I've got to the computer too late to make much of a go of this, but as a quick and possibly to-be-expanded update: the rest of my week in the deepest South was spent in chilly but contented congress with two old friends from primary and secondary school, an old flame and my darling olds. Mum's biopsy result wasn't flash but it wasn't the end of the world either - with luck and a fair breeze (and some fairly invasive surgery) it should be readily survivable. Go preventative medicine. This is her third lucky save, which is great on one hand, but seems simply unfair on the other..
Dunedin brought the delights of the aforementioned Regent 24-hour Booksale which could easily have gone for 36 or even 48 and still have been sporting masses of rabid bargain hunters - the theatre only started clearing out after closing time and even then it seemed to be a case of a Southern sense of politeness - more than one of the staff appeared to have been on for the entire sale and looked a bit crazed.
The sale is a fund-raiser for the Regent Theatre and means there will continue to be a venue for the New Zealand International Film Festival and many other events that would otherwise have no place in the city. It's always heartening to see it going strong. The strength of numbers at the sale also affirms Dunedin's position as the Athens of the South - nearly every inhabitant appears to love books, literature, learning and the arts. And who knew grannies liked to buy books in the middle of the night? The bands I saw/heard there were great too. It's an utterly immersive experience browsing the rows to live music and getting horribly jostled by one's fellow (hu)man.
On Saturday night I saw the Sami Sisters perform at Refuel - oh so funny, so entertaining, such great music - tight harmonies, and a sound that can only be partially encapsulated by the labels 50s girl-group (not Spectre), country cross-over and alt-pop. Two guitars, a tamborine (and un-PC jokes about Hari Krishnas) and a shaker with three divine voices, one of which was able to cover Kate Bush without wavering, and a casual shtick to die for between songs. It was like a big yummy dessert - no bones, no boring bits, and slipped down incredibly easily. They were on the same flight as me back to Auckland and I had to go and express my appreciation - embarrassing but true.
In between all this I visited my friends and their baby (he was fat and cute), I talked anthropology with another friend, I was a shoulder to cry on for my bestie and I appreciated the talent of his cat which he has taught to climb the curtains. They're already looking decidedly the worse for wear. Rain fell from concrete-coloured skies and it was cold and delicious. I'm looking forward to my next visit.