1 Eagleton Notes

Monday, 1 September 2014

Reflections of New Zealand: Kayaking

James and Yuko took me under their wing one Monday in 2011.  I had never been kayaking and the opportunity to wander up the Waimapu River at Tauranga was one not to be missed.  It was not, I have to admit, executed without incident.


Setting off upstream
Recent floods have left the river blocked in places and careful negotiation of the hazards was needed
At the end of the journey was a huge swimming hole with a rope swing between the (very high) trees
Which both of the youngsters tried - I didn't!
Returning - a quiet journey.  Almost......
On the return journey we had to negotiate a couple of fallen trees which were blocking all but about a metre of the river which it was possible to get man and kayak through successfully with a very small area adjacent where the tree was out of the water sufficiently for a kayak to pass but not the occupant however low he or she should lean back.  I was, of course, the one who managed to misjudge the fast-flowing current sufficiently to go under the low bit and consequently end up in the water.  The river was deeper than I was tall with a very steep adjacent bank so I had to swim for the other side. Next time I'll wear togs!  Fortunately James and Yuko rescued the kayak and brought it over to me.  The weather was so hot that the rest of the journey was actually rather pleasant.

The photos were taken by James with whom copyright rests.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fashion: Really?

An email from John Lewis containing this image dropped into my inbox a couple of days ago.  I know that I'm not into suits nor fashion these days but, really, is this what Savile Row now regards as suits for the fashionable?


Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Last Climb of The Clisham

On a day in March 2004 Gaz and I had planned to climb The Clisham: the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides, at 799 metres (2,621 ft) the archipelago's only Corbett  Not long previously we had climbed Ben Lomond: at 974 metres (3,196 ft) and situated on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, it is the most southerly of the Munros.   My photos, however, show the former on one of the most glorious of days.  






For Gaz, who the previous week had climbed Mont Blanc, this was just a  stroll in the park. 


Thursday, 28 August 2014

James

Perhaps it's youth.  Perhaps it's being a Kiwi.  Perhaps it's being one's mother's son.  Perhaps it's a combination of all those things.  Perhaps it's just because James is James.  Whatever.  When people stay with me I take the view that this is their temporary home and whilst I would like to think that I look after my visitors I accept that both our lives have to carry on as well.  So when, for example David and Molly come it's the sort of  easy relationship that comes from 40 years of friendship. It's a similar story for most of my friends who stay.  We do things together and we do our own thing as well.  When I've met James up until now it's been in his family home in New Zealand.  From the moment he arrived last week until we left for me to take him to the ferry at 0610 this morning it's as if he had always been here.  An easier, more amicable house guest could not wish for.  I am sorry to see him go.  James I wish you a safe journey back to your temporary life in Germany.  I hope that we will meet again soon.

Fortunately the weather for his visit has shown the Island at its best and James has managed to get some tramping as well as a bit of cycling and serious 'tourist sightseeing'.  Yesterday James discovered that the bike he had not been using had a puncture which he just set about mending whilst I spent one of those wonderful days pottering around the garden and getting lots and lots done whilst expending relatively little energy in serious hard labour.