Monday, January 27, 2014

Summer Lovin'

The view from our tent - Wainui Beach, Gisborne
It has been really nice to have that peaceful easy holiday feeling for most of this month.  There is nothing like the restorative value of having friends & family around to help relax & unwind.  The Nigella Inspired 'Gays & Strays' Christmas day was a huge success with excellent company, some stunning food & even better wines consumed.  The boys had a wonderful time, being spoiled rotten of course.

Just a snippet of the Italian fare from Christmas day
Then just as the dishes got dry we packed up & headed north to my brothers in Gisborne.  His place on the beach at Wainui - dubbed 'Stu's Bar & Grill' - is about as quintessentially kiwi as it gets.  With us tenting on the lawn, kids everywhere, copious amounts of sunshine, surf & great company.  Every night the boys (including Dr. Phil & Renly) collapsed into their bed exhausted.

Camp Wainui on New Years Day
It's weird returning to Gisborne now after so long away.  I just loved being back, but for the first time I didn't feel like I was heading 'home', but travelling to see those that I love & miss.

A selection of some of the Hihi whites from 2013
One of those friends i caught up with was Andy Nimmo from Hihi wines.  I have known Andy for pretty much as long as he has been in Gisborne & have followed the development of Hihi keenly.  Dr. Phil & I went out for a tasting of the 2013 white which have just been released & they are simply stunning.  If you are looking to try something different then Andy's your man.  Like me, he has a keen interest in aromatic & varetal wines.

This is my idea of  'camp cooking' - Paella Waipatiki style!
His whites this year include Gold medal winning Pinot Gris & Viognier, as well as his lush Gisborne Gewurztraminer & the fabulous Albrarino.  the latter being a wine & especially fell in love with over the holidays as it is the perfect wine to match paella - something I got right into as the paella pan was my Christmas pressie from Dr Phil & the boys.

Waipatiki famous Redwood walk - Hugo was looking for Ewoks!
After the Gisborne sojourn was over we had a few days at home to resupply then headed up the road to Waipatiki for our annual week camping there.  I love this week as it was a real kick back & blob week for us all.  The boys had a great time making new friends around the campsite & I even ran into an old friend that I hadn't seen for the best part of 20 years - brilliant!

My first project for 2014 - Brickless by Martina behm
I also got a little bit of knitting done - not as much as in previous years, but I completed my homespun Brickless scarf.  It was so nice to see the development of the graduations of colour of this yarn.  I am now trying to get inspired into my first big 'me' project for the year & I also have slated something for Dr. Phil.  I just need to get cast on & moving!