Tuesday 7 February 2012


Now this is what we've been waiting for: to wake on a bright morning to a clear sky and shining waves rolling on to the beach from a flat blue sea. It's harsh for the workers, back in their offices today after yesterday's grey holiday, but we did our best to appreciate it for them. I was up early enough for my walk/run to feel fresh and easy, despite the 21 zigzags on the track up through the pine trees; and the views from the top were glorious, out to Great Barrier Island where I went last year for the first time, and where many disaffected alternative types have moved from Waiheke since it's been gentrified.

The island was over-run with cruise ship passengers - three of them docked in Auckland today - and what a perfect day out for them it was, poking round Oneroa's little shops, doing the wineries tour, going to the beach. The Firstborn was over, bringing her bike to do a pedal tour, and we met her for lunch at Onetangi, where the beach is long and open and glorious, and where in a couple of weeks' time they'll be having the Beach Races again and the place will be buzzing with people there for the horse races along the water's edge, the ponies pulling sulkies, the Pony Club girls spinning round barrels in a shower of sand, the vintage tractors trundling along in slow-motion, the rich men's Sea-Legs amphibians showing off, the tugs of war, sandcastle competitions, the food and drink... it's a great day out.

And today, finally, I had my first swim of the summer, back at Palm Beach, jumping in the waves, floating in the warm water, and it was just perfect. As was dinner later at Cable Bay with a bottle of rose that matched the sunset over the city. Excellent day.

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