Gooseberries And Wind Turbines
earmarked as my Wellington sightseeing day. John Grant had a full
agenda of his own, so the LETS members who volunteered to be my
tour guides for the day were Catherine Rowe and John Gilmartin.
on the computer all morning, so I was pleased to get away from it
by lunchtime. Catherine was the driver, and she took us to a popular
lunch venue opposite the Green Dollar office in the city � the Elderly
We all had
the soup of the day (beans), a homemade sandwich (egg and salad
for me) with tea and cakes afterwards. But we'd timed our visit
a little awkwardly. Soon after we began our meal, a presentation
took place at the back of the room just next to our table. And for
the next few minutes we were competing with the speaker for attention
as we tried to make conversation amongst ourselves while he drowned
us out with subjects such as euthanasia and hearing aid subsidies.
We were definitely losing this challenge, so we quietly gathered
our belongings and moved to the other end of the room to complete
our meals and converse uninterrupted.
we went to the local community gardens where Wellington LETS had
recently claimed a plot of their own. Catherine had sewn it with
a variety of vegetables and she was very proud to see her plants
looking very hardy indeed.
brought my attention to a large bush on an adjacent plot.
ever had Cape Gooseberries?" she asked. Well, I hadn't.
like to try one?"
I can never
refuse an offer to taste a new and unusual food, so I reached down
and plucked one of the numerous pods from the supple green branches.
These pods were about the size of a walnut, but hollow with a tissue-thin
casing shaped much like a ribbed teardrop. And inside of it was
a small yellow fruit about the size of a marble, and similar in
appearance to a tiny round tomato. It had a sour tang to it, but
tasted pleasant nevertheless. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to have
a second one.
said there was a windmill nearby, so I eagerly asked to see it.
While I was in Holland I'd only seen one windmill, so I was intrigued
to see what New Zealand's representation was like. But John said,
"You mean the Wind Turbine."
Turbine was a modern construction built in 1996 on top of a nearby
hill in Wellington. It was there as an experiment to see how much
FREE wind-generated energy it could produce, though I'm not sure
how it was faring. But the view from this hilltop was magnificent.
We could see the city tucked away to the left in a picturesque setting
of cloudy skies, blue seas, and sprawling green hills. But as I
looked down from the hill towards the city, I couldn't help thinking
how small it made the capital look.
"Do you drink
Kilkenny?" John asked. That was music to my ears. So we made our
way towards The Innkeeper. Happy hour was from 5 - 6pm, and because
it was still early, we made a detour for the nearby Organic Food
Market and whiled away our time amongst the filtered water, non-preservative
added foods and pest riddled (but tasty) fruit.
As we walked
into the pub John Gilmartin immediately recognised a couple of his
friends, Trevor and his partner Rosemary. Trevor had already had
a few drinks (I could tell), so he didn't mind telling us that he'd
wanted to marry Rosemary 3 years ago, but because Rosemary was a
Catholic divorcee, the church had refused to allow it. With a twinkle
in his eye, this 69 year old man then told us they were just as
happy living in sin. Rosemary's giggle verified she agreed with
with our new friends till well after happy hour, and allowed Trevor
to entertain us with some of his more amusing recollections. And
the one that kept cropping up all the time was his encounter with
a cleaning lady who was polishing the floor of a shower recess and,
from the angle Trevor was looking at her, left little to his imagination.
And no matter how much we prompted him, he refused to elaborate
article is taken from the ebook,
Land of the LETS Green
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