How bright everything is. Not necessarily the people. I've never seen Jim Flynn's analysis of Kiwi IQ.They're probably brighter but slower because less challenged and more easy going. But the light. So bright compared to the land of mists mellow fruitfulness and VW pollution. It struck me the first time I stayed in a motel in ChCh. Unremitting brightness. "This is Kodachrome country thought I,rather sadly because you couldn't get Kodachrome then because of import restrictions-so how the hell did they produce all those books of NZ in Colour?
Too bright for me to be allowed out according to Linda because as soon as I sit out to bask in it I'm snatched back in and told that the pills I'm taking (I'm being kept alive by the British chemical industry to guarantee their profits) will turn me red. I thought they'd said green but never bothered because there wasn't enough sunlight in UK to produce puce or even pink.
So I can only go out wearing a hat and dark glasses and possibly a hijab though we don't have one with us not wanting to be viewed as Jehadis .
A first day of catching up with life .That requires us to go to Riccarton Mall. All human life is there and all New Zealand by the look of it. What did all these people do on a Saturday morning when the shops were shut as they were all week end when I were a lad.. Stood there meditating on the Mallisation of NZ life (Fleurs du Mal-or is it maul?)
Crazy thing is NZ's great invention-the verandah over pavements (something they could do with in ever raining Manchester) lies neglected.The poor shuffle along it looking in the shops. The rest fight for parking places,messily mauling in the melee at the Mall
Meanwhile Linda tries to get her mobile phone re-simmed for NZ (they can't do it)in which process she's interrupted by a tall Khaki dressed Kiwi buying a mobile to brain damage his five year old kid who tells her the price in pounds and when she thanks him sarcastically tells her that she's a bitch and needs to be a lot more charming is she has come to live here. Extraordinary. She's upset and l'esprit de l'escalier chimes in too late for her to ask him if he works for Welcome to NZ.? Stupid rudeness of a kind one would never have expected in such a nice country. Mull it over for hours afterwards. Can't be inverted colonial cringe can it? Or just dyspepsia?
Then to McDonalds-slowest service in the world and no hash browns my staple food since I read about processed meat and bowel cancer-and out to the airport where we're told phones are cheaper. Not true. Everywhere at the airport is more parked up than Riccarton Mall. Have all these people fled the country fearing another earthquake? Why bother when On Street parking is free?
Evening to Bronwyn Hayward's house for dinner and to get my instructions for the lectures.12 of one and a half to two hours twice a week.For eternity probably. They'll find it difficult to stop me raving on to an empty room for years while parties oif students are shown round "this is what MPs were like before we had them doctored for PR" Lovely evening but unable to agree what time I should present myself at broadcasting for my broadcast to UK tomorrow. UK is 13 hours behind (and probably 13 years too in terms of the good life). Should I present at nine am for a ten o'clock start or eleven a.m Unable to sleep worrying about it
Then back to motel to make the phone work and prepare to meet staff from the U ofC. And ask some of them if they'll accommodate some of our suitcases (because if they fit into the economy car we can't) .while we go to Wanaka. Hope they will because otherwise I'll have to leave Linda in ChCh and go by myself to give the suitcases a scenic tour. Baclk at the motel the All Black flag is at half mast. For Joshua Lomu? Or have they lost the Webb Ellis cup in misdirected luggage coming back from London?