Holly Walker - (Back in) Dunedin

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My pithy observations in easy to read form are better than yours

Like Hamish, and other bloggers too, it would seem, I have been taking a blogging holiday.

For me, this didn’t coincide with an actual holiday so much as an intense period of activity which included: selling almost everything I owned on Trade Me, shipping everything else to Wellington, driving to Wellington (with a stop in lovely Kaikoura on the way), Christmas with various family members, arranging new employment, moving into a new residence in the very cool suburb of Newtown, driving to New Plymouth to visit partner’s parental units, driving back to Wellington, moving more stuff into new residence, flying to Queenstown, losing cellphone, walking the Routeburn Track with partner and all 5 members of his immediate family (intense), and somehow, after all that, ending up back in Dunedin, back indeed in the Critic office, exactly where I started. This is only temporary, however, and within two weeks I plan to be properly in Wellington, starting new jobs and various exciting endeavours.

Blatantly copying Hamish then (and why not?), here are some observations from my busy “holiday” period:

- Trade Me is a seller’s market. Despite indicating in the description what was paid for an item five years ago, you can still get within $10 of that price. In some cases, you can get more than you paid for the item in the first place. I heartily recommend selling all your possessions, and watching your bank balance skyrocket. As long as your’re not actually planning to replace them.

- The Police are now operating “Driver Fatigue Checkpoints”. At first it’s scary, like being pulled over to be breath-tested, but then they direct you around the corner and there’s a party going on, featuring free sausages, bottled water and real coffee! While enjoying the spread you get to tell the nice man that yes, he heard right, you only slept 4 hours last night and no, you’re not sharing the driving task.

- Valentine’s family restaurant is an interesting place to have your Christmas meal.

- Singstar Party makes a compelling addition to any family Christmas gathering.

- Newtown is a great suburb, and as Che Tibby has pointed out, has a very cool coffee establishment. However, I am deeply concerned by the fact that I can see no less than 8 dodgy loan establishments from my new front door.

- New Plymouth has a very good Art Gallery with an excellent (if somewhat small) Len Lye exhibition currently showing. Also, the meeting of the waters is still a great place to swim in a river, and at 23 I still enjoy challenging 12 year old boys to jump off the highest possible tree branch into the water.

- Losing your cellphone is really, fucking annoying.

- Everyone should walk the Routeburn Track. Just don’t assume that doing it in January will protect you from blizzard conditions.

- When you find yourself back in Dunedin after all that, the best thing to do is play housie.

- It’s possible to have a baby in your bum.