Archive for the 'Napier' Category

Waterfront living

Where I live is kind of cool. Like a yuppy apartment complex. Though that’s hardly being positive. It’s in a place called Ahuiri, which is part of Napier, which is on the east coast of NZ, which is a country east of Australia. In fact, simplest way to describe it is dig straight down and you’ll get here. Eventually.

Napier has a port, a proper port, with a big fence round it and container ships and unruly sea men and big cranes operated by unruly sea men to load and unload the container ships. I drive past it every day to work and I think about the three quid kettle I bought and how it started in China and there’s probably a container full of kettles somewhere in the middle of that pile of containers stacked 15 high by 15 wide. International logistics and transport fascinated me.

Anyhow, Ahuiri is at the port and it used to be a bit of a dump. Most port towns are. Just picture Larne, Stranraer and Holyhead. Evil, nasty places. Possibly worse than Lurgan. You used to be able to buy houses for nothing here, no one wanted to live here.

But a few creative entrepreneurs opened a few nice bars, and they put in a marina where you could put your fancy boat and all of a sudden everyone wants to live here. ‘Waterfront living’ is a popular term.

My block of apartments is beside a rail line and a stack of empty warehouses, but remarkably it’s actually a nice area. There’s four blocks and only two are even half-finished. I think I may have been the first person to move in to my block of 40. I was living in a caravan so I was kind of desperate. The place didn’t have any blinds and all the kitchen appliances still needed plugged in.

It’s quite fancy, well by my standards, which are pretty low to be honest… It’s got lots of shiny chrome bits and heavy wooden furniture and leather sofas that recline. It’s like sneaking into business class on the plane, you’re just waiting for someone to find you out and stick you at the back of the bus.

It has a waste disposal unit thingy. And these have always fascinated me. It’s like a food mixer that lives in your plug hole. You put anything down it and press the switch and it smashes it to a pulp and sends it down the pipe. The fridge beeps at you when you leave the door open. It has an air-con unit in the ceiling, which I have no idea how to work.

To top it all it has a pool and gym on site which is free to use. Well it would be if it was open yet but as I say this place is all kind of new. I may venture to the pool but I think I’ll give the gym a miss. All that lycra and all those mirrors petrify me. No matter where you look you’re still gonna end up looking at some girls bum in the mirror, and then they’ll get all offended and storm off. Which is ridiculous cause if you’re gonna go to the gym with lots of mirrors and wear all that lycra, then you’ve no excuse. This has of course never happened to me but I can imagine.

Probably safer to stick to the pool. As long as they don’t come up with some stupid speedo and swim cap rule anyway. And it’s not full of kiddies with lax bladder control… I need the loo.



June 2023