March 4th, 2004

full steam ahead

Amusements

Douglas Coupland's Miss Wyoming is a jolly good book. Hollywood Homicide is a jolly fun movie. One after another they make a froth of movie-related silliness. Miss Wyoming is all about absences - from places, from emotion, from connection, from reality. Hollywood Homicide is just a rump with boys and guns but I spotted all the places I know! The 'record studio' was in the Renaissance on Hollywood and Vine where I stayed for PDC, the car chase went round the block and ended up back at the entrance next to the wall of water. They chased the bad guys through the shopping mall and got stuck on the freeway and the cabbies were just as grouchy as I remember! Just right for whiling away a coach journey.

Mary on a Blackberry so pardon typing errors
full steam ahead

Specifically pacific: girl on a beach with a peach

I'm a beach baby, a sun baby, I got sand in my toes. I did all my organising and skipped to the beach on the penguin bus.

The Moeraki boluders are these weird round boulders that form like a pearl in an oyster. The ground around them gets washed away: I saw one being gnawed out of the cliff and holes where others had broken up without ever being all the way out. But most of them sit scattered on a long curve of beach. They start out smooth: sometimes they crack open in pieces, some have a hexagonal crystalline structure that holds the fracture lines so they wear down rather than breaking up. They look like moon rocks or meteorites and they go right down the beach, getting smaller and smaller.

I got there about 9.45 and stayed till 4: perfect timing of walking into the car park as the coach pulled up. I walked around and took pictures and watched the tides of tourists pour in and out and kept an eye on the tide which came in very slowly all day. I gathered up shells and made a spiral on the sand: a labyrinth, the maori symbol of healing and rebirth, the curve of possibility. I walked it three times and then watched the sea wash over it. I wandered up and down the beach looking for neat shells. I lost and found my glasses and capered in the sand. The sea was cool and refreshing, the damp sand was squidgy between my toes, the sand in the sun was soft and crumbly and gave beneath my feet.

I didn't want to go anywhere so I had a peach and two apricots I got in Cromwell and the two Milky Ways that were on my pillow at Hulmes Court in Dunedin. I lounged and relaxed and splashed and there wasn't a cloud in the sky or a drop of rain to be seen. As promised, the weather came right and it was the gorgeous sunshine I'd been hoping for all along. I'm glad of everywhere I've been but I liked this best of all so far.

Mary on a Blackberry so pardon typing errors
full steam ahead

Kitsch'n kitscher

Which to pick? The big hen - a giant topiary chicken that could have laid the Moeraki boulders - or the ten foot leaping trout in realistic gleaming fibreglass? Oamaru's emblem is far more tasteful: they quarry a beautiful white limestone there and it's a column and ornate capitol emerging from a big block of stone. The stone phoenix straddling the globe outside the art centre is pretty cute too.

Mary on a Blackberry so pardon typing errors
full steam ahead

Dark o'clock

I can't believe how early I'm getting up this trip... This is the 7.15 bus and I wasn't even late getting on it. I drop off to sleep pretty quickly as well, which is very nice. I even heard my own slow deep breathing as I fell into sleep the other night (well, hearing it woke me up of course but it's nice to know what it's like!).

Let's see: frothy movie, ipod battery adapter chewing a set of 'heavy duty' batteries in ten seconds - pretty light show as the battery indicator goes full and then empty straight away, instant tour of the Off the Square hotel complete with a *very* striking picture of a Maori made up of symbols kissing a naked girl (the upcoming protest should be great for publicity), beer and cheese and sashimi (yum - thanks Seth!), quick catchup, chargeup and backup with Gary (thanks Gary!) and um, not enough sleep so I shall blow up my travel pillow (thanks Simon!) and snooze a while. Next post might even have full stops!
full steam ahead

Quick change

Ths post mainly a tribute to the Blackberry and the Lonely Planet guide for making it easy to research and book accommodation from the bus when you get the email saying your room booking got pipped at the post.

These full stops brought to you courtesy of hot chocolate and a chicken cheese brocoli sweetcorn tortilla stack at the Blue something cafe in Kaikoura which woke me up enough to get to Bleinheim.

Mary on a Blackberry so pardon typing errors