On holiday, people spend to the moon. No expense is too great, it’s worth it; “Once in a lifetime!”. When it comes to creating new memories, I think this is a fair mantra, but when I see people shopping in boutiques or silly souvenir shops, I can’t help but think that there are better ways to go about procuring physical momentos from one’s jounrneys. I personally refrain from taking items from nature because I heard a saying once, and to paraphrase, “If all visitors took [the item], there would be none left for others to enjoy”, so I tend to go the route of locally-made art or tools, regionally-oriented clothing, or something along those lines – anything that has a more specific relevance to the trip than just another consumable.
January 1st was a beautiful start to 2015.
Thankfully, there is a local art market here every Saturday, which I had forgotten about until I stumbled into it this weekend. The level of craftsmanship was very impressive, and equally diverse. From animal hides, to hand-made textitles and jewelry, there was something for everyone. It provided me with a neat glimps into the lives of local artists and craftspersons, as I was fortunate enough to chat with a few of them in particular; Roger is a third-generation stone-carver, working with materials sources locally by his father; John is a local potter who chases the sun and clay between New Zealand and Sweden each year; I didn’t get the name of the man who works with hides, but he still keeps a dying art alive with is various cow, deer, sheep, and possum hides-turned-pillows/throws/hangings/etc.
Last night I lost the one momento I had purchased, an eNZed made knife from Svord. I’m bummed that this happened, both because it was money well-spent and because now I have to try to find another one like it (harder than it may seem). I enjoy finding items that speak to the charater of the person crafting, as well as being able to address my interests and needs. Those who know me will not be surprised that I’ve chosen to find a knife as my keep-sake, as I have developed a penchant for niché blades. Perhaps it will turn up, but I have a feeling that it has now passed into the hands of someone else as a momento of their trip to Queenstown, the cool knife they found on the street.