Hank, Penny + b aby were off down to Christchurch today, but didn’t seem to see any problem about us staying as long as we liked, so once they were off, at about 8, we were the sole proud tenants of a luxury holiday cottage, set up on the hill with a fabulous view out over the Sound. However, one of the problems of the place is that there is no shop, so we set out soon after to Linkwater, some 4 or 5 miles away. We rather hoped to get a lift, but no joy, + really it was quite pleasant. On the return journey we stopped off at a farm Penny told us about to buy some farm cream, + chatted a while with Mr Smith, a very nice man. Then a dozen eggs bought from another farm, + at last a ride, over the part we’d looked forward to least, the unsealed road to Anakiwa. So very successful all in all.
After lunch we went blackberrying, following the lane out past the Outward Bound school. I didn’t want to go too far, + we picked virtually nothing, so I returned + sat on the end of a jetty near the house, + Val joined me soon after. I read a Dick Francis thriller, while Val read + fished, dangling a short line from her big toe. She had quite a lot of nibbles, but no bites – still, really pleasant, sitting + sitting. On the way back, we explored a short lane, + finally found our blackberries, really quite a lot of them, tho’ they exacted their price in prickles + scratches. Then home, where Val got busy baking – a fish pie (the fish from a tin, I’m afraid), a blackberry and apple crumble, + a chocolate sponge. The pie we had some of, with taters + silver beet, followed by crumble with Mr Smith’s cream – fir for a king. In the evening we made a letter-tape for Val’s mum – we’d done one for mine the other night.
Much as we had enjoyed the company and the socialising, generally we are happier when left to our own devices, all the more so when we are blessed with a comfortable place to stay (even better, a free place to stay.) And good to while away the time pleasantly, with a mixture of activities to break up the time.