Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back from Q-Town

This week my mother had a conference down in Queenstown and, as all I knew about that place (aside from the whole adventure tourism bit) is that it has no supermarket, I decided to go with her and crash her hotel reservation.
I came to the no-supermarket conclusion about 7 years ago (SEVEN... !! I'll pretend that was in dog years) when I was on a road trip around the South Island, on the cheap, and could not for the life of me find a bloody supermarket in the place in the 4 hours I was there.
Yeah, it was a geeky road trip. We spent more time at the petrified forest.
Now I know all the normal, not-for-tourists shops are tucked away near the airport, but at the time it was like driving around a quiet disneyland. Clean, pretty and not at all useful.

It's still like that, but there are some awesome things to do there as well. And no, I didn't bungy, I didn't white-water-anything and I didn't do a single thing that involved helicopters or flying of any kind (mores the pity!)
I did eat well, I did walk along the waters of what is apparently the second purest lake in the world (after one in Antarctica) I did climb a very steep hill and take pictures of a rainbow, I did take a boat trip around the lake, and a gondola trip to the top of a mountain. And I did get to feed some enormous trout and eels, as well as some enterprising ducks. Basically, I did Queenstown for the Cheap and Non-Adventurous.
And it snowed! (on the mountains)
Plus I got to spend some time with my lovely mother, which was nicer than all those other things put together.

But, have to say, it is good to be home.

Here are the fish, eels and ducks. We induced their feeding frenzy from an underwater viewing screen.

Here is the rainbow I chased up the hill.

Here is the view from the gondola. I risked life and limb and my camera by snapping it out the window... yeah, you can see why I didn't go bungy jumping.

Friday, March 19, 2010

B-day and other such shiny stuff

I got to go to see Neil Gaiman this past weekend and it was awesome! He spoke at the town hall, read some poetry (including 'Locks', which I think my mother really liked) and an excerpt from American Gods (do I even have to say which excerpt?)
Plus he signed my book in a signing that apparently went on for 3.5 hours... alas, all of those hours weren't spent just signing my book.

I also got to see The Pixies, who were also very very cool, and met a friend for the first time, although turns out we had more in common than might be reasonably expected.
Who am I kidding? It was freakin' crazy what, or should I say who, we had in common, but that's NZ for you.
Plus, she was awesome.

Then it was my 28th yesterday, and I got taken out for mexican and frozen margaritas by my sister and her man, and had a ball, and desserts at Dennys. Pretty much it was the best sort of Auckland night. We nattered on about our childhoods and aspirations, and as per usual these days I bludged off them (although they were very nice and claimed it was for my birthday) and promised great riches once my writing career takes off.
Or once I give up and get a 'real job' which I'm starting to realise will probably never happen, so I'd better get going with the writing thing, pronto.

So, tomorrow I'm off to Queenstown (I know, it sounds like my life is very exciting... people are very generous to me is all) which I'm looking forward to, although I'm not much for white water rafting and thats all thats in Qtown as far as I've ever heard :)

Keep safe all of you two people who read this thing, love and stars and pixies and magic and all things good for you.