Mornings keep happening to me.
At least this one was less extreme than the previous one, though a real breakfast proved elusive. My chosen workshop was led by a visiting Australian expert, and we went to “Old St Mary’s Convent” just out of Blenheim. This is a vineyard estate set up to provide luxury accommodation and a wedding venue. While it is true that the building was once a convent it wans never so on this site. Instead , it was transported from its original location in Blenheim to its current location in the vineyard. My colleague and I travelled independently of the bus used by the rest of the group and were thus the first of us to discover its magnificent riverside location.
The building itself retains some of the grandeur of early colonial wooden church architecture, but for me, the star of the show was the splendid setting.
I took many shots but I was taken by the small details. For example these tiny fungi were on the leaf-covered path beside the river. I got down very low for this shot. Someone more knowledgeable than I on these matters said that these would not last the day before melting away.
After a session with our workshop leader in which we learned a few new tricks in Photoshop, we went back tp the conference centre for lunch. We arrived at the same time as the town’s main ANZAC day parade was reaching its conclusion at the same spot, Since RNZAF Woodburn is nearby, the parade was led by a platoon of RNZAF personnel with bayonets fixed and swords drawn. As an aside, for a military unit to do that in a civilian area in peacetime usually signifies that the unit concerned has been “given the freedom of the city” .
behind the RNZAF came the old soldiers or their surviving relatives. Then came contingents of the emergency services and finally the youth of the scouts and other service organizations. I found it profoundly moving that, at the terminal point of the parade, the youngsters marched passed the veterans and rendered an eyes right and salute. There are some fairly arcane military protocols about who should render salutes to whom and in what circumstances. The past and present service personnel replied to the salutes with applause as the young people moved by.