The Stressometer

A thousand apologies to my Christchurch friends. What a day, stranded by the weather at Queenstown airport when I was supposed to be at the Christchurch Art Gallery giving a talk about my work!

On the stressometer level this was way up. I hope that I can make it up to those of you who came but to no avail and I hope that it did not inconvenience you too much and that we will be able to reschedule it.

I feel a little responsible because I know Queenstown’s reputation. As soon as I walked into the airport and looked at the arrival and departure screens I was bewildered. This was explained half an hour later when there was an announcement that the screens on show were yesterdays!

Travel Tales

A snap I took on the journey south. The ferry sailing was ‘cancelled owing to technical difficulties’. Handy phrase I thought. (A friend says that he uses it with his girlfriends) I decided to be philosophical about the delay, after all it gave me extra time in Wellington.

There were further travel surprises in store for me though, half way across the Haast Pass, in what must be one of the most remote parts of New Zealand the automatic transmission in my car started to falter, second gear failing to engage. Heart in mouth I managed to make Lake Hawea, limped on to Wanaka, then Cromwell and eventually to Alexandra. Since then my car has been in a garage that specialises in transmissions. Hopefully tomorrow I will have it back but I’m not too confident. To go to Invercargill I had to rent a car for the weekend.

On Friday I bought a good secondhand mountain bike. This is a popular area for mountain biking and it seems a shame not to take advantage of that. I haven’t had a bike for decades, certainly not a modern one like this which has something like 27 gears. From memory my last bike didn’t have any gears, I remember when bikes with 3 gears came in. These new gear systems take some getting used to. At present I’ve only got as far as wobbling my way around the 3 and a half acres of this property but I am about to hit the beautiful river trail to Clyde which runs alongside this house.