- Stargazers and night sky enthusiasts are calling for Dunedin to become the world's first "dark sky city". If the city's street lights are replaced by less light-polluting options (than the proposed LED ones), then it would be possible to see the Milky Way and auroras from all of Dunedin. I know a 6-year-old who would be ecstatic at that prospect!
- The talk was held on a Wednesday night yet attracted a capacity crowd of 900 people (split over two back-to-back sessions at the stadium). That's almost 1% of the city's population! I love that Dunedinites are into learning and finding out about new ideas.
- There is so much astounding beauty surrounding this city. Some of the jaw-dropping aurora photos featured at the talk were taken just a few minutes drive away from the city centre. And as Jordy puts it, in Dunedin, you just have to look up to be able to some spectacular sights. <3
Two nights ago, Jordy and I went to a talk about the Aurora Australis organised by the Otago Museum. It was interesting on so many levels, and really brought home why Dunedin is such a great place to live (and grow up in, lucky kids!):
This is the view from our local cafe. It's located in what used to be a fire station, and has some of the friendliest staff in Dunedin.
We've been here about four months now and really, I think Dunedin is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Here are three reasons why:
Happy New Year from The Turnips!
Since moving to Dunedin, I've been getting little *pings* from the universe, little nudges, as if to say, yes, you guys did the right thing by moving halfway across the world (and without jobs too!) to start a new chapter of life. Sometimes, the affirmation would come while I would be walking Jordy to school, both of us breathing in the cold morning air, and breathing out "dragon breath" as he calls it. "Look, I'm Smaug!" he would yell delightedly as he capered up the garden path.
Or like today, when we took an impromptu trip to Outram Glen, a 20-minute drive away. We packed a picnic, and drove through the golden summer heat, hoping to beat the crowds for a prime picnic spot. Once again, our urban Singapore mindset was jolted into reality when we got to our destination.
Remember, this was one of the most gorgeous days of summer. And there was the sum total of one other car along the entire stretch of dirt road bordering the clear river. One. An older couple with their two dogs who, judging from their impressive picnic set-up, looked liked they were planning to make an entire day out of their trip.
The universe *pinged* me then.
I just felt really blessed (that word normally makes me a little squeamish, but there you have it). Blessed because a spur of the moment decision led us to this pristine spot that seemed almost suspended in time. Because today turned out to be Jonah's first ever dip in a river. Because the kids got to do one of their favourite ever activities for as long as they wanted (pick up round pebble, throw in fast-flowing water, repeat). Because we got to get real fruit ice cream from McArthur's Berry Farm after. Because it dawned on me that experiencing something so special, so gorgeous, is now our new normal.
So this just happened. While having a lovely picnic at Doctor's Point, a giant, gleaming sea lion glided out of the ocean and started making its way purposefully to shore. In our direction. We respectfully left her to it and returned for our things once she'd swam away.
Two things I learnt today:
A library says a lot about the community it serves. And the Dunedin Public Library has just made my heart sing. Here are some reasons why:
1. You can borrow framed prints and posters from the kids and youth section for a few months at a time, for free.
2. If your child is sick at home for a few days, you can ring the library to let them know and they will make up a special parcel containing books and treats for your child to cheer them up. For free.
3. All patrons can borrow up to 30 books. There are no late fees for kids as (in the words of the librarian who signed me up) "we know how books can go missing at home and may take a while to pop back up".
It is a truly customer and community-centred library. More than that it seems to be staffed by really thoughtful and kind people. I just feel so happy that this is going to be my library!
"I started this blog to chronicle my family's adventures in Hobbit Land. There's rather a lot of pictures of garden vegetables in it. And food, lots of basic, honest, homemade food. Come on in!
ps: No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Those are radishes. I haven't gotten around to planting turnips yet!"
mrs turnip in the media
Asian Scientist Magazine parenting column
Dunedin TV story: "Local six-year-old attracts worldwide attention for nature documentaries"