The bartender and the gunslinger

This is a photo of an Espresso Martini, made by Christina, taken at a strange angle. There were some other strange 'angles' on today but I can't blip the gunslingers in extras as I wasn't there and didn't take the photo, and I'm not sure I want to blip guns in any case. 

Nicky went off to the local Pistol Club this morning with someone who is a keen shooter and cowboy in his spare time. He did ask me if I wanted to come, but I felt that I didn't want to spend the day watching men in cowboy hats shoot at metal targets in a pretend Western town out in the forest. And anyway, we were expecting Jonathan and Cherie for dinner, so I had cooking to do.

Apparently the shooting was great fun. It was a long time since Nicky had used a rifle (the last time would have been in his late teens, on a Scottish moor) and he's never used a handgun before, I am pleased to say.  I'm not a fan of guns, though I know there are lots of people out there who feel that they are fine in the appropriate place and being used responsibly. And in fact, Nicky and I met on a Scottish grousemoor, where we were both employed as beaters, with grouse raining down around us (rather horrid; I would never do that now - it was 1978). 

But the potential for things to go wrong is ever-present, and NZ has frequent hunting accidents, averaging out at two fatalities per year. There are approximately 4 million people in this country, and over a million licensed firearms, so just over one gun for every four people. It's not America - but I think that's a pretty high number. (In Britain, the figure is just under one gun for every 64 people). No-one needs to hunt to eat in New Zealand. My uncle was accidentally shot (he survived, thanks to his military training) by an idiot friend when shooting rabbits in Ireland in the 1960s, which may explain my feelings about guns.

Nicky found the whole experience very interesting, and explained all the safety protocols to us (in great detail!) including the process one must go through to get a gun license in the first place. He also said he understands how people get hooked on shooting as a hobby. After leaving the range, they went to a gun shop in Brightwater, where yesterday's blip was taken, and he says that there is an anti-aircraft gun there, apparently in working order!  (He doesn't actually own any cowboy get-up, so he was the odd one out on that score!)

Anyway, our evening was very pleasant and Christina's Espresso Martinis were well-received. She'd had a bad headache for most of the day so I thought she might not feel up to making the pecan pie that she'd promised us, and had Affogato as a stand-by dessert. As it happened, she did make the pie, which was delicious, but some of us had Affogato as well.....

This is my only photo for the day!

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