Yeah, nah, it was good. How was yours?

cover“Just one more turn,” she said.

“One more turn on everything.”

One more turn on the double decker slide. Another go on the spinny wheel. Another crawl through the bark chip-lined concrete pipe tunnel. A clamber over the tyre-covered dome. A swing, higher and higher. Then, finally, down the yellow curvy thing and into the car.

It was Friday night fish and chips at Corsair Bay to start Waitangi weekend. A sunset that went on forever. Light that made you think you really were the last one to see it; fading into the outstretched unknown, chased by the nagging nor-easter.

We raised our eyebrows to strangers, as if we are all agreed; all in the same boat; all on the same shaky isle.

“Look at that cool car, Daddy.”

An MG, then an Impala; a Morris Minor and a thundering Cobra. Must be the Skope Classic. We roll down the windows to enjoy the roar. A view of the water and people swimming to a raft. Tiring out the kids so we can have a quiet gin in the evening. Cheering for the underdog and admiring new talent at the Sevens. Mowing the lawns, whacking the weeds. Old friends and a barbeque. Laughing at the idea of Janet Frame and Margaret Mahy in John Clarke’s literary front row, because the game is won and lost up front, after all.

From the wind-beaten limestone at Castle Hill to the clay cliffs by the Ahuriri, this is a land of contrast. Hot, flat grey stones next to cold, rushing water. Aotearoa New Zealand. We occupy a unique place and culture – standing on the edge of the world, knowing it is not wedged shut.

How did you spend Waitangi weekend? And what is your favourite detour on the way home?