The winning egg Easter, it turns out, is a big deal in New Zealand. Well, certainly in Rotorua anyway, where nearly the entirety of the town appears to have run out of hotel beds.

This is pretty impressive given that there are around 17,000 total beds available in a town with a population of 80,000.

Easter is taken fairly seriously on a number of levels here. First and foremost it appears to result in the rather tragic closure of alcohol serving venues at precisely midnight of the day prior to both Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

This is particularly tragic (overuse of the word tragic is noted) if your work schedule results in you not finishing until half ten at night, with the overall result that the window of opportunity for either enjoying live music or consuming alcohol is rather limited.

Which is a bit of a shame, as I have recently found my spiritual home, as it were, at a newly opened pub in town called Voodoo Jo’s, an establishment where the lovely barmaid already knows my regular order (pint of Mac’s gold, if you’re interested) and serves it with a smile.

This is a handy thing, saving as it does on the talking and giving more time for drinking. The bar also plays host to regular live music, and generally has a relaxed pub feel, which is perfect for that post work beverage. Recommended, if you are in the area.

Easter is also, of course, a time for consuming huge amounts of chocolate. In the hostel everyone received an Easter egg, hand delivered by two young kids wearing bunny ears at some ungodly hour. It was, to be fair, hard not to be impressed by the size of the egg I was delivered, even if opening my door in my underpants to a two year old did feel slightly weird. Not as strange as the time a naked man turned up outside my apartment at six am, but still. That’s a story for another time.

An easter theme

Further excitement on the whole Easter front was provided by some English guests, who had an egg rolling competition. For those of you not aware of this tradition (and I’m not really sure it is typically English), it involves taking a hand painted hard boiled egg, and seeing how far you can roll it down a slope.

I was honoured to have my likeness painted on one of the eggs, which I can confirm, did not go on to win great glory. Rather, the egg painted to resemble a Kiwi (the bird, not the fruit or the person) was the lucky champion. A vision of the future and the rugby world cup? Who knows. Maybe egg rolling will be the new Octopus.

Beyond Easter, or indeed, before Easter, life continues as previous. Winter is slipping his chilly tendrils into my life, for the first time in an age. Tales from the UK of sun burn and scorching weather conditions do not help. Still, I couldn’t have summer forever, however hard I tried. I am really pleased to be settling in for the full Winter season here. We have a great couple from Canada joining us for the Winter period, and it’s looking like it is going to continue to be a funky place to work.

Me in egg form

If you’ve in New Zealand, and coming through Rotorua at all (and you should be, cos it’s awesome!), then please drop in. I can’t promise chocolate, but I can promise a smile ;)

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