Monday, 14 April 2008
Bonnie and Clyde, Boots, a Hat, Hawks, Butterflies, a New Moon and Mutton Pies ...
We're having a spate of weekends away. This weekend we travelled up to Christchurch for a niece's 21st.
It was a fancy Dress - we had to dress up as a movie character. Son S suggested we go as Bonnie and Clyde. We tried to look bad - which I 'm only slightly better at that than ABM. I really do wish I could look badder, but I'm far too self-conscious. As for ABM, well, he just looks like he's putting on a grumpy face for children at a Christmas party.
M made us the 'guns'.
I really don't really like dress-ups. Niece E said that when our side of the family go to dress-up parties, we never dress up and we always sit together. This time we broke tradition and dressed up, but we still all sat together. As we always do. For courage, solidarity and so we don't have to mingle. Ugh ... Mingling is sooo scary.
We rented a cabin at Meadowpark Holiday Park. (Very cosy and not as expensive as a motel.) We spent two sunny days in Christchurch and ate out. Starbucks for coffee, Yellow Train for bagels and Sunday morning in the Square, arriving just as the Cathedral campanologists were exercising their bell-ringing skills. I swear I could hear their arms getting tired.
On Saturday afternoon when ABM went off to find a golf course (he assures me he's not addicted; yeah, right) I went shopping with niece E. E is very good to shop with. We are very compatible. We go at the same pace and even if we both get lost and are a bit ditzy - it's still all good. We understand each other.
We looked for boots for me. I found the perfect pair, and on the way also found a hat that niece N told me looks just like the kind of hat a poet should wear. (Maybe that means it looks pretentious. Which is a disturbing thought ... people born in Southland don't usually do pretentious.)
Shopping at the mall means an absence of outside elements and distractions to battle; distance becomes irrelevant and crowds, fluorescent lighting and piped music lure you into the hunt. I like shopping in a mall - as long as it's only once a year and with a niece who's on the same wave-length.
On the way home we had lunch in Timaru from the rise where you look out over Caroline Bay (always a favourite stop for us.) I appreciated all the old, 50s style motels with their square, art-deco roofs.
In Palmerston we stopped for ice creams and bought some McGregor mutton pies for tea, and enough to put some in the freezer. The shop had a piercing doorbell that kept shrieking. I don't know how the shop assistants there could stand it. It was migraine territory. They were being so stoic about it and wore the expressions of people suffering a siege.
It was so warm in Palmerston, the ice creams were melting faster than our tongues could slurp. There were a lot of other people eating ice creams. It's nice to know that the New Zealand tradition of eating an ice cream on a Sunday afternoon hasn't completely died out.
Today I noticed that for once the war memorial statue didn't have a beer bottle in its hand.
After Palmerston, is Waikouaiti with its cute little shops and library. As we drove through, I thought of kd. Waikouaiti is her home town.
As we neared Dunedin, I noticed autumn colours beginning to deepen in the poplars. We have had a charmed autumn so far, with warm temperatures. However, looking at the hills in North Otago and how dusty and brown they are - like camels - I can see we need some rain. Hawks were circling over the road looking for road kill, and in Palmerston I spotted a red admiral butterfly testing the shiny bumper of a car for nectar. ABM tells me that butterflies taste with their feet, landing on something to taste if it is food.
When we got home son C was still here. He'd spent the weekend in Dunedin. He was still in bed. Which means he'd probably been up all night, only hitting the sack at about six a.m. My brother used to do the same thing at about the same age; now he's got a top management job in the Public Sector in Wellington. After a mutton pie meal, C headed away back to Haast. A long trip - five hours - meaning he won't arrive there until the early hours ... which when I think about it, is now! (and probably means that C gets his night-owl tendencies from me rather than his uncle.)
Tonight there is a new moon - the shape of a 'c' for us in the southern hemisphere, and a 'd ' for those in the northern hemisphere. Each night it grows fatter. It is April already.