Observations from a holiday park

Water covered fern fronds The New Zealand weather gods, I am ambivalent to report, have roughly the same sense of humour when it comes to summer as the European weather gods. I expect they all meet over a frothing mug of heavenly ale and ponder how best to destroy our happy childhood memories of endless balmy summers, lying under apple trees and building houses in trees. Which is of course, another story.

As you may have suspected, it has been a little bit damp of late. Something about floods in Australia, and weather systems, and them coming over here to check out what Kiwi mountains are like as an option for dumping lots of water. Pretty good, it turns out.

Fear not however. I have not been twiddling my thumbs, peering disconsolately into the skies and wondering if it will ever end. Oh no. I have been occupying my mind with all manner of things. Here are some of them for your digestion.


Chicken head. It's safer behind that cage..I’d never thought to start a paragraph with the title chickens, but there we are. Another life goal accomplished. Chickens, I can confirm, are not terribly bright. That, or they are incredibly intelligent, and part of that intelligence involves masking their brilliance in a show of stupidity. It’s possible of course that we are all pawns in their chickeny game. Certainly they take great delight in popping into a just cleaned room and depositing a giant pile of steamy chicken poo (who knew chickens had such big poo?) somewhere where the next person along will stand in it. Oh, and they forget pretty much straight away that you have chased them from somewhere. That, or clearly the place you chased them from holds such fiendish delight that they must return to it as fast as possible, innocently clucking as they go. Yes my friends, the chickens are pretty interesting things. I will now move on, to dizzier heights of literary discourse.. that being:

Tea Towels

If you had thought that the madness ended with chickens, let me assure you that this is certainly not the case. There is a distinct relationship between the number of tea towels provided to people to use, and the number of tea towels that are used. Arriving into the communal kitchen of a morning, my dear girlfriend instantly surveys the wreckage of the tea towel apocalypse, and attempts to work out what the ratio of people to tea towel usage is. I think she is becoming somewhat obsessed. There are hints that there is a link between nationality and tea towel usage, or age and tea towel usage. Or something. Spreadsheets will no doubt be conjured up. Theories expounded upon. This is the sort of thing that scientists should be looking into.


I am starting to come to the conclusion that signs are a largely pointless invention. No one reads them. And if they do read them, then often as not, they will choose to believe that the sign does not in fact apply to them. Surely a sign indicating that a facility is closed after a certain time cannot possibly refer to this day? Or this person? No no, there must have been an error in the judgement of the sign writer. It is best to proceed as normal, until your passage is blocked by a furious German mop wielding she-devil. I suspect I will be in trouble for describing my partner in such terms, but I assure you, this is not a terribly inaccurate description. Sign violators, you have been warned.


Clouds over Mount Ngauruhoe on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track We have largely abstained from taking any walks of late, mostly due to the weather. However, a couple of breaks in the cloud have allowed us to take a brief trip up to the Mangetepopo Saddle, which is of course the first third of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This is a far more attractive walk than the other third that we regularly do, that being the trek up to the Ketatahi hut, plus doing it in the afternoon means you have the track largely to yourself. Observing the changing face of the mountains as the snow melts and the giant ash mounds are revealed is wonderful, and photography worthy.

Of course, the weather doesn’t stop many other folks from doing the walk, largely because they don’t have any other time to do it. Their itineraries dictate that this is the day that they do the walk, and so, unless the weather truly is dire, off they go. I have nothing but respect for these hardy, sodden looking trampers, braving the elements so as to experience a truly moisture ridden environment. Bravo.


Finally, in today’s series of general rambles at least, I can report that that time has come round again for some dreadlock maintenance. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with that particular saga, and weren’t aware that dreadlocks are a serious commitment in time and effort, allow me to explain briefly. Every two to three months, all the hair that grows naturally on my head, which doesn’t feel the urge to be part of the existing seventy six carefully constructed matted knots of hair, is painstakingly coaxed with a needle and thread into one of the aforementioned seventy six locks, and then sealed in place with some homemade wax. The result is that for a few days I look a little bit like a walking candle stick holder, and then all is well again. It’s a process that takes a few days and requires the endless patience of my wonderful partner, who does the actual hard work, whilst I just sit there and wince in pain from time to time. Ah. The things we do to look unkempt.

Well, that just about brings you up to date with where I am right about now. Sure, it may not have made much sense, but sometimes that is the best way. Happy travels!

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