The first half of the flight to LA was OK because I was sat next to a handsome young Anglo-Chinese guy and we chatted nearly all the way. LA was a pain because I had to collect my bags, go through their obsessive security, then check myself back in again. LA to NZ was exhausting and I couldn’t sleep properly, but Mike was there waiting for me the other end so all was fine. Back to a little motel room, but we’ve now moved to a larger one with kitchen/diner and sitting area so not too bad.
On Sunday we set off on a cold, blustery day, climbing up from sea level to cliff tops through dense bush, palm trees, tree ferns and kaurie trees. They call it bush but so far as I’m concerned it’s jungle and a machete would have been useful on occasion. Flattens out a bit at the top where we come across a group of people surrounding a woman who’s broken her ankle. Someone’s already set off to summon the rescue helicopter. A cautionary tale for us walkers. We carry on down past streams, along muddy tracks, hanging onto the trunks of palms to help us down like Tarzan and Jane.
Very exciting . . . it’s a large basement flat owned by a lovely elderly couple who are doing it up a bit as their daughter’s just moved out to go to work in London. We are obviously perfect tenants (they don't know us yet) and they’re very keen to have us so they’ve dropped the rent a bit and are hunting around to find bits of furniture, bedding, kitchen equipment etc. It has large rooms and faces the southern end of Auckland Domain. The house is c.1905 and has plenty of character and some beautiful sofas and armchairs. No garden as such but a large terrace out front looking over the road to the park. It even has a piano (maybe I should learn to play in my spare time?) And I’m chuffed to bits because I just went to see it again and put down 1 weeks rent in advance so it’s definitely ours and we’re moving in on Saturday.