Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Catching up

(I wrote this post on Sunday, but life has got in the way in the meantime. Rather than go through and change it, I decided to post it as is.)

I am now at the end of week 4 of being back into full time working and I am finally feeling as though I have a handle on the project - well, most of it! There are still bits that I don't understand but I am now standing more on my own feet instead of having to ask Mark, the former PM, what I should be doing about particular things.

I had been dreading flying down to Hokitika - little plane, Alps to cross - but it has been lovely, although I do get anxious when it's bumpy. However the bumps always seem to be as we fly over the plains, mainly because of the prevailing winds.
Mountains out the window

Those alps go on for miles!

Hokitika has had a run of fabulous weather since I've been going down there and the place is beautiful. A small town that is a tourist destination and very full in the summer months with a whole range of people coming through and staying over. It has the lovely wine bar I have posted about before and a great pizzeria called Fat Pipi's - for the non-nzers, a pipi is an edible (to some!) shellfish, collected from a short way below the surface of the sand between low and high tide marks. I haven't seen them down in Hokitika, but in North Taranaki, there are middens up in pa sites (fortified villages) with lots of discarded pipi shells. Anyway, Fat Pipi's pizzas are lovely and the service is great. Last week Kevin and I ordered a pizza, went for a walk along the beach to check out the driftwood sculptures still standing from the local competition, then walked back, picked up the pizza and went to the wine bar to eat it along with a bottle of a very nice local chardonnay. The wine bar provides plates, cutlery and serviettes, and gladwrap (clingfilm to you northern hemisphere people) and paperbags for carrying away the leftovers. (I took two pieces to work the next day for the guys on the team...)

It was the overall winner - Sea Diver. Really well done and made only with driftwood. There were lots of entries, many of them to do with mines. But this one was amazing.

If you want to see more of Hokitika, follow this link here: http://heritagemotel.co.nz/ This is the motel that I stay at. It's not on the beachfront, but it's across the road from the Dept of Conservation office where I work, and it's a two minute stroll to the river.
Across the river looking south-east, and a small part of the Southern Alps

Another small section of the Southern Alps looking north-east - the motel is back along the road to the left.
From the other side of the road is the view out to the river mouth. Next stop Australia.

It is a long weekend here in NZ - Waitangi Day (6 Feb) has been Monday-ised, so we have a three day weekend. David and I had planned to go to Tauranga to catch up with our fellow Zero Degreezers - the weekend was chosen because Barry and Pauline who have featured on the blog numerous times, are in NZ for a wedding. It was a good opportunity to have a rip roaring gathering and a very well-run meeting - we set an agenda, record everything in the minute book and then chairing the meeting is like herding cats ...

Because I am now in fulltime work, we decided that we would fly to Tauranga rather than drive as part of an extended roadtrip. So, in full sunshine here in the Wellington region, we took off for Tauranga. The air was clear and flying conditions were excellent - apart from the three loud bratty uncontrolled and ill-disciplined daughters of an incompetent loud mother sitting in the row in front of us. The youngest was about 3 years old and squawked and brayed past her dummy ... The older two scrapped and shouted and kicked the seats in front. The mother ineffectually spoke to them all, mostly saying that the steward or the lady/man in front of them 'would growl them'. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

So as I say, off we go towards Tauranga. The pilot did say that the weather was marginal there and he may not be able to land, but they'd arrange to take us to Hamilton and then put us on a bus over to Tauranga. But when we get ready to land in Tauranga, it's too cloudy, so we circle for a bit and then the pilot tells us they are taking us back to Wellington as they cannot get us a bus for us from Hamilton. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!  They'll put us on another plane to Auckland and then a bus to Tauranga - that's a one hour flight and approximately a three hour bus trip in holiday weekend traffic.  And all in the company of three loud bratty uncontrolled and ill disciplined kids and their incompetent loud mother. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Now I could have coped with them on the plane to Auckland, but sharing a bus with them? I don't damn well think so...

It was a pretty easy decision to abort the weekend's arrangements when faced with those travelling conditions. So home we came - to fantastic weather in Waikanae while it continued to rain in Tauranga for the next day or so.

That evening we reinstated an invitation to dinner at Kevin and Wendy's with Gary and Bruce and met two of K&W's friends. Then on Saturday Kapiti had the highest temperature in the country, but I spent most of the afternoon in the armchair watching movies - it was too hot to be outside, I was tired and blobbing was just what I needed. On Sunday morning I went to a couple of open homes nearby with Lynne who is staying with us at the moment, and David and I spent the arvo at Ted and Derek's in Otaki Beach meeting Ted's brother and sister in law who are out from the US on holiday.

And in the evening I had a call from the Zero Degreezers who have assembled in Katikati at Helen and Alan's place. They sent us a photo to be posted on here. It hasn't arrived yet, so don't hold your breath!
                        A ZERO DEGREES PHOTO SHOULD BE HERE!

Oh, and I forgot to say that last weekend we went to Edward and Chris's place for lunch with Gary, Bruce and Peter. David was very enamoured of the two dogs - well, any dog who likes its tummy tickled gets David's vote.
Glass of muscato on the coffee table, lovely dog to tummy rub - what more does a man need? I know: being able to wear a lime green floral shirt while seated on a Grace Kelly couch!

After lunch and a bottle of muscato, David decided to make me a cup of tea. I think it was the fact that their electric kettle is the same colour and shape as our one (not electric) on the boat that fooled him into thinking he should put it on the electric hob - or maybe it was because it is (was) branded Russell Hobb. Who knows? Whatever, it was the cause of great hilarity, once the smoke had cleared ...
Now what looks wrong about this?

Oh dear!

Dear reader, a new electric kettle has been purchased even though, amazingly, the newly moulded one with the re-shaped bum still worked,

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Oh dear indeed. But give him a pat on the back for trying hard!