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YAK Summer Xmas


#1

G’day; this is for you Northern hemisphere people who have
cold Christmasses:

An Xmas ‘Down Under’

On Christmas morning after the present-giving ritual was over,
the washing up done and everyone was ready, the Chief Cook filled
the picnic box with goodies and after a final check of everything
we all piled into the car and we were off on a leisurely drive
down the almost deserted Kiwi Christmas roads. The paddocks
(fields) looked rejuvenated after the heavy showers on Christmas
Eve, and after the previous several week’s drought. We soon
turned off the highway and the countryside became even more
rural, with cows, sheep, and deer all over the place. Presently
we turned into a side road, and after we had passed the sawmill
the asphalt road top gave out and we were on gravel, but wide
enough for two cars to pass. Soon there were orchards either
side of the road which was compacted by the dosing of old sump
oil the orchardists had put on it to cut down the dust from
travellers like us. We noted that the apples were now of a size
easily visible and were busily ripening for the harvest in
February.

We came to a lovely green place marked “Eve’s Valley Reserve”,
turned onto the grass and parked in the shade among the trees in
a little clearing. We could hear the a stream close by burbling
away like they do in NZ, and among the short grass was a random
pattern of varieties of wildflowers. As we made up our salad
rolls and opened the ice-cold bottle of Bernadino Spumante (very
similar and just as good as the Italian Asti Spumante) we heard a
chorus of tuis, bell birds, some European blackbirds, thrushes
and chaffinches Then a whoosh of wings accompanied the flight of
two big native pigeons which flew over the clearing. The aural
entertainment continued when we had packed up the remains of our
picnic and entered the bush (forest) by one of the narrow tracks
that would be hard for a newcomer to find, but once found were
hard to lose. Our track was wide enough for only one person, but
we filed through on a carpet of many years leaves, for only two
NZ trees loose their leaves in the autumn. The bush had a
distinctive but pleasant scent, and whilst we were watching a tui
feeding on honey-dew nectar on one of the native beeches, a
little pair of fantails joined us, and followed us across the
bubbling stream and through the bush, amusing us with their
continual aerobatics, for they caught on the wing the small
flying insects we disturbed by our passage. Although the
overhead canopy of leaves was close, the bright sunlight broke
through occasionally, dappling the thick green ferns either side
of the path in all their variety and lit up the mosses. We
admired the variety of trees; totara, rimu, matai, kowhai,
fuschia and many more. Eventually the path led us over a wooden
bridge spanning a wider creek and into the open. None of us
had much to say as we walked over the grass in the warm sunshine
and back to our waiting car, which we turned for home. The New
Zealand bush often has that effect on people. But it had been a
very pleasant Christmas lunch and we looked forward to the
traditional dinner, much later, of roast turkey, ham, fresh
peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, and kumera etc, all from our
garden (which the Chief Cook assiduously cultivates) with a
bottle of one of the local Nelson wines,(about 12 wineries within
30km radius of our place) and flambE9 Christmas pud followed by
a liqueur as we listened to the Queen’s Christmas message.

And a very happy New Year to you all as I raise my glass and bid
you, “Cheers”;

    /\
   / /    John Burgess, 
  / /
 / //\    @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \

/ (___)
(_________)


#2

He’s right folks, Nelson, New Zealand is a lovely place to be.

John, say hullo to Dave Glover if you see him when you’re over
in Moutere buying his wines.

:wink:

Regards
Brian
B r i a n � A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r �
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz


#3

John, you leave me envious! Maybe I will get there some day!
Fortunately, we had lovely weather in New York. Itdidn’t snow
until the day after Christmas. @mbm


#4

What a delight to hear of your NZ Christmas!! Thank you so much
for writing. I’d like to know what “kumera” is. Your Christmas
day on the west coast of Florida was very rainy and hot and
hymid. It has cooled down to the 50’s this week, which is really
wonderful. Thanks again for your message - Gini


#5

I vote we spend Christmas with John Burgess next year!

“You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in
contact with a new idea”

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once
he grows up.”
–Pablo Picasso

Karen Christians
Fly Fish Design
282 Lexington Street
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3827

@metalart


#6

John, you leave me envious! Maybe I will get there some day!

Made me miss my childhood in California. Barbecued turkey on
Thanksgiving, barbecued roast beef on Christmas, barbecued leg
of lamb on Easter.

Tom


#7

John:

I forwarded your NZ yak to my daughter, who is interested in
Kiwiland through her infatuation with Lucy Lawless and “Xena,
Warrior Princess” and is a budding authoress. I thought she
would appreciate the prose. We find you have ANOTHER talent.
And to think you told me one time you had ended up in trades
rather than University as a young fellow. Somebody missed a
diamond in the rough! Really enjoyd the glimpse of NZ and the
prose. Beautiful! Thanks!

Roy (Jess)


#8
      On Christmas morning after the present-giving ritual was
over, the washing up done and everyone was ready, the Chief
Cook filled the picnic box with goodies 

John, you lucky person! If I’d tried to do a picnic box it
would have frozen before we passed the paddocks!!!

I’m looking out my window and seeing some white stuff falling
from the sky, there is a bunch of white stuff on my deck (about
6" at this point, and it has only started to snow!) It’s not
supposed to end until late tomorrow evening! Gosh, we may be
snowed in!

What a way to start the new year . . .


#9

Amazing. A real white christmas like Bing and the others sang about. I’ve
never had one.

But, it’s ok - It’s the future here and New Year right now and the morning
sun’s streamin’ in! So maybe you’ll be alright?

What’s that … (holds cupped hand to one ear) I can hear the call to
methode-champaignoise breakfast…

Happy New Year, people!

brian
B r i a n � A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r �
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz
http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/ NEXT: Queenstown NZ Jan 13 1998


#10
   What a delight to hear of your NZ Christmas!!  Thank you so
much for writing. I'd like to know what "kumera" is.  Your
Christmas day on the west coast of Florida was very rainy and
hot and hymid.  It has cooled down to the 50's this week, which
is really wonderful.  Thanks again for your message - Gini

G’day Gini - and Happy New Year! Thank you for your comment;
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I’m pleased
that it was well received as I was a bit hesitant in sending it.

Kumara (I spelt it wrongly!) is a tuber vegetable, looks a
little bit like potato but shaped differently and not the same
family. It needs a very well drained soil to grow in. You can
roast, boil, or even fry it like chips (french fries to you!) and
it is sweet and tastes very much like roast chestnuts. In fact,
many folk use it as an ingredient for chicken or turkey stuffing.
Very nice and tastes quite unlike potato flavour. It is very
much a South Pacific vegetable, and originally came from ome of
the Islands. It is often called ‘sweet potato’, but then so are
Yams - which are also very common in all the greengrocers, but
not as good as kumara.

I’ve heard of Florida’s climate and long ago decided that it
wouldn’t suit my wife or me. We both hate heat and humidity - we
get neither where we live in Mapua, Nelson, in the South Island.
It never gets really cold in winter and never really hot in
summer. And although the sun is really fierce in Jan-Feb, (burn
time 10-15 minutes!) a gentle breeze comes off the sea around
10.30am and keeps everything reasonable. And envy will get you
to Nelson! Cheers, –

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#11

John - good to find our about kumara - sounds very interesting.
Guess I’ll have to come to NZ to get some!! I can only imagine a
world without humidity! Everywhere I haved lived across this
country has been humid… from Fl. to NYC to San Francisco to
Knoxville, Tn. and back to Fl. I had never particularly wanted
to visit NZ of Aust. but now my interest has been peaked!! Good
job on PR. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the
future. Gini


#12

John— I too am so pleased you wrote your NZ Christmas message.
It made the moment a memorable one when reading it. Thank you
and now I must put NZ on my travel list for next year. Delores