New Zealand times.

Tane Mahuta

Three years ago now almost to the day Paul and me took a wee trip across many oceans to the most beautiful and fabulous country of New Zealand. About as far as you can get from here without coming back on yourself. Neither of us had been before but had both wanted to go for a long time, myself pretty much as long as I can remember. I have some distant relatives out there who I had last met when I think I was about 8. However we met up with them and it was like we’d known each other always. Edith Diggle met us at Auckland airport and took us home and looked after us while recovered from the jet lag. Edith’s husband, Lynton and I are related in that Lynton’s grandad and my great grandad were brothers, I think, so what relation to each other that makes us I can’t quite manage to get my head round.

Coromandel Penninsula
Anyway we spent time with them and also with their son Devon and his lovely little girl Freya who just recently has a new baby sister. We had some fantastic times with them all, especially walking in the Whirinaki forest. Oh honestly for a one who loves trees already New Zealand made me just walk around with my jaw on the ground, some of the most fantastic huge trees just all begging to be hugged.
While we were there Edith and Lynton were re-writing a book on New Zealand shipwrecks. Lynton just recently published this new book too as a companion to the main book. These two never seem to stop, they are always busy with what seemed to us like a myriad of projects and always seemed to have a house full of visitors, it was a fantastic time. Lynton used to be a film maker for the National Film Unit. He made a film back in the seventies I think it was about a potter called Barry Brickell who lives on the Coromandel Penninsula in New Zealand. He seems to be a proper excentric potter, built himself a narrow gauge railway to get his clay from the other side of his land. It’s another great pottery film, I don’t have a copy but you can see some of it here but if anyone knows of one out there…

Myself and Devon at his place in Wellington. This is almost a reproduction of a picture I have somewhere of the two of us about 20 years previously. I was looking for a cracker of a photo of a tiny Hannah on Bolton town hall square with a group of visiting Maori and me in a t-shirt my grandma and grandad had brought back from New Zealand and a New Zealand lamb in my arms (not a real one I hasten to add).

More Kauri trees.


Edith is also a painter, here are a couple of her recent pictures that she emailed to me recently. The sky really is that clear amazing blue there. We had two months out there and I narrowly missed meeting Blogger Peter while we were there, next time Peter!

I have hundreds of other pictures from our trip which I could bore you senseless with. Some others might come out from time to time as they fit in with other stories.

Hmmm, very pleasant memories, a proper trip of a lifetime.

This entry was posted in Auckland, Devon Diggle, Edith and Lynton Diggle, ferns, Kauri trees, New Zealand, Wellington. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to New Zealand times.

  1. Peter says:

    Goodness, that was a surprise… I fired up my blog and saw a thumbnail of a great towering tree from NZ in amongst my UK links! Lovely photos Hannah, and fun to see some of your New Zealand trip. NZ trees made a great impression on me when I emigrated here with my parents back in 1976. Walking amongst them was as strange and as marvelous as visiting another planet. The smell of the forest and the sounds of the birds was magic. In the mid 1980s I worked for NZ Forest Service at Pureora Forest Park, which is on the Western side of lake Taupo in the North Island. Laura and I spent just over a year living in a forestry village whilst I did artwork for the information center. In the evenings I would take my painting things and do impressions of the huge trees that lined the road near the village. The trees were like massive modern sculptures, all gray and silver in the moonlight. I was impressed with Edith's paintings, she really has captured the colour of the landscape here, and the clarity of the skies.

  2. Anonymous says:

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  3. Anonymous says:

    New Zealand calls to many people and they are never disappointed

  4. soubriquet says:

    A very good friend of mine is a Kiwi, he became a potter whilst living in europe and then travelled home to Auckland…..One evening, he said, he was in a bar, and chatting with the very attractive barmaid, who asked him what he did for a living. "Flexing my manly muscles and gazing into her eyes, I said "Well actually, I'm a potter" she replied, "Around here, sweetie, you shake a tree and three potters fall out". Collapse of manly ego, and end of barmaid's interest.Well, he fled north again, cut to the bone….. No, in reality, love drew him back to the north, and to Sweden, where he married Ulla, and founded a pottery at her family's farm.

  5. soubriquet says:

    Oh Barry Brickell! Russ used to give me his old copies of New Zealand Potter, and there was an article on Barry, and his lovely little railway, Coromandel…."From the coasts of Coromandel, to the hills of the Chankly Bore" I have no idea why that line is stuck in my memory, itseems to have lost its label explaining where what and why.Reading NZ Potter made me want to emigrate, and woodfire beside a tropic sea.

  6. soubriquet says:

    I.On the Coast of CoromandelWhere the early pumpkins blow, In the middle of the woods Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. Two old chairs, and half a candle,One old jug without a handle,—These were all his worldly goods: In the middle of the woods, These were all the worldly goods Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Of the Yonghy-Bonghy Bò.II.Once, among the Bong-trees walkingWhere the early pumpkins blow, To a little heap of stones Came the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. There he heard a Lady talking,To some milk-white Hens of Dorking,—'Tis the Lady Jingly Jones! On that little heap of stones Sits the Lady Jingly Jones!" Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.III."Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!Sitting where the pumpkins blow, Will you come and be my wife?" Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. "I am tired of living singly"—On this coast so wild and shingly,—I'm a-weary of my life; If you'll come and be my wife, Quite serene would be my life!" Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.IV."On this Coast of CoromandelShrimps and watercresses grow, Prawns are plentiful and cheap," Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. "You shall have my chairs and candle,And my jug without a handle!Gaze upon the rolling deep (Fish is plentiful and cheap); As the sea, my love is deep!" Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.V.Lady Jingly answered sadly,And her tears began to flow,— "Your proposal comes too late, Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò! I would be your wife most gladly!"(Here she twirled her fingers madly,)"But in England I've a mate! Yes! you've asked me far too late, For in England I've a mate, Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò! Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!VI."Mr. Jones (his name is Handel,—Handel Jones, Esquire, & Co.) Dorking fowls delights to send, Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò! Keep, oh, keep your chairs and candle,And your jug without a handle,—I can merely be your friend! Should my Jones more Dorkings send, I will give you three, my friend! Mr. Yonghy-Bongy-Bò! Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!VII."Though you've such a tiny body,And your head so large doth grow,— Though your hat may blow away, Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò! Though you're such a Hoddy Doddy,Yet I wish that I could modi-fy the words I needs must say! Will you please to go away? That is all I have to say, Mr. Yongby-Bonghy-Bò! Mr. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò!"VIII.Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,Where the early pumpkins blow, To the calm and silent sea Fled the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. There, beyond the Bay of Gurtle,Lay a large and lively Turtle."You're the Cove," he said, "for me; On your back beyond the sea, Turtle, you shall carry me!" Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Said the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-BoIX.Through the silent-roaring oceanDid the Turtle swiftly go; Holding fast upon his shell Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. With a sad primaeval motionTowards the sunset isles of BoshenStill the Turtle bore him well. Holding fast upon his shell, "Lady Jingly Jones, farewell!" Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, Sang the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.X.From the Coast of CoromandelDid that Lady never go; On that heap of stones she mourns For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò. On that Coast of Coromandel,In his jug without a handleStill she weeps, and daily moans; On that little heap of stones To her Dorking Hens she moans, For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, For the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.Edward Lear. 1877Things you learn in your childhood seem to stick, even if you can't remember why.

  7. Hannah says:

    Should have known Mr Lear would be responsible for that crazy madness. Great poem! Thanks.

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