I started out this morning with the intention of whinging about a few things – you know the usual sorts of stuff, travellers tummy, pouring rain, cranky waiters and yucky hotels but decided that no one really needed to hear that sort of drivel from me. In perusing the news I am so very glad I didn’t give into those baser instincts – Christchurch New Zealand will never be the same after its earthquake – I don’t have any TV access here but it looks like the better part of the city has been destroyed and it is a wonder more people weren’t killed, although I’m sure the death toll will inevitably rise. It is personal for me in a way as I have been there and thought it was a pretty little city where things don’t change much. My thoughts are with them all…..
The other reason – and I freely admit to being superficial here, I’m glad I didn’t go on whining is that the day did end up being perfectly lovely. The tummy settled down – thank god I have a generally cast iron one and the sun came out, we rode around on bikes, chatted with the organic farm manager who supplies the hotel, loafed around the pool and had a superb grilled fish for lunch. It doesn’t take much to make my world sort itself out again – mostly I just need a little time to myself once in a while.
There are a few things I’ve become addicted to here – my morning Masala Chai – heavy on the ginger and cardamom (Florence and Arthur’s housekeeper Premula makes the very best, her’s is the gold standard), my homemade tomato soup ( haven’t had this much of the stuff since I was a kid) and lime soda which is a great thirst quencher now matter how chancy the place you get it from. Freshly squeezed limes which are always perfect and a bottle of soda water in a ratio of about 1 to 4. Usually plain, but if it has been very hot – like most of the time – then it is salted or sometimes if your butt is dragging – again most of the time then it is sweet. Lovely invention. Then there is the yoghurt, always freshly made everyday and essential to start the day. Later it is part of an evening meal as Raita – spiced and with various vegetable added. That and some naan can practically make a meal.
I am learning to eat without utensils and with my right hand only, using bits of bread (naan, roti, chapati etc) to scoop up the dhal which accompanies just about EVERY meal here. Sandra – thank you for getting me started on lentils otherwise I’d probably have had a fit by now. I have eaten a great many vegetarian meals – indeed one of the hotels was itself strictly vegan! I will always enjoy my meat – I am an omnivore but I must say over all I haven’t missed it too much. I won’t mind however getting rid of the more gaseous aspects of a lentil/legume diet! The incense Barb and I bought has come in handy…..!
Everyone is starting to wander in for dinner – I puttered here and they shopped in town so time to go.

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