This weekend I had my very first visitors. My parents came up from Hamilton for a pleasant weekend with me. They met some of my friends on Friday night, were shown around the farm on Saturday, and we spent a rainy Sunday afternoon in Whangarei. I took them to check out a couple of attractions that I've been waiting for a good excuse to visit.
First we went to the Whangarei Heritage Museum which was endearingly shabby and quirky. My parents like to visit obscure local museums wherever they travel in the world. Apparently dad usually ends up writing a book, or at least an article, inspired by such visits, so I should be able to post a decent blog. But I'm not sure what to say about motheaten taxidermied birds and enthusiatic but bizarre homemade models of historic scenes using twigs to represent trees and wired cotton wool for smoke.
After some wandering around the Heritage Park admiring peacocks, miniature railways and the world's smallest Methodist church (a deeply cute octogonal chapel) we were hungry and chilled. I recommended Reva's down by the Marina, because so many people have talked about it as being good and I have been wanting to try it. Well, even though it was 3/4 empty when we arrived, and there seemed to be plenty of young wait staff, we were ignored so comprehensively for so long, that we just walked out and ended up dining across the way at The Gybe where service, food and ambience were all ideal for our needs.
We rounded out our rainy day by going to the movies to see Kingdom of Heaven which (aside from some mild anachronisms, credulity-stretching assumptions and cheesy Hollywood dialogue) was not too bad. It was beautifully filmed-even the long elaborate battles- and with Orlando Bloom as eye candy enough to compensate for the almost total absence of women in the film. Three appeared from behind veils during the two and a half hours: one speaking role for the tragic sex kitten Princess, a single line for the tragic dignified Sheik's sister and silence from the tragic corpse on which the film opens (do you detect a theme here? this is not a chick flick).