Tuesday 9 April 2024

Passports, potties and performances - in the past

 I think I'm starting to sound like Tony Porter of nb Holderness whose post titles, as a matter of course, are often alliterative!

Let's start with performances:

Several weeks ago now, Jane and I went to St James' Theatre in Wellington to see Witi's Wahine - a play that featured some of the women in Witi Ihamaera's novels and his life. It was wonderful - powerful and moving. Really well acted, sung and orated - a small cast who took on different roles throughout the different stories.

However I won't go back to the downstairs seating of that theatre - the rake of seating is not slanted enough and I struggle to see the stage (did you know I'm short?), and the seats are damned uncomfortable! My back was even more of a mess than it was before we went in!

We had a lovely dinner at an Asian place and thought we had plenty of time to get to the theatre. I'd had a 'mare earlier in the day trying to access the tickets which were apparently sent to my phone as electronic tickets, and not available in print. So when we arrived we headed straight for the ticket office to beg to be allowed in with a variety of evidence of ticket purchase: a printed screen shot of the confirmation email, a screen shot of the barcodes and an email showing I'd paid ... I needed a pee so I left Jane sorting out the tickets because we had just realised the show started half an hour earlier than I'd thought! Doh - clearly I didn't read the information closely enough, did I?

Jane and I reminisced about one of our first ventures in the city at night way back in the very late 70s when we both lived in Kilbirnie. I cannot remember what the event was, and it was probably just going in for a drink to have an evening out away from toddlers, having left the husbands at home in charge. On our way back, before we left the city, we stopped at a burger bar, and had a most entertaining time - it was in the middle of the red light district, such as it is/was. As we were much younger and more attractive, we had some interesting interactions with passers-by. I think even a couple of policemen checked we were OK... Both husbands were a bit horrified to learn about it on our return.

At the end of the last post I mentioned that we were going out to a buffet dinner with music that evening. The food was great and the music was really good. The group were called Too Many Chiefs. We were familiar with two of the guys: Andrew and Rob (I think), and another we knew from many years ago - from the group Formyula - but the woman was unknown to us. Good guitarist, reasonable voice but her songs were pretty depressing ... David and I took Grahame and he loved it. We joined some people at a table for 8, so their 5 and our 3 filled in nicely. They were from Speldhurst, a retirement community in Levin. Lovely to meet them and compare retirement village notes.

Moving on to passports:

When we returned from the UK back in September, we very shortly afterwards got ourselves ready to head up to the Far North in the motorhome. We discussed whether we should take the passports with us - not because we were leaving for a foreign country, but for the sake of security. We decided in the end that they would be safer left in a hiding place at home than gallivanting around in the motorhome. So the hiding place was agreed and there they were secreted. All was well, so I thought, until a few weeks after we came home, we made a plan to head to Australia to see Kirsty and to attend the Pub Choir there in Sydney with her. So passports had to be retrieved. I knew where we had put them, but they were not there. So we searched the house and searched again. David told Kirsty that he was happy that I was taking responsibility for losing/misplacing them and forgetting where. He wasn't so sure it was my fault, but he was happy for me to take the blame. Charming, eh?

So there was only one thing to do - replace them. I decided not to replace my UK one - not so useful these days with Brexit rules. Strangely enough the Brits didn't think that the rules they were going to apply to Europeans would also be put in place for them... 

But the NZ ones would be replaced. So applications, new photos (fortunately you can do them at home now), the personal details of a witness who had known us a sufficient length of time, and the applications were sent on their way electronically. 

Then, after the applications had been received and acknowledged, what did ACP come out to the lounge holding? Yep, three passports. Where had he found them? In an opaque plastic bag with our UK currency, Oyster cards, ...

Were they in the place we had agreed to leave them a few months prior? No. Who had moved them? ACP. Had ACP notified me or consulted? No.

Was he lucky to still be alive? Yes. Was I pissed off he'd happily let me take responsibility when he was pretty sure he had moved them from the agreed place? Yes indeed.

Upshot: I am now in charge of security of documents. Sanctions have been put in place. He has been warned...

And replacement passports have been received - it was too late to withdraw the applications because as soon as they are received, Internal Affairs cancels the old passports.

And then there's potties.

Here in Parkwood, we are focusing on earthquake preparedness, and in Sector 10 (our sector) we are being extremely diligent about it. It's clear that, unless an earthquake happens during work hours and on a weekday, the staff will not be available to sort us out. So it behoves us to be as self sufficient as possible. And being self sufficient doesn't mean being on our own; but it does mean for our group, looking after ourselves and each other.

One of the likelihoods is that the sewage system could be damaged (as it was for some months in Christchurch). So having access to a toilet seems like a sensible idea. 

So I hunted down online portable toilets, and found the ideal thing! A portable folding camp toilet - it's ideal because it folds down into a parcel about 6cm high by 35cm x 25cm. Here it is here! They have been dubbed by Janet as the Squatty Potty.

When it arrived at our place, we had a show, try and tell with 5 other women in the sector. All fully clothed of course, but what an absolute hoot. The laughter was uproarious and it was so lovely to hear!

The upshot is that we purchased one each for almost everyone in our sector. Others around the village have also shown interest so I am fairly sure more will be purchased. I am thinking of asking Mighty Ape for a commission!

Over the last couple of our own sector's meetings, we have decided on buying other equipment too: wind up radios, wind up torches, solar power packs for charging our phones and laptops.

We are determined to be prepared and able to look after ourselves and each other. Aren't we wonderfully self sufficient? 😇😇😚😚😜😜

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