Friday, 2 March 2012

Rain Bombs and Baby Austins

As I  listened to the rain beating a pattern on the roof I ponder the meaning of "welcome to Sunny Hawke's Bay" for this is where we are and on the first evening it is anything but.

However the next day dawns fine with a very strong Southerly bending the boughs of a  large Moreton Bay fig tree in our motel grounds.

It also transpires that the cruise ship Oriana has berthed in the Port of Napier and disgorged its passengers into the small coastal city that prides itself as being the "art deco capital of the world".

The central mall with its green plastic-looking lighting stands sees an array of intrepid travelers; those with sufficient "moola' to still be able to enjoy the pleasure of cruising.  Most are of portly build but this is hardly surprising given the generous diet of calorie-rich buffet.

Roger Smith 3/2012

The local Art Deco society is making hay while the sun shines, literally, ferrying people around ion vintage car and dressing up in period costume.  I narrowly avoided being mowed down by a Baby Austin called "Whatho".

The town has a sleepy feel to it with many shops vacant and others suffering the from the effects of the lingering recession.

The only bright spot is that it is apple season and the local supermarket is offering the royal gala variety at sixty eight cents a kilo.  Needless to say we buy a kilo or two (although I still remember when  apples were measured by the bushel) and put them in the car boot to take back to Auckland.

Mall Scene - Napier
Roger Smith 3/2012
Today we also made a quick visit to Havelock North and Hastings to catch up with an old friend and colleague and also to have a look at the Hawkes Bay Art Gallery, or as I used to know it, the Hawkes Bay Exhibition Centre.

I am delighted to see people visiting the exhibition on view as some 15 years ago I was the Executive Director of the Hawkes Bay Cultural Trust, responsible for the running of the region's main museums, galleries and an embryonic Science Centre.  We renovated the Hastings Exhibition Centre to bring it up to contemporary gallery display standards and staged a number of successful exhibitions there such as the Royal Doulton touring exhibit.

So we have had two good days of summer, albeit a belated one and far from our home city.  Tomorrow the forecasters are promising a "weather bomb" which is a fast developing system of low pressure, guaranteed to bring severe winds and rain.  It looks very much as if our last day in Hawkes Bay will be an indoor one.

Chessmen after the Storm - Kennedy Park
Roger Smith 3/2012

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