This is going to be one of those blogs about curious, unrelated things that have caught my attention.
The first happened on the way to work about 6am a few weeks ago when I saw a kid riding along the street on one of those old-fashioned "banana" bikes with the long seat over the back wheel and the big "ape hanger" handle bars. He had long hair, baggy clothes and looked pretty laid back.
Fourteen. Sixteen max.
I glanced sideways when I drove past and saw the long hair was gray and the face was marked with character lines.
Probably closer to 50.
A few days later I was text-dawdling along Arthur St and noticed an elderly woman up ahead walking with one of those zimmer frames. Without taking much notice, she started crossing the road with unsteady legs.
I didn't think she had seen a car coming and was about to yell out when she started running. Yup, running. Not an Olympic action, but sure a useful burst of speed.
The driver shrugged and I laughed. Don't judge the book.
A couple of nights ago I was much less amused when I was driving home about 9pm along Scott St near the intersection of Alabama Rd - quite a busy area of town. Just as I passed a driveway, a small motorbike swooped out and along the inside of the road, drove for about 200 metres and turned into Wadsworth St.
Somewhere along there I had enough light to see that the two people on board were youngish teenagers wearing jeans and T-shirts. No shoes, no helmets, no lights, no indicating. Probably no licence. Probably too young.
Definitely no brains.
What if I'd collected them coming out of the drive? I did a U-turn and went to give them some of my thoughts but they'd disappeared. Probably a good thing.
This week I met an English bloke living here and eventually asked what had brought him.
He'd met a few Kiwis travelling the world, he said. Unlike people from other countries looking for somewhere better to live, all the Kiwis were having fun on their OE but were all determined to head back to Godzone. He came because he wanted to see what was pulling them back.
That was 16 years ago.
- The Marlborough Express