Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pania & Toad Hall of Course!

Busking boys plonked themselves down in the middle of the Sunday market & made enough to pay for their petrol to get home in an hour or two when they came to visit over Christmas time.
 We spent a bit of time together in Napier.
 It was fun..

 Just around the corner, one of our number became extremely animated when he spied this sign...
suddenly dreaming of halcyon days, leaning out over this very balcony.
 Indeed, Toad was quite entirely beside himself when we rounded the corner & came across this contraption in the middle of the road.
 "Oh my, oh my!!" he kept exclaiming, with a far away look in his eye.
Our little visitors were so taken with the ambience & delights of Napier that we agreed to return with them for a Vintage Picnic one evening last week.
"Just down there looks like a grand spot", Ratty suggested.
Swathes of green clipped grass spread before us long. A fountain playfully sprinkling distantly & the sea air gently cooling us from off shore, we settled down on the splendid picnic rugs,  
tiffen tin temptingly waiting
& a fine picnic was quite soon unpacked.
"Oh how delicious!" cried Mole ecstatically. 

 Such a pretty spot on the Marine Parade in Napier.
The festive flowers of the pohutukawa still signaling summer..
As we told the Willows, the Tom Parker Fountain was set in pride of place on the Marine Parade a very long time ago, in 1936, at the time of the rebuild & restoration of the city; after the catastrophic earthquake of 1931 that redefined the history & re-characterized the layout of the whole province.
The land came up & the sea went down & lots & lots of buildings fell over or burnt to the ground. 
The Sound Shell has a busy life hosting concerts & harbouring budding performers.
The spent pohutukawa flowers create a gentle, meandering carpet of carmine threads along the foreshore.
A little farther along..
"Whoever is that?" the boys wanted to know.
"Why that's Pania, Pania of the Reef," explained Pop.
"There's a Maori legend that tells of Pania the beautiful sea-maiden who married a Maori chieftain, but things didn't work out so well & Pania drowned just off the beach..families! There are those that say you can see her in the waves to this day," he told them.
 "Oh, that's so terribly sad," cried Ratty. "Do you think perhaps we could sit here at her feet while you take a picture," sniffled Mole? "No problem at all," Pop replied. And here they are all tucked in the midst of Pania's bronze feet:
Cheerio, better go!!..we seem to have mis-placed Toad, after all that. It is suspected that he has found his way home to Toad Hall, in fact, there have been murmurings of emigration, so enchanted with New Zealand is he.
Much love to you all x0x0x0x


  1. How fabulous to see such lovely sunny outdoor photos - it had brightened my day!
    Would love to be having a picnic today, but its Scotland in winter, so I'll just have to wait a few months!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. Aha so Toad has gone walkabout?! I am so relievd that someone else has mislaid a chap! I feel much reprieved! Will he return??? How exciting! Maybe he's just off underwear shopping? Too prosaic! He's off to find a sea-maiden, I think!

  3. so much to say but all I'm going to say is, 'IT'S SO GREEN!!!"
    Wow, can't get over how GREEN it is; beautiful!

  4. Hello there Catherine - whoops I appear to have missed a couple of posts :-)
    My youngest son spent 3 days over New Year in Napier and really enjoyed it and went along the parade & saw lots of the sights you have pictured., I just adore your picnic - I have a tin like yours but did not know it was a tiffin tin. Mine is enamel.
    Your food looks most delicious & inviting.
    Also those beautiful pohotukawa trees. So glad the 3 "visitors" have seen some wonderful sights. Sounds like they have certainly seen some great New Zealand scenery while in your care. Have a great week - so dry & hot over here today - rather tired of watering now :-( Much love, Julie Xox

  5. How did I miss this post? Yikes!
    The boys have been so highly entertained! YOU live in a beautiful world, GK!


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