Meeting Blogger friends Overseas

gardens6One of the best things about blogging is that one’s friendship group is not limited by geographical boundaries and living in the isolated ‘bottom end’ of the world,  I love that. My blogger community has members from many countries across the world and thus, I can expand my perspective, hear different viewpoints, see and learn different things, and experienceg the world through other people’s eyes, all without leaving my desk. But when I do leave my desk, and travel abroad, I might just have an opportunity to meet one of the fellow bloggers with whom I have had an ongoing virtual conversation, and that is a very special experience indeed.

I was in Wellington, New Zealand recently, in order to visit some cousins and have a short holiday, and planned ahead to catch up with Ineke of Scrapydo. Having a common interest in Schnauzers, (we both have one), as well as photography, we have come to know each other through  blog posts, so it seemed quite natural that we should meet, should we have the chance.  A pleasant forty minute drive from Central Wellington, one can reach Upper Hutt by road or train. We arranged to meet Ineke at her place, in order to meet the very famous and quite handsome Trompie, who know writes his own blog, Scrapydodog (and we had our Schnauzer fix). Trompie wasn’t so sure about us!

PetchallengemeetingtrompieNew Zealand

Ineke suggested visiting Birchville teagardens, a delightful garden oasis with a tea-house and craft centre in TeMarua, in  the Upper Hut Valley of New Zealand’s North Island. Tea and craft, I thought? I’m in!!!

New Zealand

Ineke is a keen patchworker, and the Sawmiller’s Quiltery run by the serene and friendly Yvonne Matthews is definitely worth a visit, for inspiration alone.Yvonne run classes at the Quiltery and is full of suggestions, tips and ideas for the budding crafts person. If you are not into patchwork, there is, nevertheless, a feast for the eyes in terms of colour and design. I fell in love with a wonderful fabric from America called ‘Savonnerie’ (top left in the collage) – the designer of which has clearly been influenced by Norwegian and Swedish Traditional art, as I could recognize elements of Rosemaling, in the designs. Why didn’t I buy a fat quarter or two?

Sawmillers Quiltery

Two steps away along a pebble path was the Tea house, run by Kevin Bold, who is also Yvonne’s partner in Ballroom dancing.

Birchville

The tea- house operates from a 19th century cottage complex set in tranquil gardens complete with babbling brook and paddling ducks. In short: picture perfect.

Gardenscollage3

Kevin’s scones are legendary and one is more than enough with a Devonshire tea. There is a variety of teas, to chose from, and I can recommend the seasonal Christmas variety, full of cardamon and clove aromas, which fuelled my mind’s images of the Christmas markets of Europe and glögg. Yum!!

Christmas tea

Also quite the authority on the flora at the tea-house gardens, Kevin doesn’t always find time for chin wag, due to the popularity of his establishment. Unlike Ineke and I, who found loads to chat about, almost as if we were old friends meeting again after some years apart.

gardenscollage7

Miss Teen became bored with all the talk, as teens can do, and went off to photograph the flowers, which looked gorgeous after the light shower of misty rain.

Flowers at the Tea Gardens

Birchville

Have you met any of your blogger friends? Something to Ponder About.

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About Forestwoodfolk

Scandinavian culture, literature and traditions are close to my heart, even though I am Australian. I have Scandinavian, Frisian and Prussian/Silesian ancestry and for that reason, I feel a connection with that part of the world. I am an avid Nordic Crime fiction reader, and enjoy photography, writing and a variety of cooking and crafts, and traditional decorative art forms. Politically aware and egalitarian by nature, I have a strong environmental bent.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Flowers, Gardening, New Zealand, Painting, Photography, Sewing, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Meeting Blogger friends Overseas

  1. yes! i met one of my blogger friends “shrub queen” at Gardenfest recently! We chatted for close to an hr! Isn’t it so much fun!?
    When Maggie and I go to England (we are booking our flts TODAY!! Traveling in Sept) I hope to meet several bloggers with whom I’ve been corresponding since my earliest WordPress days.
    How gorgeous is the setting of the Tea room you photographed…I swear I’ve never seen such lushness!!

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    • That feeling of closeness one feels with blogger friends is surprising and proof that real friendships can flourish in the cyber world. I hope you have an awesome time in September. Enjoy and look forward to seeing photos of more lushness ( love the word!) after your visit – the gardens in the cool climate countries are to die for!! Have a great day, Karen!

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  2. scrapydo says:

    We really had a good hour or two together! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to meet you too.
    I am reblogging this if you don’t mind!

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  3. scrapydo says:

    Reblogged this on scrapydo and commented:
    Thank you for this lovely blog on our meeting

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  4. How wonderful! And what an adorable tea house! I met my blogger friend Viveka and we’ve had two outings so far, but are planning for more. Next week I’m going to meet another blogger friend, Maria. I tried to go to Östersund, where she lives, in November, but then the storm came…and my fligth was cancelled. Hope to have such a good time!

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  5. What a lovely post. I loved all the photos as well. The quilts are to die for. I would love to meet other bloggers here during the Art Deco festival here in Hastings/Napier. That would be so cool. 😀

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    • If I had of known you last year, we could have chatted over an ice cream at Rush Munro’s. But then, you might come to Queensland one day? I hope you meet lots of bloggers at the festival.

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  6. Thank you for sharing. Nice to see my sisters lovely blog friends!

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  7. cocoaupnorth says:

    Beautiful post! It is really special to meet ‘virtual friends’ in person, it’s like catching up with an old friend. So far those friends are part of my husband’s internet card gaming community. But I would love to meet some of my blogger friends too;-)

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  8. Deborah says:

    It’s so great the two of you got to meet. I have hopes of meeting some of the people I’ve met through blogging. You’ve made that desire much stronger.

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  9. So very true and so lovely! I (Le – Mrs wisemonkey) only just the other day met with another blogger who was in Sydney from Canada! It is amazing to be able to chat to someone with the same interests and who understands/appreciates the world of blogging 🙂
    One thing we have enjoyed most about blogging is meeting all the different people around the world! It really is a wonderful thing having virtual friendships! Great people, we otherwise never would’ve met!
    Yours is a great story 🙂

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