After a tranquil Friday, (me, not the weather,) we spent a pleasant Saturday in... Wellington! Over the long, previous weekend we snagged cheap airfare to Wellington and back, and all week I was worried one of us may not be up to the trip, but came Saturday, we were well. And we went.
I was uncharacteristically "in the moment" all day, and I didn't even notice it. Usually Wellington acts like a dynamite of inspirations and my mind rushes this way and that, me photographing everything I think I might be able to use, but yesterday, I had no agenda or list of places we must go, and we played everything by ear. Not one picture, not one memo!!
We first bypassed Wellington and went to New Dowse, situated in Lower Hutt, a small city northeast of Wellington about 25 minutes by bus. The Dowse is not a new establishment but it was rebranded a few years ago and I had heard of the changes so I wanted to see. It is a big (for New Zealand) local gallery, with the fab cafe. I thought it might be nice to go there this trip because we hadn't been there for a decade and I wanted to see the fashion exhibition on zero-waste pattern-making, and I thought Ben would like the furniture show. We both liked the small ceramics exhibition very much, and I liked two works in their permanent collection, this set, and a larger figure I can't find the image of anywhere, but a mixture of a human figure dancing and a fish! The impression I got was that the Dowse is focusing on objects, with one eye on issues such as the environment; but it's hard to tell from just one visit.
Then we headed back to Wellington and walked from the northern end down the main drag. The streets and neighborhoods change names, but this area is more or less a 2km stretch, 2-4blocks wide, of stores, eateries, entertainment venues and offices, and we checked out all the book and kitchen stores and some of the gift, camera, and furniture shops. Usually we are in a rush to get to Te Papa, our national museum, but yesterday we just strolled. (It being Matariki, the Maori New Year now, it would have been interesting to have gone to Te Papa in another respect, but we deliberately decided not to feel "rushed.") We noticed our fav used book shop Quilters at the Parliament end had closed, (subsequent Googling tells me it's moved,) as had a fabric shop, and our favorite bookshop Unity had expanded, but they hadn't fine-tuned what goes where and the art section was split in two areas an in chaos.
The gist of it is, we walked from High Court down Lampton Quey, Willis, Vivienne, Ghuznee, Cuba, to Courtney Place, and we came out empty handed. Well, not quite; I found a place that sold Reese's Peanut butter Cups and bought three packs. (I only know of one other place in New Zealand, in Takapuna north of Auckland, that sells the stuff, so when I find them, I grab a few!) Sure we saw nice things, especially in the kitchen stores, but we were happy to be walking in Wellington in the rain and didn't feel the need to buy anything. Again, there were some lovely books, of course, but I didn't feel the need to bring any home. It ended up a cheap trip.
I was even dressed light, two layers of thin cashmere and a light waterproof jacket; I had two very thin wool scarves in the pack just in case. And the pack was light; the essentials, two scarves, a small water bottles and two apples for the Hubby. Everything seemed to have been right. That the flight was delayed both ways didn't bother me.
I often envy friends who get to travel, especially for longer trips overseas, long enough to soak up the art scenes in places like eastern China/Central Asia, Italy, France, Portugal, Croatia, and parts of USA. And friends who get to go to workshops far away. But I am appreciative we get to go to Welly once in a while; it is really a lovely little city, easy to soak up the art scene, good bookshops, and if we had more time, we could include theater productions, too. Another time.
It's nice to be content, and living in the moment seems to have something to do with it. Even though I don't have fabulous pictures to show you, it feels lovely; I feel great.
If only I could switch it on every day. Because I could get used to this way of living.