Sunday, April 23, 2006

DAY FOUR - Saturday 22 April

After mum having an eyetest in an optometrists in Hobsonville and me talking cosmetics for an hour or so with the wonderfully glam Linley ...

... we finally headed south to Taupiri, in the Waikato region - about 100km south of Auckland - in readiness for a possible balloon trip the next day near Hamilton. We were staying with friends of mother's; John and Elva. They are both 69 years old, quite eccentric but have more gumption and get up and go than most people a fraction of their age. Their house is an absolute maze and Aladdin's Cave of art, crafts and antique ceramics of all descriptions and style.

The wine was flowing freely and Elva prepared the most unique meals I have ever tasted; chicken, pineapple, sweetcorn in a curry sauce ... served on a bed of spaghetti!! with a side salad of tomatoes, red onion and sweet peppers (or should I say capsicum?!). Followed up with a dessert of mud cake. My taste buds were tingling!

Elva is a very glamorous and flamboyant 60-something and is also a dab hand with a needle and thread so she dragged (hardly kicking and screaming!) me and mum off to look at her numerous shoes, clothes and jewels. Leaving John to tell Paul (who had joined us for dinner) all about their recent weekend watching the Rolling Stones in concert, whilst playing random CDs (none of Mick n Co.!!!) loudly.

I know it's not cool and the fur trade is a rotten thing ... however, I do love the feel of real fur and have always hankered after my own coat since I was a little girl. There, I've said it!!! Well, Elva has a collection - all vintage, from donkeys years ago - so I at least got to try a kind of stole cum cape style on and full-length one too. You can't help but feel like some kind of screen siren from the golden age of Hollywood ... circa 1920??

Decided to call it a night just before midnight, as the 'balloon man' was going to call about 5.30am to say whether the flight was on or off.

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