Aotearoa, Part 3: “20,000 Cheese Rolls Under the Sea”

At 8am on the Friday morning, I excitedly arrived to pick up Heidi. We went to Modaks and got brekky for us and Corrina, and headed out to Warrington to get Corrina and trade cars (the hire car had been making some frightening brake-related noises, and Corrina’s smelt like 7th form and had a CD player, so hers was best in all categories).  When we got to Bev n Kelv’s farm, Corrina was tending to the horses. I think one of them had a twisted ankle, and Corrina was doing an ancient vocal healing method on it. Corrina gets embarrassed when I tell people this, but the movie “The Horse Whisperer” was actually based on a book, which was based on a true story about Corrina.

They just hang on every word she says.

We saddled up the car and headed for the beautiful area of Kurow and Otematata, which is roughly an hour north and an hour inland of Dunedin. My family used to spend every Christmas in Otematata, and my brother Brad and I were bought up fishing around these regions from a very young age.

Brad and I with our first catches, both photos taken by Dad, outside the Otematata lodge.

The reason Heidi, Corrina and I were going up this way was for me to scatter some of Dad’s ashes at our Secret Spot, which is where I caught my first fish, and where Dad and I would subsequently spend our annual father/daughter fishing trip each year. It was a lovely and calm day at the spot, and we gave Kev a very cool send-off, complete with skimming stones and one-liners.

To get to get to the secret spot, we of course had to go through Oamaru and have a cheese roll at the Lagonda Milk Bar, whilst checking out the locals. To our delight, the upmarket tourism industry had not yet hit Oamaru and we were able to procure our cheese rolls for NZ$1.50 each (which is about 3c Real Money).

Corrina dazzled the locals by whipping out her bankcard to pay for hers. "Big City Life".

We witnessed many a great sight in Oamaru, including a cute little bric-a-brac store called “Something Nice” where Corrina scored an awesome camera. My only complaint there was that they music they were playing was severely depressing. We found the coolest bogan car, covered in Metallica affirmations and got spotted checking it out by the mullet-sporting owner who was very proud to have 3 hot chicks checking out his wheelz. Perhaps, though, the most wonderful find was this speedy old timer in his little greenhouse of a car. I made a video, which has been edited and styled by my good friend Nick Kapirnas. 

On the way home we stopped in at the Maheno Tavern for a shandy, and also some chaff. The sandwiches at the Maheno Tavern were mighty and yummy, and the shandys (shandies?) were scandalously good. Heidi won big on the pokies, reaffirming why gambling does, in fact, pay.

Heidi navigating the bar leaners to get to the pokies.

Once in Dunedin, Corrina went out for dinner with her family (happy birthday Bev!!) whilst Heidi and I drove around the student area taking photos of students in their new flats. The air hinted of students feeling cool, living with mates and drinking in their front yards because they are now “scarfies”. Heidi and I shared knowing glances as we remembered the days where we would excitedly “hang out” in our flatmates rooms with a can of beer or cider, talking about “heading to the pub over the road” and “going to ReFuel”. We also exchanged wicked knowing grins as we knew that within 6 months those kids would be yelling at their flatmates for having loud sex at night, leaving each others dirty dishes on their beds, and freezing their arses off come winter. Ha! I was thoroughly excited to see that “Pink Flat The Door” had had a repaint.

Pink Flat the Door was created in 1988 by a group of University of Otago students. It was designed to be a freedom flat inspired by Skinner's philosophy of a free society. In this flat there'd be one rule: there were none! It was a magpie's nest, a mishmash of free-thinking young people who got together. It wasn't a drinking flat, it was a talking flat. Smoking cigarettes and drinking tea, talking all the way through to 5.00am. The door is protected in the lease agreement.

Later that night, we reunited with Corrina and also, Krisandra and Erin. We had shakers of Apple Crumble (so yummy you cant taste anything but apple crumble, not even alcohol) at Toast in Dunedin and then took our saggy ageing butts over to Brimstone to come alive again. And come alive we did!!! After sufficiently experiencing the ghosts of Christmases to come, we ventured down to the Crown to watch some bands. As we walked in, the humid, wet air containing beer, BO, pot and cigarette smell soaked through to our core. We were definitely at the Crown. Happily, it lived up to my reminiscings, as Tony smashed part of his guitar outside on the concrete whilst being yelled at by another guy, and filthy 70s porn was played on large screens. I got to bed about 1.30 pm that night, for an early start – driving to Alexandra to welcome Lisa into our family!!

To be detailed next in Aotearoa Part 4: “A Punch Up at a Wedding”

Love, Chelle xoxoxooxoxoxox

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