The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

Andrew’s grandfather, Eric Batchelor, died last Saturday night.

We drove down to Oamaru yesterday for the funeral today. We left the house at 6:30am. It was still dark but for a pink smudge along the horizon. Frost sparkled in the car headlights.

At the bend before Rarangi, the car tangoed across the road and slid to a graceful stop at the verge. We came across three accidents along the SH1, including a freight truck slumped drunkenly in a ditch. Until we reached Kaikoura, the act of driving was a bit like playing Russian roulette in a Gran Turismo PSIII nightmare where the stakes are YOU NEVER WAKE UP. (Sorry about The Drama: I recently read two of Tim Winton’s books – Dirt Music and Breath – which both depicted spectacularly splattery skin-crawling scenes of viscerally grisly car crashes.)

The remainder of the journey was more relaxing. It was a bright, sharp day which dramatically presented the snow-capped mountains in black and white. There were explosions of spray as the sea dashed itself against the coast.

We stopped for a picnic just beyond Timaru. I had baked bread the night before but miscalculated the timer, with the result that the bread was too hot for cutting before we left the house. Beside one of the wide, bleached rivers the South Island does so well, I carved the bread on the back tyre and dressed it with cheddar cheese and chunky feijoa chutney. Jed was torn between playing in the shallows of the icy river, or begging for crumbles of cheese.

We made good time; the trip took 8½ hours including diesel stops, coffee top-ups and chasing sticks.


Comments on: "Road trip without much yay" (4)

  1. Cian said:

    My condolences to Andrew and your in laws on the loss of his grandfather. I read the Kiwis At War bio and it was rather touching. A hero in life and of course still a hero. His life deserves to be celebrated and remembered.

    Have a safe journey when you are coming back home.

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Thanks, Cian. It was an incredible funeral, heartbreaking but a wonderful memorial to the man.


  3. I had no idea Andrew had such distinguished connections. You know that funeral made national news? Big news, too – it was the number one or two item on the six o’clock bulletins.

    My condolences to Andrew. And what Cian said: drive carefully.

  4. John Grundstad said:

    We salute another member of the “greatest generation” gone from us. What a remarkable guy. Quote from the NZ Herald:
    “he…spent much of his younger days roaming the hills in and around Waimate shooting rabbits.”

    It seems the apple does not fall far from the tree.

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