Kia ora! We're back from our brief publishing hiatus which means that I'm also back from my ever-so-brief hararei. And despite how depresso the title is, it has actually turned into a beautifully sunny day in Te Whanganui a Tara. I'm not gonna lie tho, I would prefer to be drinking beers in the sunshine with mates while exploring Te Waipounamu. But, all good things must come to an end, eventually. Though I tried in earnest not to think about mahi, the holiday did get me thinking about this here little thing called Fast Five so here are some holiday reflections.
1. Department of Conservation
Man, our holiday would've been totally different if DoC didn't exist. This was the first time I really realised the huge breadth of mahi that DoC does. Every day included multiple stops at sites managed by DoC and the sheer upkeep was boggling. Also, I've become one of those people that reads all the signs, never thought that would happen but HOT PARENTING TIP: reading the signs gives you a few minutes reprieve as the rest of your whanau will inevitably run ahead of you excitedly, blissful as. Also, you get all the good trivia and if you're lucky, some korero about local Maori, in fact, a lot of the time I found that the narratives were positioned from a Maori perspective which was an unexpected plus. In our entire trip the only site we visited that was free, that had interpretation and landscaping, parking, bins etc. was the seal colony at Kaikoura which was opened and maintained by Whale Watch and local runaka. It'd be interesting to see if more heritage sites like this pop up in the post-settlement era, I'd love to see them as they are an opportunity to centre and highlight Maori narratives.
This whenua is mindblowingly stunning and Te Wahipounamu is like going back in time. The only music that I found to do justice as our road trip soundtrack was good old Aotearoa roots music and would recommend "Home, land and sea" by Trinity Roots and "Hope" by Fat Freddy's Drop.
Just to bring the posivibes back to reality. I fucking hate sandflies but for some reason they LOVE me. For the record, no one else had sandflies on them, probably because they're all on my leg (as pictured).
4. First Monday in May
I watched this movie with Nina and it's very interesting and insightful but I am yet to read a review (admittedly haven't read many) that addresses the scenes where Andrew Bolton and Anna Wintour are talking to Chinese press. The watch is worth it just for that exchange. In a bad way.
5. Road trip tips
After driving 2000ish kilometres over 12 days, gotta say, audiobooks saved us. Our kids get carsick very easily so books aren't an option. We cranked the following: Bad Jelly the Witch, classic fairytales, Postman Pat (the worst! That song is infuriating!) and Peter and the Wolf. Of all those, I reckon I could still listen to Bad Jelly so take that as my number one recommendation. Also, Songs for Bubbas 1 + 2 are absolute boss. Someone give Anika Moa an APRA Silver Scroll for Taniwha already!
Being in Te Waipounamu meant patchy reception which meant I missed the launch of Solange's album. Boy have I made up for it since. Have a great weekend.