Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I did on my holidays

I go back to work on Wednesday after two weeks off .

As Mr LRH didn't have holidays, I took off  to NZ to visit two of my lovely brothers for the first 10 days or so of my break - and it was great. Not the best weather for a visit (cold, wet, a bit dreary) but nice and relaxing after lots of changes and stresses at work. And good, too, to have a visit unrelated to sad times - previous trips over the past five years or so have been when my mum was ill and for her funeral.

One brother and his partner live in Wellington with their two littlies; it was such fun to get to know my niece and nephew (4 and 1 respectively later this month) and enjoy family outings and simple things like reading stories to my niece (who loves books and libraries and was so impressed to be told that her auntie works in a library). She and I had a fun outing on the cable car to the superb children's playground in the Botanical Gardens. If you're in Wellington, make sure you visit the Minerva Bookshop in Cuba St - it specialises in textile books and magazines; be warned, you'll be there for ages!
I made a quilt for my niece when she was born so I just had to make one for her baby brother. I had a lot of fun choosing 'boy' fabrics and not so much fun putting it together (blame my terrible spray basting technique). With some unsticking and restitching (and nervously machine quilting with the walking foot on my new machine for the first time) it turned out well - phew! I used a free Two Little Banshees tutorial; what a great pattern . I'll definitely do that one again.

I travelled by bus to Auckland - where my youngest brother and his wife live - because I wanted to see more of the countryside. The land was so lush and green and despite the grey, gloomy weather, the scenery was beautiful and I really enjoyed the trip, although it was a long one - 11 hours or so.

We had some lovely outings - to Devonport, a pretty suburb across the harbour, where we had a delicious lunch (zucchini and mussel fritters for me, yum!) and mooched in bookshops, galleries and craft shops; and to Matakana, about an hour north of Auckland, where there was more yummy food and a fabulous pottery. Some gorgeous pieces made their way home (intact, I'm glad to say) in my hand luggage.

At the weekend I took a bus to Paihia in the Bay of Islands (four hours each way) just because I could. The weather was wonderful, the sea views divine and it was just so relaxing. I stayed in a so-so motel on the waterfront and enjoyed mooching around in the sunshine. 

On the Sunday morning I took the ferry over to Russell, a little town that was briefly the capital of New Zealand in the early days. Russell is a lovely little place that wasn't always so peaceful - think Maori Wars and a rough, tough frontier atmosphere and you'll get the picture.

Then it was back to Auckland and back home the next day after a very boring flight and horrible food. It was a short trip, but a merry one.

Add to that a couple of enjoyable catch-ups with crafty friends, lots of reading and general mooching, getting up late... well, you know what holidays are like.

Back to reality tomorrow, alas.

PS: Sorry about the red background; I just can't seem to get rid of it.


Sue W ♥ said...

sounds like you had a fantastic time unwinding, sounds like a lovely place, I have heard alot about the beautiful Bay of Islands, keep reminding yourself about your holidays when you return to work and try not to stress too much

Vicki said...

Obviously the holiday you needed, Jan. XXXX

Allie said...

This sounds like a perfect holiday [except for the so-so motel and horrid airplane food, lol]. So glad you had a great holiday, Jan! Your pictures are wonderful, such beauty!

Christine M said...

Sounds like you had a great holiday Jan. It's lovely catching up with family.

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