Monday, May 11, 2009 Comment0 Comments

4th April to 6th April

Can't believe I forgot to post this! Nob...*sigh*

Anyway, while still in Feilding, we went back down to Otaki for (cue music) Gregg's annual apple-picking party! During these two days, the orchard is denuded of both Braeburn and Pacific Rose, in the service of juice and cider. And socialising. And drinkg (once again) too much...

So ya! The saturday was spent, by Si and I, that is, doing 'quality control'. The apples, once picked, had to be gone over again looking for various forms of ickies, before they could be washed, pulped and juiced. We also drank a lot of cider, went to go say goodbye to Jenny and Wayne (who were leaving for Oz), and then moved to another locale in Otaki Beach to continue drinking.

Note: mixing cider, red wine and whisky is, of course, a recipe for disaster. Astounding, I know.

So yes. Sunday dawned bright on the beach, where Si and I had spent the night (we had managed to navigate the 50m from drinking locale to beach, where I proceeded to sit in front seat of car, half-passed out with cold and liquor, being unhelpful, while Si set up the back for us to sleep in. In the dark. I'm amazed he didn't divorce me that night.) I had one of the worst hangovers of my life - so bad I couldn't stomache breakfast, which is a new one for me...

Anyway, we made it to Gregg's for round two of the apple-picking. I attempted to remain upright, and got laughed at. A lot. That day we focused on the Braeburns, which are what go into the cider (the Pacific Rose are too sweet) - the previous day not enough had been picked, and, of course, the Braebrun trees were not bearing nearly as heavily as the others.

Nonetheless, success!

Sunday night rocked. We had been offered the use of the awesome, 5m diameter teepee in friends' backyard. This we took advantage off, and got to fall asleep in a real teepee, next to a fire, under the cold night stars. Awesome. We also got to experience the unalloyed joy of being jumped on at about 7am by a large puppy and a 6 year old girl. For 20 minutes. (Actually, it was really cute).

Oh yeah, and we got to see the coolest tree ever, in the local pine forest - it's like the Faraway Tree!

We left that day for Feilding again, to both our protests and those of our friends. While we really didn't want to, we had to, and so that was it - at least for then...

Oh yeah. And this weekend was the reason for our mad dash up the north-east coast. We met, on the Saturday, a charming man called Jeremy, who mentioned that his mom, up in the Coromandel, needed WWOOFers for help with the chestnut harvest. Awesome! His mum, as it turns out, is Jeanette Fitzsimons, co-leader of the Green Party (and not actually a feral hippy! Well, not toally). Jeremy and his partner were getting married shortly, and Jeanette and partner Harry were looking for someone to house sit for the weekend so that Harry could attend the wedding for more than a day - and really, who wouldn't help someone out with something like that?
So we made the decision, after Feilding, to start heading up that way... (more on that later)