While we wandered around, the school caretaker was there mowing the lawns, so he came over to chat. Mike spoke about how the school is now and it was very heartening to hear that most of John's initiatives were still going strong.
What was also great to hear was how the current principal, the deputy and the assistant are out in the playground every playtime and lunchtime, organising and playing games with the kids - no opportunities for clique-y groups to start picking on others and bullying, no opportunity to get up to mischief. Just lots of fun with adults participating.
John was very involved in community affairs in Masterton; he'd been on the Trust Lands Trust, and the Licensing Trust, he was Deputy Mayor for some time and on the council for longer. As a mark of respect for his service, to education and to the larger community, the council named a street after him. It is in a little new housing area called Casel Mews. The only street in the shape of a cross (unfortunate ...) is called John McDonald Mews Drive.
|Casel Mews with John McDonald Mews Drive - and he did have Masterton at his heart.|
|One of the very new houses - no garden yet and no trees! If John was alive, he'd have been around there donating them and helping them plant them - or at least telling them how to do it ...|
|And two more very new houses with the proud son ...|
Lunch was with Warren and Pete at Addiction Cafe in Eketahuna (we do live it up large in backblocks NZ - well, not really backblocks as Eketahuna is on State Highway 2 - one of our main roads). Addiction Cafe is well worth a stop - lovely food, excellent coffee and very friendly service.
Such a lunch required an afternoon nap - more classily known as post prandial ... So we stopped in a roadside layby and snoozed. Actually David snoozed and snored, so I sat at the table and read with my earplugs in.
Then it was off to Pahiatua to Edward and Chris's place for new year however we got lost on the way. The wrong gate number was entered into the GPS software. after an explanatory phone call, we found the right place on the right road. But it was an adventure (David called it a mis-adventure) and we saw some amazingly spectacular countryside on the way - places that have to be re-visited at leisure.
Chris and Edward have bought a big old place with about 900 bedrooms and 25 lounges. OK, I exaggerate but not by much ... We, however, had the Mote, and Pete and Warren had their motorhome, so the four of us were parked up away from the house. A good thing for me, actually, as I sloped off to bed at about 10.30 - if I'd stayed up I would have drunk too much, been too noisy and badly behaved and then not slept well; so discretion was the better part of valour for me. David stayed up though and won the Pass the Parcel game - as one of the few straight men there, it was ironic that the prize was a rainbow toothbrush 😏😜😍
We had thought about heading for the Hawke's Bay on 1 January, but decided to come home instead so David could get on with some work. And a good thing we did, as Tim phoned the following morning to let us know he and the boys were coming down to stay. Lovely stuff! So the boys are using the Mote as their ensuite bedroom and Tim is in the spare room/sunroom inside.
Kirsty came out on the train this morning from Wellington for brekkie and a swim. I have just dropped her off at the station to head back to her friend Lisa's place for her last night before returning to Sydney tomorrow.
Change of topic:
Now the following photos are for Mick and Julia and other boaters. This is Foxton in NZ - quite a different place from Foxton in the UK - NZ's Foxton probably has more people living in it, but it is less of a tourist attraction and there isn't a gongoozler in sight! It does have a windmill (not sure why, but I think there was a fairly large contingent of Dutch who settled there last century), and it used to have a collection of old buses and a neat shop where I bought two china chickens once ...
|I think this photo was taken as we went past the school - note the speed camera on the left.|
|And the water tower ... Note also the blue sky, and the man in the previous photo wearing shorts, a short sleeved shirt and a cap - it is VERY VERY WARM here!|
OK, that's it for now.
Another change of topic - rant follows:
Have a happy new year, folks, and now it's 2018, can't we be done with Trump, the dumbster, please? I am getting bored waiting for his denouement, even though much of the stuff that keeps coming out is the stuff of bad melodrama! If someone had presented a film/TV script to producers even 3 years ago with the crap that has been occurring since 2015, they would have been told to go away and put a bit more reality into it!
Well, that's my first rant of the year over - but if he isn't gone soon, there will be more where this has come from - you have been warned!