Sunday, January 16, 2011


The Veteran could never be described as a 'Culture Vulture' ... more a meat and beer man (as I am sure The Realist will testify). And so it was a certain amount of 'discussion' greeted the statement from Memshab that today WE were going to 'Picnic with Beethoven'.

At 3.30 pm 'she' pulled the plug on the TV crickets and we climbed in the car where the temperature was a bracing 34 degrees and motored down to the Paihia Wharf to catch the ferry to Russell and thence to Pompallier House on the waterfront.

It was my first time there and it was a magic location in a beautiful setting with the sound of the ocean breaking on the beach just three meters away and for the next two hours I sat mesmerised by a selection of Beethoven played by Art Zegelaar on his grand piano. Art hales from Whangarei and is internationally recognised as a composer, teacher and performer.

The programme included an Introduction in A Opus 101 (with Haka) which was certainly different along with the Sonata in C@ minor Opus 27 no. 2 'Moonlight' which my fellow history buffs will know featured in the final concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra just hours before the Russians overran that City.

And all the while we ate seafood canapes and quaffed Allan Scott Savignon Blanc until the 'gentleman' next to us (complete with dog named Charlie) took pity on me and offered to share his Bollinger.

We boarded the 8.00 pm ferry on a high (the Bollinger was VERY good) and Mems drove back home from the terminal. This was one time where she got it right. Congrats to her and to the Pompallier House Trust Board. I will be back and bugger the cricket.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you like Pompellier House. My great great Grandfather built it and lived there.
We would like it back....

The Realist said...

I'm crushed Veteran. You've turned into a Poofter.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

No, Realist.

Just somebody with a few more brains than your average beer swilling, rugby obsessed, macho, hairy chested, knuckle dragging, dope smoking road construction worker.

You have reminded me of the time in Masterton I asked my local representative where I could go to buy a decent red. He directed me to the bottle store. The poor dumb bastard thought I meant "Lion Red." I kid you not.

If you had even a peripheral knowledge of Mozart you would understand there is little time or space in opera for poofters.

Th Realist said...

Anonymous: rub your face with burned cork and will probably get it back

Anonymous said...

Your dig at Masterton culture, light hearted though it is, ignores the relative class of the place compared to Christchurch where he would have sent you to Doris on Manchester St.

Anonymous said...

Well, Anonymous - unless your heritage includes some of the things the Catholic church says it frowns upon, it's highly unlikely that you're entitled to have Pompallier "back". It was built by (or at least for) Marist brothers and was a mission station.

Want to change your claim to ownership?

Visit for more information on the history of Pompallier Mission and other historic places.

Anonymous said...

Anony 8:49
Apologies, never built it but bought it and owned it.
James Callaghan is my relation.I guess he didnt like the name "Pompellier Mission" eh.
He went bankrupt apparently.

"In 1850 the mission headquarters moved to Auckland, and in 1856 James Callaghan took over the building, converting it to a residence known as "Callaghan's Castle""

I understand my antecedents came to NZ in 1839 and whilst werent clergy, had some close association with the Catholic Church.He may have helped them build it and then bought it off them.