A month before Christmas I am told there was a low in the Southern Ocean, below the New Zealand weather maps. It kept spinning off cold weather off it so the country was wintry for several weeks. It looks like that it has passed since Christmas. I’m still suspicious.

Reg Smith (no relation), the driver for Catch-a-Bus between Invercargill and Dunedin, retired in the middle of the year. There are new people doing the run now.

Some more DVDs I watched while I was away: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (much better than I expected for a movie based on a theme park ride); King Arthur (a historic interpretation of the Arthurian legend, the alternative original ending is better than the theatrical release); I, Robot.

During the week a tsunami struck several Asian countries with the lost of 30 000 lives. When a beach empties so much that the water is below the possible low tide mark, don’t investigate. It will return at any time – fast!

I’m already catching up with people on my return from Wellington. I went to the first Majellan session of the year today. My new hat, a dark green felt fedora, was much admired.