Suddenly it was summer.
I don’t know if the phrase translates well across international orders, but as people say here and in Australia, it was “one out of the box”. That usually means that the thing being discussed was among the best of its kind. The dashboard thermometer on my car was telling me that the outside air temperature in downtown Wellington was 27°C (81°F) which was pretty warm at any time of the year.
Two cruise liners struck it lucky. The Celebrity Solstice (121,878 GT, 2,850 Passengers, 1,500 crew) and the Voyager of the Seas (137,276 GT, 3,138 passengers, 1,181 crew) delivered a huge gift to the retailers and restaurateurs of the city. As for me, I was in the city to have lunch and to take a photowalk with two friends. We were in Tory Street to begin with, a little beyond the walking range of a typical cruise passenger, so it was a very pleasantly uncrowded place to eat, and to do so in good company.
After lunch, we started our wandering at the waterfront behind the old Post Office Herd St depot, and thence wandered along Oriental Parade. This was a working day, but of course many students are on their summer break. Despite the warm air temperature, few were tempted into the still chilly water, choosing instead to ignore all warnings of Melanoma risk and to work on their tans.
The three of us chose to walk up the steep flight of steps from Oriental Parade to Prince Street, only to find ourselves in the middle of a tarmac laying exercise. The site officials had closed things off from the top, but it had not occurred to them that people might come up from the bottom. We balanced along the concrete gutter beside the new tarmac road and emerged onto Roxburgh street where a foreman with delusions of authority started yelling at us. We ignored him and moved on down the hill to the city. These back streets turn up interesting finds like this long disused chimney supporting new growth and a recently obsolete antenna for analogue TV reception. Obviously it would be more hassle to remove the chimney or the antenna than it would be worth.
Some of the infrastructure in the older suburbs has been there since the city’s earliest days, and though a bit run down, is still performing the task for which it was designed. This stairway, for example still provides access to number 53, but even the most skilled Cinderella would lose her glass slippers here.
As we neared Cambridge Terrace, we passed a small motor workshop, and there in the doorway , amidst all the partially complete vehicles, two men were working on a beautifully painted electric toy car. Totally unexpected.
And that was it for the day.