Sue Wells – The New Canterbury Tales

May 2, 2011

A Royal Weekend away #eqnz

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sue Wells @ 8:25 am
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This is my first blog from mid air. (The writing of it that is. Being a very good girl I shall restrain myself from sending it until I touch down in central Christchurch in little more than half an hour.)
I’ve been in south-south-Christchurch for the weekend. (That’s the city formally known as Dunedin.) Friends of mine who work in hospitality have been kindly looking after me and I have been lavished with laughter, great food, enormous fun and lots of love.
We watched the royal wedding – the good bits at least. The kisses on the balcony, the waving at the crowd, that strange thing which had grown on Princess Beatrice’s head. It’s not every girl who gets to watch her handsome prince get married in the company of a queen – I’m one of the lucky ones. It was very glamorous.
As was yesterday’s tennis international. Played on a hard court just on dusk, the crowd was in great voice and quite a lot of sequins – but for Hamish who managed to combine tartan pants and a Spongebob t-shirt in a way which proved oddly satisfactory, at least while he kept them on.
Dorothy and I decamped to the sheltered side of the court, taking our elegant chairs with us. From our corporate box, we enjoyed cucumber sandwiches, fresh scones, and a lovely view of the umpire. A valiant soul, he had struggled manfully to overcome a particularly virulent strain of manflu which had almost necessitated him buying a box of tissues. I was most impressed with his diligence and fortitude.
The ball boy proved a decent shot to the dismay of the players and the applause of the crowd which eventually set off en masse to thaw at a local hostelry of some renown. Photos of the grand occasion will no doubt surface at some stage soon. This could prove to be a problem should anyone think local politicians are not meant to have fun.
To be clear, local politicians are also known on occasion to undertake due diligence on the nightclubs of our region. It was for that reason and no other that I was seen in the dj booth at a refashioned church in the small hours of Sunfay morning. A well run venue with a great vibe and great hosts, it shut on the dot of 3 and a large crowd of happy students sailed off home to study.
I learnt how to pick the meat from mudcrabs this weekend. I learnt why crab is so expensive when you choose it in a restaurant. I learnt about “dead man’s fingers”, what and where they are and why you must never serve them.
And I learnt that this is a city where you can do a daytime grocery run wearing more sequins than most people knew existed and not be laughed out of the store. Don’t know that I will be quite brave enough to try that back home. Not without my rugged companion beside me muttering darkly in a way that would have made Basil Fawlty proud.
For the flight home I have chosen to wear the little blue dress and high heeled shoes. I shan’t be wearing them to work, in fact I shall have to change into my running gear as soon as I land. Today the councillors are entering the red zone for the first time. No place for sequins or laughing there. I’m going to keep my mind on my weekend for as long as I can.
I couldn’t bring myself to wear running gear on the plane. Airports are places for high heels and dresses I think. (I’m a bit light in the makeup department I have to confess – I made a choice about spending as much time in bed as I could and this blog is taking the place of the time I could be spending in front of a mirror. I do hope the press are gentle if they turn up with a photographer at the end of our tour which is what they have asked to do.
(I will write about what I see later. It’s going to be a quiet afternoon I think.)
I did manage to fit in breakfast before I left. My companion and I enjoyed a splendid repast at one of Dunedin international airport’s finest cafes. The chef (elegantly clad in a star wars t-shirt) advised us emphatically that eggs were available as long as they were fried or scrambled. Poached were not on the menu. Nor it would seem was crockery made this millennium. My plate had only one thumb sized chip. I counted my blessings.
I have to say, while the service was patchy, the food dreadful and the decor questionable, the place was clean and the company was all I could have asked for.
It’s been a lovely, lovely, lovely weekend. And I must have clicked my heels without knowing it. Somehow, all too soon, through heavy white cloud, I’m home.


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