The pig trauma is over and I coped, despite Ron, from Superior Meats in Carterton, telling me I am “a butcher’s nightmare”. Bratwurst and Crackling went off looking like this:
And came back looking like …..actually I’m not going to show you what they look like now because some of you are just too sensitive. I’m just proud to say I coped. I did give Ron a long letter setting out the cuts I wanted, and he just laughed and threw it in the bin, before threatening to shut me in the chiller. I got my cuts out of the New Zealand Cook’s Bible, which he told me to burn, and I now have in the freezer two beautiful hams for Christmas, numerous roasts, cutlets, masses of loin bacon, seven spicy salamis, steaks and slices, trotters, and two heads out of which I shall make brawn. Piggies, you did us proud.
But now it is time to depart for warmer climes. Our bags are packed. We have house-sitters, retired farmers, moving in for four weeks. Taja, Kete, Winston and the chooks, and Pip & Squeak (not their real names) will be well cared for. My littlest daughter (23) came to stay for two days last week and took some snaps of pip & squeak, taja, chooks in the blimmin’ garden, and kete in her basket.
Colin’s littlest son (25) came to stay and brought a wild duck shot for him by his boss, which I cooked for dinner, and it was delicious.
So, temporary family farewells over, our first stop is San Francisco. Colin, two years ago, was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and they have fabulous conferences around the world where social discussion of cases is forbidden. There will be wine tastings, cocktail parties, and a private dinner near the Golden Gate bridge.
Next stop, Chicago, where Colin, as President of the New Zealand Bar Association is a distinguished guest of the President of the American Bar Association. More cocktail dresses. A black tie dinner. You can see I shall have to mind my P’s and Q’s. But first we catch up with our dear friends the Krsuls, whom we met in New York last year. They will pick us up from O’Hare and take us to their place at Bridgman where we will see some sun! (oh joy) and do some swimming (oh more joy!). In Chicago we will also see much of Colin’s daughter Tracey.
Then to London and my other two girls, my biggest girl whom I haven’t put my arms around for 19 months – too long. We stay with them for a long weekend in the Cotswolds (much laughter), have dinner back in London with my journalist mate Stryker McGuire from Newsweek, then over to Paris for three nights and a barge trip through Burgundy to check out if they can make Pinot Noir as well as we can.
Yeah, sounds like hell doesn’t it, but someone has to do it. If I can master wi-fi along the way (I’m a techno-retard) I’ll keep blogging as I go.
I bet the time goes all too quickly, and right now I’m pretty anxious about getting everything done before we go. But when I sink down into my seat on that plane on Wednesday night, heading towards San Fran, with a glass of Champagne in my hand, I will allow myself to start getting excited.