Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Flying Visit To TCOTU

This weekend Mr Shoestring and I went on a flying visit to Napier to attend a special event.  Having complained about Post Delightful Event Disorder and the need for treats to aid in readjusting to “real” life, this was just what was needed.

The Queen of the South and her King have recently abdicated their southern throne and (fortunate creatures) relocated to Napier (also known as The Centre Of The Universe or TCOTU), where they have eagerly adopted new stations as The Duke and Duchess of Ringloes.  Their new home has been transformed into a light and airy treasure trove, and the garden also has been recreated and is now a kind of tropical paradise complete with lush banana trees, bromeliads and many unusual and obscure plant specimens.  They treated us to some wonderful hospitality and spent some time walking around the nearby streets, peering into houses and picking out the ones we would purchase were we fortunate enough to be able to move to TCOTU.  Some residents were possibly nonplussed to see us shamelessly peering through their front doors and into their gardens, but took it very well. 

The event the Duke and Duchess took us to was a strawberry tea at Duart House (built in 1882), in Havelock North.   How comforting to be back in art deco attire and to be surrounded by similarly attired kindred spirits.  The music was provided by Robert Cross of the New Mayfair Deconians who had a perfect voice for the era, and who played genuine instruments such as a 1931 four string guitar and a banjolele (which he used to great effect). 

The gardens were magnificent and though it is very late in the season the roses were blooming profusely.

 A never ending parade of scrumptious food and hot tea was brought out by waitresses in their 1930s style caps

and the strawberries (which must surely have been the last of the season) had come from a local strawberry garden.

We were all mightily impressed by this beautiful costume, which was created using an original 1931 pattern

and wished we possessed a car such as this one to make a stunning entrance.

There was even a croquet court which is still used by the local croquet club.  Mr Shoestring longs to play croquet (which is apparently a surprisingly vicious and strategic game), and gazed admiringly at the well maintained court. 

There was time for some gentle shopping as well and I had to dash back to the shop where I found this little plate and buy it before we sped off the the next store.  I love Melbourne and this brings back happy memories of days spent there.

Also there was a pair of hand crocheted cuffs to adorn a sweater for the cooler weather which surely must be on its way.

One of them is quite badly stained and I don't know if a session with lemon juice will remove the rusty marks.  Perhaps I shall have to resort to using Napisan - though I can just imagine the whole thing disintegrating before my eyes and I had better be cautious because I am usually of the "If a little's good a lot's better" school of thought where laundry and cleaning products are concerned.