We’re gonna have a very ‘fun’ and ‘normal’ time.
If you didn’t know or care – because time is a relative concept now and we live in a simulation controlled by someone who spilled tea on the keyboard – this weekend is a long weekend, labour weekend in fact. A public holiday to celebrate that time we ever-so-slightly lessened our obsession with feeding all our lovely labour into the capitalist machine cos of, you know, all the workplace deaths. You can have a little “you” time, as a treat (except if you work in hospo – in which case you get to work twice as hard! Lucky).
Aucklanders will not be raiding the more verdant regions this year, like a plague of Keep Cup-wielding locusts, nor will we be hosting barbecues for all our friends. But we still have options, dammit. Here are some ways to pretend like things are normal.
Sit in traffic
Any good long weekend starts with a road trip. To truly recreate the experience, pack up the car and then sit in your stationary vehicle for an hour contemplating life, the universe and everything.
For added authenticity, why not drive out south and park up at a nice spot overlooking that bit near Drury where the traffic on the southern motorway always stops for no reason.
A nice lie in
Aim for the gold standard of sleep ins: go to bed on Friday night and get up on Tuesday morning. Hell, make it a bubble activity, like the grandparents from Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Except without the impoverished laundress who works her fingers to the bone scrubbing sheets, raising a son, and wiping your bum, all while one of you can secretly dance a jig. Yeah I’m looking at you, Grandpa Joe, ya dick.
We’ve suggested camping on your own lawn before as a way of escaping lockdown (boooo get some new material). Don’t forget the potentially relationship-ending argument while putting up the tent, having a good scratch of your 800 mosquito bites, not showering for three days and pooping in a hole in the ground.
Do some sightseeing
The Auckland region is pretty massive, and you may have exhausted all the obvious spots while desperately trying to find something, anything, new to do with kids over the last 66 days/70 years. But here are some options anyway.
Spread your legs in the bush. A long walk is a good way to kill some time. Remember the rāhui over Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa/Waitākere forest is still in place, but there are some tracks around the perimeter of the forest that have reopened, which can be found on the Auckland Council website. Te Kawerau-a-Maki says people are safe in terms of the tapu as long as they stay on these tracks, but they also encourage people to visit other bush walks or stick to coastal walks instead.
There’s a great spot with a playground in Western Springs Park that looks into the Auckland Zoo elephant exercise area. A good chance to tell Anjalee and Burma you love them before they go on their OE.
Ambury Farm in Māngere Bridge is a nice walk with wheelchair and pushchair access where you can look at cute animals. Word on the farm is that a lot of visitors have reported dead animals, when in fact they’re just asleep. Don’t be that guy.
If you’re up for a late-October swim, there are plenty of places to visit where you don’t have to swim in the poo soup of Herne Bay, Mission Bay or Pt Chev. You can head out to Cornwallis, Karaka Bay, Piha, Long Bay, Orewa, Snells Beach, even Tawharanui, and still be within
the Area 52 boundary Auckland.
The North-Western cycleway is a-bloom with wisteria right now, it’s really very pretty. Have a blat and try to ignore the motorway on the other side.
Get drunk in a pub* where you don’t know anyone
Let’s face it, it’s one of the best things about being on holiday. When you’re in a pub far away from home, the covers band somehow sounds better, your ability to smash out ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ at karaoke is magically enhanced and, by virtue of being a new face, to the locals you’re a 10.
We can’t go to the pub, but we can drink at home, in Halloween masks, or extreme make up like that mad dating show on Netflix, and pretend not to know each other. Am I suggesting something akin to married couples role-playing after the spark has disappeared? Absolutely.
Lockdown is the nightmare marriage we are stuck in, time to spice it up.
Stress yourself out
The best thing about the four-day-week that follows a public holiday, is you’re often still expected to complete five days worth of work. So relaxing! Not to mention you got home really late on the Monday after your two hour drive took four hours. Really focus on how tired and stressed you’ll be for the next few days. Let it overwhelm you until you’re shallow breathing into a bag.
Pretend you wouldn’t rather stay home anyway
The forecast for this weekend is patero. Time to make a big deal about how it’s soooo classic that it would rain during a long weekend, while being secretly stoked that you’re doing something you’d have done even in level one: watch TV. Oh what’s that? There’s a storm coming? Oh I guess we have to cancel our trip away. No, it’s fine, I guess I could stay in my pyjamas and watch Love Island for 20 hours. Damn.