I was born a long time ago on a dark and stormy night in England. It really was dark and stormy, and such was the fury of the storm that I was born at home before the doctor or midwife could intervene. Mum says the absence of the doctor probably saved my life as I would have been a forceps delivery, and my cord was wrapped around my wind pipe. Dad helped bring me into this world, and the photo above is one of me in the pram some time in my first year of life looking like I am about to be sick whilst my sister poses charmingly for the camera.
The balding couple of gents are me, on the right, and James a good friend of ours, on the left. We both have birthdays at a similar time, so often share a cake. If you are wondering, our combined ages are now around 107 years (he is a little older than me).
James arrived yesterday in a splendid blue Morris Minor, his pride and joy. James is a chair maker who has a workshop in Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand, here is a link to his web site, The Village Chairmaker.
Laura has been away to stay with her parents in the North Island, to celebrate her mother's birthday. Laura got back on Thursday, and I took a few photos. As I neared the airport, the weather turned from a very windy day with lots of blue sky, to a very, very windy day with a great slab of gray cloud, and squally rain showers.
Her flight was late arriving. In fact her real flight didn't arrive at all. I had a phone call before 7.30am which I answered clad in..... well, nothing at all, having heard the phone go as I got out of the shower. The conversation went something like this.
Me "Er, hello....?"
Craig "Yeh, Gidday, Craig from Air New Zealun' here. Have you got a contact number for a Laura Gregory, her flight has been canceled!"
Me "Er, yes it's ** *** ****. Why was her flight canceled?"
Craig "Er, engineering difficulties. Er look Mate I'll have to go, I may have to get her on the early flight!"
In the event, Laura turned down the "early flight" offer when Craig contacted her a short while later. The early flight would have entailed driving at an average speed from Te Kuiti to Hamilton of about 320 miles per hour in order to board the 8.30am flight. So she went an hour late in stead. A lot of aeroplanes in New Zealand still have propellers. Watching the blades go round is reassuring to the passengers and boosts morale! At the airport we waited for an aeroplane to arrive that had propellers...
Laura had a bumpy few moments in the climb out of Wellington airport, which has a reputation for being a little "hairy" at times, but an otherwise enjoyable flight. This is her plane arriving at the terminal at Dunedin airport.
And there is She Herself in red back on terra firma.
It really is Spring now, and the plum blossom is out.
Ginger looks good surrounded by plum blossom, which is why he agreed to be photographed.
Ginger has adventures nearly every day after breakfast. In this adventure he became sure that he was stuck on the roof. This proved not to be the case, and after many daring maneuvers, he found a progression of lower to lower to lower roofs, and then he was down.
We went for a little drive to Hampden on my birthday, and had fun visiting the second hand shop there. It is in an old grocery shop, and is full of old tools, pumps, chairs, watering cans, old china, and the like.
We all bought something!
Of course looking at second hand shops, eating fish and chips, blowing out birthday cake candles, and looking at the sea (which we did when we ate our fish and chips at Hampden), the effort of this all takes its toll.
We slumped into a chair afterward, and Ginger too, he had obviously had a busy day, joined us for a bit of a slumber.
When I am not sleeping or eating or looking at second hand shops, I am getting my hands in the clay again. These two pots are earthenware. The pot in the front is 20 inches high, and the one further back is 16 inches. I'll be sloshing some slip on them this evening.
The black and white photo of the aeroplane is the Southern Cross flying over Dunedin airport. Southern Cross was piloted by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.