Just when I think I have a taxi-driver like Knowledge of the streets of this city, I find myself driving around Ellerslie, trying to find a street that appears to have mysteriously vanished, ending up at Mt Wellington, doing way too many u-turns, then finally turning a corner and, hey, there it is.

After my appointment at Ellerslie I went down to the shops there and had lunch. I like how the Ellerslie shops – which are like any small suburban shops – are located on a road named Main Highway. I’m sure that name had more weight back before the motorway went through, but now it’s funny having this little two lane road complete with a zebra crossing and parallel parking called Main Highway, when only metres away the six-lane motorway roars away.

I went out to the Pakuranga mall thing. It’s a lot smaller than I remembered, but I think the last time I went there was in 1990. It was back when the mall was all out in the open. Now it’s been enclosed. Just to muse on malls for a bit, it seems that when malls first came to this fair city they were open, like a pedestrian mall is. I know Lynn Mall City was like that when it opened. Then they became enclosed, protected from the outside world. But now there’s the Botany Centre and it has open areas, fake roads, courtyards, etc. In one of Douglas Coupland’s books be made a comment about how often malls only exist on the inside, not on the outside. St Lukes is a prime example of that. Even taken a look at it from the outside? It’s just a mishmash of white walls. So it’s good to see places like the Botany Centre where it exists on the outside as well as the inside.

But (and this was the whole point of me mentioning that I went to the Pakuranga mall), there was a sign with “DENTAL CENTRE” on it, but I twice misread it as “DENIAL CENTRE”. This is not quite as cool as the time my dad misread “Kebab Kid” as “Rehab Kid”, but I bet somewhere, in a parallel universe, the rehab kid is going to the denial centre.

Also, I saw “Far From Heaven”. All the reviews I’ve read mention that it’s a melodrama, but I didn’t realise just how much of a melodrama it was. But unlike the melodramas of the 1950s that can be viewed today with “oh man, that’ soooo corny!”, this is a very obvious, deliberate melodrama, so the shocking events (homosexuality, mixed race love) actually seem shocking, even though today they are quite ordinary. The f-word was used only once, but it was perfectly used. I should take note, after all, fuck is not a comma.

Oh, I’m really excited because the Ska-B-Q is tomorrow! The Managers, The Offbeats, 4 Man Bob, The Offbeat Selecta and those sexy bitches The WBC, and FREE SAUSAGES. Yes, ska, saussies and beer. It doesn’t get any better than that. The Kings Arms, 5pm, $10, goin’ off.

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