Thinker in Residence Blog

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Archive for May, 2010

Coming to an end in En Zed

Posted by peggyhora on May 21, 2010

New Zealand (En Zed [NZ]) has been an incredible adventure.  I’ll post day-to-day activities later as well as photos of South Island but I have to share today’s adventure.  I did an all day seminar for the NZ judges.  It grew from three judges at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon to a rousing full day with 13 judges.  Everyone was so very responsive, hungry for information, supportive and appreciative.  These are incredible judges who remind me of the early days of drug courts when we were trying to figure out what in the world we were doing.  They are working in family, youth and criminal courts and are making do with “the smell of an oily rag” in terms of resources.  They are committed to doing a more effective and meaningful job and delivering true justice.  They understand alcohol and other drug as well as mental health issues and are struggling to understand how best to deal with them.  I was so energized by and humbled by their sincerity in the face of not a small amount of adversity.  Some flew home immediately after the seminar but four locals took me out to dinner at a beautiful restaurant on the waterfront named Kermadec.  http:kermadec.co.nz Rosanna was our extremely competent and helpful waitress who served four incredible seafood entrees (read appetizers) and three different mains as well as a couple desserts.  I had the pot au feu with the most amazing mussels I’ve ever tasted as well as shrimp, fish, clams all in an amazing broth.  To come to a strange city and be so welcomed is a blessing.  The citizens of New Zealand are lucky to have such an involved bench.  Tomorrow is my Waheke Island adventure.

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The bathroom I almost had to be evicted from

Posted by peggyhora on May 4, 2010

A rubber ducky all to yourself

The Louise (named for the owner’s grandmother) in the Barossa Valley is a small, elegant and award-winning hotel from which I almost had to be evicted because I didn’t want to leave.  Each suite is surrounded by a wall with a locked gate hiding a patio and little table and chairs.  There’s a huge room with a king sized bed, two overstuffed chairs facing the flat screen and gas fire place, a desk with high speed Internet access, dining area overlooking the vineyards.  There’s a sliding glass door adjacent to that room with chaise lounges and a table.   Then there’s the bathroom.  No, not just any bathroom.  A bathroom I would kill for.  I want to go home and take a sledge hammer to mine and it’s pretty nice!  There are two very modern square sinks, a TV, settees, marble counters for days, all the little amenities including razor and shaving cream.  Then comes the tub that has a Jacuzzi of course but also a rack across to hold your goodies including a yellow rubber ducky.  It has built in inserts along the side holding candles for a romantic bath.  There’s a heated towel rack of course.  The shower has a head the size of a turkey platter plus a hand held wand.  It’s completely marble on three sides and the floor would be chilly except for the fact that it’s heated.  There’s a glass door to the outdoor shower.  Kind of like camping –not.  The only thing I would change would be the toilet.  I was disappointed it wasn’t a washlette.  http://thelouise.com.au  The restaurant, Appellation, has won numerous awards and is known for its wine cellar.  I opted for three courses rather than the tasting menu and had  lovely spiced sweet potato slices with almonds and pepitas dressed with a toasted cumin salad dressing.  Next came a “risotto” made with barley with leeks and greens.  My main was thinly sliced chicken with a special German ham (lachs-schenken) that gave it a smoked flavor and garlic and sage.  http://www.appelation.com.au  It has a 34-page wine list and one bottle it sells for $755.  Why bother with the $5?   It was a unique experience and one I’m very glad I had.

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