Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On holiday - sort of

Because it was such a great day, and because my wife is on holiday and rather fed up about us not being able to go away, (I'm working in the evenings) we went for a ride down the Harbour (the Otago Harbour, that is, for those who don't I know I live in Dunedin, New Zealand). Lovely and hot for the first time in ages, with just the gentlest of breezes. We drove up into Roseneath, that sort of bump that sticks out into the Harbour at one point, and found what at first appeared to be a tiny children's playground (a tiny playground that is, not one for tiny children). Further down there was a seat overlooking the Bay and the bush and the houses. Just perfect. We sat and read and semi-slumbered, and answered a rather odd text from my son before deciding we needed a change.

Drove into Port Chalmers, which was mostly closed because of the holidays and then on down to Carey's Bay, which is about a kilometre further on. The Carey's Bay hotel has been much renovated and improved, and boasts three original Hoteres in the bar area, and a Lindsay Crooks in the smaller room off the side. Hotere, of course, is one of NZ's top painters (though I
can’t say he's a favourite of mine), and his work is extremely valuable. He lived at Carey's Bay for many years - and fought the proposal to bring a smelter to Aramoana, just down the road.

Lindsay Crooks was personally known to my wife and I. A gentle, friendly real bloke of a painter, who was just as happy surfing. His paintings are all over Dunedin, and we have one ourselves, along with a host of postcard sized reproductions. Lindsay died a couple of years ago from a terrible brain tumour. He was only in his forties.

We had a cappuccino each in the hotel, and asked if we could perhaps have a sandwich as well. The sandwich, when it arrived, turned out to be a wonderful mix, on a plate, of two fresh slices of bread, bits of ham, and a great salad covered in oil. Delicious! A real bonus, since we'd been expecting the usual white bread with a slice of ham and a bit of tomato. We think the cook went a bit mad, because it wasn't quite the time of day to get a sandwich apparently.
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