Friday 24 June 2011

Fish on Friday

It's been raining all day today - so, pretty much like the other weekend up in Northland where, as the lady at the Kaitaia Visitor Centre said, "We're all about beaches and fishing up here," casting about for inspiration amongst the racks of horse-riding, quad bike, sand-dune surfing and boat hire brochures. It was a bit of a mission finding things to do, once we'd been to Gumdiggers Park and looked at holes in the ground and had a coffee and mooched about in the villa at Carrington Resort gazing out at a golfcourse empty of everything but a pair of pukeko.

But the Matthews Vintage Collection was fun, in that appealing personal-passion way: 40 years of collecting and restoring old tractors, then cars, then farm machinery, then pretty much anything really. It was all very neatly displayed and labelled in a big shed, and the retired farming couple there were lovely. Lyn played the Pianola while we poked through the displays - moa bones, mobile phones, foreign coins, flour-bag knickers - and afterwards gave us a bag of chokos to take away (still in the fridge - must get around to googling what to do with them). And Winston showed us his latest project, a classic car just back from the spray shop: just a skeleton, months of happy tinkering ahead of him putting it all back together. So that's what you do in winter in Northland.

And eat - the Mangawai Fish Shop is World Famous in New Zealand, and rightly so for its position over the water in a lovely bay, and serves great fish beautifully battered. The seagulls are pretty disgusted about the 'Please do not feed the birds' signs though, and kept up a chorus of complaint down on the rocks beneath.

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