Monday August 19th

On Saturday, I meant to leave by 9.30am, but instead I ended up getting up then, which meant I left at 10.30am, cos it took time to shower and gather up glam rocker clothes and accessories and my princess dress and bedding and bundle it all into the back of my car and fill up with bagels and petrol. But yes, I was on the way by 10.30am. It was a gorgeous lovely wonderful day, and I was all happy and smiley as I drove along. It only took like an hour and a quarter to get to Paeroa, home of Gil and too many people who listen to Sublime, apparently. So many small towns, so many memories of people who came from there. And there was Waihi, where Shirley took me to one day, so that was choice and I tried to spot her old house as I sped along, but I didn’t – I did pull off the road to text her though – I’m so glad that there are text links to the UK. My wrists got a little sore eventually from the driving, but it was all so sunny and nice, especially the island-like driving just outsidea Tauranga. And then as I was retuning my radio, I suddenly heard Brad’s voice, so I realised i must have found Bayrock and that Whakatane couldn’t be too far away, and it wasn’t. 3.5 hours easy driving – loverly.

So I met Brad’s (intellectually challenged) flatmates and giggled lots, and then he took me on a tour of the town. It actually took a lot longer than I thought it would, and he took me up over the hill to a lookout point where we Parked (i’m using the capital letter there cos we were both like at the same time “hey, we can go Park” although of course we didn’t actually make out or any monkey business like that – I may lick Anji’s belly from time to time but I’m not actually incestuous) and took photos of the pretty view, and then went down to Ohope Beach where he used to live. So that was all cool. Then we went to the completely authentic Whakatane experiances of The Warehouse for masks and Pak’n Slave for food (I got baked potato chips, and let me tell you, they were nice, but they just didn’t satisfy on a chip level – they were far more like crackers). After that, I kicked Brad’s ass at Monopoly without even cheating at all. I am a railway mongol. And then we watched the Olsen twins’ TV show to reminisce about the old Garland Full House days and made lots of savvy commentary.

Eventually after dinner (he’d offered to make me Rice Risotto with Mince, his signature dish, but i declined) we started drinking and got ready for the masquerade party which had provided the extra incentive for me to visit him. Brad wore old blue flares of Fatty Si’s, a brown shirt and my purple feather boa, and I did his makeup all fabulous, and I wore my princess dress and tiara and lots of glitter. His flatmate Asher and some carny friend of his came home and made me play 3Man with them, go the dice drinking games. They were a little suprised at what a filthy mouth I have. Eventually we set out in the mist to this party. Oh dear. All the lights were on in the house and the music was turned down really really low – and plus, it was like, hits from 1999, which would have been fine if the house had been filled with Garlandketeers, but it wasn’t – they were mostly old people, and no one was dressed up. Oh well. We ended up sitting in the kitchen playing 3Man again with a larger group of people. That’s okay though, cos all I wanted to do was get to dress up and see Brad, and I achieved both of those things fabulously. I guess eventually we ended up walking home, but I don’t remember that, and we got changed and went to town. Brad bought me a KGB in keeping with local traditions (ewwww) and we danced like dicks in a bad bar called The Boilerroom cos the rest of town was completely deserted. Eventually the music was just too hideous to put up with any longer so we went and sat in a taxi office for what seemed like hours to get a taxi home. We listened to more music and sent off random texts and watched m2 for a while and I (apparently) told his flatmate in great detail just why Linkin Park are so crap, and then I fell asleep pretty much as soon as I had the couch open.

Brad had to work from 10-2, so I woke up before then, feeling more than a little seedy but fighting it. He left for work and after I’d had a shower and stuff, I managed to extract my car and set off for town. After driving around a little and checking out what times the movies were playing, I decided it was far too nice a day to sit inside crying at people chasing fences, so I went to Ohope Beach again instead, and sat outside in the cold sunny wind reading the paper, fightign the urge to throw up. Eventually I got too cold, so I went and found a suprisingly good coffee and some bad food and sat in that cafe for like an hour and a half reading magazines, getting rude comments from the couple sitting behind me who said to themselves that “you could read magazines at home” but it’s not like there was a shortage of tables or anything, and besides, they ordered Steinlager, so what would they know about anything? Damn carnys.

Finally it was almost 2, so I went to the radiostation to meet Brad and he gave me a tour around it. After that, he was hungry so we went to a cafe called ‘Friends’, and yes, it’s painted the same colour as Monica’s apartment and is hung with posters of the cast. It was scary. But there was a cool purple corduroy couch and they made really good smoothies that made me feel a lot better. And then we went and rented movies. Here’s a tip – if you would like to see Angelina Joile’s breasts, you certainly do get to see a lot of them in “Original Sin” but that’s pretty much within the first 15 minutes, adn you should TURN OFF THE TELEVISION after the long extended softporn scene (complete with softporn music). I want the two hours of my life that I wasted on that movie back please. And then we went and had dinner in an Indian restaurant overlooking the harbour, and it was all 1960s decor (we might have our wedding reception there) and we were the only people in it and it was just carny carny carny. And then I had to drive home. I hate driving in the dark, I must remember to remember that.

And now my back and shouldersa re SO sore from all that driving and I’m tired, and we had Nicky Hager come talk to us today but I don’t feel like deconstructing him right now, so I won’t, but if anyone has suggestions about what I should get Clay for his birthday, do email me.

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