Some more notes from the holiday…


Never seen so many people stopping and having lunches at rest areas, complete with thermoses and packed sandwiches.

I drive around the country fairly extensively, and have been doing so for about four years now. Usually the rest areas are empty. Not now. And this is mid-winter – they’re not warm places, certainly not in the middle of the South Island. People are starting to look at ways to save money.

(As an aside: Another sign of wallet tightening this morning in Wellington: the Kirkaldies Winter Sale. Usually a maul: this year more like a normal shopping day, I hear.)

Also…road works. These have changed in recent years: contractors now try to work on one lane at a time, so it is less disruptive for both their work and the cars when vehicles come through. It makes sense, but it means most road works now have one person at each end with a ‘stop/go’ sign in one hand and a walkie talkie in the other.

Drivers usually wave at the sign holder as we go past, don’t we? I wonder why that is. It can’t be some superstitious feeling that if we do so they, or their mates at the next road works, are going to turn the sign to ‘go’ earlier because they got a smile.

And all they’re doing is twirling the bloody sign, and talking into that electronic gizmo. They’re not actually doing the road digging, are they? But do the blokes actually doing the road digging get a smile and a wave? Not really.

It just seems a bit odd.

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