Another Journey

Today is Thursday 1st October. Kia ora katoa.

Yesterday afternoon we returned to Wellington from Napier. We had driven up there last Thursday afternoon, after my last singing session for Term 3. As usual, I felt exhausted before we left, with the stress of getting away. But the drive north went fine.  We took the car, which meant I could take plenty of clothes I wore most things I had taken, the temperature ranging from quite hot to quite cold. We mostly had fine, sunny weather, apart from Monday, when there was a very gusty wind in Napier.

Apparently there was a storm in Wellington over the weekend, and snow and road closures in the South Island, but when we got back everything was fine.

Last Friday I went shopping in Napier. What a joy! After JD dropped me off, I walked into town, bought the newspaper, and had a cup of coffee and a mini doughnut.  Then I went shopping, browsing through sale items at Farmers, checking the shoe shop, the bag shop (there are lots of sales), and buying a new charger for my mobile phone (it’s in very sad shape, especially with scanning all the QR codes). 

I also went to the bookshop, and after a good browse, I had lunch. Then I walked to Clive Square, where I caught a taxi back to the motel.

That evening JD picked our daughter up, and we went to meet the group and have dinner at one of the pubs in Ahuriri. They were super busy! It was a nice evening, although there was a chilly breeze. Our group hadn’t booked, and one guy was having difficulty with his son. In the event we were down to five, and although we had to sit at a high table on bar stools, this seemed to me to be the best option. It gets really complicated to move people, cars, find another venue, and so on.  Although they were so busy, we ate very well, and our daughter (and I) managed the high stools.

The next day we had arranged to pick up our daughter after lunch. We bought a newspaper, and had a leisurely lunch (an omelette and corn fritters), before picking her up. We then went to the Aquarium, always great value for money. We looked at the tsunami exhibit, at the fishes, turtles, tuatara, and at the penguins. Although it wasn’t feeding time, there were two penguins out. We did the fish ramp-walk, and entered the kiwi house. It was very dark, but eventually we saw three kiwi, bigger than I expected.

Afterwards we went for a walk and wondered about going inside the Dinosaur Tent, but someone told us the show was over for the day.

We then went back to our motel where we had a wee birthday party for my son in the UK.  Our daughter blew out the candles!

That evening we went to Lone Star for dinner – her choice. They are always welcoming there, although we couldn’t go until 7:30 pm, they were so busy.

The next day was similar, although even hotter. We took our daughter to Pirimai Park for a swing and slide. The beautiful park was almost deserted. Afterwards, we went into town for coffee and cake (the café at Pirimai closed at 2:30 pm). After some games at the motel, we went to Café de Laos for dinner, where we had beautiful meals.

The next day, we did some legal stuff, and picked up our daughter for dinner again. We went to the Boardwalk, where (on a Monday evening) they were super busy! We had to wait a few moments for a table.

The next day we did some more legal stuff, and went to the Hohepa Shop, where I bought some Danbo cheese, some more raspberry jam, and some peach chutney. That evening we ate toast for dinner!

Next day we were due to meet our daughter and a carer at Hastings Hospital. This all went fine, too. Afterwards, we drove back to Wellington.

On the way, we managed to listen to some of the debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Oh dear, oh dear. What a ghastly display. The near-universal response is that people felt sullied (soiled) by it; they felt ashamed for America; they were shocked by it; that Trump’s approach to Biden paralleled his approach to Hillary Clinton when he stalked her in a menacing way back in 2016. The many notes in response reflected the general anguish – please let this be over.

When we got back to Wellington we went shopping. I found, to my surprise, that the Listener magazine was on sale again! In missing the puzzles, I had forgotten how annoying it can be! But there are lots of puzzles, and I’m happy with that.

Next day there was lots of washing to do, and the mail, which had been on hold, was delivered: a copy of the Listener (thanks, Magshop – I ordered this months ago), and another edition of LRB – very welcome, too.

Today is fine, although it was very cold last night. In Hawkes Bay I was very tired. I had no energy. I was a bit worried about this, and put it down partly to the change to Daylight Saving, putting our clocks an hour back. At least we weren’t in a rush to get back to Wellington.

Here in Aotearoa, there have been no new cases of community transmission of Covid 19 for the last few days. This is very encouraging, although some risks have certainly been taken. It seems that the contacts have been very responsible.  There continue to be a handful of cases in managed isolation each day, although today there were twelve new cases in what they are calling MIQ. Ten of these came on a flight from India. There certainly seems to be some risk there. There seems to be growing frustration with the restrictions here, such as they are. I am (and continue to be)  truly grateful that the infection isn’t rampant here. Australia have brought their outbreak under control, but in the rest of the world, infections are increasing.

That’s it for now. Nga mihi.

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