Friday, April 4, 2008
We're in New Zealand at the moment and we've been thinking of a few alternative - poetic - names. Yes, we get the Long White Cloud reference - some places we've been get more than five metres of rain a year and it has to come from somewhere.
The Land of the Long Green Hedge
Topiary is HOT in New Zealand. Especially the mammoth green cypress hedge, trimmed until it is a monolithic green brick bordering the paddock. They're so meticulous that they're works of art (Bob the Builder sort of art, like a nice flat slab of concrete or a neat stack of firewood - functional things of beauty.)
The Land of the Small Hairy Hobbit
No joke, LOTR has put NZ on the map (since the cricket fell over and the rugby and the netball went all green and gold). Every wayside stop has its little shrine to Peter Jackson. I've been humming the dark Mt Doom theme incessantly and looking for rings everywhere I go.
The Land of the Lanky White Sheep
About 4.3 million people and about 35 million sheep (that's not a joke). My mate Baz reckons they have the worst infestation of paddock maggots in the known world. I've seen them. I agree. But the country is so green and they all look so fat and happy. Sheep do better in NZ than Oz.
Land of the Cool Wet Air
Coming from our thirsty neck of the woods, it's pure heaven to be soaked to the bone with rain, see it cascading down the mountains and watch it shifting and forming huge glaciers. Come on, Australia! Where are your ancient ice rivers?? I hadn't seen a river until I came to NZ - I mean the Franklin is nice in Tassie and the Tully is awesome in Queensland but seriously, they're hobby rivers compared to the raging blue thunderous chasms that carve up the South Island.
Awestruck. Dumbfounded. Amazing country.