Walking along the Kinloch marina, I spied these grasses.
Walking along the First Stream at Kinloch I spied these Douglas Fir cones
Walking past the shop at Kinloch I spied these Gum Tree Flowers
Walking past this old shed on a new track near an overbridge at Kinloch I spied this Lichen.
Since I was around four years old our family has been going to a place called Kinloch which is in the Western Bays of Lake Taupo.
My great uncle owned an unassuming two roomed fibrolite bach, (holiday house) in one of the original subdivisions overlooking the Lake and Mt Ruapehu.
My parents would take us on a Friday night after work from Te Kowhai (near Hamilton) and later Cambridge, Matamata and Rototuna for many weekends.
Especially in the spring, winter and autumn when the trout were biting.
Fish and Chips.
We always had fish and chips in the car in Putaruru or Tokoroa on the way down and back.
It was the highlight of the weekend for me.
Why did fish and chips taste so good when you were a kid?
Maybe it was because they used to deep fry them in animal fat.
It makes your arteries have a heart attack to think about it, doesn't it?
I can still recall the trouty, smokey smell that pervaded that old bach.
Back then it was common for my parents to catch the daily limit of ten fish each.
In time my brother joined them and they would all compete to see who could haul in the most.
I usually went along and read a book or slept.
They would have enormous smoke ups with brown sugar and vinegar and we had trout for weeks on end, baked, smoked, bottled, in fish pies and my least favourite; fried.
The road to Kinloch used to be unsealed.
It was an small, unknown, isolated place that was safe for children to wander off by themselves and have un supervised adventures.
My great uncle was a builder and one day he fell off a roof and died.
The bach went up for sale and was sold. My parents bought a section in Marina Terrace
in a different subdivision, opposite a rustic marina with a white wooden arched bridge.
It looked like a scene from a chinese blue willow pattern plate.
Claim to Fame.
Marina Terrace's main claim to fame is that former Prime Minister Sir Keith Holyoak had one of the first Lockwood bach's there and it was diagonally opposite our place.
My parents erected a simple double storied fibre board Keith Hay Home shell on the section.
We travelled down to Kinloch every weekend for what seemed like centuries and worked on it, until it was finished.
After a hard morning's graft carrying barrow loads of pumice and dust from one end of the section to the other to flatten it; my brother and I were rewarded by being allowed to have cookouts in the searing sun.
I can still taste the dust in my mouth.
But there's nothing nicer than singed sausages, lamb chops and jacket potatoes in tinfoil washed down with billy tea from an open fire with wafting smoke of a manuka wood fire, swirling around your face.
I also liked that I was allowed to make pikelets for the whole family for afternoon tea.
Fresh pikelets with whipped cream and home made raspberry jam; I still have fantasies about them.
I enjoyed frog hunting, fishing for cockabillies, swimming, walking and koura (small fresh water crayfish) hunting at night with a torch, playing table tennis, writing poetry, art making and adding to my stone collection.
In the past forty five years I have seen huge changes at Kinloch.
The frogs have disappeared.
The road is now sealed.
There are hundreds of new houses everywhere and hardly a fibrolite bach in sight.
The marina has doubled in size and been modernised with a sea of concrete and steel.
People keep large white white launches tethered in the marina like show ponies and there is hardly an aluminium dinghy in sight.
Tall poppy chopping?
In mid summer the place is full of thin, well dressed, Aucklanders, Wellingtonions and Hawkes Bay dwellers with their groomed, tidy children, often walking designer dogs.
In Autumn, Spring and Winter the place calms down and almost goes back to feeling like it did during my childhood; deserted, bird filled and peacful.
Many of the baches lie empty and the boats unused, except for a few short weeks over the Christmas holidays.
Peace and Quiet.
Graham and I went for a couple of days break away from our neighbours in Rotorua who seem to have chainsaw, weedeater and burning of old rubbish fixations, during summer weekends.
We are obsessive seekers of peace and quiet.
Pretending to be rich and famous.
We went out for dinner at our favourite restaurant called the Thai Lotus in Taupo and experienced peace.
The food is authentic, always excellent and well priced.
We went for two swims, two longish walks and had breakfast of eggs benedict at the Jack Nickolas Golf course cafe while we sat in the sun reading the Sunday Star Times and experienced more peace.
For a minute while I was sitting there I kind of had a glimpse of what it would be like to be really wealthy in New Zealand.
I don't know why it made me feel slightly uneasy apart from the fact that I kept thinking of all the people I know in Rotorua who can't afford one house; let alone two.
Peace was not with me.
It also made me think about the ever widening gap between rich and poor in this country.
I know that life isn't supposed to be fair, but sometimes I catch myself thinking why not?
But for the grace of God there go I.
Why for instance why aren't the majority of people who do the most creative jobs in society like writers, musicians and artists more valued ?
What do these people do for a living who own all these gigantic holiday homes?
How on earth are they managing to evade so much tax?
I'd like to go around on the golf course, notebook and pen in hand like an interpid journalist and ask them.
Hot selling book idea
I guess this would not be welcome because it would put them off their golf swings.
Maybe it would make a good subject for a book.
The twenty most wealthy people in Kinloch talking about how they made their fortunes, interviewed by poets who would turn their stories into illustrated sonnets.
Avoiding a rant
But before this snaps into a rant, I'd just like to say that I think it's important to schedule mini get-aways from home so that I can come back and be revitalised.
It helps me to be more creative and hopefully, happier.
Mini get-a-ways or scheduled weekly dates with my partner don't need to be expensive.
Ending on a happy note with a giant trout.
I turn fifty next year in April, does this qualify me to be officially labelled as an old trout?
I'm having a family party in Meadowbank, Auckland for my fiftieth in April.
Something small and low key, present free, alcohol free, sugar free and vegetarian, full of meditative chanting and yoga posing and literary and artistic talk would be my pick.
Then a long group power walk in the Meadowbank cemetary to visit all the angels.
Somehow I think that this is one boat that won't be coming in.
I am hoping that I'll have a huge influx of money from somewhere so that I can go on a European holiday to France and Italy to see the mosaics.
I haven't been there yet and time is marching on.
Maybe someone will commission me to make them a giant trout so it can help me pay for it.
Giant mosaic trout that I use for window displays to lure in the customers.
You never know your luck.
See the next post about happiness.
Please send me some stories about your creative dreams.
Creative quote of the day.
I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.