Our caravan buddies didn’t quite know what they were in for during our weekend away in Clareville. Robin and I were the Rally Family, so we were in charge of keeping everyone entertained. It’s very easy really, as long as the old favourites like morning tea, 4zees and a little light entertainment in the evenings are on the list of things to do, people are generally quite happy.
Without a hall or meeting room available for the weekend, we retreated to a handy implement shed in the evenings, nice and cosy out of the wind. With the addition of a light or two, and a cover strung up across the entrance, we were quite comfy seated on our folding chairs. How is that for a bit of Kiwi ingenuity?
On Friday evening everyone took a trip back to childhood. We had purchased some little puppets faces on sticks and our caravan buddies got to choose between an owl, a lion, kangaroo or koala, and then decorate them with coloured pens or pencils. No problem, everyone could manage that. They then chose a slip of folded paper which put them into two teams, the Heretaunga Players, or the Clareville Thespians. Their task for the next evening was to get together in their teams and come up with a short skit, using the characters of their puppets. Oh dear – that got them a bit worried. But they all rose admirably to the occasion, and the two teams met the next afternoon to come up with a plan and jot some ideas down.
So Saturday night was a night at the theatre. A coin toss decided that the Clareville Thespians were the first to take to the stage. Val was the narrator and she had used the first few lines of Owl and the Pussy Cat poem and continued the adventure story from there. Val had put a lot of effort into writing her poem, and it goes without saying that the acting was superb!
The Heretaunga Players were up next and their skit was an adaptation of Noah’s Ark and about how Australia became brown and dry. Using a ground sheet as a prop to signify the ark, the animal puppets bobbed about as the story was related. More excellent acting.
The Award Ceremony took place on Sunday morning. The Clareville Thespians got a special award for “Best Adaptation of an Existing Poem”, and Kath got a mention as the “Best Performance on One Leg”- she is recovering from a broken ankle. The Heretaunga Players received the “Best Historical Drama” award as their ark somehow or other ended up on top of Mount Isa. They also received the “David Attenborough Award” as their kangaroos with a joey in the pouch miraculously evolved into grasshoppers and blowflies! It was all a lot of fun and we were so pleased that everyone joined in so enthusiastically.
As often happens, the weather on Sunday morning was the best of the weekend. Some of us stayed decided to stay on for lunch instead of rushing off home. The wind had dropped to a gentle breeze, and we sat under the shade of one of the massive oak trees while we ate our sandwiches. Then it was time to say goodbye, hook up the caravan and start on our way, stopping off at the Masterton dump station.
From here we headed north towards the Manawatu Gorge, where the wind turbines are always turning, an ideal site for wind farms. The Tararua and Ruahine Ranges provide a barrier to the predominantly westerly winds that flow across New Zealand. Between the two ranges lies a lower range of hills that serve to funnel the wind.
Once through the gorge we travelled southwards, a 168km homewards journey. The caravan was unpacked, given a quick clean, a load of washing was done and hung outside, and that was that. All ready for the next trip away.