christmas in welly

christmas morning from our back deck.

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one of the simple pleasures of the holiday season is the blooming of the pohutokawa trees. some of the big old trees are quite spectacular. the jboss is standing in front of one on the grounds of the the local island bay school.

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with the schools out for the summer holidays youngsters become a frequent sight buskering for some pocket money. the girls with the violins were quite impressive. unfortunately i didn’t get a photo of the barbershop quartet or the 2 scottish lads in full regalia performing with bagpipe and drum.

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with the massive cafe culture in wellington there are almost always several coffee cafes within sight. starbucks has a few locations, but has thankfully never really taken off and relies on the exotic frozen drinks (carmel mocha frappachino with chocolate syrup swirl and organic whipped cream topping). i will give them credit for trying to introduce iced coffee (one of my favourites) to the local market by having an employee roam the city streets with a ice coffee backpack giving out free drinks.

midland park is my favourite lunch spot and home of the town christmas tree

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kirkcaldie and stains is

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happy birthday liz

today is the queen’s birthday. and we joined other members of the commonwealth in taking today off in celebration

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best thing is that today is not really the queen’s birthday. her actually birthday is april 21st. but april is not the best time of year in england for a day off – so it’s celebrated on the first monday in june. i always thought moving washington’s birthday to a monday (back before the invention of president’s day and the disappearance of washington’s birthday) was a bit lame, but this is a whole other league.

whilst looking for an image of the queen eating birthday cake (i gave up – kudos in a future posting to anyone who can find one – must not be viewed as appropriately regal) i found that the british monarchy has it’s own youtube channel. seems that whole internets thing that W talks about is really catching on.