They then came down to Waikanae - well, actually due west. Waikanae is 50kms due west of Masterton, but much further by road as they are separated by a large range of very high hills with no direct way across without a helicopter or by very long walk. In the UK those hills would be considered mountains, but here they are just big hills. So it is a drive of at least one and three quarter hours, down through the Wairarapa Plains, over the Rimutaka Hill which is about 3000 feet high, then over the much lower Kaitoke Hill towards Upper Hutt, from there it's a right turn into the narrow and winding Akatarawa Valley through the range of hills to Waikanae.
So late yesterday afternoon, earlier than we had expected, YAY YAY YAY, they arrived with us and it was such a lovely thing to see them all. Olek who is the spitting image of their lovely mother Marta, Karol who is a little Tim, and of course the lovely father bear, Tim.
Luke and Diane came for dinner with Lyall so that Tim had a chance to catch up with them. It was a grand evening - dinner was NZ corned beef (a corned silverside joint simmered in water for 3 hours with onion, golden syrup and vinegar), mash, lots of green veges and carrots, followed by banana cake (made using the world famous in NZ, and anywhere that NZers are doing their OE, Edmonds' recipe) with lemon cream cheese icing, accompanied by cream and hokey pokey ice-cream. Hokey pokey ice-cream is an NZ favourite - vanilla with chunks of hokey pokey throughout. It is yummy, and I decided that it would be a good homecoming treat for Tim in particular. Accordingly, the remains of the 2 litre container has gone back to Opunake, wrapped in copious layers of newspapers and a corrugated cardboard box. Hopefully it stayed frozen enough for them to make good use of it when they are back there.
This morning I took the boys to Southwards Car Museum. http://www.southwardcarmuseum.co.nz/
It is a wonderful tourist attraction and not seen enough - apart from being a lovely wedding venue as the gardens are great for photos. There are a huge number of old and vintage cars there and they are all special. The motorbikes are amazing - the early ones are so similar to bicycles and as they evolved they developed their own forms and became more streamlined. Strangely, in my view they, like the cars, have become less attractive as they have modernised. It is clearly a function of my age.
The boys enjoyed the museum - they are both keen on cars and their focus is on faster, shinier ones. About 6 years back, I took Olek there when he came to stay with us for a week from Opunake. He absolutely RACED through the place that day and we were all done in about 20 minutes! It took a lot of effort to extend the visit then but today it wasn't rushed. There were a few photos taken by me, and Karol was keen to take some of me too. So when you see them below recognise he's just 5. He did have the technique in how he held the phone tho - I could see his mum's hand position as he aims it to take the photos.
|There is absolutely NO accuracy in the juxtaposition of the child and the words ... Karol is a neat 5 year old kid.|
|Olek and the Impala, I think. He is getting tall (now taller than David's tiny mum) and the car is also very large - not sure I'd see over the steering wheel, BUT I do see over his head still.|
|Karol liked these Citroens - one seater CVs I think|
|Just so you know, he didn't like these Reliants, but did think they were funny with their single front wheel|
|Don't care what the car is, but I know that lovely grandson!|
|Karol with some of the more modern motorbikes|
|I think Olek took this one of me by what was labelled as the oddest motorcycle ever|
|I'm a bit fuzzy, thanks, Karol|
|And I am sure I am in here somewhere!|
|Don't tell them, but Karol is behind the rope. No touching though!|
|Love that boy, but what is the car? Actually, I don't care!|
|The attraction of these mirrors is universal, I think ... the lovely Karol looks like a smurf!|
|Cute, and we love them dearly|
A new NZ cap each (with obligatory silver fern of course) and a Trumpet ice-cream (similar to a Cornetto) before we headed home for lunch with discussions about Taranaki being a volcano and MUCH bigger than any mountains in Scotland, their new home.
Shortly after lunch they headed off back to Opunake. The only thing that made is acceptable to say goodbye to them and have them leave us was that we will see them again in 9 sleeps back in St John's Town of Dalry at their home.