Not a Chill to the Winter but a Nip to the Air
They tell us June 1 was the first day of winter here, so we have been expecting the worst. But as of yet, the days have been sunny and warm and the nights have been nippy and cold. We stay in evenings and keep the fire going.
On Thursday, I thought it was so beautiful that I would navigate the 10 minute drive to the Nelson Golf Club and have a go at a game. When I got there, I was not charged as I am a member and my annual $280 dues covers all greens fees. I was given a personal score card that had my name and handicap already printed on it. The pro, Richard, put me right into the Thursday competition with a group of regulars.
I was partnered up with Owen Kirkit, the editor of the local paper, the Leader. I had to quickly learn the scoring rules using the Stableford method. There was also in the bet, something called "The Haggle" which was so complicated, I still don't know what went on, except that we broke even and nobody paid anybody. After the game, I had a pint of the beer that they drink here, Speights. Owen told me that, generally Americans are not well thought of because of Bush. The Kiwis cannot believe we were so ignorant to elect him....TWICE!
I told him that is one of the reasons we left the country.
The next morning, I was jonesing for a bagel. The only ones here at the store are like Lenders and I wanted a Bruegger's. There is a place in Wellington, Wholly Bagels, that has NY style bagels, but they want about $1.50/bagel and they have to ship them overnight across the Cook Strait via courier.
I wonder if the guy has them in a special briefcase handcuffed to his wrist?
We heard there was a store in Mapua, The Naked Bun, that sold home made bagels, so we took a ride out there.
No, it doesn't work that way, they don't sell bagels; they sell sandwiches on bagels.
However, you can pre order them a week in advance, they are mainly plain and they cost 1.80/bagel. There were some in the display case surrounding already made sandwiches and they did not look like they were worth it. I ordered a fine Spanikopeda and will probably be eating the Lenders for breakfast.
While we were out in Mapua, and it was a beautiful sunny day, some of us thought it would be a good idea to get some exercising by taking a hike. Others in the group were looking at the dessert tray.
So off we went to hike on Rabbit Island.
Rabbit Island is not an island, nor are there any rabbits. The name reflects only 2 lies. Perhaps it was given this moniker by our Uncle Bert, a well know prevaricator.
We drove down a road thru a marvelous forest bordered by parks and picnic areas until we came to a huge beach that was about 20 miles long. There were sand dunes at first, then a soft beach sprinkled with shells and sea birds. The only problem was that it was very crowded. We counted at least 6 people the entire time we were there.
We walked on the beach, the sun was warm. We saw a fisherman who was net fishing. He caught some baby sharks and released them back. Some seagulls nearby were hoping he would toss them ashore. It did not work that way.
Turning away from the sand we went inland into a vast, thick, forest with myriad trails and walking paths. The sun shone mystically through the branches and everything smelled clean and green. While in the forest we saw new kinds of birds and plants and giant (dare I say) mushrooms.
We wound our way back to the car and sat on a bench to watch the water. Soon up pulled a car and a guy and his "mum" got out. Mom took a walk and Shane came over to us and started talking. He learned we were from America and had tons of questions. Shane had a little of that "Rainman" condition and had learned all he knew about the states from the telly. He could recall every TV show, its stars and plot. We tried to tell him that America was not really like that..TV is made up in Hollywood.
Fortunately, he never watched Judge Wapner, so we didn't have to go there.
He was a good guy and fun to talk to. His mother came by and told us he has a fraternal twin that is an accountant and completely different from his brother. I still would bet on Shane if they had a toothpick counting contest.
Sports note... tonight is the season opener between the World Champion All Blacks Rugby team vs. Ireland. We may need to order it on our cable just to watch the Haka Dance at the beginning.
Finally, happy 35th birthday to Joshua.
"Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night."