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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

We should have gone to SpecSavers! (Day 121)

Auckland and the day we picked up our Campervan from Wicked Campers - Oh dear - we should have gone to Spec Savers!!

Rise and Shine – an early start. We were getting a lift with Serety and Ian to Auckland as they were flying down to Christchurch, onto Mount Cook area as their daughter Ella was competing in the New Zealand Schools’ Rowing Competition. Last year her and her friend came first in the doubles, which was shown on TV. This year she is competing in the 8s. Go Ella Go! We arrived at Auckland Airport with our luggage, it did seem strange not queuing for a flight. Had a quick coffee with Serety and Ian, huge hugs good-bye and saw them off. Aw… What great friends they are and have been for years now. We left it far too long to come and see them, we won’t make that mistake again. We got an Uber to Wicked Campers – yes – we’ve hired a small campervan for the week. Their Campervans are covered with graffiti, look fun and are very reasonably priced. The guy who served us was from Ireland, a bit surly at first, but we got him laughing in the end. The vans did have a bad reputation for going over the top with their graffiti and slogans, but the van we had looked ok. A hand on the bonnet – peace sign, then a picture of some guy called Jeff Buckley on both sides and then a stupid slogan on the back about having lots of one night stands…hey-ho. We drove into Auckland, finally finding an inexpensive carpark and off exploring. Down to the harbour first, watching the ships, seeing the sights. Up Queen Street, High Street and played with an Art installation for a time and finally to Auckland Art Gallery. Had lunch there, then looked around the Gallery. There was quite a lot of contemporary art – some I just don’t get. How is painting one side of a block of wood one colour called Art and why have it in a Gallery? Please – enlighten me. There was a great Creative Thinking Project which invited us to realise that we are all creative souls and part of being human. And neuroscience proves that using your creativity is good for you. For example dancing slows down dementia, creativity aids wellbeing, reduces stress and enables us to imagine new ideas and solutions. As we entered one room, a young lady handed us both a sheet of stickers. We were greeted with a technicolour room covered in these round colourful spots – literally covering everything. I noticed that the majority were added to the walls flat, so made mine into a 3-D pattern (yes, I like to be different). Tim added his stickers above a shelf by climbing on a chair. Great fun. Time was ticking and we had arranged to go over to see Marcus and Sue. Marcus and I worked together about 30 years ago, he as a temp and me just finishing a project before going travelling. Oh we used to have a laugh. I remember him sticking a 50p coin on the pavement with super glue and then watching people try and pick it up; him lifting me up and plonking me in the post trolley and whizzing me around the office. I used to give him and his colleagues gold stars when they had finished a piece of work – we did have lots of fun. Apart from the grey hair, Marcus is just the same, with his wisdom and wit. So lovely to see him again and meet his delightful wife Sue, who also is a coach and has a great App called Open the Door for organisations to introduce into the workplace for self and professional development. They live just by the beach so Tim, Marcus and I had a stroll with their little Scotty Terrier along the sand. On the way back we had a laugh about our campervan and the peace signal on the front. Looking at the van we realised that there were 3 fingers sticking up, 2 folded and a thumb. That’s too many! Then Marcus burst out “I don’t think they are fingers”. Oh no – they are not! We should have gone to Spec Savers. How embarrassing. I will let your imagination guess what they are… After a lovely chat, meeting their lovely daughter (another Ella) it was time for us to head north and find a campsite. We found one near Warkworth and when the owner saw our van he shared how the Government had got involved a few years ago to instruct Wicked Campers to remove obscenities on their vans as there were too many complaints about them. Argh. Luckily it was dark so he couldn’t see the bonnet. We are very conscious about the rude “fingers” now. Let’s hope we don’t get refused entry into our next campsite.

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