NZ Letters - Letter 3
RDI Upper Moutere, Nelson.
Sassy on his 1943 Indian.
Dear Mum Dad Margaret & Peter,
This is the second time I have written this first page the first time I was asking from some more money to buy a bike with but since then I have got on to a 1943 Indian 3.1/2 H.P. job for 25 the tyres & every thing look quite good on it but have not heard it run as yet, go out on Saturday afternoon. It is about 40 m. away I have been going into all the garages I have seen asking them, this is one of them in Nelson some chap that goes in for petrol, just what I want.
So much for that, the last time I wrote was Tuesday in Nelson. On Wednesday I went back about my job, got one out at Tasman 14 m from Motueka & 24 M from Nelson. I caught the 4 pm bus out there. The owner of the orchard met at the bus stop & took me out to the orchard. They grow apples, pears & plumbs out here mostly apples which they are picking at the present. Got settled in to my new home which is a little hut down in the bottom end of the orchard in the scrub, about 10 ft. x 12 ft. with a bed and mattress no sheets or blankets a sink & tap from a tank out side a small electric stove one window a cupboard & safe. Very dirty when I arrived here but alright now. There was a terrible smell out side I thought there were about 6 dead cats but they told me it was some stuff to get rid of the bees nearly gone now though. The first 3 days I had to eat with the owner as there wasn’t any stove down here, got it yesterday.
Thursday I started work at 8 am & knock off at 5 pm. went up to the shed got my picking bag and started picking apples it started raining about 9 am so they all went home. “They”, is two Mauri girls & one white which also live here. Two brothers & a sister which just come up to pick & two half-cast who do the packing. I put up a wire cable for the electric hoist that lifts the boxes off the trailer to go into the grader and labelled some boxes.
The orchard is about 25 acres which is quite big for around this area.
Friday morning it rained so I worked in the packing shed nailing down box lids on apples and fooled around in the after-noon it cleared up and turned out quite hot. They are building a new shed so I went out and got a load of gravel for the floor in the after-noon cleaned up & went to the picture on the bus at Motueka it is the only night the bus runs & I have to walk 3 m to catch it so you can see why I want a bike got home after 12 pm.
Saturday was a lovely day we laid the floor in the morning & I cleaned up around my hut in the after-noon read for a while then went to bed the quietest Saturday night for ages. It does not get dark until 8.45 pm over here so the day are quite long. Today I got up at 10 am no one to wake me around here only the birds its very quite. Had breakfast then went over to Mapua to look at a bike about 7 m each way it wasn’t any good would have had to buy a new tyre, plus a few other things but the walk filled in most of the after- noon. No chance of hitch hiking around here as there are no cars it is a dead end road and we are the last. I have already told you I get 5/4 per hour as you know how much I get. Seeing it is only half as much as I use to get I only do half as much work. I don’t know anything about anything but they don’t seem to mind as I’ll carry on that way won’t get myself so many jobs that way either.
Well I’ll finish up for now hope t hear from you soon. Have only got one letter up to date and that was yours should get some from the Olsons soon as I have just written & told them my address.
Good bye for now,
All my love John XXXXX
P.S. Wish Margaret a happy birthday for me please & tell her I will write in the next day or so.