Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated, just like Jeff Goldblum.
I have just been in New Zealand for about five days. No one has actually thought I was dead, they just maybe noticed I was gone because did not post anything for, like 2 weeks! and I could have been dead, and I did have some sort of a jetlaggy stomach bug. Not quite DEATH but there you go.
So I am alive, I was just in a place far, far away, with sunny winter days and cold houses and proper coffee with patterns in the froth, and islands called Waiheke and baches festooned with tivaevae patterned cushions, and where you have pie and cold chicken for your picnic lunch. It was so nice I nearly wept.
Here are the good things about NZ:
1. A kid went swimming in the lagoon on Onetangi beach, in the middle of winter. It was sunny.
2. Mount Eden is all chichi with lovely cafes – I ordered eggs benedict and it was so saucy and warm and filling and delicious. The baby was welcome, and the cake slices were cut thick like telephone books.
3. Kate Sylvester was on sale, and I had english pounds. I now have a new drapey dress, a 40’s WW2 cropped merino wool army jacket, and an ice skater’s dress in my wardrobe looking too stylish for words.
4. My friends were there. They made me tea and drove me round and flew up from Christchurch and came out for dinner and gave me TWO duvets of suitably-crushing weight to keep very warm under, and they bathed the baby for me. None of them have aged so I suspected secret botox. But it turns out it is just the CLEAN AIR! And antioxidants from feijoas. Probably.
5. The middle-aged air hostesses said stuff like “Man, your baby is WAY cute” and called me honey. They were bosomy and motherly and I wanted them to hug me. They were also wearing Zambesi.
6. Air New Zealand runs an aircraft safety video with the staff in bodypaint and nothing else. I watched it from beginning to end, and laughed, and clapped my hands at the geniusness of it all.
Here are the bad things about NZ:
1. My Christopher Kane t-shirt was wasted. No one knew who he was. I wore a big, gurning, slightly ugly doll face on my chest for NOTHING.
2. The houses are cold. There is no central heating, and people wear blankets wrapped around their shoulders like the pioneers. You have to close the curtains at 5pm so as to keep in the heat.Going to the loo in the nighttime requires quite a long dialogue with yourself, like this:
MYSELF: “I am so busting. I cannot pretend any longer.”
MYSELF: “Yes, but if I get out of bed, I will freeze.”
MYSELF: “My kidneys are aching, though. Actually aching. There is clearly a bladder infection upon my immediate horizon. So get up.”
MYSELF: “But if I get our from under these two duvets, the cold air will sweep in and around my only-partially warmed body, and then I will have to get out entirely, and race from room to room, gasping with the shock of the cold. The tap will run very cold. It will be most unpleasant. Bladder infections are not even that bad.” etc, etc
3. It is so very far away, you have to go on a 36 hour door-to-door journey with very little chance for sleep. It makes you a bit wobbly and seasick.
We flew with Emirates and they gave us lots of curry-based meals. Not sure of the wiseness of this. The women had the most excellent red lipstick, but very, very bad hats with drapey veils on one side of their faces. They were a little bit slow with bringing around the water, and so we were a bit dry-mouthed and sharp-eyed for hours. They also cancelled the flight when we got to Sydney. Oh, THAT was Memorably Bad Moment #1.
Anyway, the flight is a bit like labour – a dreadfully painful, boring and long-winded – but you forget about it once it is over. Mostly. So I got back on Friday and the children were typically mercenary about their gifts. My husband said that he and the borrowed nanny had done a very good job of keeping things tidy and perhaps I would like to ‘try to keep it up’. That was Memorably Bad Moment #2. I am still trying to work out an appropriate response to that one.
Anyway, when the floor stops rocking and my eyes stay open past 8:30pm, I shall try to think of something to write about. Until then, then.