28 December 2006

Keith's birthday

Thursday 28 December 2006

9:45 pm

Today was Keith’s birthday (and yesterday was Marianne’s), so we had a birthday picnic—Keith and Marianne and Trish and our family. We went first up north a little and then on a dodgy road along a steep fall-off into a rushing river below (all on the wrong side of the road) but several minutes from the picnic spot, the road was washed out. That apparently happens in New Zealand. (At that same picnic spot, there was supposed to be a meeting of folks who were driving antique cars—we don’t know what happened with them.) So we turned to plan B, back up the dodgy road, along the lovely (if scary) cliff edge, and to a second picnic spot. And there we had our picnic—Marianne’s fresh bread, Trish’s new potato salad, my birthday cake—and went for a walk through spectacular NZ bush (read “forest”) and to a lovely lake with a creepy Maori story attached to it (people did bad things to each other here, but now all is lovely). Then stopping for fresh berries (and—at last—real maple syrup) on the way home and then dinner and a quick walk along (or, if you’re a kid, in) the sea.

I’m attaching pictures from the beach, from the bush. You’ll see the koru (tightly curled fern frond) and the silver fern, both symbols of NZ (one on the Air New Zealand planes and the other on the rugby and cricket uniforms).

Perhaps the most exciting thing was that at several times today I was actually WARM and had to take off both fleece and sweatshirt and wore just a t-shirt (the pictures prove it). Positively balmy. Could summer be here at last?

1 comment:

Patsy said...

Oh such spectacular imagery! Now I'm jealous. It's great to see you settling in.

Happy Birthday to Keith!