Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Ellie has been in the B&B business for over five years now and says she absolutely loves it. We finally caught up with her a week or two back after a drive along the Southern Motorway to Miranda Hot Springs. The journey should have been easy because I took the sensible precaution of getting directions from the computer in advance. My mistake was to choose the scenic route. I should have chosen the straightforward route because ultimately after a great deal of argument we spent a lot of time aimlessly trying to find the actual Hot Springs but eventually, courtesy of a mobile phone, were directed to Ellie’s door and the husband became re-acquainted with Ellie’s old friend Robyn, also visiting. We had lots to talk about because Ellie Vette was once married to Gordon who died this year and so we naturally spent a great deal of time on him before she launched into tales from her days as an Air New Zealand Hostess and had us all in stitches over our white wine and fish and chips. We soon agreed that there was most definitely a book lurking within the Air NZ yarns and Ellie said she had been told that more than once and had even written a chapter or two, though not being much of a typist, the job had so far been done in longhand. And when she said that both Robyn and I offered our services and we found that we were both doyens of not only the keyboard but also Pitman’s Shorthand experts. Not a lot of people know what Pitman's Shorthand is these days - one has to explain. `Not a lot of people can claim that kind of efficiency,’ said Robyn with some satisfaction and I had to agree with her and so we had a little side conversation about short forms and diphthongs and the vagaries of long gone Mr. Isaac Pitman and his shorthand writing course and how useful we still found this skill. But now darkness had well and truly fallen and we had to drag ourselves away with many promises to return. And so we will – and if any reader is looking for a B&B not too far from Auckland and close to the hot springs where apparently Godwits are in abundance then you can’t overlook Miranda Homestead at 397 Front Miranda Road where Ellie not only provides a splendid service, but will also tell you a tale or two about the Good Old Days at Air NZ given half a chance. Just don’t be tempted to take the scenic route.

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