Friday 10 June 2011


Peninsulas can be confusing for the geographically-challenged. Here I am tonight on the Karikari Peninsula up on the east coast of Northland, in a very pleasant villa at Carrington Resort looking out over the golf course to the sand dunes and sea - and what's just happened? This. Sunset. And not in a "not by westward windows only, when light fades, fades out the light" sort of way (to wreck poor old Clough's lovely poem) - no, actual sun dropping down. So we're looking west, not east, which is completely back-to-front and just like at Exmouth, WA, recently, and Town of 1770 in Queensland last year. Does my head in, it does.

Anyway, red sky at night, in a modest sort of way - let's hope it's true, because today it's rained and rained and rained, and all the lovely landscape was wasted. At Kerikeri I went (again) to the Stone Store, NZ's oldest stone building dated 1836, which I've made fun of before because our cottage in England pre-dated 1725 - and today I discovered another reason to mock it: it's built from Australian limestone and roofed with Australian shingles (currently being renewed from the same source). But it's still ours, and rather sweet in a four-square, stolid sort of way - and inside there's a very classy presentation of the local history that really impressed me and kept me quiet for well over an hour. It's been a busy place and there's a lot of interest crammed into its (short) life. Good place to buy pitchforks, by the way, and musket flints.

I was just sorry I couldn't look over the last of my Mission house set, Kemp House next door (which is actually the oldest wooden house in both NZ and Australia, so there) because it too is being repaired. I guess I shall just have to come here again. Tch.

Oh, and here's something of ours that the Aussies do claim is theirs - completely erroneously:

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