Road trip, air trip, moll trip

Road trip, air trip, moll trip

I returned to old Melbourne town yesterday morning. I spent the past 17 days traveling around New Zealand visiting whanau (family) and friends. Met some cool new peeps, may have cemented the end with some old ones…

This was an unplanned trip and thus severely underfunded. N’mind, a grouse time was had by all. I ate heaps of great kai (food) and drank far too much, danced and laughed, generally made mischief and talked, talked, talked…

I went because my Aunty Nan, the head of our family, has Alzheimer’s and it is getting worse. I flew in to Christchurch so that I could visit my friends from when I lived there, and to pick up my other aunties so they could come with me to the family farm and visit their sister.

I drove from Christchurch to Picton to catch the ferry, with 2 quick stops, one in Cheviot for hot chocolate and one in Kaikoura to take photos of one of my most favourite places on the planet. I had to catch the 10pm ferry to Wellington as the others were all sold out. Had an interesting conversation with a lady traveler, she is unhappily married, but when she finally divorces she will happily take her husband for as much as possible. Her glee ratcheted up when she told me the impending end would be worth about seven figures. I was struck with the notion that women may access their mercenary side only when a man who claims to love them, lets them down in both big and small ways.

I caught an hour of sleep on the boat and arrived in Wellington at 2 am feeling pretty good so I decided to push on and drive north. This may not have been my best idea of the trip but it reminded me that I don’t need drugs to alter my reality, just cut back on the sleep and I’ll be tripping balls in no time. Had to pull over a few times and hope the bracing cold air from a waterfall on the side of the road would be enough to keep me awake. I made it to the farm by 8 am, breakfast and then some chat with my aunty who was quite lucid the whole time I visited with her.

I spent the next few days eating everything, reading, sleeping (I managed to get 5 uninterrupted hours in a row, a new PB!) talking, and filming my aunty surreptitiously on my phone as she talked about all sorts of events from years gone by. Mostly family history and recipes. I hope to upload the videos and send them to her daughter soon.

I soon returned to Wellington after gorging myself on frybread and banana cake. Hung out with an old friend and his wee daughter and was just generally enthused by the changes in his life happiness since the advent of his little girl. His little ray of sunshine.
Caught the ferry back and drove non stop to Christchurch, speeding most of the way and generally loving the freedom that is a road trip: singing loudly and badly to a lot of stuff I’d forgotten was on my iPod.

I ended the trip as I had begun it, in Christchurch and dancing up a storm. Hanging out with my friend Shannon at her house and glutting myself on True Blood and vodka. Cooking and teaching Shannon the hallowed art of molljito making. Laughing with Phil and Hamu, trying not to laugh at Ash, and glad to see Dave is doing much better in his new career. Home may no longer be Christchurch but a big chunk of me was changed and improved by being part of that place and this was largely due to the people I surrounded myself with while I was there.

A funny thing happened at the playground…

I picked my godchild up from school this afternoon. I’ve been doing the occasional school run to help her mother when she’s had to start work early or finish late. It’s the least I can do as I’m staying with them temporarily while I try to get my life in to some semblance of adult like functionality… How’s that going for you? Well, being jobless and homeless after being back in Melbourne three months is difficult, demoralising, and also strangely freeing. I’m not sure if this ambiguous detachment is a segue from the previous feelings (or lack thereof) which were caused by/ are a coping mechanism of living through the earthquakes of Christchurch, my recently quitted home of 2.5 years.

If I was still living in Chch, I would go and visit Tunahau, counsellor fulla par excellence tomorrow (today)afternoon. Tuesday afternoon at 3pm was our standard weekly time for me to talk flat out for at least an hour and for him to ask the occasional question. I liked it best when he asked me to spell a word, possibly give him the definition because I would not only spill my guts about how I was feeling, give him all the work and family related gossip (which is hilarious as he knew all of my NZ family and work colleagues personally), I would also introduce him to different philosophical and critical theories someone had turned me on to. Working at a university and being a very talkative person meant I was always learning something new. None of my years of education or talking prepared me for the untamable natural force that is an energetic five year old let loose on a playground they have never visited.

I know I didn’t ever have that much kinetic force blasting through my body, at five or twenty five. I am ‘dependent’ free by choice. I didn’t like being a child, I wouldn’t force that life (truncated and transitory situation that it may be) on to someone that I’m supposed to love and care about. Tunahau always found my views on whanau (family) to be very original and quite challenging as he was a father of nine. Which in Maori families, even in the 21st century is S.O.P. My views on ‘less being more’ have not changed being around a little person but I think my views towards the big people who produce little people are swinging towards “are you quite sure you are not completely insane?” I understand that parents have special feelings and attachments to their offspring that makes all the hard stuff insignificant, there is probably a brain chemical/ neural inhibitor that helps with this process that I am lacking. I don’t know how parents have the stamina to raise children, but fair play to you and yours. I’m going to quite happily stick with being the occasional chauffeur or rarely encountered swing/ ‘whizzy dizzy’ pusher and keep doing the things I’m decent at: words, books, talking, film, thinking, drinking, dancing, cooking, laughing. Kids are hard work and I’m trying not to do that kind of work. The easy kind with boring meetings at too early o’clock is the only work I’m looking for.

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