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Christchurch Mandy Henderson New Zealand Podcast TTT Season 4 The Virtual Journey

Season 4 Episode 26: Travelling to New Zealand with Mandy Henderson

RETURN
I am home again.
My house seems too large, too empty.
In the silent hollow,
I fill vases with flowers.
Flowers for the kitchen window sill,
Cornflowers, lavender, nasturtiums.
Flowers for the bedroom,
Geranium, roses,
And some for the table.
The old posy ring brims full,
And in the stillness of the blooms,
There travels birdsong without,
And words within.
 Mandy Henderson (Written in Dec 2014, after a family visit in Timaru)

Tea with Mandy in her Garden (Photo Credit Mandy Henderson)

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this adventure with you.

Living in the reality of Covid-19, travel has been curtailed, internationally as well as domestically.   While travel is coming back, I have found, over the past months, that travel is possible through the alchemy of technology.

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia – “The Virtual Journey” which will explore new horizons through the eyes of a friend.  As Marcel Proust reminds me, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Today, I am traveling to New Zealand to meet up with my blogger friend, Mandy Henderson. New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses: the North Island and the South Island and over 700 smaller islands.

I invite you to put the kettle on and join the conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia. I have never been to New Zealand and am excited to be sharing this adventure with you.

In Mandy’s Garden (Photo Credit Mandy Henderson)

Thank you, Mandy, for an amazing travel adventure. I felt I was New Zealand with you.

Dear listeners, thank you for joining Mandy and me on Tea Toast & Trivia. Homecoming is a place of belonging and well-being, where we are at one with ourselves and with the world around us. As Mandy wrote after a visit with family, “And in the stillness of the blooms, There travels birdsong without, And words within.”

Until next time we meet, keep safe wherever your adventures take you.

In Mandy’s Garden (Photo Credit Mandy Henderson)

Travelling to New Zealand with Mandy Henderson Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

78 replies on “Season 4 Episode 26: Travelling to New Zealand with Mandy Henderson”

Thanks for introducing me to Mandy. I’ll be checking out a world map when I’m done listening. Forgetting to put a country on a map seems outrageous.

I know so little about New Zealand. This was fun. Mandy, you really are a person of the world. I like your poem and I appreciate knowing more about it and what it means to you.

Thank you both for a fun and interesting session.

Liked by 4 people

I am so pleased that you joined Mandy and me for afternoon tea in her garden. New Zealand is still on my bucket list, but with Mandy, I felt that I had actually slipped through my iPad screen and found myself on the other side of the world. Don did check out the maps! New Zealand was missing on quite a few! There is a wonderful tourism campaign that involves New Zealand and the map. Here is a link that I think you will enjoy.

Liked by 5 people

I am delighted you listened in, Linda. Mandy has been an amazing support and encouragement to me over the years. She inspires life-affirming conversations. I remember the first time I read “Return” and now I keep the poem close by to use as a source of meditation. Many thanks for joining Mandy and me for afternoon tea in her garden.

Liked by 4 people

Thank you, Linda. Rebecca is a wonderful host and makes conversation easy. I wasn’t confident I could do this but with Rebecca’s encouragement I managed to tell some of my story. I hope I have given you a taste of New Zealand, as I know it.

Liked by 3 people

I am delighted that you listened in, Johanna! Mandy is a wonderful friend who has been a support and inspiration to me over the past amongst 10 years. I agree – it is nice to hear a voice reach out across the WIFI. Many thanks for your heartwarming comments.

Liked by 4 people

Oh, how sweet you are. I started blogging so long ago. When I started I was too timid to even mention my real name but here I am now, thanks to Rebecca’s encouragement, letting you listen to my voice! It has taken me a long time to get this far but I am glad that I have. More adventures to come, I am sure.

Liked by 3 people

Fingers crossed, Steve and Eve. In September, Air NZ, is introducing its Auckland to New York direct flights so we will have even more options for flights to the US. .Interestingly the cheapest one way flight is just under $1300. That’s a good deal considering that a flight from here to Fiji seems to be around $500 to $600 at the moment. Thanks for listening in. I remember your visits with fondness.

Liked by 2 people

I am delighted that you listened in, Steve. How wonderful to learn that you and Eve have traveled to New Zealand and stayed with Mandy. I can only imagine the great conversations you had in her garden. Many thanks for your comments and visit – very much appreciated.

Liked by 2 people

I am glad that you introduced me to Steve and Eve!!! As Anne of Green Gables once said: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

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I am delighted that you listened in and joined Mandy and me for afternoon tea in her garden. Isn’t it wonderful that friends, from opposite sides of the world, can meet for a great conversation via technology. Sending many hugs back to your with all speed.

Liked by 3 people

I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Mandy. It was wonderful to hear her voice. I had no idea she was such a world traveller! I particularly enjoyed the story of how her ancestors emigrated from England. There is still so much I have to learn about New Zealand!

Liked by 3 people

Lovely to have your company, Liz. I, too, still have so much to learn about New Zealand. And there is still so much of the country I want to explore. Yes, I was once a world traveller. I think I made my first international trip when I was about a year old. When I came to live (again) in New Zealand in 1999, my rate of travel decreased substantially. Most of my post 1999 trips were to Queensland, Australia, to help care for my parents who lived there with my sister. In 2019 I went to Fiji for my nephew’s wedding but since then I have been grounded because of the pandemic. I am not in a rush to travel again but there are a few places I dream about visiting eg my great grandmother’s home in Clackmannan, Scotland. I may get there. I may not. 🙂

Liked by 3 people

There are so many places around the world I would like to visit, but I’ve developed such an aversion to airplane travel, I’ll have to be content with armchair travel through books, blogs, and podcasts.

Liked by 3 people

Many thanks for joining Mandy and me for afternoon tea in her garden. How exciting to travel to Botswana to get married! I am looking forward to hearing more about Mandy’s adventures. I felt that I had slipped through the iPad screen, as if were a magic portal, and ended up on the other side of the world.

Liked by 3 people

Thank you, Rebecca and Mandy, for this absolutely wonderful conversation! I wish I could adequately describe my joy hearing more about this wonderful place. I heard about New Zealand very early in my life. My Aunt and her husband in their world travels visited New Zealand when I was about eight years old. Of course, I do not remember much of their description, but have never forgotten her verry positive story. Then, my husband was in the area just at the last of the Second World War and helped with what they called the “Clean Up”‘, His description, of the area, even at that sad time, was very positive! I am not able to write about all that I enjoyed, but I want to mention KIWI. I do not know if that is the correct spelling, but we enjoyed this fruit in Brazil, one of the very delicious tropical delights!! And, I could go on! ! But, I want you to know that I really look forward to your continued story.

Liked by 3 people

Thank you, Frances. I am so glad you joined us. From your comment it seems that we can look forward to many more stories from you; the world travelling aunt, kiwifruit in Brazil, and your husband’s WW2 service, to name just a few of them. I think it was my father’s WW2 service in the Solomons which piqued his interest in the Pacific, as well as a trip his father did to Fiji prior to WW2. My father sometimes spoke of wanting to visit the Solomons again but that didn’t happen. Perhaps that was for the best. He may have found it quite hard going back. Later in life he would become quite tearful talking about the men he knew ( and also those he didn’t know personally ) who weren’t lucky enough to come home again like he did.

Liked by 2 people

I knew that you would enjoy afternoon tea with Mandy. Isn’t it amazing that we can connect with Mandy even through we are on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. I remember something from a long-ago conversation that that Aunt Violet and Uncle Lonny visited New Zealand to meet up with family. It is possible that Mandy is living close to our relatives.

Liked by 2 people

Hi Rebecca, thank you for this introduction to Mandy, it is lovely to listen to her talking about New Zealand. My family visited Auckland and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Rotorua. We were there because my oldest son was representing South Africa in the Kid’s Literature Quiz which originates from Auckland. We did get to see a Kiwi bird and also to eat the fruit which the New Zealanders eat with the skin on (we were surprised). I loved the Buried Village at Te Wairoa so much that I even wrote a short story about it called The Warning which is in an anthology called Wings & Fire compiled by Dan Alatorre. It was all about the eruption of the Mount Tarawera and the destruction of the Pink and White Terraces and the village. The story uses real people and Guide Sophia is a character. I had to do a fair amount of research in the Maori people and their culture for this story and it features a lot of Maori words and names of places. We were very impressed by the traditional stories, canoes, and traditional whare’s (I’m not sure about the plural for whare). Anyhow, it was splendid to hear Mandy speaking and remember this marvelous adventure. The Buried Village is one of the most poignant and memorable places I have visited on my travels.

Liked by 3 people

I am delighted that you joined Mandy and me for afternoon tea in Mandy’s garden. You have the best travel and research adventures, Robbie. I would love to travel to New Zealand on day – still on my bucket list. I found Wings & Fire by Dan Alatorre. Thank you for the recommendation.

Liked by 3 people

I hope you like it, Rebecca. I had three stories in that book and one was about the farm murders in South Africa. I toned it down from the real story but some readers were horrified and thought it was unnecessarily violent. I was actually sending a message about the horror of those attacks, but you may prefer to skip it.

Liked by 3 people

Thank you, Robbie, for joining the conversation. As a Kiwi I can say that not all of us eat the skin of the kiwifruit. In fact I was quite astounded to learn, only recently, that some of us do. Last month, in the interests of citizen science I tried to eat the skin. I will not be repeating the experiment even though the skin is supposed to be packed with nutrients. How lovely that you have written a story about the Buried Village. With your research and your writing you will know more about that part of New Zealand than I do. The last time I was in that area (Rotorua) I was about 8. My clearest memory is one of worrying that I might fall into a thermal pool. I hope your son enjoyed the quiz.

Liked by 3 people

Hi Mandy, my son and his friends loved their visit. We visited some great places during our time in Auckland including Waiheke island, Hobbiton, and Scott’s Cabin which has been moved to the aquarium. We also visited two fabulous museums to see the local artwork and historical memorabilia of the Māoris and the European people. We couldn’t go to the South Island sadly, we didn’t have enough time. You should visit Rotorua one day, it is incredible around there and such small cows.

Liked by 3 people

Wonderful conversation, Rebecca and Mandy! Great to learn so much about New Zealand — its history, the Maori, the welcome current prominence of women in government, and more. I can’t imagine a better “spokesperson” for New Zealand than you, Mandy, and it’s also impressive how many other countries you’ve lived in.

Liked by 1 person

I am delighted that you joined Mandy and me in Mandy’s garden. We have had a wonderful time together with all the friends that dropped by for a chat. New Zealand is a remarkable country. What I would love to discuss next with Mandy is all of the writers that came from New Zealand. I know Katherine Mansfield, which Mandy introduced to me several years ago, but I have found names such as Ngaio Marsh, Keri Hulme, Margaret Mahy, to name a few.

Liked by 2 people

I will have to get busy, Rebecca. Margaret Mahy and Ngaio Marsh are familiar names in Christchurch. Both lived here. The main children’s playground in the city centre is named after Margaret Mahy. Other well-known NZ writers are Lynley Dodd and Joy Cowley.

Liked by 1 person

You are very kind, Dave. I tend to be enthusiastic about wherever I live, or, at the very least, I try to focus on the good things I see. One of the biggest surprises of my life was how much I enjoyed the US ( mainly east coast ). I had never had even the smallest desire to visit the US but ‘fate’ (or employers) sent me there 5 times. All 5 times were wonderful.

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