Then our new mother and I went for a walk along a track that skirts the perimeter of the zoo. The lions with their cavernous roars were not out though, maybe next time. Later we passed a lovely corner Dairy. I have a great fondness for these little Dairies so we might collect a few of them during our stay.
These little corner stores have battled to stay solvent, like all wee shops around the world, due to the big supermarkets. But our supermarkets are not that big nor are they that cheap and Fourth Son reports that often he finds it cheaper to buy bits and pieces down the road as the supermarkets are ridiculously expensive in this country.
I am convinced that it is the New Zealand love of hot steak pies (meat pies) and hokey pokey ice cream that keeps these stores alive. Meat pies area about the size of a small hand and are delivered daily to the store and kept very hot all day in a pie oven. They are sold in a paper bag, so that you can eat them straight from the bag, not burning your hands or showering yourself with crumbs. I I hope to go inside this little shop today, and buy a hokey pokey ice cream, maybe they will let me take some shots inside – so you can see. Our Dairies have always stood alone in the midst of residential areas, usually on a corner and have been the backbone of New Zealand last minute shopping since before I can remember.
And finally we reached our destination. A wee cafe sat outside the Newtown Zoo. In a New Zealand cafe you go up to the counter to order your coffee, pay, then go and sit down (we sat outside as it was an unusually perfect Wellington day) with whatever item of food you have bought, and a staff member will bring your hot coffee out to you. Every country has a different custom. Coffee in New Zealand is always served in real cups. Until I lived in the US I took this for granted. I have never been able to resign myself to paper or polystyrene cups and plates. If you order a pie in a cafe here it will be served on a real plate, with a knife and fork and a bottle of tomato sauce (ketchup) plonked on the table.
It is not common to find a NZ home with a coffee machine. We will drink tea or instant coffee or plunger coffee. When I lived here I always made my morning coffee in a plunger. For a real cup you walk to the local cafe, there are more cafes in New Zealand than you can shake a stick at, and we sit with the paper or a friend and drink in a leisurely fashion.
I had left our wee mother, with her baby sleeping in the pram, and was across the road inspecting the bus stop when our coffee was delivered. The cups were so beautiful that my daughter in law just knew that I would want to show them to you. So, she very sweetly did not touch her perfect cup until I came back. You are getting to know me I laughed, as I arranged our cups and took the photograph. We both took little sips of my first real New Zealand coffee since I got home, then sat back in our chairs under the Pohutukawa tree and had a gossip. Bliss.
Good morning. We pick up my daughter from the airport this afternoon, she is flying in from Melbourne. The pace will go up a level when she arrives. So I will need to be on my toes. For dinner tonight Mama’s meat loaf has been requested. Isn’t it sweet how kids love their childhood food! We will take pictures!
Have a lovely day.