The plaza at Wellington City Centre
I returned to Wellington in January, to continue the photographic project, and to spend some more time with Madeline. Took the NakedBus overnight, and arrived at 6:30 am. I’d booked myself in to a place in the city, and walked the two miles from the bus to the B and B, but it was terribly grim, if spotlessly clean, and I found I just wanted to be back in Paekakariki.
Put my bags down, went to the clinic, then walked downtown, to take photos at the City Centre. On Wakefield Street, standing next to me at an intersection were two teenage boys carrying skateboards. Perfect! I asked if they would skateboard for me at the plaza, and they said yes.
Walked back to the B and B by way of the health food store, and called Paekakariki from the street. Ivan, who was taking care of Hilltop for Denise and Peter while they were away in Christchurch, answered the phone, and once he knew I was a repeat guest, he called Denise and made it all happen. Phew!
Gathered my things, made my excuses to the innkeeper, who had earlier told me the story of the arson fire there which left his face melted and his lungs terribly compromised, and got the bus to downtown, and then the bus to Paekakariki, which was jammed. It had been Queer Fair in the plaza, and I fell into conversation with two women who had been there, and who of course lived Paekakariki. They gave me a lift from the station in Paekak to the bottom of the hill upon which perches the inn.
I was deeply content to be back in the familiar room, with the restless Tasman Sea there below.
Sat on the deck in the bright early evening sun, talking with Ivan. Interesting man, who took on the Vietnamese widow of a friend years ago, and has since been taken in by her family, and now lives part time in New Zealand, part time in Vietnam.