Saturday, 2 June 2012

Trench Warfare

So where the last post left off was bang on middle of April - the 15th.

The following couple of weeks were nothing much to write about, albeit I was finally told that I wasn't required by the my work anymore, and Susan my partner in fighting crime also left - the week before I did, on the 4th of May. In between this there was Anzac day, which really was "help Anne & Wayne around the house day".

Once I finished up at work I decided I really wanted to get away for about a week, as I would soon be house-bound in the role of custodian of Jordan & Jess (J-Dog & J-Cat). I decided I would brave a trip back up to Kaitaia and visit some old friends after 3.5 years.

So on the Wednesday - I hopped in the car and headed to Tauranga, probably shouldn't have bothered with Tauranga, but I wanted to take my wetsuit up north in case I got the chance to have a swim. Nothing much to report Tauranga-wise, except for the fact that someone near the house has unsecured WiFi, so I made use of that.

Thursday - I headed to Auckland. Decided once I got to Sylvia park that I would stay the night in Auckland, as I could casually do stuff, rather than drive some more and then have to find some dinner, and set up a tent etc possibly in the dark. I walked down Queen Street and decided to take part in a Pub crawl that was advertised at the hostel. The downside was everyone else on it was probably in their early twenties, so I felt like a real old man. I gave up on the last free drink and bar because I wanted to check out the Ice bar (bar in sub zero temperatures)- I would have gone earlier in the night, but at about 6pm when I was down that way no one else was there - Awesome if I was with someone else, but would've been lame just by myself. Unfortunately when I got there at 12.30am (they are advertised to close at 1am) they were shut, and someone said they'd closed at 12.

On Friday I got up and headed north, and got to finally check out the new bypass road and tunnel - that they had been building the two years I was up north, but not quite finished by the time I went to London. I stopped in Whangarei for lunch, and then headed on to stay with my old workmate Peter.

Saturday & Sunday - I picked olives for Peter in his olive orchard. It was a relatively easy task, almost like milking a cow. The worst bit was the hidden trenches/drains that were hidden in the long grass between the rows - hence the above title. For my work I got 10.5 litres of organic olive oil which was pretty choice. It was also nice staying at Peter's - out in the country.

Monday, I left Peter's and went down the road to Mangonui and visited a distant Bruntlett relation, shared information, and had lunch with them. From there went to Kaitaia. I kept my eyes open as I cruised down the main street to see if all my favorite haunts were still there - yes to the roast shop (albeit with a different name and owner) and the 2nd hand book shop. Nero's had closed, and my former workplace has changed it's name and one of the partners.

I stayed the night with the Brott's, who were essentially the chairpeople of the Puriri Park village where I orginally lived when I first moved to Kaitaia. I had a great time with them, in some ways they remind(ed) me a lot of my maternal grandparents, albeit a lot more youthful. Pam even made a Nek Minit joke - how she knew about that I don't know. It was great catching up, reminiscing, and telling them the stories of my travels.

While I was in Kaitaia I also went to visit the Little Theatre, where I had performed several plays in my time up there. It was now part of the Te Ahu complex that had been proposed around the time I was up there. It combined the museum, community centre, information centre, Little Theatre, and library into one building, and looks totally awesome. Probably way over-budget though...

I had to come back to Hamilton for a WINZ appointment, which really was a waste of time as it simply was a hoop to jump through.

Suzanne and Bevan went to Europe, so I am currently in charge of their house. Jess shows me lots of affection and sleeps with me (too bad she is a cat), and Jordan is a dog, he has just learnt to bark (at everyone and everything) and seems to want to chew everything. In the few quiet moments I get, I have been getting London-sick by watching 'The Only Way is Essex' and 'Who Do You Think You Are?'
I had my graduation day for my "Advanced Certificate in Te Ara Reo Maori" the other week. It was alright, but most of my classmates weren't there, so I didn't get to catch up with them, which was a real shame. The food was alright, and the sash I got to wear looked pretty awesome. It seems to be a painful coincedence that I always seem to be unemployed (or at least underemployed) whenever I have a graduation, which just goes to show that a million letters after your name doesn't make you anymore job secure.

Last week I spent helping Mum and Dad out at their work, picking orders and going out in the van to help on deliveries.