It’s pretty rare for all of my flatmates to be home at the same time. Last night we managed three for four, which we thought was too good an opportunity to pass. We decide to make the most of the long daylight hours. So, we grabbed our masks, our phones and decided that a jumper was probably a good idea. After a leisurely stroll from our Newtown abode we found ourselves at Oriental Bay. We are the type of people who will measure the success of an outing based on the dog sightings it involves. We felt Oriental was our best bet, it being a warm summer night, probably prime dog-walking time post-dinner after a long day at the office. Our hypotheses were correct: there were many dogs, and with each and every one, the three of us would burst into kiddish excitement.
We were greeted by a large crowd of people heading home, whose beach possie’s we suspected had been cast in shadow. We found a bench still bathed in sunlight and planted ourselves on it. The one we chose had (what we only hoped was) a giant chocolate ice cream puddle beneath it. Quite a sad sight. Puddle aside, the scenes were overwhelmingly triumphant. We enjoyed watching a large group of young boys on the pontoon: it could only be described as the Leaning Pontoon of Wellington. They were playing a game of last man standing – every now and then the Last Man would propel their arms into the air and let out a roar of victory. They were having a blast, we were having a blast watching them, and so was the Police boat, who banterously commented on the leaning pontoon as they passed by. There was also a crew of stand up paddleboarders. One of them started holding their paddle horizontally in both hands, jumping, doing a 180-degree turn and landing on their board. When he would land it, the three of us felt a great sense of triumph. I can only imagine how he must have felt.
One of the first outings we had had as a flat was an evening walk to Duck Island. This was over a year ago now, and just like our freshly formed flat, the ice cream store was just new to Cuba Street. So, it was practically tradition, we told ourselves, justifying the detour on our way home. Two of my flatmates are dairy-free, luckily Duck Island serves them very well – with ice creams that taste like ice cream but aren’t actually cream at all. They have a great range of exciting and unexpected flavours, and so dairy and non-dairy eaters alike often feel spoilt for choice. On this occasion, I ordered the Blueberry Buttermilk Gooey Butter cake and the Coconut Caramel Sesame Chocolate Peanuts (a decision made in the heat of the moment). Despite being the wordiest flavours on the menu, they sure delivered the abundance they had promised. The Caramel Sesame turned out to be my favourite of the night. We discussed how often the best things in life are the ones we least expect. With an excellent balance of sweet and salty, the bottom of my cone arrived all too soon.
Walking home we watched the street lights turn on and were astonished at how late it had gotten. We all agreed that as hard as it was picking ourselves off the couch, it was entirely worth the effort. It was lovely to spend the evening in the company of great friends, and to get out and amongst the action, but in a relaxing way. Hopefully, there will be a next time in the very near future.
By Kaitlyn Randal