I think an acceptable time has passed since September’s update. Long enough for us all to pretend it’s been roughly a month. What’s 20 days between friends?
In October I mowed the lawn. For the first time in my life. We’ve bought a rotary lawnmower, and it looks like it’s been pimped by a morris dancer.
I don’t know how I made it to 29 without ever having mown a lawn. Mainly by not owning a lawn I suppose. Or maybe I have mown one, but have repressed the memory into some locked box in the depths of my soul. Who knows. I can say I much prefer the swish and rhythm of a man-powered mower to the growling rasp of a petrol powered one.
I’m pretty sure that is literally the only thing that happened in October, apart from going on holiday! Read on…
The rest of October was spent on a trip to the Coromandel, in the north of the North Island. It began with a near-sleepless night, which is a great story but a long one, so I’ll save it for later. It didn’t seem so great at the time…
But on day two we made it as far as the Tararua ranges, and went on a little tramp. In the torrential rain. We stayed in an incredibly cute hut, which was built in the 20s by the newly formed local tramping club. The adorableness of the hut was almost enough to make up for the lack of dry firewood, which meant I spent the first two hours at the hut alternating between doing starjumps and lying curled up in a ball shivering balefully. We slept snug though, and woke to a little blue in the sky.
By early evening we’d made it as far as Taupo, where we had a quick dip in the natural hot spring by the river. We stopped here last December, and it was heaven. This time the river was much higher, so there wasn’t much soaking room that hadn’t been inundated with cold water. It was still a nice spot for a beer and a rest though. In the next town we stopped to grab some pitta wraps, then it was onwards to the Coromandel.
We had a great week exploring beaches, doing some rock climbing, and eating. So much eating. A post on all the sights coming soon. I’d definitely go back here, even if only for the pleasure of digging a hole on hot water beach, and lying in my own little thermal pool in the sand. Heaven!
Favourite book: The Villa at the Edge of the Empire, Fiona Farrell
This is sort of about how Christchurch came to be how it is, and what it might become post-quake. But it’s about so much more too. The history of cities in general, and how people sculpt them and are sculpted by them. And the silent rush of neo-liberal economics into the vacuum created by disasters (see The Shock Doctrine). It was especially absorbing for me, slowly getting to know the new Christchurch that’s sprouted in the gaps of the old city.
But anybody would love the trip round the world it takes you on, through architecture and town planning, following styles and methods as they’re carried across oceans. I enjoyed it so much I’ve foisted it on Arthur. He’s sat beside me in bed as I write, just starting chapter three. I’m a little envious.
Favourite thing I found on the internet: Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like’
I feel like I do this all the time.
Once again the month’s tramp (to Kirwan’s hut) wins Instagram. New Zealand can out-beautiful pretty much anything.
Another epic bunk for the night a few days back! Kirwan’s hut is near the site of an old quartz mine, above Reefton (previously known as Quartzopolis), Westland. I could stare out of this picture window for weeks…
So far so good (apart from some sneaky after midnight posting).
November 1st: Three Gorges Cruise: Christmas on the Yangtze
November 2nd: New Zealand is really home
November 3rd: Godley Head loop walk from Taylors Mistake
November 4th: Anatomy of a Relationship
November 5th: Life isn’t always a beach
November 6th: A Foreign Country
November 7th: New Ideas in Penang
Coming up in November
In November I will be mostly biting my nails waiting for my visa application to be assessed, and writing down increasingly badly strung together sets of ideas, then posting them on the internet for no discernible reason. I’m also still fighting off the tail end of the cold that ambushed me on holiday in the Coromandel. So there may be napping. Honestly I think that’s ambitious enough, so I won’t promise adventure this month. Just some tales of it. That will have to do.
Want to catch up with how we got here? You can find our previous monthly updates here.