Monday, May 08, 2006

Positives and Negatives

I had a lovely weekend. Drove up to Otaki (about 90 minutes out of Wellington) to stay with my sister and brother-in-law. Early that evening we were attending the 50th birthday bash of a neighbour up the street. This "up the street" was like 8km further into the hills, so more bush and trees to contend with.

My BIL kept reminding us "He's a hobo, so we've got to be prepared". This chap has some land, but hasn't really done alot with it. Well actually, he'd only recently built a small house...which is better than the shed he was previously living in. There was no electricity, no running water, he cooked in the kitchen on a 3 burner gas BBQ....and there was not a lot of room on the section due to the rubbish and junk laying around.

In fact, for his birthday, my BIL had 'gifted' him a toilet (he didn't have one until then, twas a hole in the ground, EEEK!). Earlier that day, the talented BIL had gone and piped and plumbed in a loo....the women REJOICED! The hobo put a glass door on the front of the toilet cubicle *sigh* The women took a friend (or a sister) to the loo to stand guard.

So...we set off wearing gumboots (wellies)...several layers of clothing to keep warm and stumbled up the dirt driveway in the dark...the strong stench of pot drifting down to meet us.

Lo and behold! The section had been cleared and there was a huge 'kick ass' bonfire going in the middle of it...the hobo had cleaned himself up, even had a shower...and there were makeshift wooden seats around the fire for guests. Was a fabulous setting.

The bonfire was being stoked by one man who continued to throw huge trunks of wood on it...thus emitting large showers of sparks upon anyone nearby. Which basically translates to "The three of us were constantly bashing at each others' clothing to avoid going up in flames".

Was an interesting time. I thoroughly enjoyed myself...I love sitting around and watching so many different types of people socialising. Was a unique experience....and by the time we arrived back home, my sister and I were feeling no pain. That was until my BIL brought out a bottle of "Absinthe".

If you've never heard of this stuff before, it's 85% alcohol. The moment it touched my top lip it was burning...I took a shot of it...just the one. But that was enough to have my sinuses cleared, my eyes watering, my ear drums burning and the lining in my stomach stripped. And although I had said yes to another glass of wine, I never drank it. I was too busy weaving my way across the back lawn looking for my bed.

Yes, I had a wonderful weekend...and yep, I was extremely slow come Sunday. Wasn't so bad really...my sister kept me company in that respect lol
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