Tuesday was the shortest day of the year down here in little old New Zealand. In New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, winter begins on June 1 and ends on August 31, otherwise known as "the meteorological winter", combining the months with the most similar weather together. But the expected cold temperatures have not happened and instead New Zealand has been sweltering under a tropical air mass. Bringing with it torrential rain to many parts of the country. So the start of our winter in God’s Own Country has been rather warm and wet, wet, wet.
Daughter and son-in-law Nicky and Robert are currently exploring England, and reported that on the longest day, the skies were still quite light at 10.00pm. Wonder if they were dancing around stone circles too, as that’s what seems to happen when crowds gather over there on this special night?
We drove down to Paraparaumu yesterday coping with yet another downpour of torrential rain and road works. It was interesting to note what progress we could see on the MacKays to Peka Peka section of the new 4 lane expressway being built. The upgrade is required to provide safe, efficient and reliable access to and from New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. We drove under one of the 18 new bridges being constructed on this piece of road – that’s an awful lot of bridges!
One of the 18 new bridges being constructed on the new expressway
We were travelling down to visit my last remaining aunt, Aunt Dawn, who was my Dad’s youngest sister. The plan was to take Dawn out for morning tea, but Dawn was having none of that. No indeed, we were told quite firmly, we would be having morning tea at Dawn’s home, then she was taking us out for lunch. No arguments! So after a pleasant hour or so catching up with all the news, we braved the rain once more and set out to Paraparaumu Beach for lunch. Dawn was taking us to one of her favourite casual lunch cafes with the quirky name of “Fed Up Fast Foods”. And buying us a fish dinner.
The fresh fish was all the way from the Chatham Islands, and was delicious, cooked in a nice crunchy batter. Served with tasty chips, and a side salad, it was a lovely lunch indeed. Certainly a place to remember for our future visits to the area. With a steady stream of customers buying take-aways, or settling down to eat inside as we were, it shows that this cafe has a good name.
Dawn and Jenny
The rain was trying to clear as we drove back home later in the day, with plenty of mist covering the hills. Let’s hope the weather improves soon.
Mist covered hills at Waikanae