Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smelling fishy instead

I know I'll get no sympathy for this very specific #firstworldproblem, but when you stay FOC in 5-star hotels all the time, it does lead to a lot of irritated tutting when you land up at a 3-star on a private trip. No gift on the bed! No Occitane toiletries in the bathroom! No fruit teas on the bar! NO AIR CON!!! Why, I might just as well be at home...

So here I am in Whangarei, oop north, where today the sky is unseasonably grey, the breeze a touch cool, but the people noticeably warmer than in the big city, the Town Basin is pretty even without sunshine and there are interesting yachts in the marina, like the Swiss one about to head off to Papua New Guinea, crewed by a lean brown couple who got their taste for the Deep Blue goodness knows how. Alongside are rusty fishing boats with a definite niff, their decks stacked with crates and floats, all very businesslike, but bearing names like Melodeon and L'Avenir in a pleasing touch of artistic whimsy.

So it's not hot and sunny, but the gulls are calling, the ropes are rapping on the masts, the pohutukawas are brilliantly red, and it's holiday time. I can manage without the Occitane, I guess.

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