25 Feb 2010 – What a Week

What a week its been! Things certainly have been hot here at Braemar and in Greater Auckland too. We’ve been full most nights with an eclectic mix of travellers drawn to the city by a wide variety of events; an AC/DC rock concert, Chinese New Year celebrations beginning, a conference on early childhood development and the Devonport Wine and Food Festival, to mention just a few. Talk about HOT! A northwesterly air flow has brought tropical air across the country and high humidity has meant things have been quite sticky. Daytime temperatures in the mid to high twenties and evening temps hovering around the late teens (degrees celsius) has encouraged guests to dive into Aucklands beautiful beaches and swimming pools and quite a few went to one of Auckland’s coolest attractions, Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Experience. A couple of guests borrowed our bicycles to pedal along nearby Tamaki Drive, a beautifully flat, sea breeze cooled ride through our inner harbour beaches. In this heat the house is well insulated by its thick brick walls and heavy glassed windows so guests can remain cool with-out the need for energy draining air conditioning machines. Couple that with a long soak in one of our old fashioned claw footed steel baths for the perfect “chilled out experience” .
Lately we’ve had a number of family groups with us, two brothers from Bavaria, sisters from Oregon, a mother and daughter from Canada and a couple from Toronto travelling with their daughter. Braemar was originally built as a family home and is perfect for this purpose again. Some of the activities they enjoyed included canyoning, observing rare native birds at the wildlife sanctury island, Tiritiri Matangi, wine tours of Waiheke Island and a water taxi tour of the busy port of Auckland.

John is working his way through an Indian cooking book based on Ayurveda, ” the science of life ” the ancient Indian system of mind-body-spirit medicine. As he learns to harness the power of freshly ground herbs and spices the kitchen has become quite the ” hot spot ” The exotic tastes coupled with the increase in wellbeing is amazing. Watch this space for more discoveries as he progresses through the books. A guest who wanted to improve the spoken presentations she gave from time to time had a vocal coaching session with John. She felt his guidance on supportive breathing techniques and how to relax and release the voice really helped her. Natural expression ought to be as effortless as free breathing and the confidence it instills enhances the whole personality.
Things we’re looking forward to in the next week include a house concert here Sunday afternoon with two lovely ladies singing soft jazz and the Lantern Festival just up the road in Albert Park; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this weekend. The grand finale is always the fireworks display, driving away the evil spirits and welcoming in the new year, the year of the Tiger. More about those and other exciting activities next time.

Sue’s busy with her choirs again, back into practice in the new year. The Heaven Bent Gospel Choir is learning some new African repertoire, and the Handel Quire is learning the Brockes Passion, both choirs doing concerts throughout the year. Tra-la!
All the best with love from Braemar on Parliament Street.

Sweetmans from Braemar on Parliament Street