366 days of gratitude

October 4, 2016

There’s a huge element of luck in hosting an exchange student.

We struck the jackpot when we did it more than 20 years ago and he and his family have become ours.

He is Argentinean and we’ve just returned from nine wonderful days there.

We caught up with our exchangee, his family and friends in San Nicolas, Pergamino, Mendoza and Buenos Aires.

We ate a lot of meat, drank some wine and visited el Mercado de Liniers  – the Buenos Aires cattle market which was having a quiet day – only about 6,000 head of cattle, because of a strike.

We also travelled to Mendoza and drove up a mountain pass in the Andes; and returned to Buenos Aires to watch the All Blacks play the Pumas.

It was our ninth trip to Argentina and, like the previous ones, made us appreciate that country and its people and ours.

Today I’m grateful for happy holidays and safe homecomings.

I’m also grateful that I was out of the country when the clocks went forward. The start of daylight saving always makes me feel jet-lagged and I reckon if I’m going to feel that way it’s better to do so as the result of travel rather than mucking about with time.


Ice cream war

October 22, 2008

Adolf from No Minister left this comment on the post before this one:

There’s an ice cream joint in the village of Pokeno, just south of auckland, which serves the biggesterest ice creams in the world.

Wars have started with less provocative statements than that so I felt the defence of southern ice creameries warranted a post of its own.

The biggest ice creams in New Zealand used to be served by the Itchen Street dairy in Oamaru but they have now been overtaken by those served by the lovely people at the Hilltop store in Hampden.

Second place goes to the Dunsandel Store in Canterbury – a compulsory first stop after leaving Christchurch airport on our way home from overseas.

If we’re going international – the biggest, and best,  are served in Pergamino, Argentina, where you pay by the gram.


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