Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There's snow on our Pacific Isle!

I took a little walk with the camera before I opened the Stuart Street Potter's Co-operative gallery on Tuesday.

You wouldn't think there could be snow from this sunny glimpse of the House of Travel reflected in the mirrored glass of Otago House in Dunedin first thing on Tuesday morning.

This is the Dunedin Public Library. One of those "I'm made of concrete, I'm out and I'm Proud styles of architecture!

Here are the inspiring portals of power, the Town Hall for the tax gatherers and local law makers, and the Cathedral for God, the angels, and for the poor souls that receive council rates demands and user charges.

If you stand in the right place, you can mix the town hall, the library, and some public sculpture together. I like the blend and clash of the old and new. It's architectural fusion cooking!

With flags waving bravely in a stiffening cold breeze, the Star Newspaper building makes a fine sight.

By lunchtime, the weather rapidly took a turn for the worst, the stiff breeze lost its temper entirely and turned nasty. Icy gusts of air were salted with needles of water that was rain, but only just. At 4pm, I looked out of the Co-op door at rain that was arriving at an angle of about 60 degrees and hitting cars so hard that it was a wonder that the paint wasn't stripped off!
At 5.15pm a slight reduction in the fury allowed me to race down the street for my bus, and catch it without getting too wet.

I will sing the praises of our local bus, and Graeme who drives it, in a special post very soon. Graeme said that the trip from Palmerston to Dunedin to pick us up that evening was one of the worst that he had made in the eight years that he had been running the service. The wind and rain made driving very unpleasant, but he picked us up and got everyone home safely. I took this rainy picture in the morning of the trip I made to town two weeks earlier. Our return trip on Tuesday was in inky darkness, and I doubt I would have been able to have captured much with the camera.

Wednesday morning. The hill that we see out our front window had a dusting of snow on top.

Snow continued to fall a few hundred feet above us for much of the day, we just got rain at our altitude, and a touch of sleet. Three Dunedin schools were closed due to snow and ice yesterday.

Today, Thursday, I will be bisque firing 12 teapots and some other bits and pieces. I also will be glazing for the next few days.


Linda Starr said...

The architecture of the library seems out of place with all the historic buildings nearby. What a contrast of the countryside with the city. How far do you travel to the pottery coop?

Peter said...

We are about 42 kilometers (26 miles) away from Dunedin, not far, but there are two impressive hills to climb over to get there. In the winter the road sometimes is closed due to snow at the highest points. On a good day it takes about 25 - 30 minutes by car to Dunedin, the longest for me was 2 and a half hours when there was snow.
The local bus takes nearly an enjoyable hour to get to Dunedin, as we drive around both Waikouaiti and Karitane, picking people up from where they live. It's a great service.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Brrr! Your description of the icy rain gave me the shivers! I hope the roads stay clear so your kind bus driver, and his passengers can travel in safety.

Lovely photos, Peter. When the sky is blue there, it is really blue. Dunedin has some lovely classic architecture. The library stands out rather like a sore thumb, although it's an attractive "modern" building.

Happy firing and glazing.

jim gottuso said...

oh i wish i could relocate there... snow and all... caught the fine pics of you working in the earlier posts, love to see procedural sequences

Peter said...

Hi Pat, I must remember to send more chilly descriptions when you have a heat wave in Arkansas, it may help you get through summer and I could well be doing my bit in the fight against global warming! My studio is starting the day at around 7 degrees C each morning now (44.6 F) so there is an awful temptation to give a primal moan in the morning and contemplate hibernation! Regarding the library and other modern architecture, I still rather enjoy the clash of it with the older styles. For those that can't abide it, the good news is that most of the new stuff is usually not that well built, so we can enjoy the prospect of a change of view later on! I seem to remember that the building code in NZ defines a permanent material as one that lasts more than 15 years, which gives pause for thought!

Jim, you poor soul, craving the ice and isolation of our distant shores! It would be actually be really nice to see you over here one day. Glad you liked the procedural sequences. I have personally benefited a lot from photos that other potters have posted and like the idea of giving back anything I can to assist.

Arkansas Patti said...

Aw, I have to go with town hall. The library is too much what we might do. Might just be me but I loved the rainy picture. Of course I also like foggy shots. I like soft edges.
Enjoy your cool, I am sure soon we will be envious. I am having an air conditioning repair man out tomorrow. Getting that time of year.

Peter said...

Hi Patti, lovely to hear from you. I must brave the elements and bring you fog, rain, and snow! I like soft edges too, it might be due to my poor distance vision, but it adds a sense of mystery to life.