THE COUNTRY SIDE

The nuisances began with a flat battery which led to more niggling nuisances.

While glitches continue unabated, they are less than nothing. Nothing more than the routines of daily life.

The farmer and I were off to Dargaville and en route home I planned to visit a friend thus would leave my car en route. As he set off, trailing a dust whirlwind, I prepared to do the same but found the battery dead and a dilemma.

Thanks to a kind retailer near our meeting point, the farmer waited while I snagged a car off the farm manager.

Days later, heading out at 6am to cadge a ride to volunteer at an A&P show, my car didn't corner well. Slow down. Heaps of time. Then it dawned. Flat tyre.

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My tyre was shredded but my friends both had had shredded flatties. I was comforted. Photo/Getty Images
My tyre was shredded but my friends both had had shredded flatties. I was comforted. Photo/Getty Images

In the dark. No cellphone cover. I returned home and set off in the farmer's ute. My tyre was shredded but my had friends both shredded flatties. I was comforted.

At the show, our car battery failed. A door had been left open for the comfort of a puppy.
"Probably something to do with me," I said. "I've had a flat battery and flat tyre in the past week."

"Hmmm," said the puppy and vehicle owner. "The moon's in Pisces. That can cause annoying problems for some people."

The moon wouldn't leave Pisces until April 22. Weeks away. I don't follow horoscopes but, curious enough to do research, found the moon in Pisces offered oodles of positives.

"Yes, glitches, but just for some who're opposite Pisces," he said. "Are you a Virgo?" Well, yes.

Guests came into our cabin and on the first night their water tank ran dry.

Then they had an ant invasion. I told them they had no need to leave at check out time, then realised that wasn't true. Others would be arriving.

Then came the mass murder in Christchurch. Photo/Getty Images
Then came the mass murder in Christchurch. Photo/Getty Images

Chocolates served as a small gesture, but the couple didn't care. They'd lived in a caravan, they said, and had showered in icy water in mid winter.

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Then they admitted to being confused. They'd failed to find the river mentioned in the guest info folder.

They'd walked way up the beach and had finally concluded it must be the tiny creek past the marae. But wasn't it too small to warrant such a grand name as the Otamatea River?

The central arm of the Kaipara Harbour we live on is, in fact, the river they sought. Their mistake was natural enough. How many harbour arms are referred to as rivers?

After we'd laughed long and hard, we wondered if other cabin guests had the same misunderstanding. At least they want to return.

Then came the mass murder.

While glitches continue unabated, they are less than nothing. Nothing more than the routines of daily life.

A water pipe in a paddock broke. The washing machine broke, another tyre on my car went flat. My car boot wouldn't close. The battery went flat again.

Late one night I coaxed the farmer outside so he could see moonlight playing on the river.

The full moon had created recent tides that were both higher and lower than usual.

That night a demarcation line ran parallel to the shore. In the distance the sea was all dark shadows; in the foreground it gleamed.

Tiny waves licked the shore and sparkled so bright at first I thought they reflected torchlight from a flounder fisher. Then I wondered if the effect was phosphorescence.

But no. The waves were illuminated by nothing more than moonbeams.