Saturday, 26 July 2014

Pauatahanui Inlet and Pataka Museum

A crisp, sunny and calm, but cold, Friday. Forget about Friday Zumba. Let’s go for a bike ride! A nice easy ride, in the sun.

So we rode from Plimmerton to Pauatahanui. As we approached the Ngati Toa Domain, a buzzing in the sky alerted us to a bright yellow sail flying around, propelled by a man with a “lawnmower engine on his back”, as John said. We raced along to where we had a better view. Several times it looked like he was coming in to land, but then he soared away again.

Upon checking Wikipedia, I found this sport (?) is called “powered paragliding” or “paramotoring”. The user carries the 20-35 kg motor on his back, and has to run about 3 m with this contraption on his back, before the wing lifts him and the machine off the ground. He can then get into the seat, and start zooming around. Sounds like fun, if you enjoy heights and thrills with a hint of danger. It requires calm, windless conditions, and this morning was perfect.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a motorised paraglider …

When he disappeared in the direction of Pukerua Bay, we carried on past the marina, with its perfect reflections, under the rail and road bridges, and into a side street which led to the mudflats beach of the Pauatahanui Inlet.

Reflections at the Mana Marina (photo by John)

I love this picture of a man walking his little dogs on the beach (photo by John)

The tide was out so we were able to ride on the hard-packed sand to the start of the Camborne Walkway. Despite the recent heavy rains, the walkway was not muddy, and it was a pleasure to cycle around the edge of the still Inlet.

The Pauatahanui Inlet from the Camborne Walkway (photo by John)

It didn’t take us long to cycle the 10 km to Pauatahanui Village and the Ground Up Café. We enjoyed a coffee and something to eat in the sun. Their coffee is consistently excellent, and comes with a Jaffa, as an extra little treat.

A Jaffa is a NZ confectionery – a small sphere of chocolate, with a hard orange-flavoured and -coloured covering. In the days when movie theatres had sloping wooden floors, it was considered to be great fun to release Jaffas to roll down during a quiet moment in the film!  Of course Jaffas are not to be confused with JAFAs, which refers to Aucklanders. Used as a derogatory term by non-Aucklanders, it means “Just Another Flipping (or worse) Aucklander”. The Aucklanders themselves will say that it means “Just Another Friendly Aucklander”.

On our way back, along the newly protected cycle path, John was amused by a sign warning motorists of the hazards ahead. I didn’t “get” the irony at first, but as the sign sticks out into the path of the cyclist, someone keeping well to the left could easily crash into it in a moment of inattention.

John “nearly collides” with a sign warning of crash potential

Since our last ride here, protective concrete edging has been installed
to separate the cycle lane from the road

Clouds gathered from the south and there was a stiff headwind on the way back (photo by John)

Near Motukaraka Point we watched a pair of courting herons. To begin with they were quite a distance away from each other. Cautiously he advanced towards her, she tentatively moved towards him, then changed her mind, and moved away. The game was repeated, and gradually, he got closer to the object of his affections. Finally he caught up with her, they tussled (?) and then flew away together making screeching noises. We lost track of them after that. Of course, my knowledge of birds is very limited, so they may not have been courting at all. Perhaps it was a squabble over territory …

A pair of herons (photo by John)

After the Camborne Walkway, we took advantage of the low tide to ride on the hard sand of the beach all the way to the Paremata Bridge.

The hard-packed sand on the mudflats beach was OK to ride on (photo by John)

We had ridden just on 20 kms, and that brings my total mileage to 1985 km. Only another 15 km to go until I hit the 2000 km mark!

* * * * * * * * * * *
After our ride, we stopped in Porirua. John dropped me at the Pataka Museum, while he went to Mitre 10, in search of some tools he needed. I enjoy visiting Pataka regularly, as it usually has excellent exhibitions.

The exhibition in the Bottle Creek Gallery (the community gallery) was called Fibre Fusion and displayed the best work of Creative Fibre Wellington. It was lucky I visited at this time, as I hadn’t been aware that this was on. As a former weaver, I am still always interested in the work that is currently being produced, and some of it was very good indeed.

My friend – and one of my first weaving students (many years ago) – Patricia Armour, carried away the award for “best handwoven article” with her tapestry "Autumn Meditation". I have mentioned Trish in another blog, and posted a photo of one of her gorgeous tapestries. In a few weeks, she will have an exhibition of her work in Minerva, a gallery-cum-shop specialising in textile books, at 237 Cuba Street. The exhibition runs from 5 August to 13 September.

“Autumn Meditation”, a tapestry by Patricia Armour

Other pieces that caught my eye involved felting. Lyn Evans’ handfelted wallhanging, entitled “Leaf” was deceptive in its simplicity, but shows very precise control of the technique. It well deserved the NZ Felters Award 2D.

“Leaf”, a handfelted wallhanging by Lynn Evans

Kathy McLauchlan’s delicate representation of ferns won two awards, for “innovation and excellence” and for “a mixed media entry using a minimum of three fibrecraft techniques”. Entitled “Remembrance”, it has a handfelted background, over which are arranged fern fronds made of handmade silk paper and embroidered with handspun silk. It is exquisite. I couldn’t decide which photo showed it off the best, so I’m posting both.

Kathy McLauchlan’s multi media work, “Remembrance”

A detail of “Remembrance”

Having had a lengthy browse of "Fibre Fusion", I moved to the next gallery, which showcased the development of designer David Trubridge, one of NZ’s most internationally celebrated designers. It is a magnificent exhibition, and its title "So Far" seems to promise more in the future. Though his range of design areas is vast, this exhibition focussed on his furniture and lighting designs. On display are pieces of beautiful furniture, and small models of some of his designs. Several of his very stylish lighting designs feature in the gallery, and also in the lobby of the museum. The exhibition is on until 24 August, and is well worth a visit.

The David Trubridge exhibition, "So Far"

There is also an exhibition of contemporary art by Tongan NZ artists, that I had visited some time ago, but this time I took a photo of a piece I particularly liked. “Matanima” by Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi is a representation in aluminium of lalava, the art of coconut sennit lashing. I like the shape of the sculpture, and the shadow it produces on the wall behind it.

“Matanima” by Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi

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