On Saturday, we drove through the city and around the bays to the airport. Last weekend was the annual Rugby Sevens, and this year it seemed crazier than ever. If you were walking in the central city and dressed in normal, everyday clothes, then you were undoubtedly in the minority; this year we saw all The Avengers, zebras and crocodiles, Native Americans, Arabs, and numerous scantily clad Adams and Eves, snowglobes, a genie, school of sharks, leprechauns, several bananas, Twisters (the game), camouflaged commandos, and three fragile packages. Even those of us who didn’t attend were caught up in the feelings of fun and excitement that spilled out onto the streets.
On Sunday, my husband and I drove around Oriental Bay, past the cafes, their outdoor tables chock-full of punters, past the Parade lined with cars, the beach filled with people sunbathing, building sandcastles, playing with balls, eating gelato (of course) and even swimming in the less than tropical sea. There were crowds filling even the small coves around the point in Evans Bay, places where I’m sure I’ve never seen people swimming before. Wellington seemed positively Mediterranean. The festive atmosphere the day before lingered, perhaps celebrating the last day of freedom before the year began in earnest the next day.
On Monday morning, I drove the same route around Evans Bay to my gym. The colour and warmth of the day before had gone. The world was grey, all schools were back, the roads were full again, and offices had no excuse for not being fully staffed. Clouds covered the sky, the vibrant blue sea of Sunday was now a silvery shimmery grey as the rain fell in torrents. The street gutters filled with water, and I saw at least one car in danger of being flooded. The hapless cruise ship passengers – who should have been here the day before – walked the streets huddled under umbrellas. Oriental Bay was empty, the rain came down, and the trees waved in the wind. It reminded me of Nice and Cannes when we drove through one wet June. Yes, Wellington is indeed positively Mediterranean.
The sun returned on Wednesday, as did the yachts, joggers, walkers, swimmers, dog walkers. Roll on summer.
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