Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Soundshell

It’s summer time in Wellington, and one part of the city’s programme of events is the ASB Gardens Magic concert series, which is, as the name suggests, a series of concerts. In a garden. The Botanical Gardens, to be precise, which has an area known as the Soundshell, built precisely for this purpose.

The concerts stretch over 3 weeks, and we’ve been meaning to go to one for a while now…but the weather has either been inclement or there’s been something else happening on the night we wanted to go. Finally, however, we made it on Wednesday.

Many moons ago, we won the quiz at the Shepherd’s Arms in Tinakori Road. Due to the fact that I rarely go to Tinakori Road, we hadn’t in fact been back there (although Nicola visits it every Monday, to rehearse with the choir), we hadn’t used out winnings, which came in the form of a bar tab for $50. Tinakori Road is, however, extremely adjacent to the Founder's Entrance to the Botanical Gardens, where the Soundshell is. This, we decided, was the perfect opportunity to use our winnings, so we went and had dinner there of Thai beef salad and blue cod ‘n’ chips, washed down with some Speight’s beer in my case and a glass of the inevitable sauvignon blanc in Nicola’s.

We’d brought along some of our picnic equipment – blanket, glasses and glass holders, to hold our bubbly. The concert proved to be a popular one, and all the flat area in the Soundshell was occupied when we got there, so we were in the reduced-visibility section on the surrounding slopes. 

Picnickers and pizza-eaters

We could see and hear what was going on, as Jesse James and the Outlaws gave of their best. The musical style was folk, and they played a couple of waltzes as well; they invited people to come up to the front and dance in competition for one of their CDs, but I think we were too far away to take the trip to the area in front of the stage. Looking on, no-one was really waltzing that well, so had we gone down I’m sure we would have swept the board with our well-honed waltzing chops. Another opportunity missed.

Jesse James and the Outlaws 

As the evening progressed the sky darkened, and the lights under the trees added to the atmosphere. 

Spookily-lit trees

The band continued to play until about 9:30pm, then we wended our way home over the crest of the hill in the Botanical Gardens, and downhill to The Terrace.


  1. Ossum mid-week night out, peeps. Lovely pics.

    Here, the weather he sleets. Ees no nice.

    Enjoy summer.

    H x

  2. Sounds lovely. I'm waiting for spring here, but it's gone very cold again.

  3. Hi there Music and cricket fans,

    I've been off-line for 2 weeks, combination of gremlins in the CPU and I have changed my provider. Am now with btinternet and new email address will be with you soonest. Hope it works. Reason for change, BT is cheaper. Tomorrow Ma and I are off to mess at Chatham for curry lunch and after lunch speaker Professor Brigadier Richard Holmes. Armstrongs and Illsleys coming with us. Brig Holmes is one of the foremost military historians in UK.

    Weather still coldbut no white stuff this end of UK. Ma, H & D plus ankle biters off to Malta 13 Feb, house hunting. I'll eat in the pub.

    Bye love to you and Nichola, Ma and P xx

  4. You really do seem to be making the most of what's on and what's around!
    Love the spookily lit trees!