November 2nd 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
The Stone House, a local heritage building

A pleasant day.  When we arose, Don had already left for work, but he’d told us to tuck into breakfast, so we did – muesli, egg + bacon, toast + honey, tea… + all gratis.  Then down to work.  Val set to on the windows, while I took Don’s 12-speed into town to get some groceries.  A beautiful bike it was, tho’ as usual I had difficulties working out the gears.  At Don’s request, while in town I telephoned the traffic police to check whether we could drive here on British licences, + found out that we could, until the end of the NZ licence year, in June.  This meant Don would let us use the mini-bus – yet another bonus.  I had trouble riding back with the shopping in my pack – riding a racing bike with one of those things on is really difficult, especially when it weighs a ton.  However, I made it.

I recovered with a cup of coffee + some chocolate biscuits, + then pitched in helping Val with washing down the paint-work.  Val vacuumed the carpets + did various other jobs in the afternoon, while I first shifted some rocks, then rode into town again to ring Cedric ( he wasn’t in again) + perform a couple of other small chores.  Don popped back to tell us he’d be late home, so we ate dinner (called “tea” here) without him.  When he turned up later, we chatted pleasantly enough for quite a while, + then he started dragging out loads of clothes, some of them really nice, to give me.  I ended up with a huge pile.  And Val got a T-shirt which went really well with a brand new pair of jeans he’d given her yesterday.  They fit her better than any pair she’s ever bought in a shop.  I tried on the gear, + selected 2 pairs of trousers + a white shirt.  Too much to carry of course, but it’s too good to give up – I’ll just have to send it home.  Along with a beautiful black blazer I bought from the St John’s shop.  I bought Val a wooden recorder from there too.

Once again, a pattern re-inforced, of me finding some excuse to get out of doing some work, leaving Val to get on with the real work, while I cycled into town… twice. I am, I fear, a serial procrastinator… and that lives on to this very day.

Meanwhile, Don continues to be extraordinarily generous.

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