13 January 2012

New Zealand Chronicles | Night At The Beach

6 December 2011

Emergency situations have a way of changing plans. And on this particular Tuesday, my friend Angie was facing what I would certainly call an emergency situation. We spent the morning trying to address it. It was a very obvious team effort, with Angie working her contacts, making calls and developing plans while I captioned photos and began documenting my flight. Once satisfied with our mutual progress, we got down to the business of actually leaving the house. Ang got in the shower. And in walks The Squash Player.

This thing the Kiwis do with the knocking and the walking in is definitely an acquired taste. I heard the knock and froze -- because obviously the person on the other side of the door would know if I were typing. Once the door open I (mentally) sprang into action, thinking of how I was about to fight off a home invasion and protect my sudsy friend all by myself. It took you longer to read that than it took me to think it. And by the time I heard The Squash Player's voice and saw him, I was relaxed enough to say exactly what was on my mind to say. 

"Oh you are ridiculous." 

The Squash Player had put forth his own effort in response to the emergency situation. He had come during his lunch break to deliver flowers. It was so saccharine, I got a cavity. Unfortunately, someone's timing was wrong - though it's not clear whose. 

"Who showers at midday?"

TSP & I chatted, but he had to, you know, drive to work. As the door closed and I started to giggle to myself, Miss Ang strolls out of the shower. My giggles became guffaws. I told her she could probably still catch TSP if she were to run outside in her towel. She did not.

Now I'm not at liberty to say who photographed the flowers. But they were photographed, by a photographer type person. They really were quite pretty. We dawdled and probably ate something, though there are no pictures, so it must not have been delicious. Finally, we went to the beach. 

From the side of the road.
We drove to Muriwai Beach. Ang wanted to watch the sunset. Only it was summer, and we arrived more than two hours before that was even possible. We stopped at popular stopping point along the road and stared in Australia's general direction. There's something awesome about standing at the edge of a country. I love doing it here and I loved doing there. We sat there in the sunshine, being on the edge and, well, killing time before we could meet The Squash Player. (You didn't think he was gone for the day did you?)


Well the sand looks black there.
TSP met us and we went for a walk along the beach. The sand was black, but for some reason, my camera refused to accept that. Interesting thing about black sand, TSP says magnets will pull the iron out of it. Ang & I had never heard of such a thing (we studied TV folks). But none of had magnets, so I can't vouch for this purported science.


Watching his person.
There she is.


We happened upon a colony of Gannets, pronounced GAH-nets, and learned quite a bit about them. First of all, they have their chicks right where they were born. But in between being born and having chicks, they fly over to Australia. I imagine it's to sew their avian oats, and I'm not judging. The Gannets have their fluffy chicks on a very crowded rock, and if there was a every a place from which a bird could plummet to it's death, this was it. On the other hand, you could see a predator from a mile away. And I suppose they had all been born there, and they turned out just fine.


No story here. I'm simply telling you I was here.


Just disrespectful.
We also saw a couple taking wedding pictures. I took a few shots for Kate. She likes that sort of nonsense. I took (what I thought to be) a tone of righteous indignation over the groom's wearing of sneakers. Angie suggested these were only retakes, as the wedding party was not there. I conceded that as a possibility. Although her dress was being ruined. Shoes just seemed like the least he could do.

We walked up the beach. We walked down the beach. And still, the sun did not set. The Squash Player went home, and we two sat. The sunset was approaching. But you know what came before that? Clouds. Happy little clouds rolled in and did not roll out. I suppose the sun sets when you can no longer see it, be that because of the horizon or cloud cover. I found the whole thing anticlimactic. However my friend seemed uncharacteristically accepting of the ruination of her plan. I suspect that to be Squash Player related. But what do I know?

Lifeguard training.



Right when we left.

That night we continued relaxation with take away from the "International" Food Court. That's right, I'm questioning its legitimacy. Technically yes, food from a slew of Asian countries does make it "international," but I think that's disingenuous. Whatever. The noodles were delicious. I was just to hungry to take a picture.