Friday, April 1, 2011

Coasting

New Zealand Book Month has been a particularly busy time for me, and this week more so than ever. I had the pleasure of being invited to tour the West Coast, inflicting myself upon libraries and schools from Hokitika to Westport. Here's me in action at the Westport Library. If you look closely at the photo, they even gave me a support gnome on the table!


First thing I have to say is I had forgotten how beautiful the West Coast is, especially on a good day. It was sunny and warm the whole time I was away I spent most of the time traveling feeling gobsmacked at the scenery. Even the airplane flights were amazing, with spectacular views of Aoraki Mt Cook and the Alps. Here's a pic of Punakaiki or Pancake Rocks as they are also known.  I feel a family holiday coming on...


The Coaster's hospitality was fantastic and the audiences attentive and friendly. I was really impressed with the high school students I spoke to, who were impeccably well behaved and asked great questions.

So I had a wonderful time away, and even got to experience the best ever chicken and mushroom pie at Hokitika Cheese and Deli. I'd give it a 6 out of 5! And the coolest building - I loved the Westport Municipal Chambers.


It had been over twenty years since I had traveled to Hokitika, Greymouth and Westport, and I was delighted to see how much the towns had flourished since then. The libraries in all of these towns were certainly a vital community hub, and when you see the effort and passion the librarians put into their work and communities, with little in the way of resources, you realise how precious they are. So hats off to the Librarians!

7 comments:

Dorte H said...

I wish I´d been there - well, not ONLY to hear you, but also to see those rocks.

Margot Kinberg said...

Vanda - I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip. And those 'photos are just lovely! Such a beautiful place. I wish I could have heard you while you were on tour; such scenery and Vanda Symon - what more is there to want?

Vanda Symon said...

Dorte, if you are into rocks, you'd love those, the area is quite large and there are fantastic blow holes to spray you when you walk past too. The West Coast is gorgeous.

Margot, I had lots of fun doing the talks, you never know, I might get to the US one day - ever hopeful!

Shalet Jimmy said...

Very glad to hear that, it was a wonderful trip...

KAT ADL'S said...

I love the gnome..lol. Every home should have one or failing that a happy hen..???
I have just come in from the hospital(2nd to last round of Chemo for gaz-yaah),cracked open a stout cooked steak and laksa noodles and checked my email and blog..wondering whose blog can I look at that will give me a lift and I picked yours..it worked.thanks for being upbeat

Vanda Symon said...

Hi Kat, you're welcome (-: Do you have a support gnome? Or a flock of Happy Hens?

KAT ADL'S said...

Ha no gnomes yet.And I gave my happy hen away years ago..but I do have very contented chickens that wait for me outside my back door each morning if I forget to lock them in.
Re; the Rats...I have desiccated fruits that I have kept for years (they dried in the back window screen of my car when I was art school) and I have collected dead animals for my father to taxiderm but I passed on keeping the rats too.