Tuesday 31 October 2017

A weekend away with the boys

On Thursday last week, David flew off to Brisbane to see his sister's new home (I was originally going to go, but work came along and we cancelled my ticket, then work got deferred/postponed/cancelled - not sure which - and it was too expensive to re-purchase my ticket). So I decided on a weekend with the boys.

I joined Bruce and Gary at Pete and Warren's place in Carterton. It was the Wairarapa Agricultural and Pastoral Show and we were going on the Saturday.
Two Toyotas - my small old grey/silver one, and B&G's beast. And the view from my bedroom over to a neighbours' place
Pete and Warren have two of these large plastic magpies - great for changing birds' minds about flying through their verandah - and pooping on the way through ... I think I need a few strategically placed around our garden to discourage them from scratching so actively for lunch in the bark/mulch and spreading it all over the place. GGGRRR!!!

Warren loves having the livestock grazing on their two paddocks. He feeds them the grass clippings and they trot up and down the fence line by the driveway when he is mowing that section - just waiting (and reminding him) for the clippings to be dumped over the fence. Talk about the grass being greener ...

But Friday night came first and there was a modestly sized gathering at P&W's place - much chat and laughter, and for me, a couple of new faces. Still and all, I went off to bed early and slept as soon as my head hit the pillow, I think. I hadn't slept well the night before, as it was the first night David was away and my imagination runs riot about the noises the house makes ... 😫😨😱

So even though there was loud chat, lots of laughter, a bottle of chardonnay** swept off the bench to the floor with a resounding crash, I slept on. And even though the front door was right next to my bedroom, I didn't hear anyone leaving. 😴

We had consulted the A&P Show programme and there seemed to be a general consensus that the shearing and the wood chopping had to be seen for some reason. I lost the guys almost as soon as we arrived as I had to get cash from the EFTPOS service, so I wandered lonely as a cloud while they wandered elsewhere. I managed to buy an Xmas present for a friend, a loaf of ciabatta (merely as comparison, you understand, as I had taken a home-made loaf over to P&W's and I wanted to see what the differences were) and a wet weather fedora-type hat for me - I am starting a collection of that hat style as it is the only one that suits me, and as Kirsty says, if you like it, get one in every colour ...
This wee dress was in the sewing competition, and it reminded me of the dresses that David's mum Mary used to have made for Kirsty when she was little.

I couldn't find the guys and I couldn't get in contact with them either, so decided to walk back to the house - it was sunny and warm with a slight breeze, so not too hot. I did wonder if my silver shoes would be up to it, but they seemed fine.

However, shortly after I got to the main road (the state highway no 2, no less) I got a text telling me where they were. A text exchange followed and Gary said he'd pick me up as they were leaving. I was instructed to wait at the Clareville Nursery and Garden Centre. Of course I was obedient; I had been there the day before with Pete and while he spent about $5 on a marrow plant and a pumpkin plant, I'd spent $75 on a rhododendron, a climber and a tree.
The first rhododendron. The second one is a very very pale lemon - so pale it is almost, but not quite, white.

So while I waited for Gary, of course I had to go in - $32 later for another rhodo, Gary turned up. I did tell him it would have been cheaper if he'd told me to meet him at the cafe ...

Lunch was out at a lovely cafe in Carterton. Very friendly service.

And I liked this tip jar - not that I approve of tipping, mind you - esp not in NZ!

Real grated chocolate on these cappucinos! Yummy indeed!

Warren borrowed Gary's Johnny Cash hat - an actual Johnny Cash hat from the US, not just a cheap knock off, I tell you for real.
The food was lovely but I was still full from brekkie - toasted cheese scones and scrambled egg with lots of other yummy stuff in, so I couldn't really do it justice.

Then a nana nap for me and a SCAN for the others, as they are not nanas. SCAN is a senior citizen afternoon nap. It even sounds medicinal, whereas a nana nap just sounds elderly ...

Dinner was out at a very nice Thai/Vietnamese/Malay restaurant called Marigold which is BYO alcohol - Carterton is quite small, so fusion is important and BYO is a key success factor. Even so it has about 5 or 6 eating out places plus takeaways. And Marigold was quite busy - filled with diners and takeaway customers. I was still full so didn't finish my Tom Ka Gai either. ** Gary had swept the chardonnay off the bench the night before, but told me not to worry - he had a Ponder Estate chardonnay in the boot of their car - I do like their style as they travel with their own wine stash! Ponder Estate chardonnay is VERY nice indeed! It was good I was sharing, as I didn't need more stuff in my stomach!

And then breakfast on Sunday was at Everest cafe in Featherston which is south of Carterton, so it's on the way home for Bruce and Gary and for me. So a three car convoy, followed by a very very nice breakfast for all of us. But boy oh boy, I didn't need any more food for the rest of the day, and ate very little on Monday too.
Gary (under the paddle), Warren, Pete and Bruce with his back to the camera
Warren had grilled asparagus in bacon with poached eggs and rosti

Gary had the Everest Big Breakfast - in the ramekin is cauliflower cheese - interesting addition for brekkie, but seems to fit somehow.

Pete's quiche was apparently nice but didn't really have the breakfast look ...
My eggs benedict - very yummy

Bruce had ranch eggs - they weren't called that, but it's what they were. Kidney beans, tomatoes, chorizo and eggs poached in the mix. I have made these before and the eggs take ages to poach in a tomato mix - clearly tomatoes have a lower boiling point than water!

Then home. And as I came on to Gray's Road in Plimmerton, almost out to State Highway 1 and within about 20kms of home, I get a call from Pete - AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I had left my plants behind!!!

Stupido in extremis - I has been so careful to check the bedroom, the lounge, the kitchen for any of my belongings. but I hadn't looked outside where the plants were nestled in the shade under B&G's bedroom window!

So on Monday, I drove over to collect them - good to see P&W after such a long absence 😏

They gave me a cup of tea and some girl guide biscuits to sustain me for the trip home. Which led to a discussion about where Griffin's biscuits are made now, which led to Pete looking it up on line. Which led to the shock and horror finding that Griffin's gingernuts are now made in the Philippines - triple AAARRRGGGHHH!!! That's the end of buying them then! An NZ icon being made in the Philippines? What is the world coming to?


Catherine H said...

I'm in Australia (grew up in NZ), and have bought Griffins gingernuts from time to time. I'll have to have a look next time I find them. I also try to avoid food made overseas (with the exception of NZ), like tinned pineapple from the Phillipines, when there are plenty of pineapple growers in Aus. Tinned beetroot now, is nearly all from NZ. SPC, the old jam and tinned fruit company in country Victoria nearly closed down a few years ago, but after publicity were able to stay open. This made many people actually look at the countries where their food is coming from. We have been in SE Asia lately, and were able to buy some Waitrose brand products, and I had a hard time finding out "Product of" on the label, so maybe this is not a requirement in the UK? Or, they have different labelling for exporting to countries where this is not required.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hi Catherine,

Our discussion about the provenance of Girl Guide biscuits was because we all noted they tasted different from our memories of them - more like cardboard than shortbread. And all three of us remembered the Griffin's factory in Lower Hutt and the wonderful smells that used to emanate from it - I used to teach in Wainuiomata and the road there went right past the factory ...

Today, as our supply of gingernuts has dwindled right down, I made my first ever batch of ANZAC biscuits - they are yummy even though they don't look like others I have sampled in the past. I think I am going to be making biscuits from now on, so we know where they come from! Out comes the Edmonds Cookbook ...

Cheers, Marilyn