'Home is a place not only of strong affections...

by tosca on Friday, March 12, 2010

...but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room' ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe. Quick-ish post while I wait for the taxi to take me to the Auckland airport.

Today, for the first time in 3 or 4 years, I head home to Wellington. I'm always ambivalent about calling it 'home.' My parents & siblings & I left Wellington when I was 9 and, at the time, it felt like I was losing my heart (I would like to say I was a reserved and circumspect child but truth be told I was a tad overly emotional and and melodramatic). I was leaving behind my grandparents (Trentham & Thorndon), an older sister (Ky was raised by my maternal gran), hundreds of first cousins (please, being Maori it was more likely closer to thousands) and umpteen other relatives for the great unknown. It really hurt and I was bound and determined to hate Auckland with a vengeance. Now, at 34, and as someone who tries to go home (can you ever really go home again?) every couple of years or so, I'm too Wellingtonian for the Aucklanders and too Auckland-y for the Wellingtonians. I feel equally as comfortable sitting at Eden Park cheering for the Hurricanes as I do arguing quite passionately about what I love (and sometimes detest) about Manukau. Maybe it's a little bit like being Maori (is that anything like being a little bit pregnant?) - I can appreciate the best of both worlds. Although maybe that's not the best way to look at it because, thanks to Ma & Pa Kettle I'm Ngati Kahungunu (think Nuhaka in Hawkes Bay), Ngai Tahu (think Kaikoura), Ngai Takoto (think Waimanoni in Kaitaia) and Ngati Porou (think Hicks Bay on the East Coast). Oh, think I dug myself a hole ;-)

I'm headed back for a long weekend break to see Amanda Palmer perform at the Bodega Bar, Neil Gaiman at the Town Hall and The Arrival at the Opera House. I also plan to visit Katherine Mansfield's birthplace (which is a stroll from my gran's place where I will be staying). I also plan to take a nosey at the Writers Walk to see the text sculptures. My sister (who's meeting me down there) has suggested we visit the Taita Lawn Cemetery as well to pay our respects to my paternal grandparents, my maternal gramps and my dad's youngest brother. My uncle Tim was my childhood idol. He would babysit me and bake cakes. For years I thought all cakes came out of little boxes from the shop and you'd just add milk :-) He will be forever young in my mind. Our song was Nina Pretty Ballerina by ABBA.

So, if you see me wandering around Wellington (you'll know me, beaded necklaces up the wazoo and a Manukau Libraries bag happily taking snapshots of literary/writer type places & things) come up and say hello. I don't bite. Much. The pic just above is where I stay when I'm back in Wellington. For years my gran has run Pendennis hostel which is, handily, just up from Molesworth. Yay.

3 comments

Have fun! I can't see how you could not have fun, but it still seems a good idea to remind you to do so anyway. :D

by BookieMonster on March 12, 2010 at 9:13 AM. #

I really like your style of writing. You make me want to visit Wellington.

by HelenLeech on March 24, 2010 at 4:39 AM. #

Kia ora Helen! I'm forever going to be biased about Wellington :-) One of the things I love most is always the arty events that take place there (well, that and distance - nothing is too far).

by catatonia on March 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM. #

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