|Wednesday, 29 December 2004|
Beer, Oysters, and Grass !!! (link)
A few months back I had an email from Sir Colin who'd heard from a dude we both worked with at British Rail that reckoned he was finally planning a trip down-under and thought he'd make it to NZ this time after not bothering last time he went to Oz. Given that he's a fekkin slacker at email communication we didn't have our hopes set too high, but lo and behold a couple of weeks back we got confirmation he was on his way.
Danny, his misses Rose, and his mate John arrived in Auckland on the 27th, drove straight to Colins in Tauranga, then we all met up at Boggis Batch near Opotiki on the East coast on the 28th where we all spent a couple of days until they had to drive back up to Auckland for their flight to Oz.
Sir Colin had us all organised into a quick boat trip across the harbour to collect wild Oysters off the surface branches of the mangrove trees at low tide. This seemed like a great adventure until the two pommie lads started moaning about how painful it was walking on shells in the mudflats. The big girls blouses, Rose put them to shame, I dont recall her complaining, mind you she is of good Irish stock.
But if the visitors thought walking on razors (as Danny put it) was the most of their problems they were in for another suprise when we got caught out a little by the falling tide and the boat ended up being beached in the mud. Took a wee workout to swing it round and doin a rolling maul on it to get her back into the water. But then the boat engine wouldnt run in the shallow channel and we kept gettin pushed by the wind back onto the mudflats. I think the poms were starting to sweat it a little, but Captain Boggis was a tower of cool strength and didnt let on there was any sort of trouble.
Back at the bach Colin got the BBQ fired up and we quickly demolished the bucket of fresh Oysters between us over a few beers and a heap of reminiscing. Bloody great stuff. By evening it started to rain and from the weather report it looked like it was gonna be settling in for a good few days. So much for the sun-tan, nothing for it really but to do some more drinking.
Nice lazy start next day, a feed of bacon and eggs, then off in the cars to the mighty metropolis of Whakatane. The poms didn't seem too interested in shopping but were dead keen to check out the Irish pub down the south end of town. What a suprise :-) Back to the bach again and a great lazy evening culminating with a hard case Grass session, the card game that is (check it out, its great fun). Took the visitors awhile to get the hang of it, in fact John seemed to be blissfully unaware of the rules at all times. In the end Sir Colin destroyed us all in one hand pretty much and didn't we just hear all about it after he stopped laughing.
Jeeze it was great to catch up with Dan, Colin and Jen again, and cool to meet John and Rose. Will definately have to make more of an effort to get over to Tauranga to see the kiwis. After 8 years or so Danny's still the same smart-arsed Pommie bastard I remembered him to be. The King of one liners, master of impressions, and total taker of the piss. I swear I started laughing the minute I arrived and hardly stopped till we all went our seperate ways a couple of days later. If laughter is the best medicine I should be allright skipping the next couple of doctors visits.
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