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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Code for This DIY Life

I have finally succeeded in adding a grab button to the blog here, despite the wordpress minefield…. it works! Feel free to grab the button for my blog on the sidebar. An example blog html widget text is reblogged here, and all you have to do is substitute your href, title and photo image url as needed. if you have a wordpress blog, be sure to upload the image to your media library first and then use the url from the actual image itself.