Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Back in the house

Oh hi. Hi there! Who me? Ignoring you? Never. I always have time for a blog post, except for the last couple of weeks.

Having travelled more of rural New Zealand (Gisborne, Rotorua) and stayed in more motel beds (note: take earplugs. Always, always take ear plugs) and been to many many social events, much more than a hermit like me is used to, I finally am back into my nice routine of work, home, cat-time and playing with my niece. Life is good.

So my little red VW got a work out and a half last week, doing day trips to Hamiltron and Rotovegas. A discourse on discourteous driving to entertain you:

Do drivers that are doing 80 along a straight busy road not SEE all the cars piling up behind them? Why do they then ALWAYS speed up to over 100 on the passing lanes? Why are they always driven by people who look as though they've mainlined temazepam? Why do they look offended when you finally manage to pass them? (Maybe because I give them the Stare of Evil). I get a complex if any car is following me, even if I'm doing 110, and often will pull over so they can pass (and no doubt get a ticket, but hey, not my problem). I've always thought that it's the slow drivers who hold everyone up, and make everyone impatient and therefore take enormous risks to get past them, who cause the accidents. PULL OVER.
Ahem. My father would be proud.
So the driving wasn't so bad, because I got to go on some of the most beautiful roads I have ever seen. Now I've driven in Australia (straight, red, scrub bush), England (8 lane highways, lorries, and McDonald's) and Argentina (flat, unkempt farms) and I have to say that a road trip in NZ is almost better than getting to your destination.
To wit:
This is the coastline heading towards Opotiki towards Gisborne, taken very early in the morning (FROM THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!). I hadn't been this way since I was a kid accompanying Dad on one of his many business trips and I'm pretty sure I would have complained the whole time about being car sick. This time however I was blown away by the beauty. Made a mental note to go camping here before winter kicks in.
This is Lake Tutira, in between Gisborne and Napier, where we used to drive to have Mother's Day picnics with family friends. Photos of these show all the adults sunbathing, cooking sausages over a charcoal BBQ and drinking cask wine. The kids are usually toasting marshmallows over a bonfire or asleep on their Mum's laps. The road from Gizzy to Napes is even more windy, and we probably barfed up most of the picnic on the road verge.
Now in between all these road trips I had March the Month o' Weddings. It was gorgeous. First up was Lizzie, one of my oldest friends (since Kindy!). She had a very simple informal ceremony at her parents house in Taupo and it was a gorgeous afternoon. She designed her own dress and partied longer than I did.

Lizzie and Jake with the little ring bearers.

Now a funny thing happened before this wedding. I had about, ooh, ten minutes to pack, having had an away game the night before, and got on the road and drove the 2 hours to Taupo (bloody 80 k'ers!!! FUCK OFF!), when I suddenly went oh fuck. I had left my brand new, one off, fine Italian wool, $250 dress hanging in my wardrobe. There was 1.5 hours left before I had to leave for the wedding. I know. I shot into Taupo township and desperately started looking for decent clothes shops. Now I have nothing against Taupo and its lack of citizens who demand high fashion for $10 as I do, but the only shop I could come up with was Annah S. Nothing against Annah S either, but seriously, how many different fabrics could you put on a dress. I moped around the shop while the assistants fluttered around knowing I had to buy something, when I found a somewhat suitable dress, threw it on, threw it off, chucked over my Visa ($200!!!) and stalked out. It was far too big for me so I spent the last 15 minutes safety-pinning the seams. The dress isn't that bad, but I was so angry at myself that I can't bring myself to look at it. I think Basil will have a silk/polyester/velvet/beaded lining to his cat basket this winter.

Next up was a Hen's night EXTRAVAGANZA!!! the invitation said, again in Taupo. We met up at the Hen's house for champers and games (ever seen a bride in a 90's dress whack the hell out of a pinata shaped like giant testicles?) then we jumped onto a boat and zoomed around Lake Taupo for a couple of hours. We all got plastered and enjoyed the sunset.

We're drinking out of straws shaped like penises...and Penny the hen ended up dancing on the tables in high heels drinking straight from the bottle without falling over. Kudos to her. My party trick was blowing up condoms into balloons and sending them around the nightclub. Mum is so proud.
The wedding was the weekend after:

and it was absolutely stunning. It was in our home town of Hawkes Bay, at Black Barn vineyard. If you're ever in this area, go there. It is gorgeous. The wedding was very moving and Penny and her Dad cried the whole time which was so sweet. I remembered my dress this time thank god, and hosted pre-drinks at ours for the girls beforehand. Mum looked after me all weekend and was, at one stage, in her dripping wet togs in the kitchen frantically making asparagus rolls and sticking pineapple and cheese onto toothpicks before pinning them onto a grapefruit half. We went for retro nibbles.

Don't we clean up well.

So in amongst all this busy busy time, I also had the worlds most horrible exam to study for. The exam was yesterday, and I have never been so relieved in all my life for something to be over. Note to self: Never, ever, decide to further your learning again. You do not have the time/patience/motivation.

So that was March. In between all this, I managed to plant my winter veggies out, start collecting mirrors for my, um, mirror collection, and take Basil to the vet, who had started barfing up his food again. He's better now.

Stay tuned for many more April updates, where I will probably whinge about how bored I am. Am I ever satisfied?

1 comment:

jenontheedge said...

Welcome back!!!! You've been quite the busy lady lately.

When we were in N.Z. ten years ago, we absolutely loved driving around. It's just so beautiful everywhere you look. You're very lucky to live in such a lovely place.