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    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    Fleetwood Mac - 2009 Bash for the Bewildered - Images of Taranaki

    Beautiful Mt Taranaki, a wonderful setting to Welcome Fleetwood Mac, back to New Zealand.
    What a difference a few decades makes.
    In 1977 Fleetwood Mac came to Auckland to perform at Western Springs.
    As it turns out it was just 2 months after we moved to live in Auckland.
    Fleetwood Mac were at their Peak having not long before that released the sensational "Rumours: Album.
    As it turns out we were also at our peak. Early 30's young and stunning really.
    We organised for a few of our equally stunning friends, to come from all over New Zealand, to join us at this great event.
    A couple of buses were booked and complete with wine, beer, lots of fab food, picnic blankets sunscreen, we went. Like this year, the summer was slow to start but Auckland really turned on a superb day. We had the best time. The men treated the scene like a cricket match while we waited for the show to begin....all the gorgeous young girls who walked past, were scored on a 1 to 10 score particularly for the breasts...mmm I know, but it was 1977 after all...and it was the days of no bras for matter what size or state of droopiness. We drank lots of wine in the sun, one of friends brought platters of smoked marlin from Whakatane. Hello Sailor were the openers and then on came Fleetwood Mac...gypsyish, whimsical Stevie Nicks. along with her then partner Lindsay Buckingham,...John and Christine McVie were still together. Mad old Mick Fleetwood bashing away at his drums. It was just wonderful.
    You can understand how excited we were... to be going 32 years on.
    New Plymouth is situated on the Western Arm of the North Island. It's jewel is Mount Taranaki...probably one of the most beautiful and truly symmetrical volcanic cones globally.
    All of this was awaiting us as we prepared to take off on Saturday morning.
    We are working hard on visiting all of New Zealand. We had been there before but a long time ago,
    so it was like a new experience. Down the other side of the North island for a change.
    Otorohanga, loved this store. Oto.Foodmarket... dot com perhaps?
    next stop Te Kuiti we had lunch but I won't bother mentioning it, not the best lunch we have had but a bonus was this cute billboard across the road.
    Poor old Mum left at home with the kids.
    Our first glimpse of that wild West Coast. Wonderful sight.
    We found a little settlement called The Three Sisters. We imagined that there would some rocks or bumps or something. We got to a dead end, but what a superb Kiwiana Bach Area.
    There was the shoe wall
    This bach is so old that it has its own history. Printed for all to see.
    This was on the right hand side of the bach. I guess this is idyllic in the summer. Right on the waterfront.

    So typical New Zealand
    Old letterboxes taker my fancy. I would have more but my friend (the driver) doesn't always want to stop.

    Finally we arrive at our destination. Our friend Gay managed to talk one of her friends Julie, into moving out for a couple of nights and renting her house to us.
    Once again we have landed on our feet. Look at these beautiful grounds.

    Plenty or room for Mary, Heinzie, Dale and Myself...we could have played Musical Beds (I don't mean that in a grubby way) and had a different bed each night.
    Unfortunately it was too chilly to use the pool.

    Gay also booked us into "The Nice" Hotel for Dinner.

    Dale and Heinzie who seem to have trouble finding something that they like on the menu, finally decided on a soup each which they shared.
    Next this tasting platter.

    Meanwhile the Mary and I were delighted with sweetbreads with a beautiful sauce and then
    we both had the stuffed chicken breast.

    Don't know what they were looking at here in the carport... but it was the beginning of the Bewildered.
    The very Start of the Old Farts Tour.
    It seems that opening the door is not an easy exercise. Oh dear

    The next day  TOFs went to visit Gay at her fabulous property.
    This lady does this wonderful garden all by herself. I am so impressed. We can barely keep our small courtyard in trim.


    She rents out this paddock to a neighbour who is feeding this calf up. The poor little thing has only just left his Mum...he has a couple of sheep for company but they are pretty boring I would have thought.
    We then went to Gay's local Cafe Lahar in Okato
    Great breakfast menu, we were very impressed with the choice and the delivery.
    One of the nicest breakfast we have had for a while. Dale and I had Eggs Benedict. Heinzie worked his way through a stuffed croissant.
    Mary and Gay had huge plates of scrambled eggs and bacon with sour dough toast.
    We even bought a couple of delicious muffins to take home for afters.
    We were missing 2 tickets and I had to go and collect them, here is the entrance at 2pm.
    The calm before the storm. Unfortunately our tickets were arriving till later in the day.
     So I staggered back down the road...home for a rest before the big night.
    The Bowl of Brooklands is such a beautiful park and a wonderful natural amphitheater. Perfect for a concert. They filled it to the Max 17,500 both nights.
    When we picked the tickets up finally, they were for 2 xVIP seats. Without further ado the Driver strode off for his seat, we graciously sent Mr Heinz to join him.
    The three women went to find our standing position.
    As far as the concert was concerned, we picked the wrong place...Our view was OK but somehow the sound didn't envelope us. It was hard to be really involved.
    Our major mistake was the lack of stimulant. They sold wine there but it was a hassle to buy and as people walked past with their plastic glasses, it had the air of Chateau Weasels Piss.
    Unfortunately it was even though the Band were fabulous...the girls shivered and just wished were sitting in the  car in the warm.
    I know, Wimpy, but if we had maybe imbibed a little more we may have had a better time.
    We need alcohol with our concerts...Sad but true.

    Dale and Mr Heinz were up here at the front.

    Old Lyndsay looking pretty good
    They are still a Super group.

    One of the bonuses of small amounts of alcohol. All feeling very chipper in the morning.
    Bye Heinzies, we had a great time. (Yet again)
    Thanks Gaye and Julie great hosts.


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