Thursday, January 20, 2011

A day out

"Are you awake?" I opened one eye in response to Beloved's question. "I've just rung the Ns, we're going to have a cup of tea with them at 2 o'clock this afternoon."

I like the Ns. They moved down to Hamilton last year when Mr N became the pastor of a little church there. It looks like this was going to be a good day but why was I being woken up at 8:30 am on my day off to be told about it?

"So get out of bed, we're leaving in half an hour. We're going to spend the day in Hamilton."
"What? You mean I can't check my Facebook messages first?"

With the promise of a day out in a different town, I did my best to comply and was ready about an hour or so later (after doing my hair and makeup).  It looked like a nice day to spend at a pretty park with the kids and maybe to check out that icecream shop I'd heard about.  I asked M, my 14 year old, if he felt up to the drive.  He's nurtured a moustache over the last year or two and it seems that one of the hair follicles was rebelling and had developed an infection.  A build up of pus had made his lips and face swell up and he was looking like a cross between the Elephant Man and Daffy Duck (meaning that he looked like an "ele**uck", which I'm far too polite to say and really isn't pleasant at all). He's had a trip to the doctor and hopefully the antibiotics will start doing their job soon. 

Evil, nasty thing!
 Two hours later, we were driving in the city centre itself looking for a car park.  This wasn't what I had in mind.  We could have driven just 25 minutes in the opposite direction to drive around looking for a car park in our own city.  It was hot and I was getting sticky and grumpy. Beloved doesn't like to pay for parking. I just wanted to get out the car. I offered to feed the parking meter myself and after some heated discussion which seemed to take an hour or so to resolve, we agreed on a spot outside the Warehouse. For those that don't know, this is the NZ equivalent to Walmart.  There is a Warehouse in every town and they are all the same.

Sensing that I was becoming disgruntled, Beloved tossed around a few cans of warm coke in an attempt to quench the temper tantrum. M was instantly covered in it as he tried to aim the can in the direction of his lips, which by now looked like a botched botox job. He couldn't speak and needed a straw. Meanwhile, Beloved and I discussed what our plan was for the time we had to fill in. His idea was to look at the shops. The exact same shops that we have in South Auckland. We were smack in the middle of the city centre, I had poured my cash into a hungry meter and there was nothing left for me to do but to stomp off to the Warehouse in search of straws (and more change for the ravenous meter). The next exciting activity was lunch at Burger King.

Men!  I was even less impressed than I had been at the parking meter: "You got me out of bed, hurried my beauty regime and drove me all this way just to shop at the Warehouse and eat at Burger King? I can't even eat at Burger King. I'm a Coeliac!" then with a "you just do your thing with the kids and I'll do my thing" I trudged off in search of a gluten free lunch.

We met up shortly afterwards and it was decided that Beloved and M would look at the shops. Guess what kind of shops they like to look at? BOYS shops. Shops with BOYS' toys. Shops that I don't like! C and I stuck together and attempted to look into girlie stores but we were quickly ditched by the boys.  So we sat and waited where a young man was busking (badly) outside the movie theatre.

C tries to make her own entertainment with a scrap of paper
It was a long wait. C got bored. I got bored. We scribbled notes to each other to pass the time. We played music on my cell phone to entertain ourselves. We started singing along to the songs. We were pretty good. We even got a couple of moves going.  Some old ladies smiled at C and I think one of them was starting to fish around in her purse. The busker was giving us filthy looks. That was our cue to move off his turf and do something else.
Have altered C's physical appearance in an attempt to protect her identity. She sounded better than Abba when she sang along to "Take a Chance On Me". If only we'd had a hat for the collection. Or a coffee cup. Wonder where we could have got a coffee cup?

I phoned a friend and complained bitterly about my predicament and men in general.  She was especially shocked to hear that the men in my life had desserted us to go shopping and practically left me to beg on the streets of a strange city with my 6 year old daughter.

2 o'clock eventually came and at last we met up with our friends. The day was redeemed and even M managed to press through the pain to force large helpings of chocolate cake into his mouth. It was a sacrifice he was prepared to make for the sake of being polite.  It really was great to catch up.

I was car sick on the way home.


  1. Beloved here. enjoyed my day. Watched punch up outside Burger king. Had a lovely walk around Hamilton looking in the boys stores. Passed the 2 adult stores. Gave them a miss.

  2. Pfft! Call that a punch up? It was more like choreographed ballet moves from Westside Story. They didn't even actually HIT each other. I thought they were going to burst out into song at one point. Now in South Auckland there's good, honest smashing of heads and if the cops intervene everyone just smiles and says, "It's okay, we're just crumping Mister".