10 March, 2010

Wellington 2

We faffed around too much yesterday to complete everything we wanted to do, but we did manage the cable car/Botanic Gardens bit. We learned how all these Wellingtonians keep themselves looking so trim and Antarctica-ready—place was full of mad people running up and down those hills we were taking at our leisurely pace with occasional rest map-reading stops.

On the way back from the Cable Car stop we shopped for gifts, hats and, oh, books. We happened on Unity Books, independent booksellers who are supplying to the festival, and I now have Kate de Goldi’s The 10PM Question, and Maurice Gee’s Salt (there are 2 more in the series, so I will have to pop back to NZ some time and get the others) and Bernard Beckett’s Genesis—these last 2 were recommended to me when I was in Christchurch a couple of years ago, which tells you something of how behind I am in my reading.

We had run into a friend by then (this is what happens when you hang about in bookshops), so some NZ beer was in order at the General Practitioner’s just up the road. Then it was off to dinner (Ortega Fish Shack and Café) and the Gala Opening, where Kate de Goldi herself was chairing a panel on the novel with Audrey Niffeneger, Kamila Shamsie, Gil Adamson and Neil Cross. Unfortunately we were sitting right under the projector for the slide that displayed before and after the panel, so when the panellists spoke quietly (which they mostly did) parts of what they said were lost. But we managed to get most of it.

Today is another fine day, so that boat trip looks as if it’ll happen. *applies sunscreen, grabs hat, strides out door*


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