A belated Happy Christmas to everyone! We have had a very lazy few days; we didn't end up getting to the beach on Christmas Day due to one thing and another (getting up late, opening presents, popping over to the neighbours for a quick chat which lasted an hour and a half), and ended up spending the afternoon over at a friend's house discussing the world and everything in it with him, his daughter and son-in-law. He has the most unusual Christmas tree - his flatmate has a life size Dalek, and they had decorated it with tinsel and bows. Sadly, I didn't have my camera on me, so you will just have to imagine the sight! It was a very gentle and relaxing way of spending Christmas.
Boxing Day included a trip to the Garden Centre (very domesticated!) - I had been given vouchers for Christmas, and, as they had a Boxing Day sale on, I thought I'd take full advantage. So now, in addition to the olive, feijoa and lemon trees, I also have a fig and two kiwis (kiwi fruit are one of those which need a male and female in order to get fruit). I am getting a veritable orchard!
Yesterday we took our first trip to the cinema since we arrived in NZ, to see Tron Legacy. We also saw it in 3D, the first time that I've been to see a mainstream film that way (3D shows at theme parks and specialist ones at the IMax notwithstanding). Overall, it was a fun 'popcorn' film. It wasn't setting out to make any deep and meaningful statements on the meaning of life and the principles of existence. It was a simple 'good vs evil' film, with many overt nods to Star Wars (bearded Jeff Bridges in a robe looked uncannily like Alec Guinness, and one of the weapons near the end had the potential to be a light sabre) as well as the original Tron film (which I haven't yet seen - one to add to the library list). The 3D was beautifully done - nothing hugely flashy, just added depth to the background, and stunning 'up and over' in the chase sequences. The music was fantastic (I'll be getting hold of the soundtrack), and a lovely nod was having the band, Daft Punk, cameo in a scene where they needed DJs. Whilst it may not be a film which changes the world, it was a very pleasant way of spending a few hours.
After the film, we went out to a restaurant which a friend had recommended. Han River is a Korean restaurant in Lower Hutt (no website, otherwise I'd link to it). It's the first time that we've eaten specifically Korean cuisine, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The restaurant was pretty much empty, but we did go to eat at 6 pm, so it wasn't surprising. The food was delicious - we had dumplings and radish rolls to start with, then a shared main course, called a 'Steam Boat'. This was a small wok set over a small gas burner filled with a broth of beef, dumplings, glass noodles and vegetables, which we ladled into our own bowls with rice and a selection of cold side vegetables (I am very intrigued by the pickled Daikon, and will have to attempt to make some of my own!). The flavours mixed together very well; there wasn't a high level of spices (my choice, as I have had a few issues with heartburn over the last couple of weeks and didn't want to aggravate it by choosing something which could have been overly hot), and it was a very tasty meal. We finished up with a dessert of rice-dumpling-cakes stuffed with a nutty ice-cream (the outside of the cakes was a chewy paste rather than being crunchy) and a 'Persimmon ice', which, rather than being the sorbet we had assumed, was actually a whole Persimmon which had been frozen and then stuffed with ice-cream! Overall, it was a superb meal, and, as we took advantage of the BYO status to provide our own wine, cost us only $60 for all three courses. We will definitely be going there again.