By: Blonde Two
Did you know that in February 1999, in Wellington New Zealand, the world’s (at the time) largest pavlova was dished up to celebrate the opening of the city’s new museum Te Papa (tay-papa). “Pavzilla” (only the Kiwis would come up with a name like that) was 45 metres long.
I, with the help of a very obliging friend, made a more modest pavlova for our UK Christmas pudding last year. I have long associated them in my head with New Zealand Christmases and thought that it would make a popular alternative dessert (I was right and am hoping that I can remember how to make another for this year).
I had an alternative, most excellent reason, though for my choice of baking activity. There is a lady who lives on the farm adjoining Norm’s whom I admire every time I meet her. She is getting on in years but still deals with lambing, poorly calves, naughty dogs and every other kind of farm task you could imagine as though she were much younger than me. On top of that, she always arrives to dinner looking very elegant. This lady is the epitome of the New Zealand spirit so I take what she says seriously; One day last year, she said this to me. “You can’t be a New Zealander until you can bake a pavlova, reverse a trailer and build a retaining wall.” At the time, I was visiting employers in an attempt to move my family out here and it wasn’t going well. I decided to take her word for it and my Christmas pavlova was the first of the three ticked off.
This year, I have been concentrating (and it takes a lot of concentration) on reversing a trailer. There are plenty of trailers here at the farm but I have been sticking to small and using the ATV for practice. In previous years, being asked to do this has reduced me to tears of frustration as I failed completely to understand the instructions that were being given to me. The thing with trailers, I am learning, is that you have to think backwards. As you can imagine, for someone that struggles with thinking driving thoughts forwards, this is no mean feat. I have a goal for today (my last day) and it is to reverse the trailer out of the shed, around the tractor park and into the house driveway. So far, I have managed to get out of the shed in a straight line but that is about it – I can turn a corner but need approximately five minutes to work out where to move the steering wheel before moving. I am not leaving the country until I can do it so today, either my reversing gear will engage or I will be very, very late for work on Monday.
Once I have mastered trailer reversing, I shall be concentrating on retaining wall building. If anyone has any idea of how to do this and happens to be in need of a labourer, please feel free to let me know (I think a Dartmoor stone wall would count). Once I have completed all three, I shall be writing to the prime minister and demanding my Kiwi passport!