Boxwood Festival and Serendipity in Waipu

Strangely enough as a wandering Canadian in New Zealand I somehow ran into a music festival featuring a couple Canadians playing some of my favorite instruments, namely the fiddle and bagpipes.

Since 1995 Boxwood has conducted festivals and classes around the world. Focusing on classical, baroque, and folk music they teach improvisational and learn by ear methods to beginners as well as those who already have a working knowledge of music.

Flowers of spring in Waipu

I have walked by these flowers at least three times a day for the last few months without paying them much attention. Today however the noonday sun had just begun drying off an early morning misting of rain; shining in the sunlight they absolutely demanded to be photographed.

10 Rules for traveling with Tim

There are many small rules we all impose on ourselves and others in ordinary life, these become magnified to an incredible degree when trapped together for a prolonged period of time. Anyone who has ever struggled to find a place to hide the body of a former loved one during a road trip because they wouldn’t stop singing show tunes can attest to a few things, firstly that dead weight is really heavy, and second that the most normal people can become intolerable without a few ground rules in place.

The Outlandish Origin story of Waipu

In the 18th and 19th century wealthy Scotsmen decided that the English had a point years ago when they said that the problem with Scotland was that it was filled with Scottish people. The result was something called the Highland Clearances where they did everything in their power to remove families from their homesteads and…

Jurassic Forestry

Tāne Mahuta is the Lord of the Forest. He is an Agathis australis to Latin geeks and botanists. Son of Ranginui The sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother, like all children his primary function is to keep them apart and prevent their marital embrace. Tane figures prominently in the Maori creation myth and is…

The bottom of the earth

My Trip through Europe complete I flew home to drop off my kid sister and visit family for a few days. A few days full of meetings, driving, and an unpleasant amount of cold, in August. It wasn’t long before I was heading to the airport bound for New Zealand, and happy to be away from Canada!

With memories of sunsets and castles fresh in my mind I couldn’t imagine anything being quite so scenic, Waipu was having no part of it and decided to be sunny and wonderful despite the claims that it is in fact ‘winter’ here.

Sunrise in Stonehenge

It took some doing, and some waking up at four in the morning, but I got to watch the sun rise from the center of Stonehenge. It was overcast and raining so it was not so much a sunrise as gradual lightening of the sky, and there was the ever present threat of crow attack.

Stonehenge is the oldest ‘building’ in human history, predating the great pyramids by about four hundred years (3000 BC) and the source of numerous ridiculous theories and beliefs around the world.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

I have a unique gift for showing up at the exact right moment despite having done no planning. In this case I arrived at the height of Edinburgh's fringe festival. I have encountered street fairs on a few occasions but nothing quite this impressive. Apparently the entire city becomes home to almost 300 venues filled...

Love Lock Bridge : Hohenzollern Bridge

Construction of this bridge was completed in 1911 after the demolition of the old bridge. During the second world war the allies bombed the bridge almost daily, yet it sustained only minor damage. Finally when the allies were about to invade Cologne the Germans blew it up themselves, presumably out of spite. It was rebuilt...

The Cathedral

The Kölner Dom is officially dedicated to St. Peter, which is lucky given that three of the other apostles specifically mention that changing money and running a gift shop in a church is absolutely sacrilegious. I consider myself somewhat of a godless heathen, and those who know me well can attest to my love of...

Cologne Zoo

Founded in 1860 the Cologne zoo is apparently internationally renowned, a fact I only learned from hearing them repeatedly claim it. The baboons inhabit a massive little monkey town that seems to be at the epicenter of most every walking path. The placement of the baboons is somewhat unfortunate given that they are some of...

English (birds of) preying on tourists

The SpacePort, which is not as amazing as it sounds, had a Doctor Who exhibit featuring cardboard cutouts and what I assume are replicas made from the hazy memories of fans from the early 70's. Included in the exhibit was information on the 'planet' Pluto and a station for tracing images from the series, however...