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All The Family Huddled Around A Glowing Laptop

The times when the kids were growing up it was a tradition to have the laptop on and the Northern Hemisphere family watch as the presents are open. A lot has changed since this photo in 2017, the kids are young adults, my Dad is in a home, the Swedish side aren't allowed to travel to Wales due to COVID, and I won't be around the kids this Christmas Day. It's not so much the change, the kids were always gonna move on and with the divorce new rituals have been created. It's more that it's happened in 3 years, 2017 seems both a long long way away (as does January, remember then?), and yet close enough to touch. Whatever your routines are be prepared to change them, but keep the rituals . 

The Forum: Sophisticated cultural Wellington

This is the fourth in the Forum series as I pop up what people were talking about online before we knew about blogs and could do it ourselves - The Forum, as published by Mike Boyle (that was me back then)

This is from Kat who was traveling the world from Wellington on adventures new. This is dated 26th September, 2001 as part of her "Wanderings" column and might be one of the first Forum postings out there.


"Wanderings - by Kathrin Goldsworthy
(currently NZ)

And so it is! Sophisticated & cultural. Although how this relates to the featured rugby players remains a mystery!!
However, I have been known lately as a rugby fan - a great excuse to drink copious amounts of beer - and even been to Wellington's new stadium to watch the game.

And it was great!

There's something about the atmosphere which turns even the most ardent rugby non-watcher.

And the stadium!!! Pretty cool, as far such things go. When I last left Wellington, it was nothing more than a big hole in the ground - and now it's a biscuit tin, as the rest of the country likes to refer to it as. Okay so it's just a big grey round tin, but gosh darn it, Wellingtonians are proud. And it is a rocking place, although I must admit being a stadium virgin and left to my own devices, I did find navigating it a little troublesome. It's round!! And far too easy to end up walking around and around and around frantically hoping your aisle number will pop up some time soon (blame Mike, who insisted on meeting inside!!)

But once I had found the boys, it was time to settle down in the howling southerly to watch the game. Like I said, rugby for me is not much more than an excuse to drink a LOT of beer, but the atmosphere always gets you. And so I had a good time, trying to figure out which team I was cheering for, and come to grips with the fact they were being thrashed - at least I wasn't alone on that one! But the best thing about the stadium is still the hotdogs - cool, just like the ones you used to get at the A&P shows!

So that is one Wellington attraction I can tick off the list - and the other is Te Papa, our national museum. Now I lived here for four years, just down the road from Te Papa no less, and still never managed to make it for a visit (I have terminal get-round-to-it-it is) BUT, this time round, I did go! Yay for me. And it too is pretty cool - no better than that - awesome. The best thing about this place apart from being so big you need more than one day to see it all, is the fact that it is interactive. Not like the museums of my childhood, where you weren't allowed to touch anything, and could only get within an inch of the polished glass, which you were NOT allowed to leave smudge marks on all overseen by the tyrannical Mrs Hoyle. ("Move away from the glass children, NOW!" Scary woman that one). Not at Te Papa, where they all but force you to touch and poke and prod and stroke and kick everything. There are whizbangs and flashing buttons for every exhibition - very user friendly. I can't even begin to list here what is on offer and show.
If you want to know, visit Wellington and Te Papa for yourself (and just send me a cheque for the promotion thanks Te Papa)

And thus, I am very proud of myself that I managed to actually make it to some more of Wellington's hotspots before I once again flee these shores. Yes, off again, taking the memories of my city's views and chilly southerly winds, plus a few of my favourite things (giant mellowpuffs and Speights beer) with me - as I head into another Northern Hemisphere winter - my third in a year. Oh neat. Next stop Japan, not withstanding world wars and collapsing airlines....

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