The rain wasn’t going to stop us getting to Martinborough’s Mid-Winter Affair. We set off at midday on Saturday, picking up our friend Cyndi (aka ‘Latte Junkie‘) on the way. Traveling over the Rimutaka Hill the children in the back-seat played spot the waterfalls in the mist (of which there were many – albeit small – but nevertheless plentiful and persistent – trickling down the steep hillside).
We arrived in Featherston, the gate-way to the Wairarapa, without any traffic problems, but stopped for a wander in the lovely shops, and an all important coffee break, whilst enquiring as to the condition on the roads leading into Martinborough. Unfortunately our usual route was blocked, on account of a crucial bridge being under half a metre of water. So, we got back in the car and took the detour, around Carterton and Gladstone, to Martinborough.
We arrived in time for the start of the fair, which was running from 3pm to 7pm, despite the atrocious weather bomb! Large stretch tents, dotted with fairy lights, complimented smaller marquees that stood defiantly underneath the canopy of the trees in Martinborough Square.
The scent of mulled wine and mead filled the air, as people stepped carefully in the mud to visit the stoic stall-holders (it was a shame no one was selling gumboots, as they would have sold like hot-cakes!).
It was wonderful to see such a supportive turnout of people to support what was truly a mid-winter affair, falling on the eve of the shortest day of the year in a torrential downpour! I rather had my eye on a stylish new raincoat from ‘OTT Coats‘ but was too caught up in stopping my youngest from mud-sliding!
We hobbled between the stalls, seeking welcome shelter in each of the marquees, admiring the spirit of the choir singing in the rain.
We found magic in the ‘Pixiemoon Photography and Designs‘ marquee, where our younger daughters spent ages choosing a wand (our youngest couldn’t choose – and ended up with three… Well a girl always needs a few extra wands to share around when friends come to play!).
We marvelled over the lamp-shades at the ‘Made Marion‘ stall – an amazing place in Wellington that helps people get crafty, enjoyed tantalising our tastebuds with Macaroons, treated the girls to some lollies from ‘The Lolly Jar‘ and bought a couple of bath bombs from the lovely Ubuntu Skin Care stall.
Our eldest daughter stayed rugged up at the house in the early hours of the fair, watching a movie in peace, but joined my friend Cyndi and I later – when the fairy lights were twinkling in the darkness with full bling (and the younger girls had returned home with their Daddy for a warm bath and some magic making with their wands!).
She enjoyed a quick look around the market, before deciding that converse shoes in mud weren’t a good combination and headed to the warmth of The Village Cafe. We also made a quick pit-stop in the wonderful ‘Thrive’ store – where we all bought a pair of glorious ‘Thunderpants‘!
Feeling warmed up, with full tummies, we headed back to the warmth of the house and rugged up for the night.
By the morning the rain had finally abated and the sunshine lit up the garden. We harvested some delicious lemons, limes, feijoas, lavender and celery, before driving back to Wellington, the regular way (the river, though still raging at a very high level, had sunk beneath the level of the bridge overnight).
Such a wonderful break away, despite the weather at the fair, and we felt revived in spirit to face the final two-weeks of the school term (a long, 11 week, second term!). Unfortunately the rain returned, along with a cold southerly wind, today (Monday), but such is the weather in winter! We shall just have to make the most of it, as always!
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