This blog post began swirling round my head as I left Six Barrel Soda Co on Sunday afternoon. I was reflecting, yet again, about how I always leave Wellington so much more creatively inspired, and stimulated, and excited, than when I arrive. I was thinking about how great Six Barrel was; that you could go at any time of day and grab a small bite, or a beer, or just a soda, and how it was a sun trap, and a great place for people watching, and about how those haloumi baby burgers with smoky barbecue sauce are just so good. I was reminded of a solo lunch there a few weeks ago on a Monday, accompanied by such excellent reading material (Common, Lucky Peach, and the ever-amazing Kinfolk).
I was also thinking about how the space (on the corner of Eva and Dixon Streets) used to be a cafe called Bambalinas. It wasn't amazing, but for the same sun-trap and people-watching benefits, my friend Mike and I used to often catch up for coffees there. We were both doing seemingly endless degrees, so as our friends sensibly moved into the financial freedom of graduate jobs, Mike and I were still slumming it away as students; the benefit being we could while away many sunny midweek hours over coffee in that very spot.
I was thinking about all this, as we meandered towards home, and as we called into my friend Laura's office to pick some things up. We were chatting to her workmates when I desperately needed to pee, and it was shortly after that the biggest of the recent earthquakes hit.
It was terrifying. Not only because of the complete sense of helplessness that comes as an earthquake is happening, but also because I was on the toilet in an office building I didn't know, and it felt extremely undignified trying to pull up my stockings and scramble to a doorway to hide under. It occurred to me that I really really didn't want to die alone in a bathroom, and that sense of fear and helplessness wasn't a nice one. Laura came to my rescue though, and it felt like the damage should have been far worse than just her fancy bottle of wine on her desk smashing.
Apart from the multiple earthquakes, including the one I woke to at about 7am, on a single airbed in Mt Vic, having demolished two slices of Tommy Millions pizza about 4 hours earlier, I'd had a boomer of a weekend. Bacon judging on Friday (more on that when the winners are announced), and then beers to wash away the taste, and then gins and rants and a spot of dancing. And then the kind of lazy brunch perfect Saturdays are made of, with some prize-winning middle bacon, perfectly poached eggs (that potato masher removal trick really is a good one) and dreamy balsamic mushrooms. Fresh bread that tasted like heaven, delicious tea followed by delicious coffee, and great company with mooching and music.
I'm thinking of you Wellington, I love you a lot, but man, after 5 hours delayed at the airport I was happy to get on that plane. I'm thinking of all of you who are staying, and I'm not giving up my dual city citizenship just yet. In the meantime if Six Barrel could just open up a branch in Auckland I'd be really grateful.