With the weight of Christmas in my rear view mirror I land back in Wellington where summer is in full swing. I get the sense that I am on a good path. Its a proverbial free dive into a dream realised. Work life springs back into action with new team member. I find myself and my schedule filled with new adventures, good people and more curiosity than I have time to fulfill.
By February, I have a rhythm. Chinese pole practices fill up Tuesday and Thursday nights each week. We brainstorm and draft ideas for a pole performance in the Hub’s quarterly Raw show. I discover the community pool in Oriental Bay and commit Monday nights to the chlorine. $6 a swim, warm water, clean showers, and panoramic windows across both side of the complex so sunset streams through the whole complex. Acro-yoga revives itself on Wednesdays with a whole new influx of curious people. Workshops from visiting acro pros give us a new range of content to play with.
In the world of circus play, I branch out and try my luck with a term of silks and trapeze. I am surprised initially at the amount of strength required for silks and I feel physically dyslexic in trying to remember what is left versus right, or inside vs outside leg while hanging upside down on 2 fluid lines of silk. Luckily our class of 5 gels together in mutual confusion and we find a silly amount of entertainment each week trying to recount the prior week’s combinations. (By the end of the term though we all graduate with a new sense of confidence and a library of tricks and combos which we are all proud to progress.)
A bundle of weekends are filled with one-off adventures — a couple of rounds on mountain bike trails, a few day hikes and afternoons chasing beach side views. In another weekend a group of us escape to a bach (holiday home) in Ohakune where we spend the afternoons tramping through Frodo’s stomping grounds.
I also get to skip town with a girlfriend to experience the annual Art Deco festival in Napier. Each year this otherwise sleepy little leisure town on the North Island’s east coast revives the era. Modern cars are cleared from sight and downtown streets convert into parade of old cars.
The streets team with people. Men recreate the Great Gatsby while women doll up with flapper dresses and bonnets. Only an odd man out would be caught wearing jeans. Even the little kids are running around in overalls and golf caps. Instead of a typical street fair, groups bring their own afternoon picnic kits and spend the day on the green sipping wine and sharing tea in their 1920’s ensembles.
Intermission for a costume change and a chat with our most lovely of AirBnb hosts and we are sent off into the evening with the blessing of our hosts and their great aunt Stella with her vintage fur shawl. Needless to say we enjoyed making the most of it.
The resolution from festival is that a trip will be organised next year and we will be bringing our own picnic baskets. It will also be another golden opportunity to wander through the city’s passage ways of incredible street murals. They all have a strikingly similar message in them and I find that to be all the more striking to absorb. It’s both refreshing and overwhelming.
In sum, New Zealand’s summer season is a whirlwind of activity. For every thing that I did, there was another something that I was unable to get to so I look forward to another summer on this little island.