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Monday, October 10, 2011

5th Oct – Every time we say goodbye

I’ve struggled to publish my blog as I haven’t found the right internet cafe to cope with all my technical needs. I hope that you aren’t all missing me. I rang my mum today, as it was her birthday and I did feel a little homesick. I would live in New Zealand if it was closer, but it isn’t so its England for all its many faults.

Talking of faults, England have cocked up again. This time over sponsored gum shields – although what the difference between those and shirts with globally recognised logos, and boot deals I am not quite sure. Again the press in England are all over England set up. I can’t believe how far standards have fallen from 2000-03. The players aren’t as talented as that group, but talent doesn’t govern behaviour. The shirt means a lot to millions of people, and I have like many others have backed them financially, as well as emotionally, to come here, not counting those at home who’ve spent hundreds on beer at silly o’clock watching them in clubs over the country. The Kiwi press feel that England are ‘boring on the pitch’ and ‘boorish off the pitch.’

We drove over the  mountains from Rotoroa to Napier – there is about 130km without a petrol station, 1 toilet and a café. Napier is another place that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, not sure whether its because it’s the Art Deco capital of the world or because of a story on a programme I watched. The national disasters programme featured the Napier earthquake of 1931. About 200 people died, but I particularly remember a story about a doctor. His mother had been trapped under a fallen column in a church, and was severely hurt, but still alive. Following the earthquake, a fire had broken out, and water supplies severely restricted to fight it. The fire was encroaching on the church, and it became apparent that his mother would not be freed in time. He had to take the terrible decision to administer a lethal dose of morphine to ease her way into the next world.

The flattening of Napier meant that over the next decade, the city was re-built in the architectural styles of the day, Art Deco, Spanish Mission, and Chicago. It is most famous for its Art Deco, and we spent the afternoon on a walking tour, where the guide was probably created in the 1930’s as well. Many of the businesses occupying the Art Deco buildings have bought into the tourism generated, and restored the buildings to their former glory, with the right colour schemes. Earthquakes are still happening (there was a grade 5 overnight on the 5th – I slept through it), and the guide told us that when they strike, the dog barks and she straightens the pictures in the house. These buildings are stylish, and another bucket list item crossed off.

Every time we say goodbye – a Cole Porter song from the 1930’s and one of my mum’s favourite.

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