|Where the hobbits live?|
Take Wellington for example. If you wander down the Botanic gardens from the top of the cable car to the city you have the feeling of being in mystery-land.
At this time of year it is dank under the spreading trees and in one of the hill crevices which never seems to see the sun you discover a house with ferns growing on the roof. Surely hobbits live there?
|Pungas line the path|
Further down the hill the botanical gardens open out into a rose garden. The name, Lady Norwood Rose Garden, flips us from native pungas back into British colonial times. Perhaps the Lord of the Rings might sip tea there with Lady Norwood.
|Lady Norwood Rose Garden|
|Rose hips and trellis|
|Seddon on his plinth|
|Harry Holland grave|
Almost the first grave you see is that of 'Harry' Holland, 1868 - 1933.
Wikipedia says Harry Holland was a New Zealand politician and unionist who devoted his life to helping people. It doesn't say why he is buried under a statue of a naked young man whose cute buttocks face the path down the hill.
I studied in Wellington in pre-hobbit times and remember fellow students going to read poetry in the cemetery at night. Perhaps they did it so they could boast about it next morning. If they had paused to read the tombstones they would have returned chastened as there are sad stories amongst them.
|Duff family grave|
Hannah Duff aged 1 year and 9 months
Agnes Duff aged 8 years and 4 months
Margaret Duff aged 10 years and 3 months
John Duff aged 11 years and 10 months
Edith Duff aged 6 years.
The five Duff children all died of diphtheria within 12 days of each other in December 1876 to January 1877. Their father lived on until 1899 and their mother until 1912.
A motorway cuts through the bottom of the cemetery. A fellow walker told me she has a childhood memory of gravestones stacked together at the side of the road when the motorway was built.
Apparently when the site was excavated many more skeletons were found than had been expected. They were all reburied in a mass grave near the church at the bottom of the hill.
You leave the cemetery at the bottom of the hill and suddenly you are in the city center not far from the famous beehive which houses the country's Parliament.
A few steps more and you are on the wharf overlooking the harbour. The day I was there the sun shone brilliantly on the white sailed yachts and hillsides beyond. Wellington is certainly picturesque. I hope the Duff family had many such sunny days before they were so cruely parted.