I got a recipe book for Christmas! It’s called “Go fish” by Al Brown. The blurb describes Al as a “veritable colossus of seafood cookery”. He is co-owner of a top Wellington restaurant and presenter of an award-winning TV show. I had never heard of him (which says something about my interest in food).
I think there were several reasons for the gift. Now that I have retired from full-time employment as a CEO and my wife is the breadwinner in the family, I am expected to cook. That’s something I’ve managed to avoid doing much of since my student days, so it’s proving to be quite a learning curve. I’m a very keen fisherman (and we are lucky in Nelson, we can buy a tremendous range and the quality is superb). So most of the time I cook fish. I interpreted the gift as an indication that a slight increase in variety of my meals would be greatly appreciated.
One of the casualties of our move back to Nelson last year turns out to have been my printer! I use an Epson R800 for high quality printing in colour (not B&W though). Epson printers like this one have the actual printhead in the printer itself, rather than (as in many HP printers) in the cartridge. If the printer is not used regularly the ink can dry out and cause blockages. The result is banding, or in more severe cases a huge shift in colour balance as one of the 5 colours disappears.
Almost five years ago, My son Tim took us on a tramp into a very remote place in the Mt Aspiring National Park, the Siberia Valley. He was really looking after his aged parents: had a sat phone in case of emergencies, was continually telling us what the weather was about to do, and in general was completely in charge. (Actually, the reversal in roles felt very good indeed!)
The valley itself is a great place, accessible very quickly via helicopter (but a couple of days walking otherwise).
Last year when we returned to Nelson we set about renovating our old 1914 villa. The master bedroom was a priority: it still had its original sarking and scrim on the walls, which had to be replaced with wallboard; there was an ugly art deco fireplace (its chimney had been sealed off long ago); a couple of shallow, poorly designed wardrobes; the list went on.
Our builders were great, fast and very quality conscious. I was working next door in my office when I heard excited shouts from Harry, the foreman. Behind the art deco fireplace, they had uncovered a wonderful old cast iron fireplace in remarkably good condition. Here’s the scene minutes after the discovery:
The other day I was driving into town, along our narrow street. Where cars are parked by the side of the road there is only room for one car to pass at a time. The locals all know this: we drive slowly and look a fair way ahead, one of the vehicles stopping well in advance to let the oncoming traffic through. (Strangers identify themselves immediately by failing to observe these unwritten rules.)
A little way out of Christchurch at West Melton is the Ronnie Moore Speedway Park, a track for motorcycles only. The club is run by volunteers, which makes for a tremendous camaraderie and spirit. There are no lights, so the meetings are held in the afternoons or early evenings. No massive fences and railings, just a low wooden rail. All of this is great news for a photographer, so I’ve got some wonderful action shots here over the past four years. But first some pictures about the club itself.
The park is named after speedway great Ronnie Moore, world champion in 1954 and again in 1959 and a Canterbury man still.
My enterprising nephew is now a movie director. James Napier Robertson has written and directed the movie “I’m not Harry Jenson“. In spite of its unbelievably low budget ($NZ175,000), the result was good enough to be selected for the New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland. Reviews of the premiere were favourable, and the movie is about to be shown in the Rialto chain of cinemas throughout New Zealand.
Last week there was a post about the wood sculptor known as T.A.G. – Theodore Arnold Gustafson. This week I want to tell you about our luck in managing to purchase one of his works.