A New Year

New Zealand is one of the first countries to welcome in the new year, so for us, all the festivities are pretty much now over, and we can look forward to what 2018 brings.  Some of us are making resolutions, some goals and some of us, just lists of things we would like to get done.

With days off, and an inclination to slouch about doing nothing, we’ve made it a point to go out for a walk each day. This has been good for the body and soul, and also to clear the head of 2017 and prepare for 2018.   On Friday, we went to Otari Wilton’s Bush, the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants.  Even though we have lived here for nearly 5 years now, this was only our second visit (and the first was as part of an event on the New Zealand Festival in 2016).  It was a lovely walk, despite the steep step part (why did we go this way?), but equally, perhaps these steps were a metaphor for some of the challenges of 2017.

Otari Wilton’s Bush 1
Otari Wilton’s Bush 2
And I can tell you it was too

We went up to the Brooklyn wind turbine, where it was, as one might expect, windy.  There was something exhilarating about it though, especially after the excesses of Christmas.  The featured image at the top of the post was taken there, as was the one below, which also seems to be sending out a message of difficult or not easy pathways (check out the road sign in the middle!).

View from the Brooklyn turbine

Well, you can read anything into anything if you try hard enough!  Anyway, our Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) walk took us to another wind turbine, this time at Makara, a place we have visited lots of times as regular readers know.  The café down by the beach has reopened, and we enjoyed toasted sandwiches after our walk up to the gun emplacements.

A different wind turbine…
…but another stunning view

The year ended with champagne and oysters…which I hope is a sign of good things to come in 2018.  We ate dinner down at Tinakori Bistro, enjoying their New Year’s Eve special meal.  I loved the selection of charcuterie with their good bread and butter, a salad based around chevre and stone fruit, salmon and a perfect piece of ripe brie.  All in all a good start to the evening, which was then spent watching movies and welcoming in 2018.

Ending the year
And oysters

Happy New Year to all my readers! And let’s hope 2018 brings us all that we wish for.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com



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