Thursday, January 28, 2010

a sneak peek to end the week

 Nothing gets my heart palpitations going quite so much as a new collection from Designers Guild.(Well Brunnel did just get my heart racing, but only because he turned the broadband connection off in the other room as I am in the midst of my attempts to write this post.)
Returning to work after such a lovely long holiday could just be made a little easier at the thought of this beautiful, vibrant Barcelona-inspired collection launched at Maison & Objet in Paris this week. I thought you may just like a sneak preview! I love that graphic rose print inspired by Las Ramblas. Fresh & exuberant.

So, I am back from my summer sojourn. Easing in to work today didn't go so well! I'll try again tomorrow. However, I am so looking forward to catching up on some blog reading, and seeing what you've all been up to. Something I've definitely missed.
Amanda xx
(image with permission Designers Guild)

Pin It

Friday, January 22, 2010

one man's trash

It’s a Hawkes Bay secret, not so well kept these days. The ultimate second hand store – Whites Traders in Hastings. You name it, they’ll probably have it. Like an iceberg – what you see is only a ninth of what they have. From china to glassware to jars of screws, a stash of old tools, table legs, chefs trousers (!!!), old blankets, cutlery, pots, buttons, pans and possibly a kitchen sink if you look hard, definitely kitchen paraphernalia of every kind. It’s only once you begin (literally) crawling around on the floor in order to look underneath the piled high tables, that you begin to really appreciate the extent of this store’s wares. Milly (a magpie in training) and I (a magpie of old) had 2 hours, barely came up for breath, and still hardly touched the surface. Worryingly, my modus operandi was recognized by one of the staff. Perhaps she recognized my crawling butt from last year!
One man’s trash is definitely another’s treasure.
Have a lovely weekend everyone, and welcome to new visitors to this blog!
Amanda xx

Pin It

Sunday, January 17, 2010

a tourist in my home town

It's strange being a tourist in your home town. When I grew up in Napier, I had never really heard of 'art deco', and neither had anyone else I knew. But as is often the case, sometimes it takes 'fresh eyes' to put a different perspective on something which, because we see it every day, we become blind to. It took a group of international visitors who, in 1983, witnessed the demolition of two of Napier's old buildings, to draw attention to the uniqueness of this city's central business district. Basically, this was the wakeup call that brought about the incredible transformation of this tourist town.
The story of the Hawkes Bay earthquake was drilled into every child. We all knew that on February 3rd, 1931, an earthquake had destroyed much of Napier & Hastings. We all practiced earthquake drills at school. We all had family who had personal stories to recount. My grandfather escaped out of a window into the rubble, and was distraught that his beloved motorbike was crushed, until he looked about him and saw total devastation. In the Napier business district only 4 buildings survived. What didn't fall down, burnt down, and the loss of life makes this event New Zealand's worst natural disaster.
However, it is the rebuilding of Napier that makes this city world famous today. Rebuilding the city must have been at fever pitch. Following the earthquake, an incredible 111 buildings were rebuilt in the business district between 1931 and 1933. At the time, the architecture most in vogue was Art Deco - a modern style intended to embrace all that was positive and exciting in the world. So Napier was rebuilt in the style of the time - Art Deco. The buildings are jigsawed together across the business & shopping district, so that the art deco style is now blindingly obvious. Enthusiasts come from all over the world to experience so much art deco in such a small area. In front of us all the time, these buildings were covered with various facades when the once modern style was no longer popular. As all the old hoardings and fake frontages have been removed over the last 25 years, the city's modernist heritage has been well & truly revealed. (And thankfully, is now protected.) What was once embarassing is now embraced.
Art Deco walking tours are the best way to see this city. I joined a group of mostly Australian tourists, and my Mum happened to be our guide. I wandered the city with a newfound appreciation of what was both familiar yet new, and with my eyes looking up, seeing some things, I'm ashamed to say, for the 'first' time!
A tourist in my home town, I loved my tour.
Now Napier is a city that has applied for world heritage status.

Amanda xx


Pin It

Monday, January 11, 2010

summer flowers

Agapanthus - this gorgeous flower is everywhere you look at the moment. Perhaps because they are so prolific, some people are particularly disparaging, and treat them as if they are weeds. I love them, weed or not - the beautiful cornflower blue colour, the graceful arch of the long tall stems, the mass of flowers and the glossy green leaves. I remember Tricia Guild telling me how much she loves them too - but in the UK they are so hard to grow, that she gives hers extra tlc by growing them in a glasshouse. When here in New Zealand they are often free for the picking by the roadside, there is absolutely no excuse not to have fresh summer flowers throughout the house! The best way to add some glorious colour and a burst of summer to any room. My niece asked why I have aggies in every room - I'm taking full advantage of my favourite weed!

Amanda xx

Pin It

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

food glorious food

Did I mention our fondness for food and wine here at the beach? It is never-ending. 'What's for dinner tonight?' is the most-asked question. And combining the bounty of Hawkes Bay, with much loved copies of Annabel Langbein and Donna Hay, we eat every night at the best outdoor tables one could hope to find. In stark contrast to city living, where you can pop to the supermarket if you're out of a particular ingredient, or  change the menu fairly last minute, here, with no shop, we become masters of invention depending on what the fridge reveals. Not only that, kitchens are fairly basic to say the least. And does it look as though we are suffering? Not much! We operate under 'Waipatiki rules' - everyone brings something to share, and BYO wine, glass, and sometimes stool!

The beginnings of a 'summer crumble'. I'm making this recipe my signature! No wonder each day when I put on my togs, I want to add a shroud over the top. And the number of wine bottles I brought into town today to the recyclers tells another story! The joys of being on holiday.

Amanda xx

PS Forgive me if I don't get to visit your blogs as often as I'd like just now. I'm popping in whenever I can find some internet coverage.

Pin It

Monday, January 4, 2010

another day in paradise

Happy New Year everyone! The wishes may be belated, but then life here at the beach is blissfully slow! Intentions are always good, but lack of internet access makes blogging seriously hard work. And it's too hot for hard work.  Another swim may be in order instead, and then it will be time for wine and food, something which seems to occupy a lot of my time. Don't you just love a beachy bachy kind of holiday? This is our lovely little beach, on a busy day. A quiet, secluded wee spot on the East Coast of the North Island. All of the hustle and bustle of the city is left behind. The nearest store is 25 minutes away over the hill.

And currently I'm sitting on this terrace. Come and join me!

Amanda xx
Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...