29 November 2006

Reefton. Pop. 1000

Having grown up in a small town, I'm used to places closing at 8pm. Or nothing being open on a Monday night. Or not having the population base to build amenities for young people.

So spending last week in Reefton, on the West Coast, shouldn't have been too much of a shock. But in some ways it was. For example, it has the coolest skate park in the country. Huge. And with no graffiti. It has no cash machines. I had to go to the town's only bank to get money, and while I was doing that they changed my accounts so that I pay less fees (Wellington banks take note). The shops are a weird mix of service oriented (hardware and food) and completely obscure junk shops (See white boots below).

But it was so relaxing I'd go back there. I'd return for the great cooked breakfasts, and the pizzas served from someone's carshed on the front porch they've turned into a restaurant. For the friendly locals, and the amazing skatepark. But mostly to head for the hills with a map, compass, insect repellent, and mountain bike, to explore all the old gold roads that dissect the surrounding hills.

28 November 2006

Blue thunder (only with bikes, not guns)

This has to be the best way to get a mountainbike to the top of a very large hill. And while it may seem like cheating, the next day we spent 4 hours riding up another track. In the rain.

20 November 2006

Object of desire #42,196

This photo, by Wellington photographer Andy Palmer hung in a windon on Featherston St, in one of those temporary empty-shop-space galleries that pop up from time to time. It's stuck since then, coinciding with a wider contemporary photography kick, but also with a period of limited ability to buy lots of art. Obviously the mountain is a bit of a drawcard for a former Naki boy (actually, the mountain appears in at least 3 other works in the budding collection), but I also like the sense of presence and absence (that old chestnut) - people are inhabiting the scene, yet eerily absent from it.

Lycra free zone

Q: What has mud, helicopters, native bush, 8 One-Square Meal bars, sore legs, a hearse, 3 Up and Go extremes, a silly big grin, more mud, 2 little tins of creamed rice, a magazine photoshoot, even more mud, and hopefully no more rain?

A: Me. For the next week.
Photos on the other side.

17 November 2006

Ahhh. Crisp white kichen. Who says minimalism is cold?
Can someone please fix this weather? I'm getting just a little bit sick of getting either drenched or blown off my bike on a daily basis.

13 November 2006

Begone, hideous pink!

The horrible pink feature wall in our kitchen has finally been exorcised, in a weekend long ritual involving 4 litres of Resene Alabaster, and many self-congratulatory wines. It looks much better, and has renewed faith in the self-branding exercise known as home improvement.
There is still a little too much pink left on doors, window frames, and carpet, but not for too long, hopefully.


An unexpected benefit of living in the middle of town is the ready availability of a front row seat for a renage of civic events. Like the recent fireworks display, witnessed from the civilised confines of one's deck, armed with glass of wine, nibbles, and camera. I was quite impressed with the performance this year, and got lots of fireworks photos, but kind of like this one, which was a few minutes before the display started.