Thursday, October 22, 2009

The weekend that was...

As we had friends visiting from Sydney we decided to head south and show off a part of the country they had not seen. 3 hours south, we spent the night at my mothers in Kakanui. It was raining and so we had to stay indoors and tipple.
I can tell you're all with me so far...

The next morning dawned dull and grey and raining, so we headed even further south to the beautiful city of Dunedin. I do love Dunedin but there are lots of hilly streets and so on, my youngest decided Dunedin was too "up" for her!

We visited the old Railway Station Building, the floral display outside was great, and as I love blue in gardens I chose this photo to show you!


From there we wandered about and took even more photos, the kids were delighted to be able to use their own cameras rather than 'borrow' mine. The entranceway was enticing, indoors is a sports gallery and and art gallery. This is one of the side entrances.....with a rain puddle (incase you're wondering, it was not me)!!

I could tell you about our wild night out on the town, but that may be the subject of another post. Suffice to say - we had a wild night out.
The next day dawned BRIGHT AND LOVELY! So we went to the Cadbury Chocolate factory, and had a mini tour owing to the fact they don't process at the weekends. It was great seeing all that chocolate, sadly we weren't allowed our cameras during the tour so I can't show you the giant chocolate-fall, but their website might have it if you follow the link. This is a photo of a Crunchie Mountain...



Then we went to Larnach castle, NZ's only real castle. Fantastic place but if you're used to seeing castles it may be rather smaller than you're used to. Can you believe it, but even tho' I have lived here all my life I had never been to the castle before. I am so glad I went as the gardens were beautiful and walking through the bush to get there was magical - birds singing and trees whispering, sun shining...kids laughing in the distance.



All through the grounds there is an Alice in Wonderland aspect, apparently there is some alleged relationship between the Larnach family and Lewis Carrol that suggests "Alice" may indeed have been based on the Larnach daughter of the same name. The link will fill you in!
Poor old Mr Larnach didn't have much luck with wives, they seem to have died all over the place and he himself eventually died by his own hand - he was quite an important fellow in our Government circles and he shot himself in Parliament.

The view form the front of the castle back towards the city can be seen from the next photo...


If you (hahahahahahaha) 'imbiggen" the photo you should be able to glimpse the city across the water in the background. Just lovely, but isolated and no wonder one of his wives felt left out up there (he built her a smaller house in the city but she died of apoplexy not long after).

From there, having had a wild night out, we were all in need of a greasy lunch. Why is that? You have a night on the turps and suddenly you need a shot of grease to feel better. Or is that just me? In the old days, I used to have poached eggs with brown onion gravy the morning after the night before...if you could get past the fact that the eggs looked like Marty Feldman eyes your hangover would go in a matter of hours! I digress,
Anyway, we knew there was a fish and chip shop in Portobello just round in the next bay so off we went.

Of course, I got sidetracked by the 'cemetery' sign. Dunedin was settled very early in our history so the scattered grave stones are very old indeed. There were 2 that caught my attention.
This one, which entombed a husband and wife...


 No idea who is sleeping on which side but SOMEONE is hogging all the moss!

And this one, which is somewhat self-explanatory....



Come on...out with the 'stiff dick' jokes, I dare you! Actually, for the record there were quite a few Dicks buried  here, apparently there was a large family of them who worked on the Castle as stonemason's....to the left behind the gravestone above was another family plot whose name (in equally large lettering) is 'ARNOTT'.

And that was the weekend that was!

Something about being in the cemetery made me think of this song...


15 comments:

Love Writing Again! said...

What a pity that you didn't get to see them making chocolate at the Cadbury's factory- that would have been awesome. How is that a Crunchie mountain?? Could you eat some? Thanks for sharing!

VioletSky said...

The link to Larnach Castle was interesting - I particularly liked the "why visit the castle" bit.
Let this be a lesson to all: marry well and make a will.

P.S. I personally knew a Harry Dick. Poor sod.

louciao said...

This was a great tour, Saj! I'd heard of Dunedin before from my daughter. It was wonderful to imbiggen your pictures and view all the details! Then go exploring the links (though maybe not Marty Feldman's eyes so much).

I don't suppose your wild night out involved renting a stable room at Larnarch Castle for a little horsing around?

I love how you managed to imbue the cemetery scenes with irrepressible Saj humour!

Great fun.

Steve said...

A good Dick is always buried deep in my opinion... he he he!

And as for the trip: Cadbury's.... Crunchie mountains...! My God! I want to move to New Zealand right now! I'll even change my name to Dick if I have to!

Meggie said...

I used to love Crunchies.. the only bar I did like. I never made it to Dunedin, no matter how hard I tried, something always sabotaged my efforts! Shame shame.
You are far too young to remember her, but I was once interviewed by Mary Dick, for TV.

Nota Bene said...

Love the gravestones....not sure the castle would keep out the rampaging hoards though!

rb said...

You know, when it's my time to go, I think I'd quite like to die of apoplexy. It'd look good on the certificate.

Oh yes, greasey food for me too. You should see what I eat after I've been on a bender - fried bread is my favourite - loads of it, with bacon and eggs and sausages.

So odd that there is only one castle.

The Sagittarian said...

LWA - howdy and welcome, thanks for visiting. As for the mountain, not able to be eaten sadly...my daughter tells me that the Crunchie's were really bits of wood wrapped to look like Crunchies. I may never eat a crunchie bar again...

Violet - I was quite fascinated by the Castle, but I always had this romantic notion that living in one would be great - more like drafty and expensive probably!

Louciao - yeah, sorry about the eyes! I have to confess that I just CANNOT eat poached eggs without thinking of those eyes every time. Do you think I need counselling or more wine?? Ah, the wild night...

Steve - hehe, you really are after a sound spanking aren't you! OK, you can have first dibs on the rabbit hutches for your family...I'll leave a complimentary Crunchie on your hay stack.

Meggie - Have you ever tried to microwave a Crunchie? Give it a go and slop the remains over ice cream...I was at school with a boy called David Dick (I have just remembered that)

NoteBene - welcome and you would hard pressed to FIND any rampaging hoardes over here...there was also a very steep hill to drive up and I suspect people would be too lazy or wasted on whisky to bother....maybe.

RB - Ah a kindred widl-nighter and monring-afterer! No sausages for me (and dare I say I'm surprised at you!! hehe)but mushrooms and tomatoes go well...not really a call for castles over here. I think by the time NZ was 'settled' we had hard working poor folk mostly and heaps of presbyterians with frugal attitudes. Good point to ponder, thanks :-)

A Write Blog said...

Dick is one of those names where the surname could be so fatal.

Whenever I see a name like 'R Head' or 'R Knott' i cannot help myself but think silly thoughts.

Nice account.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Saj! Nice trip! Loved the hedges and massive purple garden: so British! And Cadbury Chocolates! I didn't know they had a plant in NZ! The castle looks like a princess's magic kingdom castle! And the view across to the city is magnificent(if needing a little imbiggening)! I loved the music so had to look up Carrick Fergus: it's in Northern Ireland. and with the harp and "Lay me down," it is befitting for the cemetery! LOVE xxox

Princess L said...

oh, so much to take in, with the castle, the choclate, the cemetary...What a weekend!
I love wandering through old grave stones, soaking in the history..Does that make me odd???

Steve said...

Crunchies are always complimentary... thank you!

Friko said...

all sounds very English to me; incl. the boozy night, you sure you were in NZ?
I have heard how beautiful the country is and we have nature programmes on the TV that give us an idea of the wonders you may take for granted.

Owen said...

What an epic post ! Feel like I just finished reading that famous modern Russian novel, "War and Grease" . . .

So, you took the plunge, and published the final resting place of ... darest I say it... the Dick family. Bravo... see, it wasn't so hard finally... (no, I didn't mean it that way...!)

What a weekend ! Oh boy, it's almost Tuesday already... can't wait !

And you will not believe this, but the WV is "ginjus", as in, "She mixed up the gin right proper shaking it and all with a nice wee squirt o' lime juice, and there you go, she poured us all a ginjus, and we proceeded to drink them down"... Or perhaps "ginjus" was that chinese warrior who conquered great swaths of central Asia and all the way to Europe... on horseback...

The Sagittarian said...

AWB - indeed, I am always torn between laughing and being respectful...

Margaret - oh yes we certainly have a Cadbury factory here, much to my waist's enjoyment!

Princess L - lovely to see you here again! I love wandering about in old cemeteries too so I don't think that makes anyone odd...unless you wander about at night??? :-)

Steve - you're very welcome!

Friko - ah yes, well we are mostly a mix of European ancestry here so the English aspect isn't surprising really. We are really lucky to live here I reckon!

Owen - yes, bravery and i are good mates this week (thanks to you and Steve for 'soundboard' duties!).