We’re baaaaaack! After that last post I bet y’all were getting worried that I had driven us right off a cliff into the deep blue South Pacific! It is high time for a well-deserved and long-awaited update! My bad…I know, I know, I know!!! It’s terrible, isn’t it?! If I were a soldier waiting for a letter from my homegirl, I would have given up and moved on. For those who haven’t resigned from checking their mailboxes for blog updates, thank you for putting up with my inconsistent self. Since our last post, the beginnings of autumn have arrived in this corner of the earth, and so the summer flush of the rose season has begun to wind down. We exchanged a bittersweet goodbye with Zoe and Sue, those truly wonderful flower girls. They blessed me and taught me more than they know…and not just about flowers! I have a good feeling I will see them again one day. So for now, Zoe and Sue, slater! They would say that to me when I left the farm…short for, “see ya later!”.
So…where in the world are we, and what on earth are we doing??? To quote my man Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere, man.” We have been roaming with the millions of sheep who live here, traversing all over the North and South Islands. So, go take your bra off and slip into your favorite expandable pants and tatty t-shirt, and get all cozied up, cause we got STO-ries to tell.
Our first stop on the map after saying so long to my beloved Gizzy was the well-heeled, very English-influenced, seaside town of Napier. The whole town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, and tragically, 256 people lost their lives. Like any natural disaster, though, the resiliency of the human spirit rose out the rubble, and the citizens re-built a beautiful hamlet chock full of Art Deco buildings, as was the fashionable architecture of that era.
Righteo…so, I know I just told you to go put your “I-hope-to-God-I-don’t-run-into-someone-I-know-at-the-grocery-store” outfit on (you inevitably will run into someone, trust me), but it’s time to get up, slip into your favorite flapper dress, lace up those two-tone oxford heels, and fasten your très chic cloche hat onto your perfectly curled coiffe, cause we’re goin’ to Napier!
To be read in the most proper of English accents:
I don’t know about you, but I like places that transport me, that catapult me into my imagination…a place that you and I should allow ourselves to visit more often. I specifically like places that carry me to a bygone era, approximately between 1850-1950, and preferably somewhere in Europe or America. Napier did just that. It is a place where adults are never too old to play dress up and pretend…full grown adults play make believe every day, flitting about the lawn, sipping tea, polishing the hood of their vintage Packards, and checking the time on their pocket watches. If I were the mayor of the town, I would require all citizens and visitors to do the architecture justice and dress in 1930’s attire and drive only classic cars with this honking sound:
There is a reason why I’m not in government, though (#dictatormolly). I wish Clay and I had come prepared to follow Mayor Molly’s orders though, but unfortunately we looked like your typical silly tourists, muddying up what could be a perfectly kept time capsule. Even though we did not look the part, it didn’t keep me from going into full-blown character and annoying Clay the entire 48 hours we were there. Please enjoy my musings and Clay’s photos.
Queen Elizabeth II stayed at our hotel during her coronation tour of New Zealand. She was very, very young then. I am standing exactly where she stood. This pic took forever for us to take. I was quite agitated by the end of it actually. Clay gave me hand gestures to move a quarter of an inch left or right in order to get it just right. Slide the wee bar above to compare then and now!