Nuffnang Space

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Garden City

Guess which city in New Zealand is named the Garden City...personally, I think 90% the cities qualify. In fact, the whole country is a garden to me. However there is one particular city that has earned international recognition as the garden city. Well, if you haven't already guessed, the city  is Christchurch! It is named thus as it has been acknowledged as The Outstanding Garden City from 620 international entries in 1996. Wait, there's more. In the following year, Christchurch won the honour of being Overall Winner of Major Cities in the Nations in Bloom International Competition to become...Garden City of the World!

When you see for yourself the huge parks and public gardens, tree-lined avenues, and the fantastic botanical gardens by the Avon River, you will understand how Christchurch won international fame.

Here, I would like to share with you the loveliness of Christchurch in springtime.

I just have to start with this incredibly beautiful countryside.You would think you are driving in a magical painting of the landscape. I'll be showing you more of this beautiful scenery when we leave the city. For now, let's head on to the city.



The Avon River

River of Dreams

i first saw you in my teens
in a magazine
i was enthralled
fell deeply in love
said i would seek you out
when i am able

now i'm able
i seek you, sweet Avon
and from the bridge above you
i am again enthralled
still deeply in love
like a teen again

just like in the picture I kept under my pillow
still guarding your banks are the loyal weeping willows 
they weep for joy, i'm sure
for you give only pleasure
to all who love you
sweet river of my dreams 

(For Thursday Poets' Rally)

Many trees are over 120 years old in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

And as I promised you in the beginning, after we leave the city,I'll let you enjoy more scenic eye candy of the Governor's Bay area. From the hill-top cafe, the view is priceless.


blue waters of bay
sympathetic and serene
calm our troubled thoughts

 healing breath of tranquil sea
wash over psyche

(For Haiku Heights and Sensational Haiku Wednesday)

Linking to:
Weekend Reflections

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beyond the Sea to The City of Sails

I like how each city in New Zealand has her own tagline, and while travelling down the length of New Zealand's North and South Island, I kept a look-out for the signboards welcoming us to the cities and noted the unique character of the cities from their taglines.

The City of Sails!  
Kia Ora to Tamaki Makarau! That means 'Welcome to Auckland' in the Maori language. Yes, we are talking about Auckland, also known as Akarana. Here are a few interesting facts about Auckland you might like to know.

  • It is on an isthmus between two harbours.(That's how it got its name, see? Yachts sail in all the time, heading for the harbours and the Hauraki Gulf Islands.)
  • One in every three households owns a boat.
The Auckland Waterfront

View of the Auckland CBD from the Waterfront.


Sky Tower

  • the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere
If you are into jumping off buildings, try the Skyjump - 192 metres of base-jumping from the tower (attached to a cable, of course, of course!)

You might want to catch the action in the reflection of this building as you jump.

Auckland Civic Centre

  • a famous heritage atmospheric theatre

It is on Queen Street, the main street in Auckland CBD for commerce and entertainment.

In case some of you, like me, are wondering what an atmospheric theatre is, here are some notes from Wikipedia:

It is "a movie palace (cinema) which has an auditorium ceiling that is intended to give the illusion of an open sky as its defining feature. The decorative and architectural elements often convey an impression of being seated in a fantastic foreign setting, which might be anything from a palace or village square to a garden or an outdoor amphitheatre at night".

Auckland Town Hall

  • the concert hall inside has some of the finest acoustics in the world 

Auckland War Memorial Museum

  • known for its neo-classical architecture, one of New Zealand's finest heritage buildings

Auckland Domain

  • the oldest park in Auckland, developed around the ring of an extinct volcano
Close-up of the roots and trunk of an ancient tree.

 tide of ancient time 
floods me with anguish and pain 
twisted trunk still stands 

For Haiku Heights Prompt: Flood

If you love gardens, and wish to see the Auckland Domain's famed Wintergarden, click here.

Below is my favourite shadow shot in the park. I just love how the shadows of the crown of the tree makes that design on the ground.

A view from the Auckland Domain overlooking Auckland City.

Linking to:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Haiku Shot #1

Rosie's Haiku Shots

Thought I'd take a shot at this fascinating Japanese verse form that is succinct, yet juicy and tender, and rich yet not opulent.

At first what I wrote was rhyme, not haiku at all...but I thought it was haiku. I liked my first attempt. However, after reading up a little about the form, I try to adhere to certain traditions, but again, a novice makes all kinds of blunders. So excuse me if what I'm passing off as Haiku  might not quite fit the bill. That is why I call these my Haiku Shots.

My first 'haiku' was actually a set. Each haiku fitted the basic 5-7-5 syllable pattern. I sought inspiration from my travels, and the title gives you a notion of the place which sparked the idea for my haiku. If curiosity gets the better of you, and you want to see the actual posts of these places, just click on the title.

Caverns echo loud
Immortals' celestial tales
Thrilling, tragic, tense!

Elixirs of Life,
legends and myths abiding
in spectral rivers.

Battling dragons' fire
Tales of  victories sublime
Fantasies live on...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Let's Do Some Window Shopping

 may your gifts flourish
grow wise, prosper, thrive, expand
 dreams built on bedrock

For Haiku Heights Prompt #63
and Sensational Haiku Wednesday

You are coming window shopping with me today! It is a Sunday, so you'll have time. We'll be crossing from one continent to another, so grab a jacket in case you need to keep warm.

Weekend Reflections

We'll stop by in Perth, Australia first. Look at this... what an inviting display on a cold winter's day! You know, these flowers remind me of some flowers I saw the other day. I'll show you what I mean. We need to fly over to Hong Kong though.

For Today's Flowers
Lovely flowers, don't you think?

And where else to get some pretty chopsticks but in Hong Kong, China.

Or maybe some Oriental opera masks in Hong Kong might strike your fancy?
(I just caught my reflection in the shop...can you see me there?)

I saw what I thought were masks at a window display in Arrowtown, New Zealand. Here, take a look.
My mistake, headbands, not masks for sale.

Let's stop for some coffee and non-gluten sweet bites at this cafe in Arrowtown.

Refreshed, let's travel on to Paris.

More weekend reflections in this window display below.

You'll love shopping in Capri. These two photos below are from the same shop run by a dear, friendly man.

A beautiful display.

Our next stop still in Capri is this florist's display. Like it?

Okay, moving on...let's check out the shopping scene in Spain. This is Valldemossa, a charming village where you could get the best hot chocolate in the whole of Spain. Or if you're more into clocks and swords, we could go to this shop!

Finally, we need to have lunch...take your pick: Paris, Barcelona, Queenstown, Christchurch...anywhere!

That was fun for me. Got to go home now. Tomorrow's a weekday, can't be gallivanting all over, window shopping on a weekday, can we? Shall we do this again the next weekend?

Objects of Desire

pulling at my heartstrings
compelling me to untie my purse-strings
that objet d'art I saw in the window
and that rare curio up on the shelf

to have that collector's piece for my own 
to savour the sweet thrill of possession
beauty to enjoy on my mantel piece
drawing all eyes to ogle

For Poetry Picnic at Gooseberry Garden,
Poets' Rally and Poetry Pantry
Linking to:
Weekend Reflections
Scenic Sunday

Mosaic Monday
Macro Monday
Mellow Yellow Monday

Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Thursday Poets Rally
Poetry Pantry
Poetry Train Revisited