My thoughts today are with Queensland. For the families who have already lost so much and the city folk preparing for a pretty tough couple of days. It puts my whining about our wet Queensland holiday well and truly in perspective. Australia is a pretty tough old place to live sometimes.
I thought I'd press on and show you a little patch of Kiwi paradise...
We've just spent a lovely week away.. most of it in the Marlborough Sounds on the tip of New Zealand's South Island. We've returned feeling refreshed and relaxed and as though we've been away for weeks. I think you only ever feel like that when water is involved.
We stayed in Queen Charlotte Sound with friends who have a family bach you can only reach by boat - a privilege for us to be invited to stay. They built their holiday home themselves twenty years ago, digging out the site mostly by hand and then bringing in all the building materials by barge and lugging every piece up a steep winding path. Incredible. Even the sofas we sat on would have been a job and half to haul up there. This is the view from the deck...
Much of the Sounds is inaccessible by road and of course that's what makes it such an incredibly beautiful spot. Lush thick native bush sweeps down steep mountains straight to the water. Much of the more accessible bays were farmland fifty years ago, now the bush has taken over and in between are baches and boathouses.
We went to visit friends staying a little further out. It's hard to believe that some of this was ever farmland. Their bach is one of only four in the bay and has no power - just gas and solar panels for the lights. A simple delicious lunch, stone skimming, swimming, kayaks and cricket on the shingle beach. A day to remember.
Actually, all in all, a week to remember.
Oh and it may look warm and inviting but the water is pretty refreshing (as in pretty damn cold) - if it wasn't the place would be overrun.