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A fitting end to the first week of the tour. Five days, 4 locations, 2 cities, 13 presentations. And now for a break in the action, a chance to catch up (whatever that means) sleep late (sort of) and relax at my friend/host Nigel Robertson’s home in Hamilton. The sessions Friday were at his spot, University of Waikato, and we toasted that with some Good George brew at the campus pub.

The plans for the trip included both the front end weekend (before the talks) at Nigel’s as well as this middle weekend, I imagine chances to tour around, hike, etc. I did not count on getting to New Zealand in the middle range of a marathon running cold, so the first weekend was squelched with me being kind of sick, and the second with me kind of tired.

Still, we enjoyed home cooked food, and just relaxing, being kept well anointed with a stream of Nigel’s eclectic beer collection. On Saturday morning I had a wonderful breakfast meetup at “Jacks” with Friends Jenny and Terry, who I last saw here in Hamilton when I did a talk at Wintec in 2004

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We’ve still not sorted out when, but think it was 2002 or 2003 that they came and visited me in Strawberry, when Terry had a business trip somewhere out West.

Then Nigel and family took me out for a visit to Raglan, starting with a fine Roti lunch at a place called “The Shack”. I had learned at my breakfast that Jenny and Terry had taken me to Raglan in 2004 but I had no memory at all.

We started hiking from a parking area where we went through some bush and over the ridge to the beach; but at the top of the ridge the rain busted out and we took shelter in a somewhat enclosed metal barn. The rain let up (as it does) and we found that the back of the barn had a huge graffiti message of “Shark Gong”, here nicely placed at the end of the rainbow

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We made it across to the view over the beach, and the rain returned; once again we took shelter (this time in the resttooms). After that, we made our way down to the black sand beach, and the sky then opened up clear. The surf was crazy crazy rough

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Right after the place where Nigel’s son played on this big rock…

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.. he got stranded on a higher pile of a large log; a series of two huge waves crashed in amd almost went over the boy. It was a bit scary for all.

Once home, it was again and relaxed night of food, beer, music, and looking up weird facts on the web. Yep. I had given Nigel a special Arizona treat; a lollipop with a scorpion inside, which Gus made a big show of eating. He also got curious about the Storybox, and even tossed in a few pictures before I left Sunday

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Nigel then drove me back to Auckland, where I would be based for the second week of the trip. That was the weekend of recharge, and by the end, pretty much the droop and dreck of the cold had gone away, where0ever is the place they go.

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I really appreciated and cherished the conversations and low key time spent with Nigel and his family, adding to the long list of my internet friends whom I’ve shared spaces and memories with in their homes. That’s been a real (like genuine) rich part of my experiences. And I am lining up more.

Now… on to week 2.

The post "2014 Kiwi Tour: Weekend at Nigel’s" was originally pulled charred and crispy from a smoky charred oven at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2014/10/weekend-nigel/) on October 9, 2014.

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