Thursday, 1 January 2004

In lieu of dusk-to-dawn New Year's Eve celebrations, we found ourselves spending the whole day revelling, in our own quiet and pleasant ways.

Waking up, getting up and going out before the world is awake is bizarre. Especially in a sleep-deprived state, having had only four hours snooze beforehand. Never mind the obscenely loud alarm music and resulting panicky heart; it's an odd feeling, watching the light slowly rising from shades one rarely sees, and watching everyone else awakening and moving in a gradual rush... one feels left behind, or perhaps sidelined, even though one was up before them all. As if one was never really awake at all.

An odd breakfast at the airport, then we escorted Sarah to Gate 17, hugged and waved goodbye. She's gone off home to Brisbane (via Orc Land). I shall miss her. o_O After a nice coffee and sit-down in comfy chairs we gradually began to feel somewhat civil. A drive around one of Welly's southern arms, past little beaches and little baches new and old, pretty and odd. Feeling mellow we walked along a grey grainy beach with the sun reaching out at us across the waves, and myself turning eyes downward to scan for pretty seashells and bits of frosted glass. The sea, she does her best, turning trash into treasure. Some sights, scents and places are so occasional in one's life that one can really appreciate them. There's just nothing like the smell of the sea, the sound of waves shushing onto sand, or the sight of sunlight on ocean. A fresh marine breeze from crisp blue sky. The mind calming as we continue driving around the coast, and we stop to visit the memorial of P.M. William Ferguson Massey. Delicious smell of clay and forest greets us on the steep path, alongside sinuous Pohutukawa branches winding up to their red-flowering canopy of green-and-silver leaves. We emerge to see the memorial on a bright hilltop clearing with wonderful views all around of Wellington harbour in brilliant sunshine. It's good to see it from fresh perspectives. Standing on the elegant and simple marble structure one feels as though one is standing in a Greek temple, or on the prow of a ship, like Mum said from her memory of coming here when she was my age. Oh, it's good to see new places!

Onward via Happy Valley Road past Brooklyn and Karori, through the hills westward to Makara bay/beach. A tiny town with a cafe who served us a nice breakfast at their leisurely pace while we strove not to nod off (although Dad took a catnap on a handy couch). Filled up with fine fare we then scooted back through hills and Karori to the botanic gardens. I'd only seen disjointed bits of said gardens before, thus I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more as they are lush and excellent. A huge place: we couldn't see it all in the time we had; our sample included various shady green paths with burbling streams; the duck pond; an uphill walk under a canopy of tree ferns and other things, which felt rather like a rainforest; some sunny lawns where stopped to catch our breath, our hearts, and the view; the Australian garden atop the highest point of the gardens; then down some sunny asphalt paths to the Treehouse info centre where we took the gravity lift down to a lower level, and ambled back to our car - with a mere half hour to go get a park for our CineLounge booking for The Return Of The King.

In case you don't know, a cinelounge is comprised of enormous reclining chairs with wee tables for edibles and drinkables, and the ticket includes free popcorn and soft drinks, with the opportunity to buy drinks and food which may be brought into you when you so desire. We each got a glass of wine and our popcorn and sat down. And now for the movie itself... well! What to say? Bearing in mind that I have not yet read much of T.R.O.T.K. and had only a basic idea of what was going to happen, I can honestly say that I believe they did everything well with a good balance of being true to the story and creating a thrilling cinematic experience. I was transfixed, completely in the action, and the emotion. It's a beautiful film, and a beautiful ending to the story. I had no disappointments in anything they did; only in omissions, and we know many of those will be filled in when we see the extended edition. I'm not a reviewer, so I won't go into detail here: I'd feel silly trying to put such a thing into words. But I dearly look forward to seeing it again, and also finishing the books. Heheh, and I look forward to visiting the cinelounge again! So what if my legs cramped up partway through? I think that was because of the length of the movie, not bad chair design. I wonder if Harry Potter will be shown there. :>

Home again home again, jiggety-jig. Couldn't do much else but sprawl about under the influence of sleep deprivation, feeling rather strange in the noggin, and drink some very good wine. We finally roused ourselves enough to put on one of our new DVDs (once we'd begun making an evening meal), which was The Last Waltz, special edition. We dutifully played it LOUD, as the DVD instructed, and Mum and Dad in particular sat down to thoroughly enjoy some nostalgic music. Little did I expect that I'd be so drawn in! I knew that I'd recognise it from when they played the same music in my youth; but the group (of mostly Canadians) amazed me: the joy and enthusiasm with which they played the mix of rock and roll, southern, blues and other varied songs; and the subtle melancholy of getting together for a last show. I got to see some artists I'd heard but never seen before including Joni Mitchell, and saw some artists I'd never much known or liked playing what was probably their best ever performance. What an amazing concert! Well done that band. ^_^

Afterwards it was getting late (by our skewed inner clocks at least), so having munched our macaroni vegetable and cheeze bake, we finished the DVD and toddled off to bed. I had a shower on the way, and I set my alarm for dawn, but 'fraid to say I was so zonked that I never even heard it and, alas, couldn't get up to watch the sunrise. A good night's sleep was had instead. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

~ posted by Anna @ 11:28 AM