The principal event this weekend was a concert by the Wellington Philharmonic Orchestra at the Basin Reserve, the main cricket ground in the city. This happened on Saturday, from 5.00 till 7.30, and the ground was crowded with people sitting on the grass, many munching their way steadily through extensive picnics. Luckily the weather stayed good, and we sat in the sun and listened to a selection of film music, light classics and operatic arias. For the grand finale they performed the 1812 overture, accompanied by a brass band, carillon, and 18 guns going off. The noise was incredible, and the atmosphere was terrific (once we could see through it).
Saturday was a bit of a cultural day, since in the morning we visited the Te Papa museum to see an exhibition of Monet and the Impressionists. We also saw the Colossal Squid – the world’s biggest helping of calamari, dredged from the ocean’s depths and pickled in formalin – a bit less cultural. On Sunday went to the local festival in Newtown, one of the Wellington suburbs. Every suburb seems to have its summer festival, but this was more interesting than many because of the multi-ethnic multicultural nature of the area. The streets were crowded, with loads of stalls, performers, music and dancing. Because the sun was shining well, we decided to go on to a beach and ended up at Scorching Bay, on the Miramar Peninsula. This was quite pleasant, though it didn’t quite live up to its name.
Our chief concern recently has been trying to get our phone and internet connections fixed, as both packed up last week. This is just as hard in New Zealand as it would be in the UK, subject to the dubious mercies of BT.