In order to be understood here, I have discovered I need to open my mouth wide and scrunch my face and say 'ass' not 'arse' (not that I have needed to say either of those words - just demonstrating the letter 'a', you understand). So I found myself saying pathway, not parthway yesterday. And ah-some, not oar-some. And apparently a New Zealander's 'i' and 'e' sound very similar, which can be problematic.
Pam, my landlady at the College Green House, suggested I might like to talk about a balcony or a porch rather than use the New Zealand term 'deck', especially when referring to someone having a big one because there may be some confusion over my pronunciation (I'll pause here to allow you to think about this carefully).
I told this story in the van on the way back from a dinner function at the Levitt Centre and all of the other IWP participants rolled around laughing. Now they keep prompting me to say 'deck'. Our driver and coordinator of all sorts of vital activites, Joe, was very quiet during this conversation. However, after everyone else had been dropped home, he said very calmly, 'To the right is the home of another IWP person who will probably host a party soon. He has a very big deck on his ute. I think you should ask him about it, Kathy.'
Ha, ha, ha. When hell freezes over.
I suspect I'm going to americanise my vowels quite quickly. But I'm sure all of you will set me right when I return.