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Monday, April 14, 2014


Yesterday as we were walking home in the evening, we walked down the alleyway next to the Opera House. There’s a mural there with minimal tagging, but lots of pictures of various “arty” scenes, like a ballerina, opera singer, people holding the traditional comedy and tragedy masks etc. For some reason halfway down there was a lighting display of these green dots moving across the wall and ground. I thought I was going to be Mysteronised!

I went to the toilet before turning out the light last night. As I sat on the bed I was aware of an irritating whine. It was loud and piercing enough that it promised to highly irritating as I tried to get to sleep. It was that bad that I got up and checked all our electrical equipment, power points, the fridge, and the bathroom, even getting next to the toilet in case there was something with the water system. I got the impression that it was coming from the ceiling and came to the conclusion that someone in another room was having a shower and there was something in the water pipes that was causing the whine. Fortunately lying in bed a certain way blocked out much of the sound and it stopped after about five minutes.

Isn't it weird

So, what happened today?

We enjoyed our Apple and Cranberry Oat Sachets this morning and didn’t need anything else to eat.

D.C.’s been looking for another pair of shoes to wear with her outfit for the ballet. Because it's colder here than what we expected we looked (as a cheaper alternative) for a nice pair of slacks. We looked in Farmers and the lady there wasn’t able to assist. (Especially with little short legs.) She did suggest that we try Ballentyne’s. We’re both thinking “but isn’t Ballentyne’s in Christchurch?” I also looked for togs. I could have got some nice ones if I’d been willing to pay $120 plus. (For a small bit of material that I’m only going to wear once in a blue moon?!? I don’t think so!)

We tried other stores, both for slacks and shoes (more expensive than the togs), but had no luck. One place was an “end of line” shop for various outlets and she helpfully checked through her stock for D.C. – while I was checking the price tags. There were a pair of Kilcardie and Stains slacks – originally $599. On sale for $200. Two hundred dollars!!! For a pair of slacks!!??!!

We got out of there but not before asking where Ballentyne’s was “and we know it’s in Christchurch.” She looked very confused and said there wasn’t one in Wellington.


Getting totally fed up with the whole thing we went around the block and there was a Ballentyne’s store. We went in and all the labelling looked very similar to Caroline Eve (try exactly the same) – which is in Thames and does actually have sizing for shorter people (the pair I wore today are Caroline Eve short style). The shop assistant was very friendly and helpful and told us that Caroline Eve doesn’t exist south of Napier/Hastings/Taradale because they buy the same clothes and the agreement is that they won’t be in competition with one another. So D.C. managed to find a pair of slacks she was happy with… And which aren’t tooo long.

Today we were planning on meeting up with Diana Gibbons, who we first met when Ann Shelton was doing her exhibition of photos of Uncle Fred’s scrapbooks (see my first ever blog – Diana’s the one who took us for a ride around that mythical mountain in Taranaki.) We were going to get the Day’s Bay ferry across, but Diana decided it was easier for her to come into town. So we joined her for lunch (which she shouted, which was much appreciated) and then after we’d all enjoyed that we went for a wander along the waterfront until we got to the Portrait Gallery. A New Zealand artist living in England has painted a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and it was recently unveiled to much discussion. It’s hanging in the portrait gallery and we all wanted to see it. Newstalk ZB said it’s as though the artist put a lot of effort into her Majesty’s eyes, and didn’t have enough time to work on her hands – and that’s a fair assertion. One hand looked very undeveloped – more like a mitt. I thought her face looked a bit pinched, so our assement was that he spent all his time on the eyes, which were the most accurate part of the whole picture. Then we had a look at the other portraits there. There’d been a recent competition and there were a number of entries. Some good, some odd, some… disturbing. Some I’m sure had been done with photos and then painted over – either with paints or a computer. My favourite was one of Sir John Trimmer. We didn’t need to look at the attached card or the RNZB behind him to see who it was. And for those of you who don’t know, he’s been with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for decades and we’re hoping to see him in the character part of Dr Coppelius on Thursday night.

We then all went for another coffee/tea. I had lemon verbena tea, since we’ve got a lemon verbena bush at home; which according to Uncle Fred, was brought out to the Anglican Manse in Thames by Vicesemus Lush and then taken to Taranaki and then brought back to our place by Uncle Fred. It was quite nice.

Then we said goodbye to Diana and went back to the hotel, which is nicely central for offloading shopping and having pitstops. D.C. was able to leave behind her e-reader as the model is “so old” that she wasn’t able to get a case with a light for it.

Diana mentioned that Ballentyne’s had togs in an end of season sale, so we went back there and they’d got rid of them all. That was until one of the ladies thought that they might still be out back. They were so I tried a couple of pair on and found one that looks quite good.

We thought of heading up to the National War Memorial, just to see what they’ve done with it, but it was starting to get dark (and damp – it was raining), so we went back to Te Papa and enjoyed the “Golden Days” video twice. I enjoy that one because it has so many New Zealand historical references that I can recognise, but I don’t think overseas visitors would like it for the same reason. There’s no explanation as to what’s on screen, just shots of Rangitoto (told you it was good!), sporting achievements (Aussie underarms), ads (“We are the blokes from down on the farm, we really know our cheese”), humour (Billy T James stopping ships from entering our ports), protests (anti-nuclear – see former), disasters (Erebus), wars, and personalities that only a Kiwi would know. It’s also good because occasionally one of the supporting props would come alive like the cow mowing, no mooing, it was the mower that started mowing.

We’d just started looking at the World of Wearable Arts display when we had to leave. We’ll have to come back again. D.C. wants to see the China display that’s on at the moment too.

Then we had to find somewhere to eat. There isn’t a lot around where our hotel is, but there’s an “English” pub below where we had a good chicken burger and salad each. It would have been nicer if the smoking area outside didn’t waft inside each time the wind blew.  So when we could we escaped upstairs and came to bed. I think I’ve managed to download all my songs onto my new MP3 player.

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