My cunning plan to recover from my discomfort caused by my unsteadiness on Thursday afternoon clearly worked well because, although a little tight, I was able to walk with relative comfort and ease when I awoke this morning. “Fabulous,” I thought, “I can get out of this flat.”
But what to do?
Well, it seemed obvious, at least to me, that I could do what I had originally intended to do yesterday afternoon and visit the New Zealand Maritime Museum. After some thought, ably assisted by the ingestion of coffee, I decided that yes, that would be what I did this morning. And if necessary, I could ‘recover’ this afternoon.
So into the rental car I hopped ready for the drive into the centre of Auckland, and to the very edge of the harbour itself. The trip took slightly longer than anticipated if only because there’s roadworks going on in the centre of the city, and they keep going on Saturdays. But I didn’t mind, at least I was out in some very pleasant sunshine while driving about.
After parking very close to the museum, and purchasing an entry ticket, I spent a very delightful few hours wandering through the admittedly small museum looking at the variety of exhibits therein. Not unexpectedly, one of the exhibit areas features examples – both real and model – of the kind of vessels used throughout the Pacific islands, from Fiji to Samoa, from the Cook Islands to Aotearoa. The ability to get ‘up close and personal’ to these vessels meant that it was possible to observe the craftsmanship that went into the construction of these vessels. These are not ‘primitive’ vessels; they were the kind of vessels built by experts following age old, tried and tested methods, that have been handed down from generation to generation. Neither are these vessels simple plain vessels. They are constructed with beauty and attention to detail, and with exquisite and quite detailed artwork.
Other exhibits contained the kind of maritime-related displays you might expected, focussing on the early European arrival and settlement, and the later migration story, and the place of coastal trading and the water in the life of New Zealand. A special display is dedicated to the life of Sir Peter Blake, the famous New Zealand yachtsman (famous for his involvement, particularly, in the success of the New Zealand challenges for the America’s Cup).
After finishing at the museum, I strolled along the waterfront for a little way, particularly the Princes and Queens Wharf where, as luck would have it, I was able to have a very pleasant lunch while watching the world go by – quite literally since there was a cruise ship in port and there lots of different languages and nationalities walking past the seat that took advantage of. The end of my leisurely lunch led me back to the car and the drive back to the flat, again navigating the various roadworks and delays caused by the increasing traffic compared to earlier.
I detoured via the supermarket for food supplies, and eventually surrendered to the desire to have a quick nap.
This evening I went to the local Catholic church, just 800 metres away. The liturgical experience was certainly better than what I encountered at the Cathedral last Sunday evening, but there were still some strange liturgical practices that caught my eye. Will really need to read the NZ version of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal to make sure I’m not misinformed. On the other hand, the homily, from the Parish Priest, was quite good, and had a ‘hook’ that kept my attention throughout and afterwards. I’ll probably be back next week…
And so, home for a fine meal, and then a quiet Saturday night at home. My plan for tomorrow, being the day of rest, is to attend to some household chores, and then ‘rest’.