On Sunday I took advantage of the sunshine by going for a longish walk - up Mount Vic, down to Haitatai, on to Evans Bay and along the waterfront to town. I then met Isabel from the autism group. We had an ice cream from Kaffee Eis and a good chat. We then walked along Oriental Bay, from where I'd just come, and at about half-five I said I'd probably need to turn back because Kevin would be expecting me to make tea. At this point we had a long discussion about Kevin. Isabel said my level of tolerance for him rated a "fifty out of ten" and I'd need to officially get shot of him. I handed him the letter tonight with a 21st December termination date. Legally I have to give him 90 days (I thought it was less, so it's just as well I had the conversation with Isabel) - this gives him 101.
At the autism group on Monday we talked politics. It's a subject that, along with religion, is normally taboo, but they made a special dispensation this time. Hopefully the discussion might encourage people to vote. Democracy is a wonderful thing to see in action, and we should all participate in it. I was in the same group as the guy with the braces who I've mentioned before, and it was largely because of him that religion and politics were put on the no-go list. In fact we also discussed the rules. There was a general consensus that Cards Against Humanity, an extremely Aspie-unfriendly game, should be off the menu at games sessions. It's hard to disagree with that, although as those games sessions sit outside the group, it would be somewhat controversial.
On Tuesday we went to Petone for a look around our new premises. There will be 170 people there altogether. We'll move again - just 100 metres or so - in the new year. The buildings and their surroundings look good actually, although the brilliant weather meant I saw them at their best.
The election isn't far away now, and many people have already voted. The sharp increase in advance voting makes a bit of a mockery of the law prohibiting election day campaigning. We don't have an election "day" anymore. I expect advance votes to be more heavily in favour of National than on-the-day votes (let alone special votes).
Scotland hold their referendum on independence two days before our election. The polls are saying it's too close to call. There is a lot of emotion in the "yes" camp. I can perfectly understand why many Scots wish to escape the grasp of a southern England-centric Westminster government, but I don't think the ramifications have been well thought out. For instance, what currency will they use? I think the Scots will be better off if they vote "no". And who's to say they can't revisit this at a later date when they're better prepared. (I learnt a new word today - "neverendum" - describing exactly this.)
Another grand slam has slipped by where I've taken only a passing interest. This US Open produced two surprise men's finalists and a very unsurprising women's winner. I don't think I would have enjoyed either of the finals, particularly Cilic's big serving that helped him beat a better all-round player in Nishikori (if I'm to believe Mum's assessment of the match). Every set of both finals finished 6-3 - I wonder if that sort of thing has happened before. While I didn't really follow the tournament, it has given me a goal, to see next year's US Open in person.
Air New Zealand's last 747 flight took off from San Francisco this afternoon. It arrives in Auckland in the morning. "Iconic" is a badly overused word, but it's entirely appropriate for a plane that changed the world. Not only that but it's an instantly recognisable aircraft. Apart from the A380, I don't think I could instantly identify any other current passenger plane.
Tomorrow I'll be doing some field work with the Czech woman. She called our trip a "date".