Top of The Lake


Compared to New Zealand, Britain is pretty uptight and it’s getting more uptight.

You used to be able to walk along Downing Street. Now huge railings and gates stop you getting close. I have 8mm cine films my Dad shot of me as a kid standing outside the door of number 10. That same film shows my mum and my sister with their hands all over the stones at Stonehenge, now they’re roped off.

On one of our trips back to New Zealand in 2003, we visited Queenstown on the South Island.  We went for a day out on Lake Wakatipu on the SS Earnslaw. It was built in 1912 and is the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere.

On our way back to Queenstown, we were taking some photographs around the top deck and the captain waved us onto the bridge. Then he said, “Do you want to have a go at steering her?” Next thing you know, I’m behind the wheel, then Julie had a go!

I wonder if the same thing would have happened if we’d been on a British lake?

Craic on!

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