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New Zealand: A Country with Bags of Natural Beauty

2 Feb

I’m dreaming of the warm weather and stunning scenery of New Zealand today. When we visited in November 2015 we were blown away by the natural beauty of the country. So today I thought I’d share a few of our photographs of this amazing place.

View looking north up the west coast of the North Island © Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

This is a view looking north up the west coast of the North Island. It is taken from a viewpoint just off the hill road, having driven about 45 minutes north from Wellington. The hill road was incredibly winding, but was worth every second for the lush farmland vistas we drove through and the stunning coast line we saw when we reached the peak. This still image may seem calm but the clouds were in fact fast moving. You can see from the white surf on the sea that it was not an entirely tranquil day. Wellington is known for its winds, and we definitely got to experience their full effect.

© Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

I can’t get over the water in this shot. The harbour is the most amazing shade of glistening blue. Backed by hills and fronting the harbour, Wellington certainly did well in the natural beauty stakes. It is a small and compact city, at the tip of the North Island, with a laid back feeling. The air seemed incredibly clean and clear. It reminded me a great deal of Vancouver, Canada. We took this photograph looking down from Mount Victoria.

© Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

We took the Interislander ferry from Wellington on the North Island, to Picton on the South Island. This three hour crossing is an amazing experience in itself as you sail across the Cook Strait and then up through the Marlborough Sounds before reaching your destination. You pass numerous little coves and bays. The deep blue waters contrasted beautifully with the rugged green shoreline.

© Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

We stayed on the South Island in a Bach (the New Zealand term for a holiday rental, an abbreviation of beach house) overlooking the Queen Charlotte Sound. This was the view we woke up to from our balcony. Pretty stunning don’t you think?

© Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

Queen Charlotte Sound in all her glory. Scenery so special you don’t need words.

© Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

We spent a very happy day touring the Marlborough wine region. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is world famous, and my favourite wine. It was a wonderful experience to visit the vineyards of the wines we drink at home. This is a view of part of the Brancott Estate near Blenheim.

© Jess Bruce 2016

© Jess Bruce 2016

A final shot, of boats in Okiwa Bay, at the base of Queen Charlotte Sound.

We were only in New Zealand for six short days. It was a flying visit to see our friends in Wellington – being in Australia for our honeymoon, we were much closer to them than we are living in the UK! But we absolutely loved New Zealand and can’t wait to go back on a longer trip to explore the country much more.

All copyright and related rights in the photographs in this post (and all other posts on my site, unless otherwise stated) rest with myself. Please do not use any of my images without seeking my prior permission. 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

7 Jan
Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Northern Queensland, Australia © Jess Bruce 2016

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Northern Queensland, Australia © Jess Bruce 2016

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016!

I hope you all had a wonderful festive season. I last posted back in November just as Mr B and I went off on our honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand. We had the most amazing month of relaxing, exploring, walking, swimming, eating and drinking. It literally was the holiday of a lifetime. And mostly my energy stayed strong and ME/CFS behaved, more on that in a future post.

We got home early December and were immediately fully submerged in the whirlwind that is the Christmas season, hence the blog silence.

But now with the new year just begun, there is time to sit and breathe again. And I thought I’d take this opportunity to relive some of my favourite holiday moments by sharing some of our photos – a somewhat lazy, on my part, first blog post of the year, I’m easing myself back into reality – but fun for me and I hope enjoyable and uplifting for those of you reading this too. This is just a taster, we have 100s of pictures!

Happy New Year everyone!

Tropical Paradise, Port Douglas © Jess Bruce 2016

Tropical Paradise, Port Douglas © Jess Bruce 2016

View from our villa's deck on Bedarra Island, off the North Queensland coast, 'barefoot luxury' paradise. © Jess Bruce 2016

View from our villa’s deck on Bedarra Island, 30 minutes by boat off the North Queensland coast, ‘barefoot luxury’ paradise. © Jess Bruce 2016

Our ride for the day exploring desert islands, this was our spot for a gourmet picnic lunch. This picture, so serene and calm, precedes our return journey when our boat filled with water and the motor failed! © Jess Bruce 2016

Our ride for the day exploring desert islands, this was our spot for a gourmet picnic lunch. This picture, so serene and calm, precedes our return journey when our boat filled with water and the motor failed! © Jess Bruce 2016

Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand. This was at the start of our day wine tasting at many of the Marlborough vineyards. © Jess Bruce 2016

Queen Charlotte Sound, South Island, New Zealand. This was at the start of our day wine tasting at many of the Marlborough vineyards. © Jess Bruce 2016

Wellington harbour looking stunning from the top of Mount Victoria. No filters needed, all natural beauty here. © Jess Bruce 2016

Wellington harbour, at the bottom of the North Island in New Zealand, looking stunning from the top of Mount Victoria. No filters needed, all natural beauty here. © Jess Bruce 2016

Bondi Beach on a super hot day © Jess Bruce 2016

Bondi Beach on a super hot day © Jess Bruce 2016

A true world icon, Sydney Opera House. Speaks for itself. © Jess Bruce 2016

A true world icon, Sydney Opera House. Speaks for itself. © Jess Bruce 2016

 

Leaving London Town

26 Mar
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament at dusk. © Jess Bruce 2015. All rights reserved.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament at dusk. © Jess Bruce 2015. All rights reserved.

All being well, this will be the last post I write from our flat in London. Tomorrow is scheduled to be the day we complete on our flat sale and house purchase. It is the long awaited moving day!

I have lived in central London since July 2006 when I graduated from Uni and moved here to go to Law School. Mr B joined me a year later.

For the last 4 years we have lived in our flat in East London. Tomorrow we move 11 miles south from here to Chislehurst, a small town just on the border between the outskirts of Greater London and the county of Kent. It is definitely the suburbs with bigger houses and lots more greenery than we have here. Although we are not moving geographically that far, it is going to be quite a life change with a whole new lifestyle opened for us. I’m so excited about it, not least because the kitchen at the new house is huge and we will have our own garden. We have loved our time in London, but now we are looking to the future and ready for the next step.

I also see this move as another big step forward in my recovery from ME/CFS. I was severely ill when we moved here back in 2011, totally confused, lost and scared by my diagnosis of ME/CFS. It has been our home as we have charted my journey thru ME/CFS. And although, my illness is still a part of our lives, it feels like we are a drawing a line in the sand in leaving here. The worst years are over and the best is yet to come!

I hope to be able to keep blogging in the next few weeks but with unpacking and getting internet connected at the house, that may not be possible. But I will be back as soon as I can! For now I will leave you with a few pictures of London. I took these last year when we went for a ride on the London Eye. Enjoy.

The London Eye, River Thames and Big Ben © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

The London Eye, River Thames and Big Ben © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

The Shard, London's tallest building © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

The Shard, London’s tallest building with the towers of Canary Wharf in the background © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

Big Ben clock face © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

Big Ben clock face © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

Buckingham Palace in the distance. © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

Buckingham Palace in the distance. © Jess Bruce 2015. All Rights Reserved

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