It has been quiet on Mulberry Rd – because I haven’t been here. I’ve been in New Zealand. Now I’m back and so is the blog. Naturally, the subject of today’s post is that New Zealand.
Thoughts on NZ:
1. I ate porridge for breakfast every day and am not sure why. There were other things on the menus.
2. I used all the cream and sugar available/provided. It may be that I don’t actually like porridge.
3. I saw Kia Ora everywhere. Not the ‘I’ll be your dog’ kind, just the words. As I got out of the taxi at Wellington airport, pre-flight home, I asked the driver, ‘Does it mean “Welcome”?’ ‘Yeah’, said the driver, then he added, ‘More Hello’, then considered. ‘More G’day!’ he chuckled.
4. He was a good taxi driver. He advised us to do all our looking around/airport eating before security at Wellington: ‘There’s not much on the other side. You certainly won’t get lost!’ He also told us about the big eagle - from The Hobbit, apparently - that you can see in the terminal, and, ‘Errr, aaaaargh, oh God, errr, oh, aaaaaaaaaaargh, Jeez....who was that fella chasing them for the ring?’ ‘Gollum?’ offered Mr M. ‘Yeah, he’s there somewhere as well.’
5. Our accommodation ranged from awesome to basic (awful) to bloody basic (bloody awful). We began at The Langham, Auckland. This is now one of my favourite hotels. Pink and gold everywhere, plush robes, giant bed, exquisite service, great in-room dining, oh, and a pink shuttle bus, thank you. I really wanted the bathrobe – only $100! – but foresaw a lifetime of visitors asking if/believing I had stolen it from a hotel.
6. I’d rather not discuss the other places we stayed, other than to summarise: fishing shack and three star.
7. In Wellington, on Cuba St, the pedestrian crossing did away with the traditional green man, utilising a rather splendidly-coiffed and curvaceous green woman instead.
8. Food recommendations should you be heading to the North Island any time soon: Floriditas, on Cuba St, Wellington, is a beauty. Eat the panna cotta, whatever else happens. Neo on Willis St is also lovely. I can’t advise on Auckland as I ate in our sumptuous hotel room courtesy of room service every night.
9. There were great signs everywhere in NZ. My favourite, as we joined a freeway-type road, ordered us to ‘merge like a zip’.
10. Te Papa, Te Papa, Te Papa. I spent hours in the marvel that is New Zealand’s national museum. I’ll just offer a couple of highlights:
a) the war exhibition. Almost too moving. It is atmospheric and sombre, tempered by the wonderful quotes from soldiers. No words of mine will do justice to this exhibition. See it if you're able to.
b) from the sublime to what some may consider ridiculous, one person’s My Little Pony collection. I now – seriously – want a beautiful Pony Bride. With veil and ring. Cake unimportant. I love her. I can’t explain it, but love doesn’t require explanation. One ex. con. Pony Bride, pleeeeeeeease.
Okay, I’ve just lost all street cred – I’m off on eBay to pick up a mail order bride.