“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?