Its now well into January and since my last blog from Canada we have been back In Dunedin just over 6 weeks.
I hit the ground running with the impending launch of a little Book on Dunedin called the ‘ Dunedin Fonebook’
I have been working on with Michelle Chalklin- Sinclair from the Artists Room for most of last year.
The ‘Dunedin Fonebook’ arrived on a sunny Saturday morning and we .. along with our husbands Phil and Jimmy unloaded 3 pallets of books into our cars and then to our entrance way.
The weeks before Christmas involved marketing, selling, distributing and talking on many radio stations. The Fonebook has been an enormous success in a very short time and its even NO1 in paper plus ahead of Ritchie Macaw. It has been posted all round the world as Dunedin people want to show off their city to friends and families and also to everyone that has visited and wish for a keepsake.
All Photos are taken on Michelle’s iPhone and she has a perfect eye for spotting Dunedin’s personality and beauty. Yes, there are recipes and they portray the variety of produce, meat and fish available at the Dunedin Farmers market.
Returning to New Zealand after 3 months away was exciting. But we had the perfect stopover to unwind and relax . My niece Rebecca was getting married in Rarotonga and since there is only 1 flight a week from LA to Rarotonga we arrived 5 days before the wedding. Our fabulous rental property sitting overlooking the lagoon was the best setting for the gathering of our family. Pawpaw, Bananas and Watermelon was sold on the side of the road and little shops are dotted around the island on the loop road where you drive clockwise or anticlockwise.
The temperature was a constant 28 degrees and although often windy the sheltered deck with the hammock and a good book was very appealing.
We had fun making cocktails, barbecuing fresh tuna and sitting around the table for hours checking in on the lives of our children and partners since we had been away.
I loved the colourfulness of Rarotonga and flowers grew in abundance on thick green foliage all over the island. Our visit to a beautiful garden open to the public and tended by locals was and eye opener and although raining it didn’t seem to matter. The women of Rarotonga wear and make beautiful floral headpieces with the stunning perfumed frangipane. We couldn’t help ourselves and had to buy one each after watching two hilarious ladies at the market making them.They insisted in calling Holly creamy (I think it was her blonde hair and pale skin)
The wedding was lovely and our extended family enjoyed one of those not too be missed special occasions.
So 2017 is underway. Sadly a bad start for our family after loosing my lovely Aunt Dorothy and my Mothers Twin sister on NewYears day. We did have a memorable catch up with our close extended family what was really nice.The weather in Dunedin has been ghastly and needs to improve quickly but ,the thought of the busy year ahead with tours is exciting.
I am stimulated and thrilled with my new tour to Normandy and Scotland in May. It is made up of many wonderful visits to stunning gardens and of course great accommodation, meals and excursions.
Italy and France, starting in Venice in August is like an old favourite now . I have so many wonderful connections and my hotels, restaurants and guides all look forward to the New Zealanders visit each year.
Last week I had dinner with my Turkish tour guide Alison. Each week we are horrified to hear poor Turkey has been affected yet again with terror attacks. We have modified the tour and making use of Cappadocia and Alison and Hasan’s contacts. Other visits are away from large cities and it seems shame to miss out on this amazing tour. If you are interested and have friends that are interested we are certainly offering a small group tour again in 2017.
Best Wishes for 2017
Keep busy and plan ahead. I wish everyone a healthy year full of fun and laughter.