I scored a fantastically cheap flight back from Christchurch: $51, plus your usual chocolate box of taxes. If someone had told my great-great-grandmothers that their descendant would be ferried over alps and glaciers and Tasman Seas, and deposited safely back in the loving bosom of Her Majesty's Colony of Victoria, all for the price of two dozen kippers, they would have et their great-great-grandmaternal bonnets. $51, even affianced to twice that amount in taxes, is v. bloody cheap indeed.
The only catch was that I had to board a plane at 6:45am, which meant getting to the airport around 5am, which meant prising apart my gummy eyelids &c., far earlier than I care to recall, especially if you factor in the New Zealandian time advance (which time advance I'm factoring in with a vengeance, if only to impress upon you the Incredible Feat entailed in my waking up at 2am, since when I have not slept, a fact which I blame on Peter Carey's My Life as a Fake,* which I recommend to you all, unless you ought to be sleeping, in which case eschew Peter Carey's My Life as a Fake as if it were a yardglass of macchiato).
I got home to find that the 'Bourne had been slugged with 46.4ºC of thermopreposterousness yesterday, and that fires were (are) ravaging whole towns, and dozens and dozens of people have died, and who knows how many dogs and possums and wallabies. There are no words for how horrible this is.
Dunedin is lovely. Little, and hilly, full of gallant old Victorian buildings that noone seems to think deserve special attention (like having their broken windowpanes replaced).
And the coast is defended by these chaps, who I mistakenly thought might want to have their photos taken.
Apparently not. This one demonstrated his teeth, and his bark, and his breath (fishy), and emitted a watery poo of such proportions that I can only conclude I was being told to rack off. Mess ye not with the fur seal, for he doth a convincing line in cranky.
Stay tuned for further instalments in Why New Zealand is the Ixcillintist Country in Town, just as soon as I've gone got myself a wee kip. Bon soir.
* Exhilarating book. It takes The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein and the Ern Malley affair, chops 'em up, puts 'em together again, and leaves me so admiring that I'm wondering if I, the reader, have been had on, Angry-Penguinsesquely.