Well, the session with Simon Schama was good. I had been warned that I would need to be assertive to be heard at all, but fortunately our chair, Lydia Wever, directed enough questions my way for me to get a word in here and there. I don't think I actually interrupted Simon at all - if you have ever heard him public speak, you will know that he's too charming and lively for you to want to interrupt him. Still, we managed a fascinating panel, the three of us.
Saturday night was the author party, and a fine author party it was - I got to talk properly to Kate de Goldi, not just panelise with her, and a bunch of other wonderful festival-related people were there as well. Top food, too much wine (again), but worth every nibble and sup!
Sunday (was that only yesterday?) we took the bus around the harbour and went and saw Katherine Mansfield's birthplace - so I have to go and re-read everything of hers, now. Why is life so short? We ambled back to the hotel via various interesting looking shops, and Steven had a snooze and I read, and wrote a blog post for next week's blog tour (did I tell you I'd be blog touring next week? I'll be blog touring next week.), and packed for the ferry trip.
We crossed town again to go to Rasa in Cuba Street, arriving 5 minutes after the kitchen closed, but they were kind enough to feed us anyway.
Hotel, sleep, checkout, taxi, ferry. What a great ferry trip! You're hardly ever out of sight of land - and such land! I was reading in the guidebook how NZ was basically bits of what used to be the Queensland part of Gondwanaland, tipped on their sides and half-drowned; that's very easy to appreciate, watching those steep slopes and striped rocks cruise by.
Picked up the car at Picton and drove a lovely drive through Blenheim and on down the highway to here, pausing to peer over the fence at Oaho Point Seal Colony and awwww at the baby seals - they were rolling and fighting in a series of rock pools, while some of the bigger seals swam around in the foamier, kelpier, bigger waters nearby. Lots of sea-mist and a convincing impression of winter cold - yay the putting on of warm tops!
So here we are, South Islanded and safe. What should we go and see tomorrow, Those Who Know? We're thinking of heading southwest.