February 3rd 1983

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Ian, the new chef (looking much the worse for wear) and his wife

Rising late + chores performed, I hitch-hiked to Kerikeri.  My good fortune was to obtain one ride all the way- my bad was that my chauffeur was a Christian, + a recent, enthusiastic, evangelising one at that.  However, I paid my fare for the ride in listening, + declined his invitation to come to a meeting with as much politeness as possible.  In town, first disposed of a few books in the Book Swap, acquiring only one in return, “Last Exit to Brooklyn”.  That + “Pere Goriot” were the only worthwhile tomes present, + tho’ my experience of French, or for that matter European, literature is scanty, I couldn’t face the serious Gallicism which Balzac represents to me.  The Red Cross shop to dispose  of a large bag of by now unnecessary + unwanted clothing – including the brown shirt that was once Dad’s, + my navy blue jumper, 2 of the last relics of clothes from England.  A hamburger, which dripped fat down my best trousers.  The Post Office, to bank more money.  We’re up to NZ$5000 now, not a bad sum.  I treated myself to a pair of sturdy socks, + then home.  A more pleasant ride this time, with a huge + jolly (why do they go together) + wealthy Englishman, who spends 9 weeks of every year here.  Home to more of “Daniel Martin” + then work.

Work is such a more pleasant place since Ian, the new chef, arrived.  He’s a Pom, with a good sense of humour, tho’ not well-educated.  Also Art, our introduction to Haruru Falls, is there, since we’re so busy, + between them they have the place running smoothly, happily, + well.  Still not completely over-run by policemen – I don’t know where they all are, + Marion leapt in early to close the bar before those that were there returned from the pub.  I retired upstairs + watched “Dirty Harry” on telly.  Not a bad film – the real highlights for me were the San Francisco setting, + spotting Chris Pray in a tiny part.  Vicarious fame, huh?

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall our financial target had been considerably less than the $5000 mentioned here – a testament to our serious hard work for the past few months.

Interesting to have a face from our San Francisco days pop up on screen – it has been quite a trip, with quite a chunk yet to come, seeing as we are on the other side of the world.

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