Friday, September 7, 2012

You just can't beat it

"I have heard of it blowing a gale, and half a gale, but if ever it blew a gale and a half it is doing so at the present moment." - Lieutenent Best.

Let me tell you a little something about my city: Wellington, New Zealand.

Because of the funnel effect created by the close proximity of the north and south island's mountain ranges, or what the Maori once called the "river of wind", Wellington is notorious for its wind. Every now and then, that wind is a southerly that makes its way up the country with remnants of Antarctica on its tail. Sometimes it rains, and we all know the city is often not the nicest place to be when it rains, let alone when that rain is travelling sideways, lashing your entire body, no matter how hard you try and cover up with jackets and boots and scarves - and don't even bother with an umbrella.

The wind actually nearly prevented Wellington from becoming a city at all. Before the early nineteenth century, people found it extremely hard to put down roots here, and it wasn't until British sailing ships found sanctury in its harbour that it became an attractive option for colonial settlement.

"Yet even as the raw township grew into a thriving metropolis, there was always that sense of living on a fault-line, of frail wooden houses clinging to hillsides that might throw them off any minute." - Wellington: Biography of a City by Redmer Yska

However, us Wellingtonians have a little saying that gets us through the harsh winter winds and sideways rain: "You can't beat Wellington on a good day."

And you really can't. I would challenge anyone not to smile when the sun is out in this amazing city.

And although today we've had some pretty intense wind, grey skies and a bit of rain, this is what it looked like this time last week, on the last day of winter:

1 comment:

  1. Exactly! I love our city!

    x Olivia