We've finished decorating the sitting room at last, but we won't be posting any 'after' photos until our new carpet has been laid (another two weeks to wait). It looks as if carpet layer would be a good choice of career path for anyone coming over to New Zealand - they seem to be fully booked about a month in advance.
Last weekend we met up with Liz, an ex-colleague of mine from Repton Primary School, and her husband Pat. They've recently retired and are spending six weeks touring around New Zealand. Wanganui was on their itinerary, so we met up. We went for an evening Jazz cruise on the paddlesteamer Waimarie and then for a meal at the Stellar restaurant. We had a very enjoyable evening. Liz and Pat were carrying on to Wellington, and from there they were taking the ferry to South Island. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos of their trip, especially of 'dahn sahth' - it's a trip we're hoping to take at the next opportunity.
On our hectic social calendar for Tuesday was the world premiere of the film The River Queen, which was filmed on the Whanganui River. Seeing as this will probably be the only time that Wanganui will ever host a world premiere, we were going to go along, but it was absolutely tipping it down with rain, so we gave it a miss. We didn't really fancy spending two hours getting soaked, when the only 'stars' to be seen were a few members of the local Maori iwi (tribe) who had been extras in the film, and the NZ Prime Minister.
To read a report of the premiere, click here:
River Queen Premiere Report
For the film trailer, click here:
River Queen trailer
We haven't been to see the film yet, but we're planning on going tomorrow night. It's had mixed reviews so far, so we'll let you know what we think.
Last week was Iain's first week of lectures, and apart from being nervous on the first day, he's settled in well, and is finding it much less stressful than teaching.
The cats are now twelve weeks old. I took them for their first injections this week, and they will soon be ready to go outside. They don't do microchip tagging here, so I decided to try collars and tags, despite my previous aversion to them (collars are for dogs, not for cats). I've been pleasantly surprised by how well they've coped with wearing them - Pookie went a bit mental for a few hours, trying to bite hers off, but they both seem to be used to them now. To get them accustomed to going outside, we've let them into the garden for a few minutes every day this week (closely supervised, to prevent them running off and getting lost in the jungle above the house). They seem to have enjoyed the experience so far, but are much more wary than I thought they would be. They've been moving very slowly, sniffing every square centimetre of the patio, and staying close to us and each other.
Yesterday we went to a barbecue at Iain's boss's house. It was very pleasant. Plenty of good company and lots of great food, but it was very hot, and despite sitting in the shade all the time, I think I must have got a touch of heat stroke, because when we got home I had to spend the rest of the day lying down in front of a fan.
When we went out today I wore my sunhat, and I refused to take it off, even when we were in the car. I might have looked like an eejit, but keeping the hat on seemed to do the trick. I spent hours and hours outside during the hottest part of the day, and I didn't wilt even a little bit.
One of the outdoor events we went to watch today was speed boat racing on the river. It was the time trials for the Hydroplane Grand Prix which is going to take place next weekend at a lake near Cambridge, Waikato, about five hours north of here. It was great fun to watch, and I even managed to get a few decent photos, which wasn't easy given the speeds some of the boats reach (up to 170 miles per hour along the straight).
Another place we visited today was the Gypsy Fair, which is a famous travellers' fair that travels all over the country during the spring and summer months. We love the caravans, almost all of which the owners built themselves. The 'open home' is definitely worth a look inside. It's unique and colourful, and much more spacious than you'd think.
I fancy doing a similar paint job on the RAV4...
...and something like this in my yoga room.
Our Wanganui slideshow
Phew, we have been busy, haven't we?
Next week we're going walking with the tramping (ramblers') club, and at the weekend we're going on a jet boat and canoe trip on the river. We'll try to remember to take the camera with us.