Monday, 14 February 2011

... and the living is easy

When the days grow long, the weather warms and the pohutukawas start to flower, there is a certain phenomena that begins to grow in the minds of New Zealanders.  It's a primal urge built in after years of school holidays and long, lazy hours in the sun - burned into you, you might say.

It's the subject of corny television commercials. An itch that has to be scratched, least you go mad.  A cultural, nay, spiritual institution. Something that, for all their charms, Wellington and London just can't provide.

The Great Kiwi Summer.

Growing up in the second-sunniest part of New Zealand, one of the few things I dislike about both London and Wellington is that a sustained spell of hot, fine weather is rarer (and as precious) than Black Caps wins over Australia.  Fortunately Lauren and I have had plenty of opportunities to get out of the city and enjoy the fabled Great Kiwi Summer.  Here, for me, are its components.

Fatty fish (Grand Central Fry, Turangi, home of the world's best fishburgers)
Cricket (New Plymouth)

Family (Team Raema at the Harkness reunion in Napier)

Opotiki (much of the Aikman clan, spending another wonderful Boxing Day on Hukuwai Beach)
Road trips to the coast (Himatangi Beach, with Erica and Sarah)

Back to nature (Bark Bay, Abel Tasman National Park, with Richard and Louise)
You can keep your Meccas, your Nirvanas, your Valhallas.  Give me the Great Kiwi Summer and add a rapidly melting ice cream, and I'm in paradise.

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