Friday, November 30, 2012


30 Nov. Blenheim.
This morning we woke up to find the verandah wet. Rain? We hadn't seen any since the tropical downpour in Port Douglas. We even spread washing out inside to dry, as it looked unlikely to stay dry all day.
After coffee, Harry decided that Blenheim was the place to go.

A mere hour's drive away, and a pleasant town. Bigger than it looked at first, with lots of facilities. We parked, wandered, bought a "home-made lemonade" from a man who told us his mum was from Birmingham, and he and his wife had lived and worked in London for a couple of years.

We ate our cheese and crackers and drank the lemo on a bench near the market square - another slightly incongruous mock Tudor clock. My faithful Opinel knife cut our cheese.

Back to the car, and then on to the Aviation Heritage Centre /
just outside the town - an excellent display of genuine and reconstructed world war 1 planes, some of which are still flown in exhibitions. Alongside these films relating to the time, uniforms and other ephemera from the Allies and the other side. Models of people engaged in various activities added to the atmosphere. The whole was housed in a large building with subdued lighting. Peter Jackson, who directed Lord of the Rings is an aviation and WW1 enthusiast , owns some of the displays, and was instrumental in setting up the displays.

We arrived half an hour before closing time, but we're told that they kick everyone out and hour after that. Last entry at 4 pm. We had plenty of time to look and absorb.

As we drove back the rain began again in earnest and we saw another side to the hills. Mist-shrouded moody mountains, and a greyer sea. A refreshing change in some ways. At least we're not having to hide from the strong sun!

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