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NZ Trip: Hockey & Shindig

My good long-time friend Paul A rang up this morning. Ben has a hockey game in Upper Hutt, would I like to come and watch? I can do better than that: with my big rental car I'll do the ferrying there and back!

It was a good game, although the opposing team had a goalie and Ben's team didn't. Also, the coach didn't show up! But Paul stepped in to the role with his usual competence and I have no idea which side won but it was fun to watch. Some very good plays were made.

After the game we drove into Upper Hutt for a lunch at McDonalds, did some shopping, and drove back to the house, where I left them and returned to my parent's home briefly before driving out to Petone to see nephew Peter play indoor cricket.

After that, Peter and Trevor came back with me for the shindig. Lots of people came, including Paul & Julia & family which was neat.

I got to meet many cousins and nephews and nieces and yes, they'd all grown.

Joel and Ben got on really well with Barnaby and Gregory - Joel and Barnaby are both dead ringers for Harry Potter, which they both kind of HATE. It's funny seeing them together though.

Elizabeth sat in the corner reading an old book of nursery rhymes for a long time, then I sat down and asked her how she was doing. She told me about her favorite nursery rhymes are in a book of mixed up ones, where everything is different (Mother Hubbard couldn't find the bone because the dog took it and ate it already - his stomach was out to *here* and the werewolf boy wasn't going to go to werewolf heaven because he wasn't a *real* werewolf, but his parents knew something was up because they saw footprints outside his bedroom window, and... etc etc) She would come up to me later on, telling me more favorite bits that she just remembered.

My aunts Wendy and Helen were there, and I had a nice chat with them. I'm going to drive up the coast tomorrow to Kapiti and have lunch with them and maybe chat without so much pleasently noisy family around.

After dinner Trevor and Margaret & Barnaby took me into town after dinner to see a Jazz pianist at a bar/lounge upstairs at the Embassy theatre (complete with mega-sized Gollum peering over the facade of the theatre but now it's showing Matrix Reloaded rather the Two Towers).

The Jazz pianist was called Jonathan Crawford and he played some numbers and then was joined by a female Brazilian vocalist with a pretty interesting and deep voice accompanying. It was pleasant, but I did feel that the bassist and drummer were kind of sleepwalking through it. Occasional good moments though - definitely worth seeing, thanks guys.