Jeremy Baker

The grandkids brought their chickens with them on holiday. We even set them up with their own ‘batch’ under the olive trees for shade. They enjoy their supervised outings around the garden as well! 📷 🐓🪴 #garden #chickens #holiday #batch #Hōkio #HōkioBeach

Chicken coop under shady olive trees.Olive trees in a garden with a chicken coop beneath.Chicken coop with two people waving. Two chickens in the foreground.Two chickens enjoying foraging under lush vegetation.

Started reading: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr 📚

I was gifted this last Xmas - and didn’t get around to reading it. It has stayed at our beach house all year, and now we are back and it seems like a good time to start. 😜

Hōkio garden bliss 📷 #garden #Hōkio #HōkioBeach #Horowhenua #Summer #Aotearoa 🇳🇿

Lush green garden with mown lawnWooden decking and stairs with garden bushes and trees Nikau palms and other undergrowth Queen palm and olive trees

Ōtaki Expressway first drive

Today I drove on the new Ōtaki Expressway from Pēka Pēka bypassing Ōtaki township for the first time. It was a great road to drive on, and despite it being only two days until Christmas there was barely any traffic. There was a very short slowdown as traffic merged back into the single lane highway beyond Ōtaki.

There has been a lot of debate about the expressways being built north of Pōneke (Wellington). I wish that these had been matched by similar investment in rail. But these roads are replacing very unsafe single lane highways, and provide resilience through a second road north out of Wellington.

Ōtaki township can now become its own centre, rather constantly jammed with state highway traffic.

The final stage of the expressways will take the modern road past Levin, where two state highways head off in different directions.

I strongly support upgrading rail between Pōneke and Palmerston North. But these expressways are also critical.

Here are some photos from traffic cameras on the new road today:

traffic camera view of a new, largely empty expressway traffic camera view of a new, largely empty expressway

Continuing exploration of shading trees in Pōneke. These are on Cuba Mall. 📷 #Shade #Trees #pedestrian #public #greenery #WellingtonNZ 🇳🇿

Trees shading a paved pedestrian mall. Trees and plants shading and filling a pedestrian mall.

Just arrived: The Wordhord by Hana Videen 📚

Heard a lot about this - can’t wait to dive in :)

Currently reading: The Glass Wall by Max Egremont 📚

This one is interesting so far - a travel book - but deeply steeped in the complex history of the Baltic states.

Shade-giving trees in inner city Pōneke. 📷 #trees #shade #InnerCity

Trees and undergrowth in an inner city area. Footpaths, crosswalks and roads under shading trees. City buildings beyond. Trees and undergrowth in an inner city area. Footpaths, crosswalks and roads under shading trees. City buildings beyond.

Today’s book purchase: “Procopius: The Secret History” (Folio Society, 1990) from the excellent Ferret Bookshop on Cuba St, Pōneke. 📚#Books #SecondHand #History #Roman #Byzantine #FolioSociety

Hardback book with cover in the form of a full red and green mosaic showing two figurative lovers. Book sits atop a plain cream coloured cardboard sleeve.

Viral 'tripledemic' is keeping many of us sick for weeks at a time

From a Washington Post story today:

As Year 4 of the coronavirus pandemic approaches, Lane and other doctors agree the overlapping viral surges and how they are playing out are unusual and concerning: Patients with back-to-back respiratory illnesses. Simultaneous infection with three or more viruses, or with bacterial infections, such as Strep A. Otherwise healthy people suffering for weeks, rather than days, with simple colds.

This has pretty much been my story this year. It’s a bit of a relief to see it’s not just me. But tragic on a global scale…

Washington Post: “Tripledemic” - Covid, RSV and Flu Surge

It’s a big one. 📷 #Construction #Infrastructure #Water #Pōneke #Wellington

Four men in hi-visibility jackets inspect a large reinforced hole in the ground. They are surrounded by digging machinery and safety fences. Taranaki St, Wellington and the Methodist Church in the background.

Bird flying over a Pōhutukawa tree in Te Aro park. 📷 #Pōhutukawa #tree #bird #park #TeAro #Pōneke #Wellington #AtaMārie

A bird flies over a tree with dark green leaves and red flowers. Park with water features with geometric shapes and coloured tiles in the foreground. Buildings behind the tree. Clouds with spots of blue sky above.

Pōneke and Te Whanganui-a-Tara from Mata-i-Rangi lookout; view across the city and harbour to Te Ahumairangi hill. #AtaMārie #morning #views #pōneke #wellington 📷

View of a city and harbour ringed by hills from a lookout. Green trees and vegetation in the foreground, blue skies with flecks of clouds beyond.

Summer is in full bloom in Pōneke.

Pōhutukawa tree in Te Aro park.

📷 #Pōhutukawa #Summer #Pōneke #Wellington #Aotearoa #KiwiSummer

Pōhutukawa tree with dark green leaves and bright red flowers in a small park. Blue sky above.

Finished reading: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan 📚

Really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed the great story telling, the strong characters, and the exploration of traditional Chinese mythos in new ways.

Apartment renovations story

Today’s Pōneke / Wellington newspaper has a story about the recent renovations to the apartment that my partner and I have lived in for 22 years:

Guests love trying to find the way in to the secret room of this New York loft-style apartment in central Wellington

Many thanks to Kylie Klein-Nixon for the story, and to Andrew & Lynnette Scott (designers & project managers, Design in Residence), Liz Mark (design consultant), Phil Maxey (builder), and Reilly Joinery for making it a reality!

Also thanks to Oliver Cain for the wonderful piece, "Jeremy + Bill", which features in the story.

Wide angle shot of a loft-style apartment with wooden floors and steel beams. A richly patterned rug in the foreground. Two men on a couch, one higher than the other. Art, dining furniture and many designer lights fill the background.

Photo: Monique Ford / Stuff.

First negroni in a long while…

End of a long saga in Kiribati

It has been a very long year for my partner, Judge Bill Hastings, as a serious constitutional crisis has unfolded in the Pacific island state of Kiribati.

I am extremely proud of the work he did in Kiribati before and during this crisis, and of the integrity and measured judicial approach he has demonstrated throughout.

It is deeply sad that what started as a wonderful opportunity to help the further development of an independent and increasingly indigenous judiciary in Kiribati has ended the way it has.

The article below provides a good account of this week’s developments:

New Zealand judge resigns from top-ranking Kiribati judicial position

A Wikipedia article provides the full background to the constitutional crisis:

2022 Kiribati Constitutional Crisis

Flowers of Kirikiriroa

baskets of flowers in an alleyway abundance of flowers in pots and planters

Kirikiriroa and the mighty Waikato awa (river).

View of a full and wide river through lush subtropical foliageview of a full dark green river with lush trees and a boardwalk along the nearby riverbo

Not a bad day.

view of a marina on sunny day, still blue water, houses on hills behind

Andrew Bayer Live at ABGT500 Los Angeles

Andrew Bayer's live set at Above & Beyond's Group Therapy 500 at the Banc of California Stadium is now available to stream and view.

This was one of the top sets of the weekend; we were also lucky enough to see Andrew live in a much smaller venue at the Academy LA the night before, where he also played a great set.

Youtube Video

Apple Music 

Spotify

Album cover - Andrew Bayer - ABGT500 Live from Lost Angeles

Lies are the path to totalitarianism

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.” – Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism 💬

Flowers of Te Aro streets

Flowers seen on a walk along Te Aro streets.

Finished re-reading: The Ness Of Brodgar - As It Stands 📚- an overview of the current state of the excavations at this Neolithic site on Orkney. #Archaeology #Prehistory #Neolithic #Orkney