Friday, July 27, 2007

27 July 2007 New Plymouth

27th July 2007Discovered this morning that the Lantern Parade was on last night along the walkway, which would have been why the searchlight was in the sky. We would have rather seen that than the show, but if we hadn't seen the show we would have been with the Smyths anyway. And that was certainly an enjoyable evening.

Today, being basically a ‘free day’ we decided to do the Te Henui Walkway along the waterfront. (It was free too.) At 9.30am we decided to pop into the Govett-Brewster to see Ann Shelton, but it was shut – until 10.00am by one sign and 10.30am by the one next to it! Go figure.

We went to Puke Ariki at 10.00am and met Suzette Goldsmith who is keen to write a biography about Uncle Fred, if she can get a grant to do so. We are more than happy to let her since he got no recognition when he was alive, and he was a remarkable man. It’s only been 25 years since his death before Taranaki has started to realise what an asset to recollecting his history he was. She gave us a couple of her books “A Potted History of Tea” and one other (which D.C. has packed away to read later) so that we can check that we approve of her work.

Then we started on our walk at Len Lye’s wind wand (a better bit of art than his films). The full walkway is about six kilometres long, but we started about a third of the way into it so didn’t do the full track. We missed out one bit because they were doing repairs after the tornado two weeks ago. We saw the Placemakers that had lost its roof when the tornado hit. They had these huge machines repairing the rockwall by the walkway. The guys who operate them are craftsmen.

We called into Placemakers because D.C. wanted some glue to fix up her shoe. A brand new shoe, (not one of the boots) and she’d caught it in one of the New Plymouth District Council footpaths and separated the toe from the sole (they are ‘Commando M’ sandshoes – very comfortable). So we got some ‘elephant glue’ and stuck it together again – along with our fingers.

D.C. was pleased because she finally got to see and touch a bit of beach. Being on the west coast of the North Island it is iron sand.

Yes - that is my pink bag.

We can’t complain about the weather. I brought all these warm clothes – scarf, woollen socks, leg warmers, thermal spencer and leggings, polar fleece vest – and the only thing from that list that I’ve warn is my ‘vest’, and I’ve abandoned that over the last few days. I haven’t really needed to wear my waterproof over-trousers and used my raincoat more for warmth than dryness.

When we’d got to the end of the walkway there was a slight shower, but not enough to really bother putting raincoats on, so we didn’t bother. We sat on a seat on the way back (I wrote a couple of postcards) and got wetter from the seat than we did the weather. We stood and watched some ducks and let the seat of our slacks dry.

It was about 2.00pm when we’d got back, so we undid all our good work and had lunch. Apricot and chicken in pastry parcels with a nice salad. D.C. had a hot chocolate and I had an apple and fejoia juice. We shared a chocolate fudge brownie. *yum!*

Then we went to Puke Ariki to find out where the post boxes were and the newspaper. While we were there we had a look at where Uncle Fred’s quilt exhibition is going to be held. There were only two things to do so they let us look around. Diana Gibbons came down and had a chat and let me take photos. We are thinking about letting them keep them, either as a long term loan or a gift.

Then I posted the postcards. The $1.50 stamp is of Mount Taranaki. That’s the only time that we saw it today.

Then up to the Govett-Brewster. Ann’s happier now because it’s coming together. Debbie had arrived so we were happy to see her again, as well as Ann’s boyfriend, Duncan Monro. Ann let us take photos and video of the setting up, so it’s been interesting to see behind the scenes of both exhibitions. This hasn’t been a touristy holiday, but it has certainly been interesting, exciting and different.

Because we’d had lunch so late we weren’t hungry, so we thought we’d get a small hamburger or pie. I’d discovered a couple of potential places in the yellow pages so we started working.

Let me say here and now that if you ever only want to have something to eat to keep you going through the night, then a Burgerfuel burger is NOT the thing to have. They are huge! Imagine a bread and butter plate sized bun and beef patty (1/3 pound). I’d only heard about them on the news when they were going to sell shares to their customers, and since it’s a New Zealand company I was keen to try one. They are good! So is the ice cream. We are very full now. D.C.’s already sleeping it off.

We stopped off at New World on the way home and I bought some milk for my breakfast.

I had thought it would be a really early night, but it’s 9.50pm and I haven’t sent this to the blog yet. Better go do it now.
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