November 4th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
NZ Haruru Falls (now correctly spelled)

I finished off cleaning the paintwork during the morning, while Val set to + started digging the heavily overgrown vegetable patch.  A minor disaster when trying to sweep a cobweb from up near the roof with the broom, I slipped + smashed the outside lampshade.  A real sod, since we didn’t want to cause Don any problems, especially after he’d been so good to us.  Any way, once I’d finished my chores, I went + helped Val for a while, + that seemed to get things moving along a lot faster.  We broke off at about 2, + drove into town to perform some chores.  We bought a new globe for the light, which caused me quite a stir when we discovered it cost nearly $20.  I’d intended that we should pay for the breakage out of our own money, but I must confess this gave me severe second thoughts – I deferred making a definite decision.  We also found me a pair of work shoes in the St John’s shop.  They were a size too small, and brown instead of black, but then, one can’t have everything.  A bit more digging when we got back, + then it was time to shower + change.

When Don returned, the bad news he had for us was that he would be taking the mini-bus to Auckland tomorrow, so not only would we not be able to use it to go touring, but we should also have to move over to Paihia tomorrow… the end of the gravy train.  Still, Don was very good about the light I had smashed, + offered to pay.  I just didn’t tell him how much it had cost, so that the end result was that we paid about half each.  This was some salve to my conscience + my pocket.

A pleasant drive over to Paihia – classical accompaniment this time – + I started work.  They had said they would lend me a bow tie, but nobody mentioned it, + I was quite happy without, so I worked tie-less.  It was a real doddle – just a couple of coach parties of aging Australians, who didn’t drink very much, + were pretty amiable in any case.  Just a couple of confusions, when I couldn’t find the sherry, + then didn’t know how to work the soda water, but no hassles at all.  The only real problem was that I worked short hours – only 6 till 9.30, so I’m hardly earning a fortune.  Our main hope is to find some day work as well.

Once upon a time, I used to accuse Val of being clumsy (though we’ve since decided it was probably because, back then, she didn’t wear glasses. And since we have discovered she is just about as blind as a bat without them…) but this is just another example of my own physical incompetence, eg working on Crusader. What is more, my own generous benevolence swiftly melted away when I discovered its cost. I know we were very short of money, but…

No idea whether my clumsiness contributed to the end of our relationship – though it can’t have helped. But it did mean that we would be back on our own, and that was something we prized. But we were back to just the one job.

And – at last – I was the one working, while Val had an evening off.

Finally, apologies for the radio silence here – I have been poorly for a little while.

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