Ever year, I was lucky enough to have a visit to Auckland to visit my mother, & usually I would stay with her for 2-3 weeks, & it was lovely to have her to myself, & we would also catch up on friends & other relations.
My Best Friend J, lives in Auckland, & so I always got to see her whenever I was over, & my mother was particularly fond of BFJ too, so we had a lot of fun together catching up.
One year, -1996 as it happens- BFJ & her husband, who I shall call The Earl, kindly offered to take me to the Doll show, & so off we went. It was deepest winter, July in fact, & the weather was quite cold, but a lovely fine day. There were some wonderful dolls on display, & there were also some wonderful Bears, of which I dont seem to have any photographs.
I think my favourite Doll of the day though, was this wonderful almost life size Cloth Doll! Look at her, she is so character filled, & I just love the teeth!! Her folded hands, boldly painted red nails!
After we had our fill of the Doll Show The Earl suggested we go to the Waterfront, at Mission Bay, which had become a fashionable place for the local 'glitterati' to be seen frequenting the cafes, & taking outdoor coffee, food, & the sights. Of course, 'being seen' was of paramount importance too!
It was certainly different to how I remembered it from my young days, & the whole of the waterfront stretch of shops seemed to be Cafes & Restaurants & Coffee shops. Across the road was the Norfolk Island Pine-lined beach front. Most of the shops had tables & seating out on the pavement, so that the clientele could be seen & admired by the passing traffic.
The Earl parked the car, in a very handy spot out the front of all the 'action'. The Earl & BFJ's car was a Taxi as it happened, & so it had a very safe & secure alarm system, which was duly activated. We walked along viewing the menus, & chose a Cafe that had delicious sounding food. We ordered our food & began to enjoy our lunch, seated outside in the wintery sunshine.
Soon after beginning our meal, we heard a car alarm begin to blare out. People we most displeased to have this annoyance in the midst of their
posing enjoyment of each other & themselves. Mutters were heard, about 'what crass inconsiderate mumblety blather @rse owner would pollute the sea air ambience with that bloodcurdling noise.
I laughingly suggested to The Earl, that it might be his Taxi. BFJ laughed, & agreed it might be. So The Earl was dispatched to check out the car. Imagine our horror when he came back to tell us it was indeed their vehicle alarm, & he could not make it stop!
Now The Earl is a man of formidable intellect. Unfortunately, he was in a terrible accident, which left him with a limp, & a speech difference. He can, at times, be quite difficult to understand, & quite often people mistake the hesitant speech for something other than what it is- a simple mechanical difficulty.
BFJ & I went along to the car, to see if she could work out why the alarm would not stop. No luck, so they rang the Auto Assn. While we stood about waiting for service, we could see the frowns of disapproval, hear the muttered curses, & annoyed snorts of the 'beautiful People' who had their posing seriously disrupted. Attention was diverted from their very beautiful
peacockery personages, by this blaring piercing din, both loudly & intermittently.
Finally a Macho Man, came striding purposefully over. Demanding "Is this your car, making this ungodly Racket!" Standing there, hands on hips, flexing muscles.
We thought he was the Cavalry, come to the rescue. But no! How stupid of us!
He was the Macho Man, he was going to Sort Us Out!
The Earl replied "Yes it is our car" He haltingly moved around the car. A look of sudden horror came over Macho Man's face.
He realised his mistake. You cannot be seen to bully the Less Fortunate. No matter what racket the car is making.
He stammered "Erm... Loud isn't it" & backed off sheepishly as fast as his designer gear & sunglasses would allow.
Eventually the Auto man came, disconnected the pesky alarm, & we tootled of home laughing heartily about Macho Man, the Cafe Society, & how we had dampened their afternoons' preening.
Last evening, this was all too lovely to miss.
I hope you enjoy the changing vista as much as I did.
The reality was someting else.
SO HUMID, I thought I was drowning.
Even the dogs were exhausted, just lying about.
How odd, the little black cloud.
Would make a nice little children's tale.
A very kind loan!
Cat Stevens, On the Way to Find Out.
**This post has taken me almost all day to get done! I began in the morning, & with all sorts of interruptions have finally reached publish stage... Only 7 hours later.