Friday, 30 December 2016



Summer brings it's difficulties as well to the Islanders.

The Mainland, over the water there, is only an hour away if one is using the Kawau Cruise's big Kat, which means Kawau Island is a very popular place for day-trippers , especially to visit Mansion House, their cafe, two beaches, the bush walks, and the large parkgrounds. Summer has been slow to make an appearance this year. The Flowering Black Chestnut still has flowers on it and one of the resident Peahens has only just hatched her chicks. Pardon the quality of those two photos.


I have been taking my morning walk early to escape the crowds, but not early enough it seems over the last two days. I am not sure why but many tourists seem to have forgotten common courtesies - "It's all about us and having a great holiday," seems to be their attitude. I don't understand why, not only the children being allowed to chase the peahen and her baby chick, but the adults as well as the children will chase the male Peacock to pull a feather out of his magnificent tail.

But the particular gripe I have is about the walking tracks, which at the most, shoulder to shoulder is 3 people wide. I used to have to step off the path if I saw a crowd coming towards me. I refuse to continue doing this. Now, walking as usual on the far left, I just stop and stand still and smile a hello. Time and time again it happens - they get angry with me as they keep walking until they bang face-on into me or their shoulder bashes into mine as they pass. As if I jumped up out of nowhere to attack them. Never an apology - and no, they are not Asian, Asians smile hello and re-adjust their group as they come towards me.

I wrote the below poem over 10 years ago and is in my book, "Words Over The Water."

Is it my age
or have I finally become
an ethnic resident
- someone a little odd
to be vaguely looked at
then ignored
by the tourists
who walk our paths
two and three abreast
waving around their octopus arms
with shouted exclamations
of, look at this! Photograph that!
And naturally expect me
to be deferential and step off
the path to allow them to pass.

I'm tempted to wind ropes
of flowers and shells
around my neck,

let my stomach roll out,
and wave around a medicine stick
of clattering bells and chicken bones
and demand back my half of the road.

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