Tag Archives: Nelson

The other day I was driving into town, along our narrow street.  Where cars are parked by the side of the road there is only room for one car to pass at a time.  The locals all know this: we drive slowly and look a fair way ahead, one of the vehicles stopping well in advance to let the oncoming traffic through.  (Strangers identify themselves immediately by failing to observe these unwritten rules.)

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Last week there was a post about the wood sculptor known as T.A.G. – Theodore Arnold Gustafson.  This week I want to tell you about our luck in managing to purchase one of his works.

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Since we returned to Nelson we have been discovering all kinds of things, emerging as we sort through stuff that we had left behind.  One such item was a card from the widow of a local artist, Theodore Arnold Gustafson.  This is the first of several posts about this gifted person.

TAG,  as he signed himself,  was a master craftsman whose work we had admired for years.  His great skill in dealing with wood produced the most wonderful, zany items.

This picture shows one of the best examples, “The Dresser”.

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This annual event has been going for almost 20 years now and attracts motorcycle racers from all over New Zealand. Here are some pics from yesterday:

local hero Josh Coppins

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The other day we had news of a couple of whale strandings. The first of these occurred up north and, with the help of a huge team of volunteers, it was possible to save about two thirds of the pod. The second though occurred over on Farewell Spit in Golden Bay, a very remote location. The whole pod died, more than 100 Pilot Whales. There’s something about Farewell Spit that makes it a real death trap for whales, strandings are quite common. But is there something more sinister going on?

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Nelson prides itself on being green. Our local city council has a number of initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability.  They have an “Eco Building Advisor”, giving free information on sustainable building practices. They are really pushing solar water heating, for example by lending the installation cost for certain selected systems and waiving fees for building consents.  But in practice, it’s really expensive to be green in Nelson!

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And here’s a couple of (New Zealand) Christmas images to go with my best wishes:

Pohutukawa tree 24 Dec 09

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Our pohutukawa tree is almost in full bloom now, I’d say about three-quarters completed.  That is enough to really draw in the garden birds.

Pohutukawa 4323

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A strong northerly blew up on the weekend, coinciding with an outgoing tide. That’s usually a recipe for some reasonably large waves at the entrance to Nelson harbour. There were very few boats out, people had obviously heard the weather forecast. There was a bit of entertainment for watchers on the hill, however.

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The other day we drove over to our favourite vineyard,  Neudorf at Upper Moutere, to pick up our mailing list order in person.  The place was packed, we hadn’t realised that a concert was scheduled for that afternoon.  Judy Finn, one of the owners, said ‘hi’ as she bustled in and out of the winery shop and we had a brief chat with her husband Tim (no relation to NZ’s famous musician) as we were carrying the wine back to our car.  The encounters were yet another reminder of just how nice it is to be back home in Nelson, after the anonymity of a big city. It was great to see that the Finns hadn’t changed a bit.  They still have a wonderful knack of making you feel that you are doing them a big favour by visiting their vineyard. Their modesty is despite their ongoing successes!  For example:…

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