Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood


Flying visit

24 kid-free hours in Wellington, the checklist:

  • Land into teeth of northerly gale, rediscover religion. No calming rosary beads to hand, console self by reworking current project's opening scene: "FADE IN Our heroine crawls out of a crashed plane, ukulele case in hand..." Yeah, that'll work.
  • Zephyrometer horizontal. Persuade sister to drive straight to Frutti so you can buy the cardie you didn't pack because it's meant to be summer, dammit. Buy a skirt as well, you big spendthrift! It's only money.
  • Return to the source: lunch at a cafe right next to wellspring of all childhood inspiration and awe. Ko bucket fountain taku awa.
  • Lurk stalkerishly on fringes of soundcheck at Bodega and bump into two of tonight's stars. The ones I just had lunch with. They're just like us! Only a teensy bit starrier!

  • Admire gobstopping sartorial awesomeness of Wellington's artistas. It's like a tornado in an opshop around here... in the best way.
  • Slip out to take advantage of best bargain in town: the $10 fifteen minute back massage at the Chinese Health Center on Cuba St, upstairs from Hunters and Collectors. Brisk and to the point. All tension from this morning's bumpy landing has now left me.
  • At the Mighty Markets, pounce on a teapot-shaped tea spoon like the one my nana had, although hers didn't have a revamped medallion with the legend AoTEAroa. Cheesy, and yet I love it.
  • Hasty dinner at Deluxe, where all this ukulele nonsense began. Ooh look! A poster for the gig! Check out the profane nativity theme... when good Catholic girls go bad.

  • Join shoulder to shoulder crowd at Bodega. Watch as civil servants go off their nuts for the Sounds Like Us choir, that Bob Dylan guy from Cuba Mall, the moustachioed MC Griffin Point, and ultimately, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.

  • Fail to find adequate

    after-party location, repair to sister's flat for gourmet toasted sandwiches and cup of tea, prepared by exemplars of new generation of gentlemen. (Note to self: teach own small boys art of gourmet toasted sandwiches so that some day they can impress some lucky chick or feller with 3 a.m kitchen prowess.)

  • Fall into bed.
  • Sleep in, voluptuously. Like ten a.m.!
  • Eat pancakes for breakfast with a view of Oriental Bay, then blog uninterrupted. The luxury knows no bounds.
  • Nudge dear readers to run out and buy tickets for Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra Lazy Summer Tour. Oh, and: buy someone you love an instrument for Christmas: DIY music will get us through this economic turbulence. Better than rosary beads.
  • Wish everyone a Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad!

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