Day 167 16 June – figgy

My daughter went to the Auckland Botanical Gardens today on an educational field trip. She is one of the school’s head gardeners and a small team of 4 went along with the head of their conservation department. They had an opportunity to plant more trees and in the process learn about certain tree and plant types.

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While they were walking around, one of the educators handed Annebell this strange looking greenery. She was told it is a fig, but I am not convinced. It looks more like an artichoke to me. But I must admit, when you slice it open it does smell like a fig, but I can’t tell if any of the flesh is edible.

Nature surely is mysterious.

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Day 155 4 June – mystery

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Plant? Fruit? Seed?

I found this strange looking plant in our garden today, in different areas. I can’t help but hope that it is some sort of erotic fruit.

I have had some responses to this photo, with most leaning towards a horrible weed that carries a warning from Conservation New Zealand, especially in the rural Auckland areas, in which case it needs to be burned, literally!

*sigh*

Day 154 3 June – cheers

It is the LONG weekend, celebrating Queens Birthday. And what best way to spend it than having my sister come for a visit! And as per our family tradition dad took us all out to dinner at the Five Stags in Whitford. It is your typical steakhouse and has a lot of personality. And the food and drinks are top notch, although this time we did wait a very long time for our main meals. We did however receive 5 complimentary drink vouchers as an apology for the delay.

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Cheers to the long weekend!

Day 148 28 May – dessert date

Tonight we had a girls night out with my daughter’s best friend and her mother. The girls had been very excited to go into the city and visit Milse dessert bar. We took the train into Britomart (I know, again) and took about 15 minutes to find the dessert which was less than a 5 minute walk away. I blame Google maps!

Milse is a very small and quint contemporary eatery, with less than 4 tables indoors yet they have an incredible selection of desserts. We gawked at the display cases with the colorful array of what I can only call pretty, elegant, sophisticated. Each dessert is hand crafted, with unique flavors. From assembled chocolates, gateaux, verrines, tarts and macaroons to their world famous gelato sticks.

Obviously we wanted to sample everything, so we cleverly decided to each get at least 1 dessert, place it in the middle of the table then we can all have a taste. My daughter and I took 2 dessert each (honestly, you have no idea the sweet tooth we have!) which means we had 6 plates to share.

I might have given a soft squeal when the desserts arrived. Each armed with a spoon, we ate to our hearts content. The portions are big enough to comfortably finish a small plate and by the end of my second helping I can say I certainly had enough sweetness for the day.

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We left the dessert bar not hungry but in need of food, but more in particular, burgers. Around the corner from Milse is yet another small eatery called Better Burger. Their menu is limited, but this does not take away from the quality of food you receive. All the produce is fresh, and the burgers are juice and tasty. Myself and my friend had the vegetarian burger, which is a giant Portobello mushroom lightly coated in a crumb, fried and served on lettuce, tomato and sauce. The girls each had a beef burger and as to my daughter’s reputation, included a meal (served with chips and a drink). she not only finished her meal, but was offered the last few bites of her friend’s, which she finished too.

Literally rolling out of the eatery, we took a leisurely stroll around Britomart. The city with its lights is by far one of my favorite places to be at. The lanes are all adored with fairy lights which made for great photo opportunities. It was relaxed night out, one we desperately in need of.

T.L.C

Day 132 12 May – skullz

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We found ourselves in Auckland Britomart again, after a train journey to watch a local rugby match. My husband received free tickets from work and not having much to do, we decided to make a night of it.

I particularly liked the advertisement placed cleverly on these stairs. Not only is it quite striking, dark and mysterious, but with hundreds (if not thousand) of people coming into Britomart on a daily basis, it certainly makes a specific statement…GO TO THE MOVIES SOON!

It is certainly on my to-do-list this May.

Day 84 25 March – horror

A few months back I noticed the advertisement for Horror, a stage production from the Jakop Ahlbom Company, which pays homage to the horror-movie genre and will show during the Auckland Arts Festival. I jumped at the opportunity to see this piece of work and booked 2 tickets, one each for myself and my husband, and it is yet another excuse to spend an evening in Auckland city.

Tonight is the night! We took the train in as coincidentally this is the same weekend Adele is performing in Auckland. The roads would be manic and you save a lot of time and money using public transport. We took the train into Britomart, and took a short 15 minute walk to the Civic Theatre and Aotea Square. The streets were alit, lively and packed with city goers. There are a few small eateries opposite Aotea Square and we decided on Shawarmas and burgers. The food was so tasty and extremely filling. After dinner we slowly made our way to the Civic Theatre where a large crowd gathered inside. I knew the show is very popular but I honestly didn’t think that so many people would attend. We each got a drink, made a quick stop at the restrooms as we were warned that once they close the doors you will not be allowed to exit, or re-enter.

Walking into the theatre feels like a step back in time. The décor is a famous example of the atmospheric theatre style in which lights and design were used to convey an impression of being seated in an outdoor auditorium at night, creating the illusion of an open sky complete with twinkling stars. I feel like I should be dressed in Shakespearean style clothing watching Romeo and Juliet unfold. We took our seats and awaited the opening with anticipation.

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What an amazing, well constructed and immensely clever show. There were so many tricks that leaves you wondering how did they do it without the gadgets and camera work of an actual movie. The sound is intense, you feel how your seat vibrates with each beat. The actors/actresses do not speak one word (apart from a single ‘Hallo’ during one of the scenes). Spoiler alert, there is blood! And lots of it. The show was 1h20m long but surely didn’t feel like it. It has you in its clutches throughout and I personally jumped a few times, but there is a bit of humour worked into it to break the intensity. You can get a sneak peak here.

Once the show was over, we leisurely walked back. We made a quick stop at Starbucks and with drinks in hand made it back to the train station. It was such an adventurous night out, one for the memory bank.

 

Day 79 20 March – patisserie

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Ah, there is nothing better than taking a short 5 minute break and walk across the courtyard to the French patisserie, Cuff Café, and ordering my regular single shot flat white, with a baked goodie. The soft instrumental music playing in the background, the glass display case filled with decadent patisseries, the aroma of fresh brewing coffee and the welcoming smile of the owner makes my Monday a little bit sweeter.

I have always been fascinated with France, Provence to be exact. I don’t know if it is because I am of French decent, or if it’s the old romantic in me. I often day dream of strolling through Old Town, visiting historical museums or taking in the capturing sights of the lavender fields.

*sigh*

C’est la vie.