Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Head down

I've been keeping myself busy with a little writing project, lifting my head from the laptop to watch America's Cup races which I find quite thrilling.  That's a big turnaround for me since the last Cup when I refused to watch any races or follow the event at all because I felt technology had gone too far and the vessels they had created weren't sailing boats at all.  I don't think anyone noticed my protest!  

I have to admit I'd still like to see a return to the elegant yachts of old but these hydrofoiled flying machines sure are exciting to watch.  Until they push things too far and flip over, which happened to American Magic on Sunday.  It wasn't the first boat to fall over and I daresay it won't be the last.  I will have to work on my terminology, I think of 'capsize' as turn upside down and these boats are designed not to do that but rather fall onto their sides, giving the sailors a much better chance of escaping the stricken boat.  Thankfully, all escaped unscathed this time although the boat is in pretty bad shape and will be out of action for a while.

I had no intention of saying all that, strange what comes out when you sit down to type.

Yesterday I had a trip up to Kerikeri with my friend, Chris to visit old friends we used to work with.  I find it sad watching the effects of old age on others and am reminded that others are probably doing the same with me, trying not to shake their heads sadly as I try to remember what I ate for breakfast.  It certainly isn't the golden years for some.  A happy disposition seems to be the best weapon and our friends certainly have that.

Gillian has some lovely orchids in their sunroom

We stopped on the way north at Kawakawa to have a look at the new community hub.  It pays tribute to Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a famous Austrian visual artist who made Kawakawa his home (in the 1970s I think) and built the public toilets which have become something of a tourist attraction.  I've posted plenty of photos of them over the years but obviously didn't label them as toilets because I can't find them now.  Labels are great as long as you remember to use them.  Anyway, the new community hub is more of the same quirky art work.  It includes a public library, a council service centre, public toilets and showers, an art gallery, and an interpretative centre detailing Hundertwasse's connection to Kawakawa.


We didn't linger as we had places to be, people to see but will stop off for a longer look around next time, perhaps.

The town square

23 comments:

  1. I am really enjoying the match racing. If I have one criticism it's that they are too good at it. Unless one has tried it it's very difficult to avoid penalties before the start let alone during the race. Brilliant they are and this generation of boats are a fantastic sight.

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    1. Yes, Adrian, they sure do make a fantastic sight when they are up and away foiling. And I really enjoy it when tactics come into play. Few can match your Ben Ainslie!!

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  2. Where do I start? Searching for toilets is a goo place. I stuck 'Toilet' in the search box at the top left corner of your blog page and got plenty. Distracted me as I read about the railway at Kawakawa again too.

    I used to share your view of the fact that they are no longer yachts but I think they are so exciting that they should just rename them. Unfortunately I can't find a proper race commentary of UK TV.

    I often wonder how your pals that I met are now. I'll mention that when I next write.

    I get over the problem of what I had for breakfast by having the same thing every day although I do sometimes have a couple of boiled eggs on a Sunday.

    I'm a bit sad that I'll never see the Hundertwasser community hub because it looks quite uplifting.

    I never used to like orchids because I felt they were too 'formal' but now I'm mellowing and those are beautiful.

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    1. Hi Graham, The train passed through town while we were there, dozens of happy children waving as it went by. We were lucky the day we visited to come across that man who showed us around the workshops.

      I've come to accept that those boats will continue to evolve while there is big money and big reputations at play. But they will never look as good to me as something like the R Tucker Thompson under full sail. Remember the day we stumbled upon the passenger liner and the R Tucker Thompson at Russell?

      I must remember to include news of my friends when I write. I could write a book about Twink and it would all be amusing.

      You'd love the new Hundertwasser themed buildings. There's one going up in Whangarei Town Basin, too, near where we had our first cup of coffee. I think we are both feeling a bit nostalgic lately. :)

      I agree about orchids. I've always thought they were beautiful but not for me. Now I just admire their delicate beauty.

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    2. Graham, I watch on YouTube. It's either live or you can get the catch up.

      PRADA CUP

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    3. Pauline, as soon I read that I thought of Twink. I look forward to a missive in due course.

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  3. Lovely orchids. I recently re-potted mine and am hoping they will show appreciation eventually, even if there is no sign of it yet...

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    1. I remember one side of a high school science classroom having orchids on shelfs the full length of the room. The teacher was forever warning the students not to water them apart from her strict schedule. A student explained to me that not all plants need a lot of love and attention, too much attention can kill them. I've often wondered if those students might not have misinterpreted that message.

      They seem like aloof plants to me, I'm sure yours appreciate your efforts deep down.

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  4. I hate all sports that depend on big money and big salaries...but they are always exciting. Glad you can travel about. We stay within driving distance of places and make sure there are safe facilities. Feels like pioneer days sometimes.

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  5. I agree, Tabor. I never support the Cup being held in NZ but when it starts I'm all in.

    We know how lucky we are to be able to travel around our country. The threat of the virus escaping the border is always there but so far they have kept it at bay although I think we are letting a few too many people into the country without good reason. I'm smarting at the moment about a team of film makers being given entry to make a documentary in Wellington about transvestites. Others argue that if sportspeople can come in, why not allow culture to flourish. Guess I'm too judgemental to argue logically.

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  6. I have never watched the Cup...not even sure it is on here. And I probably would not watch if it was. I watch very little sports. The orchids are so beautiful. Love that town square shot..

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    1. To each his own, I say. My father was an avid sports watcher once he grew too old to be a sportsman, I guess the pleasure of watching certain sports, for me, stems from growing up in a family where sport was just part of life.

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  7. Those are some beautiful orchids, and the art is fascinating. Hope your favorite wins the cup!

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    1. I haven't decided on my favourite team yet, messymimi, I've just been enjoying the spectacle. I guess when it comes to the finals I will back NZ all the way but for now I just like watching.

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  8. I'm a bit like Graham when it comes to orchids, they always seemed so stand-offish, but as I grow older I am beginning to appreciate their cold beauty more and more and your photos are gorgeous.
    Loved that toilet at Kawakawa! Now it looks like I will have to come and visit again :)

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    1. Hi Margaret, Yes, the new community hub will be quite an attraction, I think. Kawakawa has known hard times but their leaders work hard to make it a spot for tourists to stop for a while.

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  9. The yachts have come such a long way technology wise though, we have been watching the races here.

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    1. They sure have, Amy. I really enjoyed yesterday's race when it finally got underway.

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  10. Whatever floats his boat, I state. My dad was an ardent games watcher once he became too old to be in any way an athlete, I surmise the joy of watching certain games, as far as I might be concerned, originates from experiencing childhood in a family where game was simply essential forever.duck hunt

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  11. That's the thing about getting old. We all think it happens to others! Many is the time I have remarked on "an old couple" and in reality they might be younger than me. I am still fit, healthy and active and that's the difference, I think. I know a woman who is several years my junior who now uses a walker, and has had bouts of illness, and she really seems old. Age is not just chronology, perhaps.

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    1. I think you are right, David. I grew up next door to a girl who shared my birthday, she was using a walker last time we met and has since died. I think our mental state comes into how we age but also think our genes have a huge role, too.

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