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Drinkery

4 January, 2009 Leave a comment

If you’re going to bastardise the language – at least be consistent

From the use of the word Brewery, the Kiwis have decided that Winery is the right way to describe a vineyard which then goes on to make its own wine. I can go with the idea that there’s a difference between a winery and a vineyard, but only just. However, to add insult to injury, they add cidery to the list of linguistic crimes …. whereas we all know it’s a B&Q colour at best. an adjective, surely, not a noun. But, alas, i am a lone voice shouting irrately in the wind. But what really winds me up is that, on the same sign as Winery and cidery, they decide that the place where fruit juice is made into a commoditised drink is called a… yes, come one… a Juice Factory. I despair. Juicery is horrible – but consistency would have been appreciated.

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Waking in a winery

23 December, 2008 Leave a comment

Straw Lodge is great. Am sitting in the garden of our suite, the stereo has some chilled tunes and the view of pinot noir vines against a backdrop of mountains is only enhanced by birds twittering and the rain pattering down.

Nettie and Jane provided a tasty breakfast of local produce – the best I’ve had in 7 weeks of travelling – which lived up to last night’s dinner platter, again of local produce, which included hot smoked salmon, venison, turkey, their own olives, and both a rather good sauvignon blanc and the pinot noir.

Spending yesterday afternoon cycling round dirt tracks and roads to cellar doors so that some of the friendly winemakers can take you through what they make – and perhaps more interestingly, why they make it – is a great way to spend a holiday. Helped, by the good company, of course.

The NZ experience so far has lived up to expectaions. Seeing the Marshall in Grey Lynn, Auckland was great fun. Nice to have two semi-retired web professionals just mooching about on Waiheke island and trying the Cable Bay selection and cheeseboard. Then down to see the Law clan in sunny Cambridge. Ok, so it was pissing down for all of Saturday – but that didn’t stop us sorting the feng shui of home. You wouldn’t believe how much settling in with friends at their house, and sorting out the home office is a satisfying experience. It gave me a sense of adopted home for 36 hours. A good respite from constantly living out of a bag. And I got to learn about Ben 10 as well.

And, with little flutters of excitement building, getting an early morning bus back to Auckland Airport to pick up the girl. NZ1 delivers her safe and sound and hardly jetlagged.. and we head to Mollies. Awards galore, and when you get there, you can see why. A really special place and i’m so glad i picked it for our first day back together. Sumptuous, tasteful but not ostentatious, luxury.

Monday we flew down to Wellington and stayed in the Museum (not Te Papa) before getting the early morning ferry over to Picton and then a short drive to here.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas eve. Going to a couple more wineries this morning (Bladen, Wairau River and Seresin yesterday) and a chocolate factory. No midnight mass. No last minute shopping. No carols. No cold. No hurrying into a pub for a warming beverage.

No family and friends neither. Which I miss. But thinking of you all.

Feels like it’s going to be a happy christmas and a good new year.

Sunburn addles American brain

23 December, 2008 Leave a comment

Bladen winery is a lovely little place run by Dave McDonald and we were just tasting the Pinot Gris when an american couple joined us at the bench. Sunburnt, oh yes, on having a) not allowed for rolling up your sleeves and b) not allowed for the thin ozone here. BUT that still doesn’t forgive the perversion that ensued.

Ready? the conversation goes like this:

“You have to remember to put on the sun cream all the time” says she

“Well I never leave home with out a factor 50 on” says I

“Yes, my brother is complected just like you” says he

COMPLECTED?!?!?!?!?!

For the love of all things holy. The English language is a wonderful thing and primarily because of it’s ability to be flexible and adapted in creative ways. But this isn’t creative. It’s just lazy.

To create a verb out of a noun – probably called verbalisationary changeification by Children of Bush – is fine if there isn’t already a good way of saying it. But there is a good way. In fact there are several ways and perfectly decent grammatical structures that would have achieved the same end. But that would have required him to think for a moment rather than open mouth, let noise come out.

I didn’t bite, by the way. Nor did I laugh, scoff, point, or slap.  I was, admittedly, quiet for a few minutes while i tried to process what he’d just done and then decided that  another glass of wine was probably the next best step.

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