Erika’s 90th








The air travel, for which we needed to interrupt our second circumnavigation of New Zealand, was to New York for Tom’s Mum’s, Erika’s 90th Birthday celebration – an occasion not to be missed even if it did mean having to brave the dreaded LAX – Los Angeles airport. The upside was that the transpacific flight was practically empty, so that we were each able to spread ourselves to sleep extravagantly across as many seats as we could find, waking to the delightful sprawl of sunny LA.





We arrived in New York to an apartment full of flowers from Mum’s many well-wishers. It was wonderful to find her as full of mental vigour and interest as ever. So much so that we middle-aged children banded together to buy her a new computer for the occasion and Tom worked for several days to set up her broadband and wireless connection. There aren’t many 90 year-olds managing their emails. All we need to do now is to get her blogging!








Inge’s and the Jackson family’s dearest friend Emily Rafferty managed to take time from her incredibly busy schedule as President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to put together a wonderful party for Erika to which a life-time of friends were invited.


Erika’s account of the delays and frustrations of post-WW2 emigration to the USA even on board the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ were a revelation to most of us.


It is some years since we have had the opportunity to get the whole family together for a photo op and this was a particularly appropriate one.


Many thanks again to Emily.








Erika at 90


Many Happy Returns of the Day





Though it had been pretty cool at times in Stewart Island even during the largely theoretical ‘summer’, in New York it was definitely winter, with the odd fall of snow and generally freezing temperatures. Despite this we had several of the long walks that seem to be encouraged by New York streets. We also had opportunities to experience again the incredible variety of shopping that exists in the cramped city stores. This is a small part of the cheese counter in Zabars, a West Side delicatessen in Manhattan.




Though we had seen Chris and Susan’s home from the outside when they were in the process of buying, this was our first opportunity to see the inside of a typically comfortable suburban house. Its most wonderful feature is a huge living/family room at the rear of the house overlooking the garden and the wooded banks of a small stream at its foot. It is a delightful spot and they are lucky to have found it. Vicky had decided on a New Zealand wool theme for family pressies. Elizabeth became particularly attached to her gloves of merino wool mixed with possum fur.