Mayor island is now completely back in Maori hands, I understand, but you can still camp there. . In those days, there was a big game fishing club on the island, and a small area where one could put up a tent for a modest two dollars a day. The fishing and diving were superb, and at the time I felt I could live there forever. I almost did. I had gone there for a week and ended up staying almost two months, until
the police enquired after my whereabouts on behalf of my parents. But
I lived pretty well there most of the time. When I ran out of my own provisions that I had taken with me, by fishing and catching crayfish, and doing a bit of bartering (crayfish for staples and beer) with the fishermen at the big game club. But there was a spell when I as down to a sack of onions, some stale bread and a little butter.
This was what I flashed back to for some reason today. I recalled that I had an interesting meal once of fried bread and onions. The bread was not only stale, but had gone mouldy, and was covered with the ugly black fruiting bodies of some mildew or another. I sliced off all the crusts and fed them to the birds, then cut up the bread and fried it in the last of my butter along with onions.
To my utter amazement, it was delicious, and not just because I was hungry. The fungal hyphae had grown through the bread, and were in the process of breaking down the starch to sugars. It was like the stale cake that my Grandmother used to revive by frying in butter. In fact that is where I had got the idea.
I just thought I would mention that.