Mountain magic

It’s a lovely sunny day here in the ‘Naki. It’s a nice crisp winter’s day, the likes of which seem all too rare in Auckland, the land of the long grey sky.

Today I went to the Govett-Brewster art gallery, which is rather choice. At first I was a bit annoyed that I’d missed the opening of a new Len Lye exhibit by a mere four days, however the rest of the gallery was taken up by an exhibit of Darcy Lange.

I’d not heard of him before, but it turns out he’s a video artist. He started recording things on video back in England the mid-’70s, before turning home to the ‘Naki. Rather than editing his footage (in those days, video editing equipment wasn’t easy to come by), he just filmed long, uncut scenes of things like crop dusters, tree fellers, farmers, both at work and sitting around at smoko. It took a bit of time and effort to get into his work, and I noticed that most people did a hasty walk by, missing out on the sight of such things as the 1974 tree fellers chopping away at a mighty tree before it eventually crashed to the forest floor.

After that I ended up spending about an hour at the New Plymouth BNZ when the adjacent ATM ate my Visa card, which is, like, one of the crappest things to happen to a traveller. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing between BNZ and BankDirect, they were finally convinced that I was not a criminal and gave me my card back.

Mountain report: The cloud has all but vanished and the might snow-covered peak of Mt Taranaki is visible. It’s just there, hanging out in the background, peaking over the top of supermarket car parks, office buildings and houses.

I’m typing this in a Christian bookshop. Gentle Christian music plays in the background. When I went to type the subject for this entry, Internet Explorer’s autocomplete popped down a list of previously used subjects, one of which was “shave his balls with a rusty razor”. Crikey!

Go, the ‘Naki

I’m in the ‘Naki, New Plymouth to be exact. I’m currently in an “Internet Laundry”, typing this on a computer where the screen will only show half the pixels, in a sort of checkerboard effect.

I was thinking of all the places in Aotearoa that I hadn’t been to, and New Plymouth was one of them. Well, I’ve been here for a day in 1982 (or round about that time) and the only thing I remember was a tall brick chimney type structure, but I’ve not seen anything like this, so perhaps it was a false memory.

This Mt Egmont/Taranaki thing appears to be hiding in the cloud. I went up to the top of a tall car park building and attempted to look for it, but all I could see was some foothills shrouded in mists. Ooh.

Today I visited Puke Ariki, the visitor’s centre cum museum. It’s rather impressive. There was an exhibit to do with young design companies like Huffer, Dawn Raid, Illicit, Misery, Disruptiv etc. It was all focused around the fact that these companies are making money, and therefore the youth of Taranaki should look up to them or something.

New Plymouth is a lovely place. There’s a funny little vibe here, and the only way I can think of describing it is New Plymouth is the centre of the universe. Maybe it’s cos it’s the only part of New Zealand with oil (or something like that).

Since sitting down here, another customer has come in. He wants to use los Interweb, but the other two terminals are broken. So he’s just sitting there waiting for me to finish. He’ll just have to be patient.

Rumour has it that tomorrow the weather will be nicer and sunnier and I may even get to see this mountain thing sans cloud.