Category archive: Nostalgia

Stars in their Eyes

FullSizeRenderWhen Freda Du Faur partied at The Hermitage in 1909, they moved the piano into the dining room, rolled back the rugs and everyone danced. By Christmas that summer, The Hermitage overflowed with mountaineers, adventurers and artists. One year later, Freda was the first woman to reach the summit Aoraki/Mt Cook.)

These days The Hermitage Hotel is more likely to see Asian bus tourists stretched back in chairs, ensconced in a 360 degree cinematic experience – viewing the night sky in its Digital Dome Planetarium: See the night sky like never before. Leave Earth. Fly to the edge of our galaxy and far beyond to the reaches of our known universe. So the promo goes.

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Something old, something…?

walletMy father in law passed away a couple of months ago. Well, it was his time and at 102, he knew it. Always more a good friend than a relative, he was a bundle of bones in his bed in his last weeks but to his delight, was  surrounded by the women he loved (the old flirt!).

Laurie had lived at his little Northland beach resort for nearly 50 years and from his deck had watched the rhythms of tides and currents, much as his loved ones watched life finally ebb from him.

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Never go back?

They say you should never go back or try to recapture the wonder of places and experiences of your youth. But, while not replicating the original, sometimes the passage of time can make the outcome rewarding and interesting.

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Avonside post-quake, picture courtesy of Avonsideblog.org '

Renewal – Christchurch in Spring

Much has changed between my occasional visits to Christchurch in the last four and a half years.

On my first post-earthquakes visit I was awed by wrecked buildings, broken roads, tell-tale see pages that told of cracked water-pipes, portable toilets in the streets, tangles of steel reinforcing on what looked like bomb-sites, barricades, soldiers, and silence in a city echoing sorrow.

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Balmoral – Gateway to the East

I grew up in a village called Balmoral  where we wished, without a hint of masochism, that  the dentist’s drill  would  shriek; where we knew we were half-way to Hollywood when the cinema doorman took our tickets –  dressed in a tuxedo.

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For sale – sort of

The old bloke lived in an equally ancient villa in Mt Albert. It was, like him, in need of loving care – or that’s what we felt when he opened the door, bewhiskered and a little dazzled by the sudden light.

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