Found us!

26 August 2019

Last night, as a treat, I thought I’d put on the motel’s electric blanket. So I switched it on to three, did other things whilst it warmed the bed, and then switched it off before getting between the sheets.

Electric blankets work a lot better if the power cable is plugged into the wall socket. They are also easier to plug in if the wall socket isn’t behind the head of the bed.

So tonight I pulled the bed out, plugged the wall socket in, switched the electric blanket onto three (eventually), was able to enjoy getting into a toasty bed. Having unplugged the plug from the wall and got the cable out of the way.

This morning after a good night’s sleep (comfortable beds), aside from when D.C. started coughing, we had our showers and then I asked reception where we could buy breakfast. There was Monica’s Eatery, where we had dinner last night, or else a café around the corner in Devon Street. We chose around the corner.

The café’s name was The Empire Café and the people in it were lovely – as was the look of the food on offer. We both decided to splash out – since we were planning on buying porridge for the rest of the week’s breakfasts. D.C. had garlic mushrooms on toast. (She ate all of it.) I had pancakes (no cream), with diced kiwifruit, orange, and banana. And the mint tea was very nice.

We sat in the window and watched the world go by… People pulling up outside, coming into the café for their coffee, or for containers of food, and the Bidfood delivery driver who managed to drop a bottle of something like sauce on the road – which split and started running underneath the truck.

Back to the unit to finish getting ready and dodge the cleaners as we headed out to Puke Ariki. It was fine when we were walking there. That was about the last time today.

resized_IMG_0923 (2)They had those chairs back in 2007. Only I was sitting in them in that photo.

A helpful lady in the i-SITE let us use a locker. Much better then lugging our coats, woolly hats, scarf, gloves, sunglasses all around the place.

When we had our video interviews, the interview was done by Amber… someone. It was she that D.C. was communicating with until a short time ago. Then it became Lucy McFarlane. We tried to contact Lucy, but she wasn’t in the office. So we dumped out coats in the lockers and went and admired the 100 years of the museum display. It was here that D.C. accidently managed to find our video – which she listened to, to make sure that no one had made any unauthorised changes…

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A lot of these displays were of the “odd” things that people collect. “Transformers”, romance novels, royal memorabilia, salt and pepper shakers, computers…

I found the computers display interesting. He had his Sinclair ZX81 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. (I had one of those! For about a week until I bought a more useful Spectravideo.) And an Amiga 500 – which was Karen’s first computer and I was jealous of her as it had awesome graphics. Until I managed to overwrite one of her games and I had to buy her a replacement copy.

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They even gave you a chance to do a bit of programming a ZX81. I haven’t done that in decades, but managed to follow the prompts and get it to play a tune. (Difficult when using a modern QWERTY keyboard to mimic the old Sinclair. And as a matter of interest, my old Spectravideo had a game of pelmanism, where you could try to pair up things other than cards. One “card” was “QWERTY” and the other “UIOP”. We couldn’t work out what a qwerty and a uiop was… until one day I glanced at the keyboard. This was in the days before I was a touch typist – although I think I’d even struggle now. Touch typists use “finger memory” not conscious memory. If I ever take a keyboard apart to clean it, it’s a struggle to remember where each key goes when I’m putting it back together again.)

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Programming the tune “Frere Gustav”. I’ve got no idea what that sounds like, even having done it.

What’s so odd with collecting old computers? Or “Swanndris”

After we’d finished with this exhibition, we tried to find a place to eat. There was the expensive restaurant, but the waitress directed us to the café. In the library of all places. So we had our lunch, D.C. had a coughing fit, and we enjoyed a slide show of photos taken by Taranaki Daily Mail journalists.

We were about to head back across the skybridge to the museum side of the complex, where we found a display of photos that had originally been taken by one man in 1939. Sixty years later his grandson decided to take the same photos from the same spot to see how things had changed. And in some cases he not only had photos from 1999, but 2019.

Back to the museum proper where was checked out everything else. I found a display of moths – one of which was Austramathes purpurea discovered by Arthur Gardiner Butler. No idea if he’s a relation, but it would funny if he was the discoverer of “purpurea”.

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We found some badly stuffed Kakapo. One the taxidermist has twisted two of its toes so they were the standard bird configuration of three front, one behind for grasping. Kakapo, being parrots, have two front, two back.

I don’t think that New Plymouth has the water issues that Auckland has. The flush of the toilets in Puke Ariki seemed to be powerful enough that if you hadn’t moved away you’d be dragged down with it. And the gurgles at the end were probably the pitiful strokes of those who hadn’t made it trying to escape.

Off to the supermarket again – this time to buy the porridge and yoghurt for breakfast. Unfortunately, it was raining when we came out again. So we sheltered for a bit… and then made a dash for more shelter… and then attempted to cross Courtney Street/State Highway 46 during a “lull” in the rain… And then sheltered some more as the rain blew in.

We finally made it to a long run of verandahs and started hunting out places to eat. I was trying to remember what I’d read in Google last night that was good value and not too expensive. We’d crossed over to Bella Vista’s side of the road when I spied Café Turquoise. I think I remembered seeing that that was good value, so we crossed over again and went inside.

Mark Café Turquoise on your list of places to eat in New Plymouth. It was Turkish style meals and we each had chicken “skewer” (three) shish kebabs on a bed of salad, with homemade Turkish bread, dips of            cacik, hummus, tabouli, and spicy walnut), rice and a choice of two sauces. (I had garlic yoghurt and mint, and D.C. garlic yoghurt and avocado – and had to have a doggie back.) $16 each. I bought two $2 packs of two pieces of baklava for dessert – which we took away with us.

Back to the motel, cups of mint and matcha tea and a piece of baklava, and then to our toasty warm beds.

Only walked 5990 steps today. That’s about the same as a normal Monday – but a lot slower.

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