbage Trees" - Another Controversial Sculpture

The issue was not so much the aesthetics or the cost of "Cabbege Trees", or even the merit of the artist Jeff Thomson, but the fact the commission was given to a Waitakere (North Island) man. Nelson sees itself as an arty city; many artists cannot support themselves on art alone; therefore, it was morally reprehensible for the City Council to not select a Nelson artist for this tax-paid commission at the side of thier office block. I think that was the controversy.

Notice the pink and blue rugby ball stuck in the gutter above the entrance.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Demised Premise?

A few years ago, when Meg had a short stint at a lawyer's office, she had to work on a document dealing with a "demised premise" at this address. The pharmacy is under new management, the building looks ok; it must have been coded legalese.

The Ginko leaves were painted recently.

Post Script: Today, August 16, I went to see this building after Ben's photo turned out so well. The ginko leaves were, in fact, not painted, but are what I can only describe as huge stickers. Worse, the top part of the left leaf is starting to peel off just a little bit. It's not going to be able to withstand the coming Nelson summer sun. Pity.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunset at The Cut

Sunset here is very romantic, and as you can guess it will be different every time you look.

Sorry, Matthieu, no ship again, but I still think this is worth a look. Here's another view.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

New Coins

On 1 August, new, smaller 10-, 20- and 50-cent coins came into circulation. There have been funny scenes all over town where businesses and shoppers count out changes in unison to come up with the $3.50 for a coffee.

This change [;-)] makes the smallest denomination of New Zealand coins to 10 cents; if you buy something for $49.95, therefore, the price will be rounded up to $50 if paying with cash. Beware when paying with plastic as they must still charge you $49.95 only.

The downsizing was brought in to reflect the amount of petrol you can buy for the amount because New Zealand coins are some of the largest and the heaviest, but the more problematic $1 and $2 coins remain the same.

I wrote this on 1 August, but since neither of us carry cash, we still haven't seen them, and Louise beat us to it. So we'll show you a 1967 20 cent coin with a kiwi bird, a 1964 "one shilling" coin, and a 1964 "one florin" coin with a very old kiwi.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Nelson Cathedral

At the top of Trafalgar Street is Nelson Cathedral (Anglican). And the Cathedral Steps are as important as the cathedral itself: protests, celebrations, lunches/dates, and caroling take place here, and marches often start or finish here.

Many moons ago, a town planner in England drew a plan for Nelson, New Zealand. He envisioned a city built around a grand cathedral with Trafalgar Street streching towards the sea to the north, and towards ... whatever to the south. Immigrants thanked the man (it would have been a man, wouldn't it?), boarded a ship, arrived here, and started to build the city according to plan. Except Nelson is hilly. So the Cathedral looks grand atop a hill, and the steps are convenient, but that was the end of the plan. If you look at this map, you can still see the plan, but Trafalgar Street South is a quiet residential area in a mild incline.

I will look for names and dates to substantiate this story, but it is one of the first every new arrival is told.

More on the "Symonds Gas Lamp".

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Boulder Bank – Morning

I caught this interesting cloud formation this morning. You can find another shot here.
The boulder bank at the Haulashore Island end had to be dynamited a few decades ago, to create The Cut for safer passage. From time to time dolphins and orcas are said to come and have a swim in the fast current, but we've never been lucky enough to see them ourselves. The lighthouse, the subject of our very first post, is the splinter roughly in the middle of the boulder bank.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tahunanui Beach

In Nelson, if you time it right, you can have the whole beach to yourself.

The weather this winter has been appalling, and yesterday, yet again, many parts of the country were inundated with rain, resulting in landslides and flooding. Nelson was a bit gray and chilly, but otherwise calm and, as usual, pleasant. Is there such a thing as fair-weather guilt?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Water Just Before Dawn

This photo was taken last year at Endeavor Inlet, Queen Charlotte Sounds, Marlborough, east of Nelson. It was just before dawn, and I found a bottle rolling back and forth. It is one of my favorite photo from a collection.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Great All Blacks

Not much of a soccer nation, New Zealand. In fact, they broadcast only the highlights of the earlier games on free-to-air. But we know what we like.

(To tell the truth, after every Soccer World Cup, Rugby looks a tedious at first, throwing the ball backwards, getting in circles conferring, ear biting and stomping. But we still love our Boys in Black.)

Update: Edwin S thinks it says "Great Abs". Honestly, at this time of the year, "AB" means only one thing over here, and I can't even entertain the idea it could be anything else. I wonder if I should stalk the car and ask the owner.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jazzy Girls

A sudden surprise! Fantastic Jazz melody came from the end of Trafalgar Street. It was a fundraiser for Nelson College for Girls. Spring is definitely here.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Get Ready for Christmas

Here at the bottom of the earth, procurement of Christmas presents starts early. Page & Blackmore is, to my knowledge, our last independently-owned bookstore.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nelson Provincial Museum

The new museum, opened in 2005, sits on the corner of Trafalgar and Hardy Streets. I was walking up Hardy Street during lunch and was suddenly struck by the swirl reflecting the crisp early spring sun.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Millers Acre and "Vessel"

Millers Acre Centre - Taha o te Awa (Nelson Visitor Centre) was selected as the winner of New Zealand Creative Places Award 2006's Built Environment: City and Regional Councils category in July. The cost of the sculpture, "Vessel", designed by local jeweler and sculptor Gavin Hitchings, caused much heated discussion in the Nelson Mail for a couple of days. More about entering Nelson.