We’d also been provided with the makings for breakfast, so apart from having to use the house for showers + toilet, we were self-contained. Joan gave us a ride into Nelson during the morning, + for the next couple of hours gave us a guided tour of the town + environs. A terrific help, since without a car + expert knowledge, one has no idea of a town. From what Joan tells us, Nelson has a lot more going for it culturally than anywhere else we’ve encountered in NZ. The place is practically awash with potters, + Joan took us to visit 3 excellent galleries, almost next door to one another: a potter, a silversmith, + a fine art studio with a very impressive exhibition by a man called Michael Something – I’ll write his name down if I recall it. We were taken to other viewpoints + places of interest (as well as the supermarket), + then Joan left us to wander round town on our own. We didn’t do very much wandering tho’ – the Cathedral was shut, + nothing else was open – Saturday afternoon blues – so we passed half an hour sitting in the lobby of the luxury hotel, reading their tourist leaflets, + then walked back out. It’s only 2 or 3 miles out, but was a bit of a plod. For what was left of the afternoon, we sat + read, + then spent the evening with Joan + Gus. A good evening too: talking philosophy, travel, cameras. Listening to Flanders + Swann + Noel Coward. Eating a fine meal, drinking liqueurs, + telling jokes. All very pleasant.
Once again, a relatively quiuet and peaceful day, taking in some gentle sight-seeing. But also nice to chat in the evening, as well as lisrening to Flanders + Swann. They were enormously popular when I was young, but even now their songs – lightly comic, some surreal, some gently satirical – provoke a good deal of affection from those of a certain age. Thpugh I fear “Have some madeirs, m’dear” is no longer considered appropriate, ddespite the wonderful wordplay – “He put out the lighta, the wine, his cigar abd the cat.”