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.