Little & Friday

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Upturned swappa crates, bone handled knives, flaky mushroom & mozzarella galettes, strong coffee and a fire-engine red hippo. Little and Friday is a breath of fresh air in the form of a cafe for Auckland’s sleepy Belmont neighbourhood.

Little & Friday tart

I ended up here with Mon when we were on an op-shopping mission – it turns out it’s a mere eight houses away from where I grew up on Eversleigh Road. I would have never expected to find such a cool place nearby, but times/me, they are a changing. If you can, get your hands on the Little & Friday cookbook – it’s sumptuous and inspiring.

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Headland – Waiheke Island

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One breathtakingly beautiful Sunday; Mon, Hank (her adorable Brussels Griffon) and I took a ferry to Waiheke Island.Only 35 minutes away from the city, Waiheke is a micro-paradise with a climate all of its own – making it perfect for vineyards and other grape related pursuits. That day, however, we were there to walk the Headland for Sculpture on the Gulf, a 2.5km walk over rolling hills and some of the most gorgeous scenery on the planet. Here are some photos I took:

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Temporary; a work by Delicia Sampero.

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Wildfire, by Sarah Brill.

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Sheep Track, by Gina Ferguson. I loved the physical experience of this one; walking over a raw,  knitted pathway, carefully considering the shape (and smell) of the new terrain.

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Christian Nicolson’s Look Darling it’s Tom and Nancy – this was one of my favourites, and one of the most humorous. Nothing says sculpture has to be serious!

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Sometimes I wonder why I’m going back to film (particularly while trudging up the hill to Angel in the bitter cold to get my rolls developed) . It doesn’t seem to enhance my photography skills at all. I suppose I like it for a different reason, the fact it lets me slow down, and luxuriate in the moment rather than snap-snap-snapping. Being forced to stop and think about what I’m looking at is definitely a pleasure, and I’m starting to savour the surprise of getting my photos back – all the control is long out of my hands.

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Everything is beautiful

I’ve been back in New Zealand for the last week and a half, and quite simply, it is stunning. The streets are absurdly wide and clean, the tarseal pavements are melting in the heat, and the sound of cicadas constantly throbs in the air.

Rangitoto

I went to Omaha, and dug my toes in the white sandy beach. I visited the village market too, stocking up on my favourite olive oil soap from the Matakana Valley. Then I headed north, to the Hokianga, with my sister and my mum, to spend a few nights with my beloved Gran. This is the view from her front yard, and her astounding spoon collection:

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Other than that I’ve been cruising around Auckland, catching up with dear friends and basking in the sun. There is slight change in the current cast, with a few new faces and a couple missing. But for the most part everything is the same. This is a sweet relief.

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2 for the price of 2
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Op shop find
Cold sheets
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Other than catching up, it’s been a whirl of op shops, art galleries, ferry rides, cold drinks at old haunts, and double lunches. A lot of 35mm has been shot too. 6 sleeps left, don’t make me leave the sunshine (Thom, please teleport here).

Devonport ferry

30 days of June

June 2012

June 2012 will be known as the month where I finally got with the program and got a phone that actually has a colour screen and a camera. Fancy. As a result I’ve been instagramming my butt off, so loads more pictures for you! Add me as @amberparkin if you’re on there too.

All in all things have been going pretty swimmingly. A few things that made June awesome:

+ Jubilee celebrations (and a day off)
+ Picnics in Regent’s Park
+ Skyping with my kiwi favourites
+ Backyard hang outs
+ Visiting my friend’s graduation show at RCA
+ Making friends with some very tame squirrels
+ A trip to Oxfordshire; including Blenheim Palace and an amazing meal at The Mole & Chicken

Today is the first day of a week-long staycation, followed by a weekend in Paris; so I’m off to go eat some crème brûlée in bed and watch some Community. It’s good AMAZING being an adult.

 

Rainy days

rainy days

So, the very next day – after all the sunshine, the pink cheeks and the hours of plaiting grass – the heavens opened up and London enjoyed a big wet. We were planning to go to the Brick Lane markets (a mere 10 minutes walk from my new house), but it was soggy and all the stall holders were throwing tarpaulins over their wares. East London’s newest fashion trend: the plastic bag turban, to keep your follicles dry.

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coffee saves

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brick lane

cloudy brick lane

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Float on

Finally home. Which is what I’ll be calling London for the foreseeable future. Right now I am crashing at my brother’s house in Surrey Quays – until next week when I move East into a cute little house with a warm kitchen, a back garden, and a tube stop.

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Above is the view from one of the said quays; the buildings are far beyond on the other side of the Thames. And if you walk a little further, you’ll get to a boat called the Wibbly Wobbly – it’s a floating pub!

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Paris!

Bonjour! After a car ride, 3 flights, one RER and a metro trip later, I arrived in Paris. All in all it was 28 hours of travel – and that’s doing it fast (just a brief touchdown in Kuala Lumpur).

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Ladurée

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poissson chez vous

breakfast

Photos from: one of the Seine bridges, Port des Champs Elysées, Ladurée and life around the 10e. I think I’m almost fluent in breakfast French! Full reports on this aventure intéressante soon…