It’s been fairly quiet here at the NZMCA Drop-In Rally at sunny Foxton. We arrived on Wednesday to find just a few vans in residence, so there was plenty of room to park up. It didn’t take too long to wind the legs down, roll the awning out, tune the satellite dish into the dot in the sky, and set up the folding chairs. There, all done, now we can meet up with the others on site.
The numbers increased dramatically today, Boxing Day, as caravans and motor-homes continued to roll into the school grounds. Seems that most of the attendees had Christmas Day at home, and moved on today.No doubt even more will arrive tomorrow. We now have a motor-home parked quite close to us, and we have enjoyed chatting to our new neighbours about our respective South Island travelling experiences.
We drove up to Palmerston North this morning to spend a little time with Robin’s sister Kaye while she is back home from Vietnam for a short time. We also popped into the hospital to see our neighbour who had a hurried trip there a couple of days ago in an ambulance. Bruce seems to be doing well, and was pleased to see a couple of new faces to chat to, as each day in hospital can seem very long indeed.
Hay making is still in full swing and on the way back to camp we saw this stack all cut, baled and wrapped. Doesn’t it remind you of a pile of pink and green marshmallows? As well as looking pretty, those pink bales are making a serious statement. Crop packaging supplier Agpac came up with the initiative to raise awareness and funds for the charity Sweet Louise, for the Louise Perkins Foundation supporting those with breast cancer. The idea was suggested by farmers wives and it's been hugely popular, with the bales placed in prominent positions on the roadside or by motorways. Part of the sales of the bale wrap will go to the Sweet Louise campaign to assist secondary breast cancer patients, with an extra focus on women in the rural community. What a wonderful idea.
And just to show we are not too far from the sea here in Foxton, a gate festooned with paua shells. Paua is the Maori name given to three species of large marine gastropod molluscs, known in the United States and Australia as abalone. Highly polished paua shells are extremely popular as souvenirs with their striking blue, green, and purple colours and are used to make jewellery. Years ago, when cigarette smoking was a way of Kiwi life, most households used a paua shell or two as ashtrays.
We are moving on from the Drop-in Rally tomorrow morning and travelling a short distance up the road and around a corner or three to the Manawatu Caravan Club grounds for the next ten days or so. Here we will have the luxury of a power site, and (wait for it) a washing machine to use whenever the fancy takes me. I can hardly wait!