Today is my first day working in my new studio at Paekakariki. Apart from the irritation of not being able to find certain pieces of equipment (eg mouse, double adapter, little ruler etc) when I want them, it is lovely to be at work in this place. It's been so long (too long, almost two months) since I could settle in and concentrate on creating a new book, that it feels a bit overwhelming. I took a break at lunchtime and went for a walk. The tide was crashing wild high waves right against the sea wall with no beach to be seen so I explored the quiet seaside village.
Along the beach most of the houses are little old baches, obviously lived in and loved. The smaller number of newish houses are more likely to be quirky than ostentatious. There are a couple of churches, a bowling club, a recently closed pub, a cool cafe, a dairy, an organic vege shop, an art gallery, a hairdressers, an arty second hand furniture shop, and best of all, two very good second hand book shops. Not the kind where you exchange blockbuster paperback novels across a counter buried under mounds of old Playboys. These bookshops sell real books, they invite and reward browsing bibliophiles.
In the middle of a Wednesday I saw numerous people walking around, generally with dogs and or children, but often just folks of all ages... most of whom offered a friendly greeting as we passed eachother. It's a small place, not much developed probably because it is wedged into a wee gap between the sea and a huge looming ridge (with the railway tracks and the main highway between the village and the hill). I suspect you could walk every street in Paekakariki, linger on the beach and still be home in an hour. There is also a railway station, and frequent commuter trains which take you north 10 minutes to all the mall shopping one could want and south 50 minutes to central Wellington.