We stayed in Westport for a couple of days. It was great to have some quality time with my friends who I’d not seen for a long time. It was a joy getting to know their children, and joining in with family life, as well as hearing a bit about the joys and challenges of local church life there (Matt is the local Anglican vicar), which bear a lot of similarity to those of local church life in the UK too, although there are significant differences as well. Even in our very short time together, it was interesting to begin to mull over some of the geographical and cultural challenges of the context.

Although the beautiful coast at the main Westport beach is very flat, apparently it has been eroding away really fast as sea levels rise.

You might be able to imagine the scale of this by noticing how close to the sea the rugby goal post is in the picture below. I gather that the other goal post and the other two thirds of the pitch disappeared into the sea over the past decade or so. That’s a pretty sobering thought.

One of the many joys of our time in Westport for me was strokey time with the family cats. This seems to be a theme of my travels!

Here’s old man Micah, very receptive to stroking, no longer a fast mover:

Here he is, obligingly uncomplaining about being buried in toys:

Here’s young Blinky (also receptive to stroking, and also to a warm spot intuit box by the fire):

And here’s Blinky (again) with Pedro, who I barely saw for dust:

Another joy was of course the lamingtons:

And the board games we enjoyed together:

We had a great time, thanks Matt and Jacqui et al.

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