Huntly High and Low

Sleep lately has been of the 4.30am nightmares, so getting up at 8am to get my show on the road really didn’t seem like a viable option. Instead, I rolled out of bed at 9.30 and waited for an age at Peoples Coffee [sic] before finally getting on the road. The first mix CD that Lisa ever made for me, which introduced me to Bright Eyes (“now your hands are on me / pressing hard against my jeans / you didn’t care to know / who else may have been you before”), the Arcade Fire (“there’s something wrong in the hearts of Man”) and the saddest music video ever for ‘The Death of Romance’ by The Dears (I challenge you to watch that and NOT cry!) guided me through the wake-up period, and then Bloc Party took me to Taihape and lunch at the Brown Sugar Cafe.

My first memories of the Brown Sugar Cafe, (probably from 1997 going up to check on AUT, and then on so many subsequent trips back and from Auckland, including one particularly memorable road trip to Mark F’s 21 where Jo (starla) only got to come along because she returned a teaspoon to her mother in time) were of me drinking cappuccinos, which came with a chocolate-covered coffee bean on the spoon, They used to have monstrously big foccaia sandwiches filled with tomato, alfalfa and thick long slices of Camembert cut all the way across the wheel, and they cost something like $5, but no more. They do still have chicken and cashew croissants, but they’re smaller, staler, and my bill for a tiny croissant, a juice and a bacon in cibatta was $18. State High Way One Robbery, I tell you!

But that area is my most favouritest to drive in, so off I set, cranking up Eight Arms To Hold You and realising that I know all the words still, and – as I twittered once i got off the Desert Road – their songs have essentially the same structure as my essays I used to write in fifth form. Introduce your theme, provide three examples, sum up. And these sheets smell like bayous, not mine, not yours, not yours. It was sweaty and hot, and on the Desert Road all I could think about was the piece I wrote called ‘North of You’ in 101 Stories That I Want To Tell You, and hey, it’s 2009, you’re going to contact me, right? It’s been three years. But it was a different person’s handprint that I have burned into my thighs. I fucking hate being left alone to my thoughts all day eh. It was like every single line of every song I sung was directly applicable to me – even when I switched away from Birds to Britney Spears in total desperation.

There was tar on my shoes from Taihape, which made the pedals sticky and somewhat scary to operate. When I got a can of the newly redesigned coke from the Tairua Caltex and waited an eternity for their one bathroom because it was just after 5pm when the public toilets close, it exploded on me in the car. I lost my glasses somewhere before Hamilton and spent a frenzied frantic ten minutes tearing my car apart to re-find them. I got stuck behind a Newman’s coach liner from Hamilton to Huntly, and then I overshot the city because I got confused about Great South Road and State Highway One and ended up on the expressway to Auckland before I manged to call the Romantic Getaways place and finally found it. I was overwhelmed by seeing Kat again, and trying to hustle into my room, and trying to get a shower, and discovering that my room hasn’t been renovated at all, and in fact they’d given me a single bed because I’M NOT MARRIED but Kat insisted that I’d paid for a double so I may in fact be sleeping on the owners’ bed, and that is why I only have two pillows, despite all the other furniture piled up in this room. Half the corridors here are still linoleum, and i need to use school-camp quality bathrooms – unless I go down to K&K’s honeymoon suite, where their shower has two heads, and oh yes, I had them both going, at different temperatures on top of me and I giggled and giggled and giggled at the sensation, and also at the thought of wasting all that water, and then Kane came back to his room and I told him that his wedding treat was waiting for him, and oh how we laughed!

Eventually after more cat-herding than even I would ever be able to deal with (parents, cousins, brothers, oldies, littlies) we headed down the hill to the Old Courthouse Cafe for a lot more waiting for late people. I got some wine as soon as was civilized to do so, and oh, it was nice, It’s been hard being so dry lately when my friends are all so wet, The staff were very unsure with wines, but the wood-fired scotch fillet was oh my fricking good amazing.

More cat-herding found me and Kat and Brooke and Vanessa in Kat’s suite, ever so vaguely watching The Princess Bride, while Brooke practised doing Kat’s makeup, and Vanessa and I had facials and hand jobs. I’ll put links in to the appropriate PPP posts when I have internet, I swear. But now I might find my book, see if I can read little while I wait for zopiclone, and get my eyes ready to cry lots tomorrow! OMG OMG OMG! They’re getting married!

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