Sunday, 9 December 2012

Week 30 - Santa runs to prepare for Xmas, A spontaneous weekend in Auckland with Mary Poppins, and Carols in the park!

A festive hello to you all!
This week has really started to feel like the Christmas season, and especially this weekend, so I wanted to share some of the festive fun from this 30th Week in Wellington!

WEDNESDAY 5TH DECEMBER - Having failed to round up enough people from the DHB (District Health Board) to enter a 'team' in the Kids charity 'Santa Fun Run', I impulsively signed up for to run on Tuesday night. (I really should have checked the weather first!). It turned out to be one of the worst days of weather since I arrived, with torrential rain showers and storms in the afternoon. Fortunately, the rain stopped at least, but the wind didn't! Still the 500+ other people who had signed up for the run, didn't let the weather spoil the fun! Everyone received a santa suit (male/female) depending what you have requested - see picture below! 

Guess the Santa?
The warm up for the event included a mass Zumba class, have a look for yourself at what must have looked like a crazy sight for any passers by!

The beginning of the race must have also looked quite funny, with a small path on the 3k run around the waterfront packed with santas of all shapes and sizes! The zumba warm up had caused a wardrobe malfunction, and I need to employ all my OT skills to design a make shift belt that would hold up my 'one size fits all' santa trousers!
At the start line!

Santa Run, Wellington
FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER - After a random discussion with my neighbour Kala, on Tuesday, about the opportunity to go and watch Mary Poppins the musical in Auckland, the plan quickly took shape. I quickly called my mate in Auckland (Tony), and had cheap tickets booked (just $60 / £30 there), and a little more on the way back. Wellington airport is small, but always full of surprises, and had once again had outdone itself with yet more Hobbit decorations! (Check out the signage, baggage carousel and latest edition to the waiting area....)
Genuine signs at Wellington Airport...
Wellington Baggage Carousel 
Who's behind the baggage carousel window?
Wellington Airport...
After Tony and Monica had been fantastic hosts and picked us up at the airport, fed us, and then cooked a lovely breakfast, we headed out to the city to enjoy some seriously beautiful weather! Walking around the wharf in Auckland is becoming a regular event on my trips here, and this weekend  certainly did not disappoint. It's always great to catch up with Tony as we can talk a little 'shop' (work), and I can learn more about mental health work in a different part of New Zealand. Also the Wellington vs Auckland rivalry / debate about the merits of each place is always a fun conversation. 
Here's a few pictures from a sunny Auckland city! 

Out & About in Auckland...
Me & Tony in Auckland
Finding Santa - Auckland
MARY POPPINS - Saturday night was all about going to a beautiful theatre - the 'Civic Theatre', in the city centre. I was not expecting such a stunning building, and funky decor! The show itself was brilliant, (no pictures allowed), but I can show a few pictures from the theatre itself and one of Auckland by night. I'd definitely go back to Auckland, to see a good show at this theatre!
At the theatre...
At Mary Poppins!
Auckland by night....
SUNDAY- A day spent in more glorious sunshine, (In both Auckland & Wellington)! Looking around some funky little markets, followed by a great lunch (I ordered a large 'breakfast'), with some of Tony & Monica's friends. One of the couples had a little girl, and I only mention this to explain where I got the hat from in the photo below. Even though I had been putting sun cream on, I was in desperate of a hat, as my head gets burned too easy from the intense sun! I need to get a decent hat here, and accept I'm going to have to have short hair in summer! 
Sunday Markets, Auckland
In desperate need of new sun hat!
On returning to a gorgeous evening in Wellington, I felt like going home and having a good sleep, but I also really wanted to go to see some of the 'Carol by Candlelight' concert in Waitangi park! So getting a bus straight from the 'Hobbit' airport, to Courtney Place, meant I could go straight to the concert. Here's a couple of pictures and maybe a video from the event, which started at 19:30 and was a family friendly event- meaning no alcohol or smoking in the public grounds... so many families, and groups of friends from all age groups sat around having picnics and enjoying the Christmas atmosphere... such a wonderful evening!
Wellington's 'Carols by candlelight'
Reindeers come to town....

Now I simply have to prepare for the 'Manchester derby' (Man City vs Man UTD Football) game, which kicks off at 02:30 here. Do I watch this game, or the 05:00 West ham UTD vs Liverpool game??? Tough choices! 
Hope you all enjoy the blog... I hope that where ever you are in the world, you are enjoying the festive season!
Regards from New Zealand! 

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