09 March, 2010

Wellington 1

Here we are, then, in Wellington. I’ve been in a position to almost trip Audrey Niffeneger up on the way out of the lift; also I’ve seen Sarah Waters in the hotel lounge. Writers are gathering, rumble-rumble.

The Gala Opening is tomorrow night, by which time Steven and I plan to be worn out from a cable car trip, a Botanic Gardens walk and a choof around the harbour on a ferry. A bit of gala-ing around should top the day off nicely.

It was sunny and fresh today and not as windy as Wellington is famous for. We wandered into town and had a beer on a breezy balcony at the Establishment, then a rooly-good South Indian dinner in Cuba Street. The average age of Wellingtonians appears to be about 23, would that be right? And all very fine-looking people? (I think I must be wearing my holiday eyes.)

The Festival and Unity Books put a parcel of books in the hotel room: Big Weather: Poems of Wellington, edited by Gregory O’Brian and Louise White; Essential New Zealand Short Stories, selected by Owen Marshall; also an issue of Sport—so they more or less give you a crash course in NZ literature past and present, on arrival. What a good idea, to give you a collection of poems about the city you’re visiting! So much more useful than a Gideon Bible!

So, not a lot to do over the next few days besides play, festivalise and go to gala openings and dinners. Wot luxury!

UPDATED TUESDAY MORNING: The Parade Cafe do a top breakfast—their Infamous Eggs Benedict make a beachside walk compulsory afterwards. Also, they have giant seagulls here. Watch your step.


Blogger raych said...

I'm not sure I'd be able to control myself in such Niffinegger-infested Waters (HEE! See what I did there?) and I'd inappropriately hug a lot of people. So...keep your dignity in a way that I wouldn't, is what I'm saying.

09 March, 2010 11:54  
Blogger Mike said...

What, no Collected Works of Dave Dobbyn under the pillow?

Wow, quality line-up at the festival! Simon Schama...swoon.

Wellington is a great town to spend a few days, isn't it? Much foodie goodness. Unity Bookshop is cool, as is Parsons if you want some quality peace and quiet. (And great books and music.) The city's library is excellent, too.

10 March, 2010 08:59  

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