Container Arrival….

Great excitement on Friday, as the container with all our new wares from our April buying trip back to Zimbabwe arrived on our property.

It took one man to unload it off his truck in about four easy movements – amazing to watch and the whole process took less than ten minutes.  Archie was pretending to be the M.A.F. & Customs sniffer dog, but what he did not know was that they had checked it over thoroughly at Napier Port.

In April this year we spent a month in Zimbabwe carefully selecting pieces for the Gallery from the art communities, as well as seeing our family and friends. 

These are a few of the pieces we selected from Chitungwize Arts Centre and are being unpacked as I write this.

Sophie (our daughter) helped select many of the pieces with us and our instructions are strictly not to unpack any of the boxes without her – it is just like Christmas with paper and new treasures everywhere!

We’ve just unpacked these amazing water bowls hewn from rough stone.  Here we are with the artist learning more about them.  We will have quite a selection of water bowls this season, they are lovely and always popular as functional art pieces.

We have also bought quite a few pieces of Weya Art work – hand painted village scenes on board.  This is their stand at the Harare International Festival of the Arts which was on whilst we were in Harare.

We did not eat at this restaurant, but it was one of many that have sprung up now that food is readily available again.

The roads are no better, this is going through the industrial sites one morning on the way to deliver pieces to the packing company.  Doors were firmly locked!

This was the traffic jam on the way back – a lot of patience was required as the driving appalling.

This depressing photograph was on the way to Tengenenge Sculpture Community, the birthplace of Shona Sculpture in Zimbabwe, about three hours north east of Harare.  The Chinese plunder and pillage of the countryside was very evident, with little ecological or social consideration being given.   They are open cast mining for chrome and the damage to the wilderness areas is huge and cause for great environmental  concern.  This is taking place right next to the sculptors village where their lives are being compromised with dust and health issues. Workers are being flown in from China rather than employing local people with no compensation being paid to any one other than officials.

We were fascinated to see a Zorse – zebra cross horse.  They are not very common, and not to be encouraged as they have mean temperaments, hence the photo is not a close up!

Back to New Zealand…. the Conservatory and Terrace is into its first week with building having started.  Noel Sangster, another wonderful local man and retired carpenter is making us a new gate for the flowering cherry walkway.  He arrives in various vintage modes of transport – last week it  was on his 1962 Vicky Super Luxus – Victoria model (hope I have got that bit right) but very cool indeed!

Today it is in his 1964 Ford Thames Duck Egg Blue Freighter – what a truck!

Last Sunday we were all treated to Mr Clarke Jnr. who arrived with his children on his steam driven tractor to buy some sweets from the Birdwoods Sweet Shop.  What a way to go to the Sweet Shop on a Sunday afternoon!

Even Mr Clarke thought Archie was OK.  Archie just wished he could have a hat like Mr Clarke’s!

Photographs of Mr Clarke courtesy of Julia Whyte of Diana Black Design.

Until next week, thank you for your reading time, from Louise and all at Birdwoods. x

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