Heading south

I’m writing this in a cafe on the waterfront in Auckland, where they do particularly good coffee. Auckland coffee is awesome. I don’t really drink coffee in the UK, but it’s just too tempting here – it makes me want to exclaim “Damn fine coffee!” like Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks, every time I take my first sip. And it’s not just the flavour – it’s the creative attention to aesthetic detail – each coffee is served up with an intricate design drawn into the surface foam. This is often a fern (symbol of NZ) and sometimes a heart or a pretty swirl, but always makes you feel a little bit special.

This morning’s coffee art-work (actually this one’s a bit sub-standard I would say – I am clearly becoming a discerning coffee snob).

Also, I got a bit excited about writing and typing with a rainbow across my hand, and feel the need to share – I’m easily pleased.

I made my way here by ferry from Will’s house, and the novelty still hasn’t worn off. As a young teen, when most girls had pictures of the Backstreet Boys or Jason Donovan on their walls, I had loads of posters of trees and animals adorning my walls, plus, inexplicably, a poster of Wulf, the little boy from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, who was my one, very obscure, homo sapiens crush. One of my favourite posters was of two beautiful gannets doing their courtship dance – I can remember it perfectly to this day. Therefore to sail past these unattainable avian pin-ups of my youth, gently bobbing on the sea, gives me a thrill akin to what I imagine my peers might feel should they walk past Mr Donovan. There’s no accounting for taste, I say.

Another observation from my journey here today is that, during the long slog in the hot sun from Will’s place to the ferry terminal (looking like some kind of gravid turtle, with rucksacks on both my back and front), no less than two joggers slowed their frantic pace (kiwis seem to be incredibly fit) to ask me where I was headed, recommend places I should see, and to wish me well on my travels. This would NEVER happen in the UK and it helped to set the day off to a great start. It seems to me that there’s a conspiracy to entice me to stay here, whereby everyone is going out of their way to be really nice to me – or can it just be their way?! There still no sign of my union jack badge either – think it could be gone for good, hmmmm…

I am about to go and catch a bus south to the surf hang-out town of Raglan, so there may be an addendum post today once I arrive, if I’m not too tired from all that sitting around. Meanwhile I will leave you with a photo of Rangitoto Island, taken from the ferry this morning. It is an iconic image in New Zealand, and apparently one of the most painted volcanoes in the world. You can see why – it has a unique shape – it reminds me of a fried egg, as it splices the sea-sky vista.

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