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Cut for long rambling!

OMG I LOVE the holidays. I can sit and post on LJ any old time I like! And take as long as I like! Although I'm going to bed in a minute, want to be in bed by midnight. Today I drove 210 kilometres, 105 to Levin to collect my mother from my aunt's house and 105 back. Christy and Asher came with me so it was pretty good. We put her on a plane home tomorrow then we head up there Sunday. Two days of R&R there, then the children and I head further north, creeping round the north island to Auckland and then right on past to the Bay of Islands way up near the top of NZ. We are going to stay four nights there, then cross to Kaitaia for two nights, including a bus trip right to the very tip of the North Island. This is a sacred place for Maori spirituality, as they believe that your spirit leaves from there after you die to go to Hawaiki. It is a narrow strip of land where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. I met someone who had lived up there and they said rain never lasts long as there are no hills or mountains to hold it!

This is going to be an adventure. I will drive carefully! For me, it's a pilgrimage. I know I talked about it before but I'm so excited, I'm going to say it again. See, in 1983 I was up in Auckland at Teachers' College, a post-grad one year course. We had to spend a month on our first section in a school during March (our academic year begins in February here), and our class was assigned to Northland, the land north of Auckland. Back then, I didn't think there was much land north of Auckland, so I happily agreed, after one week at the College, to spend March working in Bay of Islands College. I had no idea it was about 4 and a half hours further north!! I felt I was in a different world. And it was so hot! The pace of life was slow, the phones were still on a manual exchange and the children almost all arrived on school buses from other little country places, most of the buses driven by teachers! I hadn't ever seen a school like that before. I went to a city high school and caught the train to school, walking through Parliament Grounds to get there every day.

I met teachers up at B of I College who were volunteer fire brigade and ambulance drivers - one teacher calmly stepped out of his classroom window from the class where I was observing and took off across the field when the fire siren went in town. The class just carried on working! One teacher held the record for the fastest ambulance drive to Whangarei! The local priest worked four little towns in four tiny churches, one each week on a monthly rotation, so we drove from town to town for each Sunday. I taught a girl named after her grandfather's war effort, El Alamein. I worked with the counsellor to help a girl who'd been made pregnant by her uncle. I saw the flag pole at Russell, a copy of the one Hone Heke chopped down in protest - that month as a protest on Waitangi Day (Feb 6th) it had been blown up at the base, which made it fall down (!), and I saw it lying in the grass. I saw the Treaty House at Waitangi. I saw the old Stone Store. I saw so much I hadn't seen before in my first twenty years of life. And now, so many years later, what, more than 25, I'm going to see it all again - VBG!!!

I am not sure which way we'll come home yet, I haven't booked anything for the return journey. I'll come straight down but I don't imagine we'd get anything like home in a day, that'd be too tiring as I'm the only driver. I just pray the Subaru behaves. It's a Forester, a 2 litre fuel injected 4WD turbo, so it can really move. But it's a gas guzzler. See, I have two cars, a Renault and a Subaru, one for round town and one for long journeys. I'd sell the Renault in a minute but Steve doesn't want to. It's just so expensive to fix. But cheap to run... turmoil. Whatever, I loooove driving the Subaru.

So. Tomorrow, see my mother off, pack the car, go to the library maybe... do all those things. Then... Sunday, we're away! OMG!
And tomorrow, we're 22 years married, can you believe that! Twenty-two years! It seems not that long ago...
And I was having a Nick Earls rave to my mother in the car and when we got home I showed her the Sunny Garden virtual tour and read her bits of ZigZag Street and then she wanted to read the whole thing, and I had to go to my precious special shelf of NickBooks and *shudder* lend her one. And she has been laughing and snorting all evening, reading it! OMG! I wondered if I could write funny, but I don't think that's my style. I'm a hurt-comfort kind of writer. I've 'edited' nearly 300 pages of Safe (it's double spaced so that takes 600 pages of paper). I'm thinking of taking out the whole Hong Kong bit. It's all a bit over the top, I feel, but ... I'll reserve judgement until I get to that bit. Nearly there. I know what I'll be doing on our trip. Editing LOL! But to be honest, I can't think of anything I'd like to do more. Working with writing, that's the ultimate pleasure. Other things just have to fit in around it, you know, like caring for the family, teaching, all that... ;-))

Anyway, this is it, bedtime. Boa noite for Moth. Good night to the rest of you.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
Your plans sound wonderful, I hope you have an amazing time!! Don't forget to take lots of photos along the way so we can share your experiences!!! When will you be back?
Jan. 3rd, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Photos? You bet, you guys will be swamped with pics. I haven't decided on a return date yet but we leave Kaitaia on the 12th I think or maybe 13th? The Tuesday anyway. And we'll probably take a day or so to get back, huh. I'm not even sure which route yet!
Jan. 2nd, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Boa tarde. Looking forward to sharing your adventure, either during or after the event!!

Well, I told you we have five vehicles for two of us...

1.My VW Polo - my pride and joy which has done loads of motorway travels and carting things about but is great for town, too - it's a 1.9 diesel hatchback and goes like a bat out of hell. 12 years old in April but still feels new.

2. My mother's Toyota Corolla which she gave Colin when her eyesight deteriorated and she had to give her licence up. Its a 1.3 automatic hatchback and C used it as a 'work' van for a while then it needed some work to pass its MOT so he took it off the road and it is still languishing - a reliabe, comfortable car and so old we'd get nothing for it. About 15 years old.

3. Colin's father's Rover - all walnut dashboard, leather seats and souped up sports engine. 2 litre automatic. Colin adores it but will only use it as our 'posh' car. Also about 15 years old.

4. Colin's VW Passat. Bought cheaply from a neighbour who lost his licence - a real workhorse (2 litre diesel with a boot that goes on for ever). Intended as the to-and-from Portugal car and we had one good return trip in it. Comfortable and economical.
Only about 9 years old.

5. The newish (3 years old) Fiat Ducato van - specifically for moving stuff - the idea being that it saves money and stress and lets us move everybody to everywhere at our own pace. So far so good and after six months we intend to sell it, possibly for more than we paid as we have done a couple of minor repairs. But I'm already in love with it, though I can't drive it as I can't reach the handbrake.

So - that's our fleet!!
Jan. 3rd, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
That's quite a fleet! I thought we had enough cars with two and a work car for the five of us! But it sounds like each of your cars has its uses. That makes it harder to get rid of some. But I think the Corolla could go. Maybe you could sell it 'as is where is' for a small sum of cash. I like the sound of that Rover. So does Finn. He wants a pic of it. *g*

Jan. 3rd, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: the Toyota. Fledge has a small elderly Rover which she loves but the garage man says it won't last much longer - so we are keeping the Toyota in reserve... plus, I intend to 'export' the Polo to Portugal at which point I will need a small town car here!! And she and I could share the Toyota! We don't need the small amount of cash it would bring but we do rather need the space it takes up. It's currently in our garage because of being off road. The rest are in the car park that serves our 'block' and are driving all the neighbours insane so we block each other in and play musical cars when we need to go out - but once the posh Rover is visible I promise a photo!!
Jan. 3rd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh I'd love to see you play musical cars! I love those kind of scenes *g* Our neighbours across the road do it constantly, with two cars, a jeep and a boat to manoeuvre in and out of the one driveway.
Jan. 3rd, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
It gets an added 'frisson' from the fact that Colin likes the cars backed almost into the hedge - I think he prefers to be able to drive straight out rather than having to reverse when the engine is cold or something, whereas I have usually been shopping and need access to the boot. Sometimes I leave things in the boot because they're heavy to carry and will keep (e.g. bottles of any kind of drink etc.) and guess what - I go out and find he's carefully backed my car into the hedge for me so that I can't reach the boot....
Jan. 4th, 2009 09:41 am (UTC)
-I go out and find he's carefully backed my car into the hedge for me so that I can't reach the boot....
Hee! That made me giggle! Moth wrestling with the bushes to get into the boot!!! The neighbours must love it *g*
Jan. 2nd, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
Your holiday plans sound absolutely wonderful - I hope you have a fabulous time. And I loved hearing about your teaching practice experience - fantastic!

Take care.
Jan. 3rd, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll be really careful.
-Your holiday plans sound absolutely wonderful - I hope you have a fabulous time. And I loved hearing about your teaching practice experience - fantastic!
I sometimes think things that are so important to me are not necessarily worth sharing!! And the children are less than enthusiastic in sharing my walk down memory lane LOL but once they get there I think they will be blown away by the beauty of the place. It's amazing. And HOT!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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