I drove past three car accidents today. The first was just past Ngaruawahia, where a car had driven into a ditch. A tow truck was trying to get in a safe position to be able to tow it out.

Then later on I came down the big hills on the way to Raglan, and there were two cars who had appeared to have hit each other almost head-on. One was totally smashed up in the front, the other was smashed at the front on the right side. There are lots of windy roads on the way to Raglan. People who are used to the smoothness of motorway driving don’t get that you really have to slow down when you go around a tight corner. So I’m guessing that someone took a corner too fast, cut across into the other lane and hit a car coming in the opposite direction. That accident was so recent that no emergency vehicles had arrived yet. The ambulance passed me further long the road.

Then a few hours after that I hooned out to Manu Bay and back. On that road there’s a chicaney corner that’s really hard to drive around. Not only is it a tight hairpin turn, but it’s also up (or down) a hill. The recommended speed is 25 km/h. On the way up it I remember thinking that it’d really suck to get stuck in a ditch like the previous car had. Minutes later on the way back a car had taken that corner too fast and had driving into the inner edge of the bend and was stuck in the ditch. The passengers of the car appeared to be drunk teenagers. Maybe the driver was too.

I saw the Hollow Grinders and Nodrog play at Aqua Velvet. It was a cold night and hardly anyone showed up, but it was a fun show. The ‘Grinders’ set list was written in biro, and no one could actually read it, so they gave it to a guy in the audience and got him to yell out the song titles. Later in the show, Otis observed that there were only three people in the audience he didn’t personally know, so he introduced himself. Instead of having a door charge, they put a plastic fireman’s had in front of the stage and invited people to give a koha (that’s Maori for “gold coin donation”). I gave them 5 cents, but felt guilty and biffed in a $5 note later.

Earlier in the evening my parents were reminiscing about when you could drive from Hamilton to Auckland and back on $2 petrol. I think I spent about $32 getting my car filled up today. Oh yes, and the new bit of road from south of Meremere to north of Huntly is open now. Two smooth lanes in each direction, and it totally bypasses Ohinewai. Looking across at the old windy two lane road, it seems amazing that it was ever deemed worthy of being State Highway 1.

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