October 9, 2013 … “about as high as a buildin’ orta grow”*

This is not my vision of Spring.

I want blue skies, lambs, cherry blossoms, ducklings and daffodils. And what have I got?  Trees thrashing about in a rain-laden Southerly, cold temperatures and gloomy grey skies is what I have got!

Having visited some of Wellington’s central business areas, and also Upper Hutt recently, I wondered if it was time to re-visit Lower Hutt. There was intermittent drizzle yesterday, and somehow that reflected more or less accurately, the state of the city outside of the big Westfield Queensgate Mall. To be honest, there is little in the mall that I visit, apart from an excellent sushi outlet.  On the other hand, there are fewer and fewer useful shops still in business. And nothing kills off a shopping area quicker than a surplus of empty shops.

South end of High St, Lower Hutt

Too many “for lease” signs

My first shot is looking South along High Street. Apart from the empty shops there are a few food outlets, some cheap “fashion” shops, a glorified pawn broker, and some retailers of cheap plastic junk.

Queens Drive, Lower Hutt

“I counted twenty gas buggies going by themselves”*

Queens Drive, seen here looking South from Bunny Street, seems to be faring marginally better than High Street, though there are still some rather sad down-market shops. Clearly the main street glory days are gone. Though there is little similarity with the real life Kansas City*, I can’t help feeling that malls and superstores have locked the centre of Lower Hutt into a 1960’s time warp. 

Royal Spoonbill

Nothing to look cheerful about

Somewhat depressed I went down to the river at Petone (cue Alison Krauss sound track), and saw a juvenile Royal Spoonbill moping about in the company of a pair of black swans.

Waxeye feeding

Rain or shine, they have to eat

As the rain increased, I walked along the path towards the boatsheds. My mother often told me I didn’t have the sense to come in out of the rain. Anyway, movement in the bushes caught my eye, and I realised that there was a group of waxeyes (Zosterops lateralis) feeding on the spring growth. They were wet, bedraggled, but still lively in their     feeding.

That will suffice for the day.

* “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City” From the stage show “Oklahoma” (Richard Rodgers / Oscar Hammerstein II


About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in adversity, Architecture, Birds, Lower Hutt, Petone, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to October 9, 2013 … “about as high as a buildin’ orta grow”*

  1. Adam Rosner says:

    I wonder how much of that big brick “Mackay house” is un-tenanted.

    • I don’t know Adam. I believe it needs some work to bring it up to the required 33% of current seismic code, as does the Gibson Sheat Centre opposite, but as far as I can see from close inspection of the image, there are lights on in most floors.

  2. Pamela says:

    Shopping malls and internet have killed inner cities, such a shame about Lower Hutt, it used to have the best fish shop that I have ever seen run by greeks, DIC, Woolworth, Farmers, its was great when I was a kid: Ho hum I am no longer a kid but feel sad that they force us to shop in those noisy malls. Do you think anyone will be able to get the place up and going again.
    Thanks for the photos and I love the wee waxeye.

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