Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blenheim

I went to Blenheim at the end of November with my father. We drove up like we used to when I was younger. Mum had to go to a conference for work so she flew in later. We were going to my Uncle's wedding. Dad and I stopped off at that café I always forget the name of. It's past Kaikoura and looks over the ocean. Every time I've been there the sky is this bright azure colour that melts into the sea like milk into coco-pops. We got something to drink, I think we both had coffees although I wouldn't put it past Dad  to have had a beer. He had something to eat too. I didn't. Out the front there was a group of bikers. They reminded me of the Cycling Track between Celadon and Fushia City in Pokemon where there are all these real tough looking guys in leather and studs and stuff with Koffings and Weezings and Grimers and Muks, but they're on bicycles and when you beat them they start crying. It's pretty funny. I wondered whether these bikers were like that. I took a sneaky photo of them. I think they knew I was though so it wasn't very sneaky in the end. I think they liked it though.


We kept driving. We had a good time, I think. The drive itself was very nostalgic for Dad and I. We talked about a lot of things on the way. Mainly about his life when he was playing lots of guitar. He used to be in bands until I was about five or six or seven. He used to be in a band with his ex-wife (not my Mum) and they played at bars in Invercargill and Dunedin. He told me how much he enjoyed it. I felt bad that he doesn't play so much anymore because he had to quit to look after me when I was little because Mum was doing shift work at the hospital. I felt motivated to play drums for him when he practices guitar next. (He still plays, but not as much). My Dad is from Bluff. Bluff is kind of depressing but it has this certain charm to it too. I've only been once or twice and not for long. I don't think I'd like to live in Bluff. I want to go to Stewart Island though. That would be a cool trip I think. 

When we got to Blenheim we found the motel we were staying in. It was quite nice. It was only one room though so I had to sleep in the same room as my parents. There was a swimming pool at the motel too. My cousins and aunt and uncle and other guests of the wedding were there as well. My great-aunt Jennifer met us at the motel and we drove to the airport to pick up Mum. 

Blenheim airport is



I dunno, a bit grim. I went in to get Mum. We joked about Dad and Aunty Jen being indecisive and forgetful. Mum and I sat in the back seat together and made eye contact and giggled heaps. When we got to the little church which was maybe 45mins away from Blenheim there weren't many people there. Mum and I stayed in the car for a bit and chatted and she had a little nap and I had a drink of water. It was a really nice day. Next to us were horses in a paddock. 



I took a picture of Dad too because he looked really funny. He was trying to grow a mustache for some reason. Maybe for 'Movember'. I'm not sure. He goes through phases like this frequently. 


His hat is funny/cool too. He looks a bit like Bill Nighy here.

What was perhaps the most exciting surprise was the church that the wedding was taking place in. When I was five years old (maybe six actually) Dad and I went to Blenheim to see Aunty Jen which was in the nucleus of my obsession/intrigue with churches and Christianity. I went to school where they talked about God and Jesus a bit but I wasn't entirely sure about it so wanted to find out for myself. I got Dad to buy me a book of Bible Stories which was cool and I read some of the Bible and in my big poetry book that was given to me by my mother there is a poem called The Horse. I really like that poem. I think mainly I was confused about whether or not it was all one big story. I liked stories though. But I was skeptical if it went any further than that. Anyway, on the way home from Blenheim this one time there was this church on the side of the road that I made Dad stop at and take me inside. It was really cute and dilapidated. I had just read an autobiography about a lady who had renovated an old church to live in. It took me ages to read but had lots of good pictures. I spent ages in this church. It was surrounded by thickets and I got sort of overwhelmed in the rugged beauty of it. I asked if he could take me to Church after that. I went to church for a few years, maybe until I was 8 or 9 when the other kids accused me of poking out the eye of the horse who was kept in the field out the back. It already had only one eye, I just accidentally jabbed my pinky in it's empty socket one day. Dad still goes though. I also started tucking my singlets into my underwear after that because my Aunt said that's how you stay warmer in winter. 

So I was excited about seeing the little church again. I had this flood of all these memories. 


I was slightly disappointed though when I went inside because the interior had been done up and it was all white and boring and had lost all of the 'rustic charm' that I liked so much.


So then the wedding started. I vowed not to ever get married. I'm not sure if this is the effect that a wedding should have on someone but just I'm not into marriage so much. Not that it was a bad ceremony though. It was nice and also kind of funny because there was all this tension between some of my family and the woman who my uncle was marrying. Mum and I felt really out of the loop and talked to this elderly Eastern European woman who remembers me when I was only "this big" (baby). 

They got married. 

After heaps of photos got taken and everyone congregated outside. 


My new aunty looked really beautiful. 

We back to the motel and I got changed into something warmer and then we all walked down to the reception party. There were lots of people I didn't know there so I hung out with Mum and we made compliments about the decorations. I got drunk and ate heaps. I loosened up a bit and made jokes with my cousins and other uncle. There were speeches which were quite funny and my uncle who got married cried and that was really lovely/funny. 

Just as I was leaving my Dad pulled me aside and introduced me to this man he was talking to. I ended up staying for another hour just talking to this man. He was writing a screenplay and worked in radio and television. I talked to him about when I used to work at The Radio Network but that I didn't like it so I left. I felt like I was getting taken advantage of and it was quite sexist and a bit gross. Got lots of free pizza though. 

I felt really tired/drunk and left with Mum and Dad. I didn't sleep so well because some people (my cousins) jumped in the pool in the early hours of the morning and woke me up. They had gone into town and had asked me to go with them but I didn't want to. 

In the morning I got up early to go for a massive walk because I felt so bad about eating so many mini samosas and cakes at the wedding reception on top of the Thai takeaways we got for dinner beforehand.

I liked the houses in the old Blenheim. I've found that Blenheim is kind of divided between old and new. There is a big subdivision out of the city. It isn't very nice; segregated or something. I felt good walking around Blenheim, like it was really warm and sunny and pleasant to be in. I thought "if I ever need to run away again I should come to Blenheim". I instantly regretted thinking that though because Blenheim is kind of depressing actually and has lots of boy racers even though it's so small and flat and would be way easier/better if people biked and walked everywhere. 


This house looked was an art deco dream. It was like a mansion. This picture kind of makes it look like a prison though. 

This was funny/scary

I walked around for about an hour and went back. Mum and Dad and I said bye to my cousins and stuff and went to a café for brunch. I got fruit and muesli and yogurt and a pot of peppermint tea because I felt a bit sick still. We drove home and got back around 4pm.

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