Thursday, March 15

Autumn is my favourite season

Perhaps it is because of the cooler temperatures, but I also feel the colours are just 'me'.

I can remember the little church, where I used to go to Sunday School, & the way they would decorate it, with pumpkins & fruit & flowers, as well as vegetables. I never really understood the church's relevance to the Harvest season, but I suppose it was to 'give thanks'.

Autumn reminds me of the end of the Apple picking season, when BFJ & I hitchhiked down to the Southern City for Easter weekend. The weather was perfect, & it seemed a magic city somehow, so pretty with the river running through the centre, & the wonderful trees, with all the turning leaves, beginning to fall, & lie like huge curdled carpets all over the wonderful parklands, and green river banks.

We had hitchhiked down, & were lucky enough to get a lift with some young lads, who offered to take us back, if we were out on the Highway by a certain time, on the Easter Monday.

Somehow we got a bit late getting out to the Highway, & we were walking along, with our 'weekend bags'. I think we got a lift out to one of the small towns to the north of the city, & we continued walking, hoping to see our 'lift'. Some young chaps offered to take us to Kaikoura, & we were a bit doubtful, but got into the car. They turned out to be local lads just out for a laugh, & as we discovered this, & were getting out of the car, we saw our 'ride' go flying past!

So back onto the road, & trudge trudge. Finally, a smallish car with a huge car engine roped onto the boot, stopped & the two men offered us a lift. As the day was moving on, & we were a long way from our destination, we accepted.

Imagine our horror when we realised the 2 men were both drinking beer, as they travelled, & the driver would take large swigs out of his bottle, & offer it to us. We politely declined. As we travelled, we became very worried about the state of inebriation of the driver, & the road along the coast & through some gorges, is very rugged, & steep in parts, & very winding. The weight of the car engine in the boot, seemed to make the car hard to control, & as we skidded & slid at breakneck speeds, we began to fear for our lives.

The beer kept flowing, with more & more bottles being opened, & more & more offers to us to "Go on have a drink!" We kept refusing, & in truth were too terrified to think about it!

At last we arrived at Kaikoura, & we have never been so glad to get out of a car & lurch about to get the terror out of our jellied legs. As we stumbled out of town, we got offered a lift on the back of a truck, going to Blenheim. We accepted, & felt much safer on the truck, & even though we were a bit chilled, at least the driver was sober. The young man driver stopped at a hotel for a drink, & must have taken pity on the windblown girls on the truck tray, as he brought us a lemonade.

Once we got to Blenheim, it was getting late, & was in fact almost dusk. But we decided to keep on travelling, & got a lift to a small town called Havelock North, where we found a Youth Hostel, & decided to stay the night, as it was now dark. On entering the Hostel, we were met by a large hearty girl with blood all over her face, & front.
"OH Hello har har," she bellowed heartily at us, "Sorry about this, har har, just having a nose bleed!" She then told us she went mountain tramping, & it always gave her nosebleeds. We went sniggering off to our hard pallets to try to get some sleep. We couldnt help wondering why she continued to go tramping.

It was a very cold night, & we didnt have bedding, so we slept with almost all of our clothes on, in layers to try to keep warm. In the early morning, after a cold wash, we left, & found a bakery, where they were making beautiful fresh bread. We begged to buy some, but they wouldnt sell us as much as a crumb! We could never understand why. I confess, I think we would have knicked some, if we had had the chance!

So we got out on the road again, & managed to get a lift with a truckie, who was not going as far as we needed to, but at least it was warm in his truck. When we had to leave him, at another village, we found a phone to let our employers know we were still enroute from our trip.

We managed to buy some sandwiches, & continued on foot for some time, walking along by some bush. A call of nature was needed, so off into the bush we went. Imagine my horror when the seam of my jeans split, in the backside, & so I had to rummage around in my bag for my cleanest dirty pair of rumpled jeans, to change into.

I cant really remember how we eventually got back to the farm, but I am sure there were no apples picked by us that day. It was almost the end of the season, & we were soon to leave for the last time, & move on down the Island to that Southern City.

To meet our 'fates' you might say, for we both met & married men in that beautiful city of Christchurch.


Aunty Evil said...

Naughty, naughty Meggie, accepting lifts from all those strange men! You are lucky you are still here to tell us the tale!

velcro said...

I love Autumn too. There's something about the air in Autumn that makes it so special. One day I'd love to see the leaves change in New England.

I'm fairly sure I've hitchhiked twice but I can only remember the once which was on Corfu with a male friend. The man who stopped to give us a lift was rather put out when he realised that it wasn't just me he would be driving. Wish I could remember when the other time was. Suspect it was either in Turkey or Israel.

Tracey Petersen said...

As the parent of a teenaged daughter in this day and age, that story terrified me Meggie!!! I'm glad it is a happy memory for you, but I bet you can't imagine anyone doing the same thing today.

Quilt looks fantastic, by the way. Will you quilt it yourself?

meggie said...

Aunty, I know what a big risk hitchhiking was, but in those days lots of young ones did it all the time. By the time my daughter was growing up, I absolutely forbade her to ever do it!
Velcro, I could never imagine hitching in countries like Turkey or Israel!
Tracey, No it would be unthinkable for girls today. As I recall my mother was not too happy to learn what we had done, even then.
I am going to quilt it myself, but havent settled on whether to do a border. I'm thinking perhaps I will just leave it, & bind it with black.

daverichards said...

This is a beautiful post...thanks for posting all these...and well as Easter is also coming up in a while do drop by my blog on Easter Wishes and Greetings and enjoy all the fun and spirit it's filled up with!!!

Tracey Petersen said...

just leaving it and binding in black sounds lovely.

Isabelle said...

You should write a book. You've had such an interesting life and describe it so well.

meggie said...

Dave- thankyou I did check out your blog.
Tracey, I would love to be close enough to get tips off you about quilting- or get it done.
Isabelle, thank you. I look at my children's lives, & think I crammed a lot more into my life than they have. Accidental really.

riseoutofme said...

Meggie ... enjoyed reading this so much! Reminded me of my own misspent youth! Thank you for your warm welcome to the blogging world .. my initiation is ALMOST complete.... just have to get the hang of this LOGGING IN ....

MargaretR said...

Lovely memories Meggie and I well remember being told off more than once for hitch hiking.