Saturday, January 2, 2010


I try to stick a New Zealand flag on myself somewhere when I am abroad because it is an easy identification for other Kiwis. Number 5 son says he has no difficulty identifying Kiwi women abroad because we all have such big bums, but I prefer other identification. A flag on my day bag has led to some interesting encounters: e.g.
Stuttgart Railway Station 1991: 'What part of New Zealand are you from?'
'Really? I'm from Martinborough.'
Vancouver Bus 1991: Driver 'Hey, you from Noo Zeeland? What part?'
Me 'You probably haven't heard of it,Featherston in the Wairarapa.'
Driver 'No kidding! You know the ****s down Western Lake Road? I stayed with them last year.'

Lyons, FRANCE: Lady on bus,seeing the flag on my backpack; "Vous ete Australie?"
Me (determined not to mention the Rainbow Warrior :"Non, Nouvelle Zealande."
She looks uncomprehending, so I get out by trip book and show her on the map.
"Ah!" she exclaims, comprehension dawning, New Zealand! Le Rainbow Warrieure!'

In 2008 one of the ferries along the south west coast of Crete broke down and blocked Loutro Bay. Eight hours later the Daskalogiannis picked us up on its last trip of the day. The upper decks were full so we stood with our backpacks and cases in the car deck. But in that conglomeration of people were Doug and Rose from Arrowtown.When we reached Sfakia Doug carried my bag while Rose hurried ahead and identified the Chania bus amongst some thirty waiting vehicles, and waved me goodbye before finding their own tour bus.
The angels I believe in have nothing to do with religion. The do not have wings.They are very real, very human, and probably their potential exists in everybody.


  1. My own memory of the Sfakia ferry is that the top deck was full of people on their last legs having walked the Samaria Gorge in late August.

    You wouldn't do anything so outrageously intrepid, would you?

  2. Well, no. I am training to walk the Imbros in July or August. At the moment we can't decide which would be easier, walk up from the base or down from the taverna at the top.