Manchester and other trivia

This blog is a catch up of various bits of trivia. Let me start by addressing the Manchester question.

The question posed in an earlier blog was what do you understand the Kiwi word ‘Manchester’ to mean (other than the familiar concept to Brits of a notoriouly wet city in Lancashire)?

Here is a teaser photo of the sign at the end of aisle 8 in New World supermarket (a sort of New Zealand version of Waitrose) to whet your appetite.

The red circling has been added by me!

I have to warn you though, I have built this up to be rather more interesting than it really is, so be prepared for a major disappointment! However, before the great reveal …

One of the delights (well actually I think I ought to say ‘reliefs’) of travelling in New Zealand, especially if you want to eke out the capacity of the holding tank in your camper van, is the ready availability of public toilets. They come in all shapes and configurations from the often gross ‘long drops ‘ to the techno loos that welcome you on board with a recorded message and give you precisely ten minutes to complete your business whilst playing a jazz version of the Dionne Warwick classic ‘What the world needs now’. The need to perform under time pressure though can sometimes be đaunting and stage fright is not uncommon as you wait anxiously for your allotted time to run out!

Toilets are located in the most extraordinary places including at the top of mountains. Here are examples of a few of the more notable ones.

Spot the toilet – great camouflage
High up on the Tongariro Crossing
The outside of this one was decidedly more decorative than the inside

In an earlier blog I made some pretty disparaging remarks about Pinot Noir. I have to report that we have now made our way to Central Otago which is arguably the home of New Zealand Pinot Noir and we have been very impressed (and are planning to be further impressed tomorrow too 🍷👍). We were somewhat less impressed to discover that the wine we could buy at the cellar door was actually $2 cheaper in the supermarket round the corner – you have to keep your wits about you which isn’t easy when you are engaged in wine tasting sessions.

And now finally, (drum roll, dim the house lights) … ladies and gentlemen, I give you Manchester! …

Apparently this is Manchester

I told you it was going to be a big disappointment, don’t blame me. Manchester is simply linen, and not even proper stuff like bed sheets, but the sort of things that people sell at your front door with dubious stories of being re-habilitated accountants trying to earn an honest crust. I suppose it is named this because the Manchester area was home to cotton mills in the days when the pioneers were making their way to the new world. If they were starting up now I guess the aisle would be called Vladivostock or similar (apparently Russia is a major producer of flax of from which linen is made!).

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