Sunny, but a blue day for some

By Mark Story

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Sunday was one out of the blue.

An absolute belter.

Luckily for me I was camping at Te Awanga with my boys. We'd struck gold.

So strong were the sun's rays they pierced our campervan's curtains and precluded sleep from 6.30am onwards.

With the boys still dozing I grabbed the fishing rod and made a beeline for the surf.

Truth be told, fishing was really just an excuse to stand with my toes in the ocean and watch the placid sea shimmering with the sun peeking over the Cape.

A lone kayaker slid across the horizon. A jogger left soft prints as she made the most of the low-tide sand. Campers emerged from caravans and motorhomes, happy to forgo a Sunday sleep-in for a glimpse of the majestic morning unfolding.

The following hours were spent throwing a hook in the water, boiling the pot for cups of tea and frying brunch.

For a few hours it was pure chill time. A little summer starter.

Perched in a deck chair, I listened to music between the crush of waves. As Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side came across the radio, I thought it couldn't get any better - until I heard the first cicada of the year.

Of course, one cicada does not a summer make. But that's why pre-summer is infinitely better than the ensuing hotter months. The sun's a little more benevolent and the mosquitoes aren't quite in season.

Back home I washed down a luckless rod and sat on my porch, still in disbelief at such an idyllic day. If the glass of plonk in my hand had been Sangria, it'd have been a perfect day, Lou Reed style.

Before hitting the pillow at 11pm I checked my work emails to see what I'd be dealing with in the newsroom the following morning.

I discovered between sunning myself, fishing, wading knee-deep in the Te Awanga briny, sipping wine, making headway in a new novel, entertaining cicadas and joking with my sons - no fewer than three men expired in three separate and cruel twists of fate across the province.

A 64-year-old in a quadbike accident in Porangahau, a 38-year-old in a truck versus truck on the expressway and a 57-year-old in a house fire near Napier.

The spectacular weather played a huge role in my weekend. It played no role in these fatalities.

That's the uncanny thing.

Somehow it doesn't seem right that these three lives were snuffed out on our most beautiful day of the year.

My kids and I were revelling in the clement conditions - while three families lamented this one out of the blue.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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