So I bid farewell to Wangaz and hit State Highway 3, heading southeast.
I was hooning along when I saw an signpost pointing to Ratana. “Hey, it’s that place,” I thought. So I turned off and drove to Ratana Pa. It’s a curious little place – a settlement wholly centres around the Ratana movement. There’s the temple, some houses and a few other related buildings, and that’s about it. It’s all very nicely kept, but I felt a bit weird being there.
Feilding (i before e, except after journalism school)
Mr Slack recommended Feilding because it was sale day. I also discovered that it was market day too, so I bought some apples and fudge. Feilding appears to be a town for a rich farmers. I was surprised at the number of little boutiquey shops that sold the sort of nick-knacks that people with too much money buy.
I wandered down to the saleyards (sadly I was too late for the guided tour), but I saw some farmers up on the platforms admiring the bottoms of the cows, or whatever it is they do up there. It smelt like fresh cow poo, which isn’t an entirely unpleasant smell, but you’d probably have to have grown up on a farm to appreciate that.
There’s a clock tower in the middle of Feilding. It was playing music from a speaker, which seemed to alternate between a Spanish guitar type song and some ’90s house music. This is a direct threat to Stratford’s glockenspiel clock tower.
It seemed like a good enough place to stay for a few more nights, so I found a nice motel (albeit one where some middle-aged bogans were having a loud party last night). Yesterday I visited Te Manawa, the art gallery, museum and science centre.
The art gallery had a good selection of exhibits, with Lauren Lysaght’s “Trifecta” works, a garden made of old racetrack signs of horses names and betting slips, retrospective of Natalie Woodhams, and two films by Annee Olafson.
The museum had an interesting exhibit on Savage Crescent, one of the first state housing developments in New Zealand. It included an old government propaganda film from the 1940s (I think), that showed a young married couple unable to afford to buy a house or even able to rent a nice one. Yes, well.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do today. I seem to have exhausted Palmy’s treasures in one day. I could, like, drive out to the wind turbines.