December 29, 2005

Home for Christmas

Wanganui: a good place to leave. That's the conclusion I've come to, since first leaving in early '98, so I was pleasantly surprised upon returning prior to Christmas. Small, quaint, sunny town! A map lay on the kitchen counter; why, it's barely larger than Grey Lynn! My first morning took me up Durie Hill with my five year old nephew, where in spite of his mysterious reluctance to apply sun screen we ascended the Durie Hill tower and for the thousandth time I took in the view of my home town. So small!

Walking distance, wide empty streets, trees cut down and buildings gone. Most notably my house, but I'm supposed to be over that. (I'm not.) The supermarket that grew too big and consumed my home is now closed, rendered obscenely obsolete by the enormous Pak'n'Save across the street - although it's due for an extreme makeover in the form of a new world.

I traversed the blank slate carpark, felt the usual bewilderment as I tried to estimate where my home once stood. Was it here? Did the front window look out to that particular point of the house across the street? Was this the backyard, or the garage? There's never any certainty, so I just keep walking.

There was a Christmas, and I spent it with family. In the evening I went with my brother to long-lost Grant's Orphans' Christmas. There I conquered my fear of bubbly. One day I will tell the story of the Champagne Disgrace of 2002, but not for a long time, and I don't think it's a terribly interesting story anyhow. The upshot is that I went there, and it was fun, and this time nobody got hurt. I suspect this is because I drank several glasses over the course of the evening, unlike the Champagne Disgrace of 2002 where I drank about three bottles in a few hours.

Moving on. The Boxing Day Races in Palmy were great fun, and I look forward to returning to full broadband/USB functionality so I can post pictures of all the pretty horses. My whirlwind visit to a sleepy Wellington was good. I enjoyed catching up with Nick, Jimmy, Lisa, Joanna and Heather, as well as Awesome Bex and the inimitable Ace Hurt. My abandoned potplants are retrieved, and now must steel themselves to survive the next 3-4 months in the care of my father, he who killed the oak I planted at age 3. Yes, the very same.

He asked me what my plans for the evening were. "Waiting for tomorrow," I replied. "You look a bit blue, is it because you haven't got any friends?" Sure Dad, that's pretty much it. Tomorrow I catch a bus to Gisborne. It seems that people still catch buses, and tomorrow I will join them.

Thanks for reading. See you on the other side.


Blogger supergood said...

Busses are alright, especially small ones that aren't Newmans or Intercity. Not quite as good as trains, but then what is.

Have a grand New Years!

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Good luck in Gisborne: I don't really get that town at all. Last time I was there a total of 30 minutes before I had the urge to move on. I was there again yesterday - I managed a meal and a drink and, again, I felt the need to put the place behind me. Luckily I was driving - the bus takes a huge amount of time. Hah - if you went up there today, I probably met your bus.

Happy New Year.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I got chatting to a young spunky bank teller [yes, there is such a thing] yesterday and he's going to Gisborne for New Year - maybe you'll meet him and have a 'friend' - can't believe Dad asked you that! Silly thing. I don't know anyone with more friends than you.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Paul Capewell said...

Sorry I don't have anything compelling or personal to add, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed that post. Bittersweet. Genuine. Familiar.

Thankyou. :)

Blogs like yours inspire me to get my own arse in gear.

Hope this year's gotten off to a good start for you.


5:26 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Hi Paul, thanks for your nice comments. Bittersweet probably describes me more accurately than I might like ;)

9:41 PM  
Blogger Paul Capewell said...

More sweet than bitter, surely :)


1:12 AM  

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