January 12, 2009
Otorahanga = awesome
There is a trend, easy to observe but difficult to avoid, for people who have “overseas” blogs to fall a bit silent when they get home. I don’t know what their excuses are, but I’ve been busy…
Yes, a New Zealand election has been and gone, and the result was too damn depressing to write anything about. Not only did we get a Prime Minister whose sole qualification was earning himself lots of money during a time of massive international properity, a man you could walk past in the street and not remember his face, but we got Roger Douglas back in parliament. New Zealand’s answer to Maggie Thatcher, who has failed to redeem himself in the manner of the Iron Lady, by being dead (although he looks a bit like a zombie these days, and his ideas are about as fresh).
I have had more edifying sights on my horizon. And on my table.
It’s nice to have a house with both room and climate appropriate to the growing of household veges. Yes, that’s right, dear reader: rather than tickling your eyeballs with photonic prose, I have been busying eating. The homegrown veges aren’t even the half of it. Christmas in the landmass where your family lives is an inevitable exercise in gluttony. Nobody-offer-me-a-mint-type gluttony. Progressive breakfast, lunch and dinner gluttony. Yes, I enjoyed myself.
Said gluttony having taken place in Wellington gave us cause to travel by routes I haven’t taken for many a year. Routes that sound like Sam Hunt verses; Ohakune, Tangiwai. Actually those are quite close together, and don’t challenge the pronunciation of non-speakers of New Zealand English anywhere near as much as Ngaruawahia or Otorohanga. Which, as I’ve already alluded to, is awesome. For definitions of awesome that include old-fashioned cafes with sliding trays, filled rolls and good coffee, anyway. And pubs with weta cut-outs on the wall. And electrified rail-lines (I’m mystified how that hasn’t reached Auckalnd yet, by the way: diesel commuter trains are so quaint). Caffeine addcitions aside, the central North Island is a spectactular place, especially in intermittent rain with rivers and streams running bank-full and the mountains shrouded in blowing cloud.
I haven’t just been driving insanely up and down the country, mind you. There’s been plenty of Auckland exploring going on, interesting stuff it’s been too. Why did nobody point out to me when I used to live here just how spectacular pohtukawa trees are in full blossom? Or is this just the best summer for them ever? It’s not in every country that major cities have streets lined with trees that seem to have been dipped in scarlet paint from top to bottom. They’re everywhere, from suburban gardens to downtown footpaths to overhanging cliffs in regional parks, with shags nesting in the branches (shag = cormorant, for the uninitiated and filthy-minded and Australian).
And sometime this year, I’m going to marry this woman:
Because one of the things I’ve been doing and enjoying the most lately is spending time with her. And after five years together I think I’d quite like to spend the rest of my life with her.