your correspondent took a wee hop across the ditch last week in order to support the Aotearoa Feltmaters at their exhibition 'Window on White' at the Millennium Gallery in Blenheim. the ferry to the South island essentially floats through a Colin McCahon landscape.
i am now able to tell you that the Flying Burrito Brothers on Cuba Street have a magic touch with a margarita . properly prepared this is the last sip the angels take before trashing their harps, flinging their white robes into a dyepot, plucking out their feathers and taking up residence at the right hand of Mr S de Vil. yup, that good.
i can also warn you never, ever to even think of asking for a margarita at the Checkers eatery in Blenheim. no, i don't know what possessed me, but may God forgive me i had a weak moment and set in motion a chain of events i will regret for some time.
in response to the offer of a drink i foolishly said yes please, in the absence of Bombay Sapphire i would settle for a margarita. the person doing the ordering disappeared for quite some time and eventually returned to inform me that the wee laddie behind said bar had to go and look up the recipe but despite that left out the Cointreau, sloshed half the salt off the glass and after swilling a tiny splash of tequila about in a cocktail shaker together with Lime cordial (yes, you read correctly) deposited the dregs WITH the melting ice into the glass. words fail me. a former San Franciscan present on the occasion nearly fainted.
the exhibition opening was followed by a workshop, held in a four-stand woolshed on 'Burnside', a rather delightful property in the Wairau Valley. the samples shown above were dyed using madder root grown by one of the participants.
and in turn the workshop was followed by yet more celebrating. eventually pootled off down the coast this morning on a Great Escape and after absorbing a pleasant and steaming cup of chowder by the seaside outside Kaikoura (scene of earlier horror stories) eventually found myself at Hanmer Springs. essentially these are warm water puddles of which some are rather sulphurous....
i soaked in them until i was red-faced.