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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

[General] Pope Lowers Mood of the Weekend

We had a very nice weekend, much better than a certain head of the Catholic Church would have had. I hadn’t expected him to die on Sunday because there was a big article in the Sunday Star Times implying that he wouldn’t be far off death. Normally these kinds of articles are followed by the amazing longevity of their subjects.

All that remains to be seen is will the pontiff’s death be bigger than that of Princess Diana. Only time will tell (that’s actual time not the magazine of the same name).

I will ruminate on the Pope later in this piece because I am sure that you would rather hear about our trip to Auckland.

We took Friday and Monday off so we could have a nice long weekend. So on the Thursday night I ripped something painful in my shoulder at the gym. This meant a huge amount of Neurofen+ and a lot of whining to Amy about exactly how much pain I was in.

Saturday was beautiful. Suffer Wellingtonians, suffer! On Sunday we bumped into friends who used to live in Wellington. They said that the summer in Auckland was fantastic. Sigh.

I forgot how much I love the Big City. It has a wonderful griminess to it. We parked on K-road as the wedding service was being held in the Baptist Tabernacle at the top of Queen St. It was really hot. Auckland has noxious fumes everywhere and they trap the heat and hold it close to your body. You slowly build up a layer of grime over your body that at the end of the day you can scrape off with your fingernails. I miss it so much. Walking down Queen St for lunch after the wedding I smelt all kinds of foreign delicacies wafting from dark barbeque places with names derived from incorrect and strange English translations. This was the city I missed, the Auckland of summer. From the huge billboards written in (and for) Korean to the topless crack-smoking rollerblader in Myer’s Park, Auckland sure put on a wonderful show trying to lure us back.

They have to do something about lower Queen St though. Bring back the trams and make it a pedestrian mall with traffic crossings. Orleans in France has done it very well.

We saw former Auckland mayor John Banks on K-road. I kind of hoped he would be pushing a shopping cart and begging for change, at which point the irony would be complete. Instead he was filling his fat face with a kebab. The only satisfaction I got from the sighting is the fact that he was wearing boat-shoes with no socks, dick.

The wedding was nice. Amy and her friends are generally non-religious so a few things were lost on us. For example the minister spoke of marriage as a three stranded cord. We understood two strands but were left wondering who this third person in the marriage was. Is this some kind of funny Baptist tradition? Nope we were just stupid enough to forget God, (s)he’s the third strand. I found myself wincing at the strong, clear cut definition of marriage and family given by the minister, but you know, this isn’t my religion so I was cool with it, just like I assume they were cool with me not joining in on their prayer.

We stayed at a very cool B&B out in Matakana, north of Auckland, near where the reception was held. I would recommend it to anyone, except I cannot recall what it was called. When the Amex bill comes I’ll tell you. They dropped us off and picked us up so we could all drink, brilliant.

The reception was at Ascension winery. I remember this name because it was on the many, many bottles of wine that graced our table during the evening. You know how at every wedding there is the “drunken” table. That was us. We were the last to sit after every toast (because everyone had to clink glasses) we kept the wine flowing and ended up being the loudest too.

The next day we were all at different levels of seedy. The others went to play golf and Amy and I headed back into town to meet Mum (hi Mum) and Jose before heading back to Waiuku (to stay at Amy’s Mum’s place).

It was Jose who told us that the Pope had died. I’ve decided to do a separate post on the Pope though. We met José in Kingsland. Kingsland is the new Ponsonby. Ponsonby is the new Parnell. Parnell is the new New Market(?).

That’ll do.
If you didn't read it before, Dave Miller's first basketball entry is below.
Later today: another post on general stuff including the Pope and Grammar.
Tomorrow: photos from the wedding.

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