Monday 8th of February 2016
Getting ready to leave the batch was pretty smooth. We all chipped in with the cleaning and preparations and within a short time we were ready to return to the big city ready for Emma to catch a flight to Sydney.
I took a last took around our awesome batch and felt a warm glow at the memory of what a wonderful weekend with such lovely people :)
The drive back was relaxing and a bit more sedate that the outbound journey. Two full days of sun, sea and sand had made us sleepy.
Once Alice and I had been dropped off, we dumped our stuff in the house and went out to get food. Our walk to advantage of a bright and sunny afternoon with very active plant life. This vine stole my sunglasses off my face as I walked by...
I now have a lot of planning to do for my remaining days in the north island and my trip with Abby. I start looking at hire cars and I discover the cheapest, by a lot, is a company called Jucy. They are also very local and walkable and so this seems like a good choice. They have a model called 'el cheapo' which makes me laugh. They are all out of these though so I have to go for 'el compact'.
I have been chatting with a number of kiwis I have met online while I have been here and the sweetest has to be Logan. Logan is about 26 I think and therefore 10 years my junior, so while chatting I feel I am assuming the mental role of big sister. Logan replies to messages the way they should be replied to. Promptly and fully and both Alice and I both agree that if all messages were completely in this way life would be much much easier :)
Logan had been reading all day and I suggest we meet up to get me out of the flat and give Alice some time to ponder our discussions and also to study. He agrees that this is a good plan and he heads to meet me at Alice's flat. (He is pretty local although I get the feeling most places are in Auckland).
We find out soon after, that bank holiday Monday evenings are not the best time to go out as most places are shut! This seems to be a common thing with New Zealand; they want you to be asleep early. I have no problem with going to sleep early, but I like having the option. We find that an ice cream parlour is open- a glowing beacon within its dark shuttered surroundings - and I suggest an evening shack of two scoops of something delcicous :)
The ice cream was delicious (although still not as good as Queenstown... Will it ever be beaten?) and we sat outside, on what looked like a normal well kept, very closed, high street. The reason it looked so tidy became apparent as we began struggling to talk over a leaf blower which was edging slowly closer. Our conversation on the difference between fusion and fission paused on a cliff hanger about the nuclear waste by-products....
...just as Mr Leafy McBlowy moved away slightly, another of his kind came around the corner. The noise was now definitely not shout-able over and so we just watched the men blow air at the already tidy street until a road sweeper vehicle joined the party. At this point the couple on the table next to us got up and left while laughing. They had attempted to continue talking and had eventually given up, possibly regretting their yearly attempt to be out past 9pm ;)
Eventually they passed and Logan was treated to all the, now fully buffered, science that my brain had churned up in the meantime. We covered the various forms of fuel, why nuclear is better, why fusion is different to fission and why it is better but also challenging. Finally we covered what I will soon be doing for work before I stop to apologise for talking about science so much and Logan tells me not to be silly and says it's all very interesting. He then asks questions like a good student, which makes me feel less like a crazy evangelical fusion street preacher.
It's a school night (or work evening) so we both head back to our respective abodes having successfully beaten the New Zealand social curfew. I beat it further with boy chat with Alice where I suggest Logan run classes on social etiquette for guys as he is so adorably polite and sweet. In England I would definitely start acting Cupid and match him up with one of my younger single friends.
Tomorrow it is planning in the morning and cirque du soleil in the evening with hopefully something fun in between! Fingers crossed!