For someone who is used to Christmas being summer days, shorts, a tee shirt and barbecues, Christmas in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was a bit different – as it was for the whole team who travelled from a New Zealand summer to a Colorado winter.
We were treated to a white Christmas with about 3 inches of snow falling on Christmas Day, all of which led to a magical day. Dinner was roasted chicken and duck with all the trappings. Presents were under the tree and the kids played outside building a snowman.
Andre also continued a Christmas tradition of barbecuing the breakfast – despite the temperature.
Skiing? There has been some of that as well. Steamboat is vast with 169 trails spread over 3,000 acres. No matter what your skiing level, there are multiple runs for you.
And when you need to take a break there are bars, restaurants and cafes at the base of the mountain for that whole apres ski thingy.
Today – Friday 27th in the early evening it’s -17 degrees celsius. That’s 17 degrees below zero. That’s quite cold, with more snow forecast over the weekend.
Tonight the temperature dropped to around 5 degrees celsius. It was calm but cold – bone chilling cold.
This did nothing, however, to change Bella’s habit of sitting outside in the back yard, on one of the plinths beside the steps, surveying her domain, keeping an eye on the neighbours and keeping an eye on us in the kitchen.
It doesn’t matter what the weather is, how cold it gets or the time of day, when the mood takes her Bella sits, thinks and watches.
Our Bella is an outside dog – she loves getting outside whatever the weather. Her latest trick is to sit on one of the pillars beside the steps in the back yard and, well, just look around. She quite happy there … Continue reading →
After 3 weeks of rest and relaxation we’re back home in Wellington and back into our routine – including the daily commute to work. And despite it being spring we were met with a pretty good impersonation of winter. Sigh.
It’s one day after the shortest day of the year and winter has arrived in Wellington.
The temperature today peaked at 8 degrees celsius and is currently sitting at 5 degrees celsius. There is a southerly wind straight from Antarctica hammering the front windows and the rain is showing signs of turning to sleet.
What better night to light the first fire of the season – and for Poppie to rediscover the delight of a warm hearth.
After an incredibly mild start to winter we were brought back to reality as a southerly front straight from Antarctica arrived in Wellington. Think six degrees, biting wind, hail and driving rain. The only place for any sane person (or dog) … Continue reading →
Our weekends usually start well after the sun has come up – but not last Saturday. Sister Tina has been staying with us for the last few days and she was catching a flight at 8:30am. This meant the house was awake early on a July winter morning which was windless and warm.
After farewelling Tina we enjoyed a coffee on the deck watching the dawn slowly arrive across the harbour.
It has become a common sight and sound in the garden – Tui flying and singing throughout the summer and into the autumn. For the first time I can remember yesterday two Tui (or Tuis) sat together on the telephone … Continue reading →
June 1 is officially the first day of winter but clearly no one told the weather gods as Wellington was treated to a stunning day. But those of you familiar with our place will know that we lose any sight of the … Continue reading →
Having successfully survived Wellington’s recent storm, we started to think of other storms we’d been through – and the one that sprung to mind first was, funnily enough, an Italian storm.
It was during our stay in Positano in November 2011. After unusually good weather we were warned by the locals that the weekend was going to be stormy. It happened to be a weekend when we had visitors from the UK and New Zealand staying with us at Villa Greta.
Now, please understand, by storm we mean weather that was less than idyllic. Which involved wind (a bit), rain (not a lot) and seas that were rough (all to be taken in context of the Med just being a giant bath).
Our Saturday started with a visit the the beach at Positano and a late breakfast at Buca de Bacco. Apart from a strong breeze and the overcast conditions the only clue that there was a storm was the surf hitting the wharf. But despite the poor weather the resident beach artist was painting – as he does every day – a beautiful sunny vista full of blue skies, blue seas, bright sun and Bougainvillaea cascading down the sides of houses on the hill, somewhat at odds with reality.
In the afternoon we drove down the coast to Amalfi. The roads were treacherous and largely awash in places. The Amafi Coast has no real storm water drainage system – other than the water rushing downhill towards the sea as fast as possible – down streets, across roads and over cliffs until eventually ending up in the sea. This system meant we were often driving along roads more like rivers and through villages where every lane was a steam cascading towards the sea.
In Amalfi the sea was crashing against shore and the sea side carpark that we had used only a few months previously in summer was now forming the breakwater and largely underwater. The wonderful thing was that, by the time we had driven up from Amalfi to the top of the cliffs to Ravello the weather had cleared and we had magnificent views looking east along the coast towards Salerno. Normal transmission had resumed.
Through the eyes of an artist it’s always sunny
Waves breaking over the wharf at Positano
Amalfi taking a battering
The carpark has become the beach
More of a beach
Now part of the sea
Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea/Duomo di Amalfi
Amalfi – built into the cliffs of the peninsular
Normal weather returned in the afternoon – Ravello looking east
Following the storm last week I did another photo trip around Wellington’s southern coast. Everywhere there were remnants of the storm – rooves covered in tarpaulins rather than tiles, sea walls partially demolished and road edges undermined and collapsing. Even … Continue reading →
Today the rain has stopped so it’s clean up day at our place – which will consist of sweeping up some leaves and branches, cleaning some windows and cutting up our fallen olive tree.
But we got off lightly following the storm last week.
Parts of Wellington’s south coast – where I was taking photographs just a few days ago (click here and here to see the photos) – have been hit hard and the clean up work will take weeks. I’ve included some photos that show what south coast locals have to deal with. As one wise local said “if the sea wants something, it will simply take it”. There’s not much more to say really.
South Coast after storm – photo by stuff.co.nz
South Coast road – great photo by Phil Reid
Taking a break from the clean up – great photo by Phil Reid
A Lyall Bay local in his back yard – great photo by Phil Reid