When the 21 is really the 30

When the number 21 bus to Lyall Bay is actually the Number 30 Seatoun Express, it brings out the best in people. For my second ever bus trip to Seatoun, I, along with fellow would-be passengers, waited and waited for the Number 30. On the electronic status display, it kept dropping back to the bottom of the list…clearly a problem of some sort was underway on the Seatoun route. After yearning eyes had read the destination on the front of yet another bus as it went by, a bus with Lyall Bay, 21, stopped. Those in the know were aware that something was up, and sure enough the bus driver opened the doors and shouted out “This is the Number 30 Express, not the Number 21” – a cry we were to hear often during that trip.

Those of us headed for Seatoun trundled on, in time to hear the driver explain that the name and number rollers were stuck (it was an old bus), and she couldn’t change it to its actual destination. Mumblings that it was likely to be  longer trip than usual took place, as this explanation had to happen at every stop. However, this is not a winge about transport problems, but a celebration of human nature.

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Martinborough Unmasked

By Insider – Suzanne Peri-Chapman

Excellent idea, this unmasking of Martinborough. For those of you who don’t know where, or what, Martinborough is..click here. For those who do – it’s that little piece of paradise, just out of Wellington, with a drive over the Rimutakas that’s just tricky enough to make you feel you’ve really achieved something when you get there. The home of NZ wine, NZ Olive Oil and general NZ loveliness.

Martinborough Unmasked is a new event, that could well become an annual one, especially if attached to some of the existing festivals that occur in the region. The brainchild of Gretchen Bunny, the idea is that you get a “behind the scenes” tour from various local good sports who have generously opened their vineyards, olive groves and galleries to the tourists.

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Steampunk in Oamaru

By Insider – Suzanne Peri-Chapman

I guess we have to start this blog with a definition of Steampunk…tomorrow as it used to be.

From http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/10/steampunk-101

What is steampunk?
In three short words, steampunk is Victorian science fiction. Here “Victorian” is not meant to indicate a specific culture, but rather references a time period and an aesthetic: the industrialized 19th century. Historically, this period saw the development of many key aspects of the modern world (mechanized manufacturing, extensive urbanization, telecommunications, office life and mass-transit), and steampunk uses this existing technology and structure to imagine an even more advanced 19th century, often complete with Victorian-inspired wonders like steam-powered aircraft and mechanical computers.

From: http://thesteampunkhome.blogspot.com/

I believe that Steampunk is more than just brass and watchparts. It’s finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetic pleasing yet still punkish way. It’s living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It’s taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things.

Ok so – Steampunk, in Oamaru?? Yes, my friends. Oamaru, a town in the South Island of New Zealand, north of Dunedin, has a wonderful Old Town section, built in Victorian times. Unfortunately it is named now on various signs as the Victorian Precinct. “Precinct” is much too urban council for what this part of town is…how about renaming it The Victorian Assemblage – much more evocative.

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Indulgent Weekend

By Insider – Suzanne Peri-Chapman

No, I didn’t spend the weekend in a luxury spa resort. I went to the inaugural Indulge Marlborough event in Blenheim, followed the next morning by the Kaikoura SeaFest.

Indulge Marlborough is a lovely event where they introduce the new kids on the block…the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc wines produced locally. The wineries of Villa Maria, Dog Point, Astrolabe Wines, Wairau River, Hunters, Tohu, Forrest Wines and Whitehaven all had tastings of a range of their wines, including the latest Sauvignon Blancs. The event is held in Blenheim, in a venue that from the outside looked industrial and uninviting, but was transformed inside with loads of hanging fairy lights and nicely themed decor. A glass of Forrest bubbles on entry got things off to a good start, and then it was on to mingling, sniffing knowledgably, tasting, grabbing a canapé made of local delicacies from a passing tray, more sniffing, more tasting….you get the idea.

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Things That I Found By The Side of The Road, While Taking The Long Way Round.

By Insider – Suzanne Peri-Chapman

I was in Southland last weekend, for the last pool game in Invercargill, followed by another game in Dunedin the next day. I drove from Invercargill to Dunedin, taking the “Long Way Round” as they say. I’d definitely recommend a few road trips during Rugby World Cup, as there are lots of things to see that aren’t rugby. Especially useful if you happen to be the partner or travelling companion of someone who lives and breathes rugby, and you don’t.

You can be pointing out the daffodils growing by the side of the road, while he (yes, I’m making that assumption) is recounting, play by play, the talents of his team, who managed a win regardless of the one-eyed ref who couldn’t spot a forward pass if it was handed to him on a silver platter carried by Pinetree himself.

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New Zealand On Screen: iconic NZ film & TV container installation

By Insider – Suzanne Peri-Chapman 

New Zealand On Screen, 9 September to 23 October, Auckland and Wellington

Installation entry

Installation entry

It was raining in downtown Auckland, a hard rain, the kind of rain that… sorry, got a bit film noir there for a minute. I wanted to see the New Zealand On Screen installation on Queens Wharf in Auckland as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival, and it seemed like a good indoorsy thing to do in the rain. Continue reading

The Great Whitebait Hunt

By Insider – Suzanne Peri-Chapman

The Great Whitebait Hunt.

Finding your fish

Finding your fish

You might think this involves gumboots, a net, and a certain amount of standing about in chilly water at the mouth of a river, but no. Other people, bless, have done this, so you don’t have to.

If you’re in Auckland, the whitebait is closer than you think… you guessed it, at the Auckland Fish Market. A friend and I went in search of whitebait at the Auckland Fish Market, after reading about it. Our mistake was to go last Sunday, when the place was absolutely packed, including the Viaduct and all the fun new stuff they have there for Rugby World You Know What.

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