Wednesday, February 21, 2018


I lived in Wellington from 1977 - 1981, leaving 36 years ago. It was always an attractive, fun city, with terrible weather.

Conga dancing on Wellington waterfront

Kids' kayak class

From Nelson we flew to Wellington for two nights, staying with my friends Richard and Rob, who had recently moved back from Auckland. They had been going to tramp the Milford Track with us, but their daughter Lucy had a new baby born at around the same time as the tramp, so they had pulled out.


We have found that revisiting a place one has lived in the past can involve a marathon of driving around busy people, trying to find times that suit and sometimes offending people who get missed. A tactic which has worked well in the past is to ask someone who knows most of the people one wants to see to let one hold a dinner party. 

My old colleague Lorraine offered to be the host, and so I invited a dozen friends to come to dinner. Lorraine coordinated the food, partly because we were off-grid on the West Coast over the fortnight before our arrival. Her flat was perfect, with a lovely view over the marina.

Chaffers Marina

There are two old jokes about New Zealand: within an hour of arriving in the country someone will ask you 'How do you like NZ?'. And when someone picks you up from Wellington airport, they will tell you: 'It isn't usually this windy'.

On this occasion they were right; ex-cyclone Gita was coming to town.

Ex-cyclone Gita trying to gate-crash the party

Gita managed to ground many flights to and from Wellington, but Doug got through from Christchurch, and Kath, who was in Rotoroa, got a bus down.

The party was lovely. Fourteen people made it. Most knew each other well. Food was great. Nice things were said. I was very touched that so many people would turn out on such a dark and stormy night.

A few of the guests.







It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. While Gita was causing havoc in New Zealand, the Gold Coast surf beaches were 'going off'.

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