On this beautiful, rainy Friday (my last in Dunedin), I borrowed my sisters car and drove out to Carey's Bay - listening to "Hits of the 70s", driving too fast and remembering why I really need a car in my life. Alexis Belton, who now lives in Hotere's grand old home with several others, graciously allowed me to come out and be snap happy in their 1880s sanctuary.
The 'famous' kitchen, Alexis and - below - Bronwyn. Alexis was one of my most precocious students a few years ago in POLS101, and as this is Dunedin, turned out to be the cousin of one of my dearest friends. For those who don't know, the Beltons are the most wonderful, eccentric and gifted family I have ever had a good fortune to be allowed to loiter around. Alexis himself is no exception, having his feet in two camps (New Zealand and France) and with an inexplicable (to me) interest in medical history.
Bronwyn, the cat, turned out to be (biologically speaking) a tomcat actually, but 'she' had been called a girl for so long that she has remained so for all intents and purposes.
Alexis pulled out this giant tray for us to take tea with, in order to create a complete fantasy of what his life in this house is. Turns out, pragmatism had other plans.
"The best study. Ever"
The lift. Alexis confessed to finding it rather frightening. "Well, you know when you're using a lift in a public place, it's serviced, but if this stopped? ..."
I can't recall the name of the above cat, but Alexis clearly favours it and told me about it before I met it, "Oh, if you think Bronwyn is cute, wait til you meet ... (Zeeke?)"
Also - elder flowers are the best thing ever.