Bad luck at High Table tonight. You get invited to dine at High Table once during your stay at Christchurch. Remember Harry Potter? High Table is were the teachers sit and look down upon the pupils.

I was seated to one end of the table – or maybe I should say Table – with an Australian (retired) sheep farmer from Perth to my right, a (retired) pilot/instructor (US forces) on my left, a lady from Melbourne opposite and, next to her, David from Michigan.

When it turned out that the Australian lady’s father and husband were with the RAF and that David from Michigan had always wanted to become a pilot (only, he had to have some brain surgery done at the age of 22, so they wouldn’t let him) the topic for the evening was fixed. Planes. The crash in San Francisco. Planes. Afghanistan. Planes. Vietnam (!). Planes. The sheep farmer did his best to turn the conversation around – once even offering David one Pound if he got up, turned around and shouted “Peasants!” at those who were sitting at the tables (not the Table), which was quite funny really.

But there was no way the others would be diverted from the course they’d taken. So, all in all, it was just a tiny little bit boring.

By the way, the food here is really good.