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In Whangarei.

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“Can I see the wine list?”

She looked at me blankly. “Um. We don’t have one.”

“Can you tell me the shirazes you have by the glass, then?”

“Um. We have this one?”

“What is it?”

She held it up in my direction. “It’s this?”



On my brother’s birthday, there was a gang fight outside the café where we were having lunch. Three guys jumped another guy as he picked up his lunchtime pie from the bakery next door. The guy, unfazed, picked up a chair from an outside table and went to town.

The street was littered with too-loose sneakers.

My brother called the police, who DID NOT ANSWER.

The fight was eventually broken up by a middle-aged lady in a windbreaker. She had a perm and sensible leather shoes, and I thought for sure she was about to be killed. But apparently the gangs have an honour code as regards hitting the ladies, so she broke up a four-man street-brawl using nothing but a stern tone.

The gentlemen found the right sneakers, slipped back into them, and scuffed away. The original victim set down his chair, dusted off his pie, and resumed his lunch.

Last year on the same day we got stuck in a police chase after dinner.Whangarei is nothing if not exciting.


I went to visit my birth-grandparents. One of their goats, bored of his own species, has taken a carnal shine to sheep. My grandmother said, “I’ve seen it happen before, but the babies don’t usually live long.”


The sheep, looking haunted, scuttled around the shared paddock. The goat — who goes by “Sweetie”, and once broke someone’s leg — eyed them with his creepy goat eyes, doing something with his tongue that my grandmother refered to as “wine tasting”. It was as gross as it sounds.


Crazed alpaca; traumatised sheep.

I think the alpaca is scared he night be next.

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Writer of things. Annoyer of cats. Mother of very small dragons.

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