Some serious touring was going to be done

5 12 2011

As we were now in the Catlins – some serious touring was going to be done.  Next on our itinerary was visiting Waipapa Point lighthouse and coming (almost) face to face with a bull sea lion which was resting on the sand.

Next was Slope Point, the most southern point of the South Island.  Hard to comprehend this as the weather was so lovely – not cold at all.  We were in shorts and tee shirts and didn’t need the winter duvet at all.  Because we have a fourwheel drive vehicle, of course, we felt and gave into the temptation to try it out.  Works well!!

Also because we were in a fourwheel drive ute, the locals were waving to us – I guess they thought we were one of them cos we weren’t in a motorhome or a red Juicy or El Rento rental car …

Last but not least was Curio Bay and Waipawa. Both of these sites were lovely to visit.  We only saw one seal at Curio Bay – in fact I had taken a couple of pictures of him coming out of the water and didn’t realise it was in them until I was downloading them later!  The animals in this part of the country are big!!  Very well fed I’m thinking.






Lovely little wharf at Waipawa – I have a soft spot for these.

Time for a trip to the Nevis.

30 11 2011


Awesome day to do this trip – hardly a breath of wind.  We reached the top (1300m) and then started downhill to picnic beside the Nevis river.  Really enjoyable.  Then back to Mt Difficulty for a spot of wine tasting and sit in the sun. This part of the country is so different to any other part of NZ.  Central Otago is definitely a lovely place to visit.

Dunedin trip

24 11 2011



In between Steampunk stuff we drove to Dunedin for a day trip.  We cruised along the coastal road and really enjoyed the views.  While in Dunedin we made our way to Port Chalmers.  The last time we were there we thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to get back there.  As we were driving to Port Chalmers we kept seeing chartered buses with "Cruise Ship" on their screens.  When we got there what a site!  There were two cruise ships in Port.  Dunedin was buzzing – an influx of approx 6000 people!  Port Chalmers had hardly a sole on their streets.  Really disappointing.  Seemed like such opportunities have been wasted but then we don’t know the full story.  Anyway, we won’t be rushing back to check out the stores/galleries in Port Chalmers.

Steampunk and Oamaru

21 11 2011



There seems to be three "branches" of Steampunk happening in Oamaru. We’d met with Helen and Darling who have been the pioneers of various activities in Oamaru including fashion shows and were currently holding a Steampunk exhibition in the local gallery.

Damion (Prof. Damoticus) introduced himself to us during the Fete and told us about his gallery he had set up and for us to meet with him and talk about what we were doing etc. He wants to put some of Amanda’s jewellery and maybe her interactive animation she has made.


And then we have Steampunk HQ.  These guys have gone big in their vision of Steampunk.  They’ve got huge installations through the middle of Oamaru (which has an incredibly wide one way main street and then grass verges between the streets).  But they’ve been working in one of the old beautiful buildings (the one with the train parked outside the front door) in the old part of Oamaru and opened this building up for the public to see what they’ve been beavering away at.  Another very impressive display of workmanship.  Brian and ?? have however, gone to what is being referred to as "the dark side" of Steampunk.  Nevertheless, we were privileged to have been able to visit all exhibitions and displays of Steampunk in Oamaru – and very impressive they were too!

So, instead of staying in Oamaru for almost a week we’ve decided to stay for 10 days and hang around for the following weekend’s "Swap Meet".  And also, help Helen and Darling, and other exhibitors dismantle the Forrester Gallery exhibition.  Before this we were invited to attend a luncheon with these guys – which further helped us to network etc.

The moment of truth …

20 11 2011

VictorianFete  - web


The day has arrived – more overcast that we’d like.  Definitely rain threatening.  But it hasn’t dampened the spirit or atmosphere we felt during the setting up and running of the stall throughout the day.  Absolutely fantastic atmosphere. People are really enjoying themselves.  Everyone was joining in.

Back to the stall, and Fete and we were inundated by Steampunkers!!!  It was fantastic (need to find another word – used it a couple of times already!).  We even had the Wizard stop by and say hello and some other stuff – which I can’t remember!!  It was great to be able to network with people who have a similar interest – and yet different.

A step back in time …

17 11 2011

Stepping back in time ...

We’ve arrived in Oamaru – and after looking at a couple of likely places for us to park our house we decided to backtrack into Oamaru and park at the Racecourse. Because we were going to be there for almost a week we decided to be close to town and internet service!!  The first couple of things we do once we are parked is suss out a laundrette – and thankfully found one. The other thing was to meet up with Mrs Steampunk of Oamaru. Amanda and Helen have been conversing via email and facebook.  Talk about stepping back in time in Oamaru.  It didn’t matter where we were we were seeing people everywhere in Victorian dress.  It looked awesome.  People were really taking it seriously! As part of the Victorian week celebrations there was going to be a harness race day – right where we were parked!

On our way to Oamaru Victoria Fete

15 11 2011

A crumbled and broken Basilica

On our way to the Oamaru Victorian Fete we stayed in Christchurch one night. On the afternoon we arrived we went for a drive around some of the quake damaged area – and stopped at the Basilica to take photos. What a sobering time that was. It was only a couple of years prior that we attended Amanda’s dads’ funeral in this same building. The next day after the funeral we toured through this magnificent building and was taken right up into the attic, through narrow stairways etc. We were very privileged to have been able to do this and I was able to take photos of the view from the very top windows. It’s now gone …


Within 30 minutes of seeing some of this distruction we came across some of the

New and funky Christchurch mall in the making ...

rebuilding they have started in the CBD. WOW. It’s soo cool and funky – and all from Containers. Speaking of containers – they are everywhere!! They’re being used to prop up the sides of buildings, as wall breaks to prevent sliding and falling hillsides going onto roads and buildings, as a shopping centre – you name it.





The following day we plugged three destinations into the GPS and took another sobering tour through the quake ravaged areas of Christchurch. Avonside, Lyttleton and Red Hills. Unbelievable – and very saddening to drive through street after street of empty broken homes. Nature is definitely a force to be reckoned with …

Culverden Christmas Fete

27 10 2011

Amanda at her stall at Culverden

Amanda’s officially on the Market/Fete circuit with her inaugural visit at Culverden (about 40mins south of Hamner Springs).  The weather was great – overcast, but not too cold. To put it mildly, let’s just say we’ll be back.  So many people, all with the intention of spending. PS: we’ve since been told by seasoned Marketeers of 15 years that we’ve started at the top of the range – and we were extremely lucky to be able to get in on our first application to this market.  It is by jury selection so we did know that we were lucky to get in.  Because Amanda’s products are quite different to most other jewellery stall holders, people are willing to give her a go – interestingly enough though, there was another Steampunk jewellery stand there and her products were quite similar – definitely along the same idea as Amanda. Amanda’s point of differences are that shes got a lot more of an antique/vintage look as well as she’s not blinging her Steampunk jewellery at all and to quote many people – “it’s delicate, cute and very different”.

After this market we returned to Richmond, Nelson preparing to hit the road in time for the Oamaru Victorian Fete in about a month’s time.

Medieval Day in Nelson 2011

14 10 2011

Cooking dinner ...

Just this last weekend we attended a Medieval Day that was being held at the Maitai Motorcamp, Nelson.  There were many activities – which included cooking, archery, sword fighting (full armour), tug-o-war, Morris Dancing, Maypole Dancing, many games that were popular in Me dieval Times and various other singing/dancing displays. To help inspire Amanda with ideas for steampunk jewellery and imagery – the displays of chainmail and armour were a delight …

Chainmail glove

Our stay in Nelson …

11 10 2011

Trotting training at Richmond Park

It’s amazing how, with time, things get easier isn’t it?  Our stress levels have gone way down low and we can finally say we’re starting to enjoy our

new home.  We got to Nelson without any hiccups.  Even getting on and off the ferry was hassle-free.  Thankfully we were on the ferry when the sleet and hail started!!

Amanda had her first drive from just after Picton thru to Canvastown and found it much easier than she initially thought.  Even though we had planned to stay at Canvastown we ended up staying the night at Pelorus Bridge – more expensive than we had hoped but we had power. This mean’t we were warm with being able to plug in our electric blankies as well as having our fridge keeping the milk cold.  The next morning we drove straight to Campro in Nelson for them to install an LPG heater and to find the fridge fault.  The fridge worked fine for them (of course) so they couldn’t do anything there. We found a place to park in Richmond, at the Richmond A&P showgrounds and this is working out very well for us.

The next day the gas detector alarm started screaming – now what!!!!  We phoned Campro who suggested that it wouldn’t be because they had put the new LPG heater in incorrectly – but they would send the gas plumber out to us to check it out.  He found the problem! The wire, to make the spark for the gas, had rubbed on a bit of metal and was shorting out before it was reachi

ng the gas. I guess sometimes it was getting through (whenever a technician was looking at it!).

So we’re very pleased to say that our fridge has been working fine ever since. We’re slowly sorting out where everything is going and coming to terms with a second, or is it fourth, round of culling.

We even found our deck chairs yesterday and so we enjoyed a beer in the daylight saved and sp starting to feel more relaxed each day. Amanda’s been making jewellery at the table and her production levels are soaring. It’s been a very long time since she’s felt this enthusiastic and creative about her work. This has definitely been a good move.

Chris is driving a school bus and really enjoying it. She has never been thanked so many times in a day in one afternoon let alone in a week!!

Where is our kayak??!!

We will stay put here until the end of October and then we’ll head south to the first big market at Culverden. Just yesterday found a market to go to in November in Oamaru – the Steampunk capital of NZ! So we’ll be very pleased to


be showing off our steampunk wares to the converted 😆

Very pleased to say things are all good here, we have been very fortunate that a good friend of ours has made our kitchen cupboard into an awesome pantry and slowly things are being put in their place!!