Last week a friend (let’s call her Thermal Girl) came to visit from England via Sydney, and we had five fantastic days of fun and catching up. We even did some tourist stuff. Here are the highlights:
Monday – At passport control Thermal Girl had filled in a form to say where she staying during her visit to New Zealand. She didn’t know our address but wrote down our email. The bloke interviewing her couldn’t read her handwriting so she spelt it out for him. ‘Oh, I know them!’ he said. She thought he was joking – as you would – until he gave his name and said for her to say hello to us from him. Welcome to New Zealand, where the cliché about two degrees of separation is actually true.
This was Thermal Girl’s first visit to our beautiful country. It was a fine day; she looked around at the blue sky, white mountains, and green rivers. ‘Wow’ she said. And then she said, ‘wow’ again. It’s always nice to be reminded of what a scenic location we inhabit, just to ward off complacency.
I took her back to our place and fed her wine and crackers. When Him Outdoors came home he made us chilli. She likes our house. She likes the fire most of all, and didn’t move from in front of it all night.
Tuesday – Thermal Girl has packed several layers of thermals. She put them all on for a trip to Queenstown where she went to visitor information places, booked skiing packages, and examined bus timetables.
We met for lunch at Pier 19 and lingered over coffees, switching tables to stay in the sunshine – I thought she was very brave to sit outside; those layers were clearly doing their job.
In the evening we took her to the local PTA Quiz at Fox’s Bar in Arrowtown. Our friend, Heart of the District, made up our foursome and we looked to him to answer any questions relating to rugby or Kiwi sport in general. At one point Thermal Girl asked, ‘Is this the sort of quiz where it’s frowned upon to look up the answers on your i-phone?’ Is there a sort of quiz where it isn’t?