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Monday, September 19, 2011

17th September – Up Up and away – Mike Sammes Singers

I got up this morning at stupid o’clock, to tick off something from my bucket list. I thought I’d been clever, keeping my phone time on BST, and calculated the alarm time. I’d set it 2 hours wrong, and the alarm went off at 2 instead of 4 o’clock.

We drove for an hour out onto to the Canterbury Plains. The driver told us that he had been speaking to the father in law of the blonde in the Tindall dwarf throwing case. His son had been to school with Zara and was now living in Queenstown and had offered to take the lads to a bar. Move along please, nothing to see. We spent half an hour getting the balloon ready, and inflated and then up into the air we went. We were up there for an hour drifting silently, watching the sun rise up, shortening the shadows, and the animals in the fields. Eventually we came down and landed in a field with a young bullock. It had horns.

The bullock was very interested in the balloon and us, especially when we were bending over to put it away. Its horns bothered me. They were sharp and I’ve have preferred him with a Diane sauce and mushrooms.

We drove then to Oamuru, about 90 minutes north of Dunedin, ready for the game tomorrow. When most of New Zealand feels like it is in the 60’s, this place was in the Victorian era, with half day closing on Saturday afternoon. They have made a feature of their Victorian buildings, filling them with Victorian memorabilia to be almost a Black Country Museum, with a modern twist. In the evening, we went to see the little blue penguins. There was a bull seal lazing close by where they came ashore, but he wasn’t interested in the penguins, he couldn’t get the wrappers off. (I’ll get my coat). 

In the Otago daily Times, there was a letter from Happy Feet. Happy Feet was an Emperor Penguin who was found on a beach 1000s of miles away from where it should be near Wellington. It had eaten loads of sand thinking that it was snow and was ill. Wellington zoo nursed it back to health, with the vet’s bills being paid for by the public. It was then let go, with a radio sounder attached to its back. Within a week the radio signal was lost, and the fear that it has been eaten by an Orca. The letter thanked the NZ public for helping him over his tummy problems, and for their excellent hospitality – and all the fish. He wanted to let the public know that he would be out of touch for a while whilst he had a holiday.

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