2006-04 (APRIL, 2006)

Dave Arrives And Bob Leaves - Wellington, New Zealand

Very late on Wednesday night, David Curtis arrived from Oz. He was here to play for five days. He timed his visit to be here for Bob's last day (and night) in NZ (on this visit, at any rate).

Andy was working on Thursday, so Dave and I were on 'Daddy Day-care' duty all day. To give Dave a flavour of our neighbourhood (this was his first visit to see us here in Welly) we elected to do the Pass of Branda Track, a hill-top walk around the peninsula we live on 🌐. The Dolly Girl was ported by me in her newish back-pack gizmo - and, boy, did I feel unfit carting her up and down those hills (Dave was concerned that he would need to call me an ambulance at one point)! That evening Andy and I brought everyone out to our local Belgian Beer Café. We had a big, long, mellow, happy, boozy evening. Nice.

Bob departed around lunchtime on Friday, having spent three happy months in residence. We were all very, very sad to see him go. That evening Dave and I did the 'Sanctuary by Night' tour at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. We got to see a great number of birds bedding down for the evening, and then, as the darkness deepened, we got to hear some of the only wild Kiwi on mainland NZ (most are on conservation islands offshore) and see hundreds of glow-worms - a most pleasant evening diversion. Upon our return we supped ales in front of the stunning 'Touching the Void'.

Saturday began with breakfast at our local café, Breakers. We then bundled the family into the car for a day-time visit to the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. We spent a very pleasant few hours hiking around the easier pathways. Back at home, Dave helped me cut the timber for my next canoe building project. This was a complicated job that took the rest of the day. I couldn't have done it without Dave's input and assistance. To celebrate the start of this project we spent the evening supping a number of Belgian beers. A great number. Andy left us to it. I think we watched 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' in there somewhere, too.

On Sunday the patchy weather, that had dogged Dave's visit from the start, took a turn for the worse. This did not bother us greatly to begin with as we were both a bit worse for wear from the evening prior. Brunch at a local seaside café was deferred in favour of a fry-up at home and a hour or two of Eddie Izzard. The rest of the day drifted past - I'm sure we did stuff, but the details are a tad blurred. 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' may have had a re-run as well.

On Monday we were on 'Daddy Day-care' duty again. We took Holly in to see the 'The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy' exhibition at Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). The exhibition was excellent. Andy met us for coffee afterwards. That evening we had a slap-up take-out curry and then sat down to a double feature of 'Control Room' and 'Shaun of the Dead'. Sweet.

Dave departed at some ungodly hour on Tuesday morning. I hope it's not too long before we get to catch up again...