Thursday, February 16, 2012

What a fabulous weekend!

Before I start rambling on about my weekend and boring you with a million pictures, I just wanted to pop a pic on with my blanket progress.  I am really, really loving working on this and it is steadily growing.  All the required colour variations have been made so it's just a case of repeating them now which is great as it means the only decision I have to make is where to put each square.  No more having to think about what colour should go next in the rounds!!
I can't wait to have this on my bed for winter - it is going to make the room look so cosy and inviting - well that's the plan anyway!  I am looking forward to this evening when I can plonk myself down for the entire night with my hook in hand.  Project Runway is on tonight and I am a complete addict, as are most of my girlfriends, so it's a good excuse to sit and crochet at the same time.  Fantastic! Then tomorrow morning we all chat and compare notes about the show, convincing ourselves we could do a better job than some of the contestants! So now I'll tell you about my weekend ...
My husband was lucky enough to receive a fabulous invitation to an event at Government House on Saturday.  As he was invited by the event sponsor, it also included a tour of this stunning venue and VIP treatment for the rest of the day (woohoo!).  I live less than 5 minutes from Government House and I have never been there so I was beyond excited.  I managed to keep my cool for all of about 20 minutes then the camera came out and I took more photos that your average tourist!  I wasn't alone though - there were lots of cameras doing exactly the same.  The event was an outdoor concert performed by the Wellington Orchestra and it was held on the front lawn.  I will warn you now - there are quite a few photos!!
Government House is the official residence of the Governor-General, the representative of the Queen of New Zealand.  It was built between 1908 and 1910 but has recently been hugely refurbished and only re-opened in March 2011.
The grounds are stunning - I still can't believe how substantial this property is when all I've ever seen from the road is the gates!  Just beautiful.  Our current Governor-General His Excellency Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae was seated only a few metres from me so I was on my best behaviour.  I thought it was lovely that he told us that Boots the vice regal cat, had been tucked away safely indoors so he wouldn't get such a fright when the 16 cannons went off during the 1812 Overture.  Boots might have been less frightened, but personally I just about fell off my chair!!  Even though I knew to expect the cannons, I didn't realise that they were on the slope just up behind our seats!!!  Blimey it was loud.  I was filming it in anticipation, and looking at it now all you can see or hear is my camera shaking violently every time there was a boom and the occasional swear word - oops!
Inside it was just beautiful.  I'm so chuffed that somehow I managed to get most of these pics with no other people in them even though our group was fairly large.  This pic was in the main entry/hallway.
The very grand, long dining room.  Each chair back was hand embroidered with a different crest for different regions of New Zealand.
 I loved this red fireplace!
 Lots of historical paintings.
 Beautiful Maori carvings.
 I think this room was one of my favourites - it had a lovely feeling of calm about it.

 I can only begin to imagine the famous folk who have been in these rooms!

 The view out onto the back garden - looking out onto Wellington city.

 Now this chair would look good at the end of my dining table!
This room really made me oooh and aaah.  This is where all the action happens with big events including our honours lists, when folk are given titles etc.  Mmmm Dame Leah - for her services to crochet .... I don't think that's likely!

Imagine attending a party in this room - just gorgeous!
 Not such a great pic, but the view to the gardens were just lovely.

And this is the back lawn!  We were greeted on this balcony and thankfully we were given beautiful sunhats which came in very handy later in the day.  When we arrived it was freezing so we had dressed for the cold.  By the time the concert started 3 hours later it was absolutely roasting and even the posh fellas around me had kicked off their shoes and socks.  All I was worried about was fainting in the heat and everyone thinking that I'd had too much to drink when I hadn't had anything!!  Thankfully I kept my cool with the help of my programme being used as a fan.  Boy it was hot.

I love this shot.  I don't think we were necessarily meant to see it but I couldn't help but get a pic.  One of the panels was being worked on and underneath were lots of signatures and scribbles collected over the years.  I wonder what else is hiding behind these walls?

This is the back of the house where we had our drinks.  I told you there'd be lots of pics didn't I!  It was such an amazing day - I want to have them here as a memory.
Then on Sunday it was my lovely mother and father-in-law's 50th wedding anniversary!  What a truly fantastic milestone.  My husband is one of five children and they all arranged the most lovely party.  I made the cake and was thrilled with how it turned out.  The only blip was that I'd ordered a tiny floral arrangement to go on the top corner of the cake but when it turned up it was huge.  It doesn't look that big in the background here but it was!  Luckily we had bought some little artificial ones as back up.  I have a serious dislike (to put it politely) of fake flowers but these ended up looking quite sweet.  And as the rest of the family pointed out, they can be kept as a memory forever.  My mum-in-law even had her wedding dress, shoes, headgear and wedding telegrams on display.  Miss 4 got to try on the wedding dress while standing on a chair.  She thought she was the bees knees.  Happy Anniversary Jo & Ian!
Right - I'm off now to do some quick baking as I have a few girlfriends popping in for morning tea.  I just love this new cookbook I got earlier in the week at a crazy bargain price - the photography is so pretty and the pages are matt so they feel quite old fashioned.  Love it!

Before I go I just want to say a huge thank you to Kristen from Cozy Things for passing on a lovely award to me!  I'm sure you've already seen her stunning blog but if you haven't you must whizz over there immediately!  Especially to see these - I have revisited this post many times and can't wait to make some too.  Talk about gorgeous.

And also a huge thank you to TwoLuLa  for passing on an award too!  It made my day ladies - thank you so very much.  

Thank you for making it to the end of this rather long post!  Have a fabulous week everyone - see you next week.



  1. Wow, what a lovely post, your blanket looks fab!

    The pics of your posh day out are great, what an amazing opportunity, I do like those blue chairs with the crowns on.

    You did a great job at the cake, looks lovely and fancy your little one getting a chance to try the dress, how lovely.

  2. Your blanket is completely gorgeous and utterly NEAT! Love the grand piano room at government house, can see myself relaxing with a book or crochet hook in there. Have a super weekend.

  3. Very beautiful blanket. And a great idea with the changing coulors!

  4. Just discovered your blog and am loving your crochet (so envious of the grannies and great color combination!). I'm from New Jersey and so appreciate being able to "visit" a faraway land through a great blog!

  5. I just love your blanket, the colors are awesome! We are Project Runway fans at my house too. How exciting for you to visit Government House, must have been quite the event! Have a great week!

  6. Well Dame Leah, I loved these photos, thanks for sharing your fascinating day. This was really interesting, lucky you.
    I also love project runway, but did not realise it was back on

  7. Wow what a busy weekend you have had, what an amazing building that is very grand. Your blanket is coming on a treat well done you.

  8. Services to crochet - what a fantastic idea! Think the queen should hand out a few of those every year!! What an amazing weekend. Love your cake & as for that blanket - makes me feel cosy just looking at it. We need heat here & are all longing for spring. x

  9. Heehee Dame Leah, only if I be too then. Mind you I think I prefer the title "Lady" - I'll have to wait for the other half to be awarded his Knightship and then I can be Lady Kylie ;)
    Seriously, all I can say is WOW. I'm so jealous, would have loved to come with you, but I think our squeeling with glee together may have been frowned upon at Govt. House!

    Love your blanket, and oh the cake looks beautiful!

    xxxx K

  10. Beautiful photos hon! My uncle was the project manager responsible for the restoration of Government House, so its lovely to see the photos. He actually made the Queen's honours list for the work he did, but I am ashamed to say we havent been to see it in person yet...what a bad niece ah! Your cake decorating skills are brilliant - what a gorgeous cake! xxxx

  11. It does look like you had a really wonderful weekend. Happy belated anniversary to your in-laws -- 50 is certainly something to celebrate. Your blanket is coming along beautifully. I'm working up granny squares, too, but combining colors doesn't come easy for me. :/ Best wishes to you, Tammy

  12. Ooh, very lovely! And I am completely crazy about your granny blanket. LOVE the pinks. Your room will look so fab this winter! :)

  13. looks like you did have a wonderful weekend. I love seeing the pics of the Government House.
    Your blanket is looking mighty gorgeous:D

  14. Hi Leah! Wow, I love your photographs! Such a wonderful weekend! And your blanket is going to be amazing! Loooove all these colourful granny squares!
    Have a wonderful week!


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