Someone called “Henry Van Dyke” once said, “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”
That's particularly true of us Down Under this year! We have had such a short (though wet) winter, that it almost feels like we should apologising that Spring could be here already! Officially, the first day of Spring should be still a month away, on the 1st of September.
There have not been many days at all this winter, when I have been able to get my boys to don a jersey of some sort….really, we were still kinda waiting for winter to arrive properly, but already the daffodils have been out! This week, the girls and I were enjoying the beautiful Spring blossoms everywhere, and commenting about the lovely birdsong all around us. We wondered where the Tuis and the Bellbirds all go for the winter…if they went North this year, they probably have all just got blown back by the last few storms we’ve had! Anyway, they’re back and enjoying the onset of Spring as much as we are…..
Unfortunately, with the warmer, sunnier weather, and the moist, rain-soaked earth, this is actually what my garden looks like! Groan.
Ange of the North, we just don't have the population to support such huge warehouses to shop in here in Kiwiland. We do have pretty sizeable home improvement type stores that are large warehouse-shopping places, but they don't tend to stock quite the same range of goodies that we observed when we were up in the Northern hemisphere. That photo of the big box store looks very American! The flag doesn't even look outta place !
And you are quite right - it would not be as common to find the NZ flag flying in our stores. That is not to say that Kiwis aren't a patriotic bunch. They can be. At times. Especially if it involves Australians! [NB. For those who may have entertained thoughts that NZ is just a small island off the coast of Australia....it is NOT! There is actually a big body of water between the two separate countries!] If anything, it would be more common to see the All Black flag (a silver fern on a black background) and All Black paraphernalia hanging from prominent places! (The All Blacks are the NZ National Rugby Team, and evoke similar fervour to the Canucks in Vancouver, but on a national scale!). In fact, if a national election was ever to be held at a similar time to an All Black game (not that any government would ever be that brainless!), one could almost guarantee an embarrassing voter turnout.
And the mobile home cum resort type place is also something that we wouldn't see down here in that kind of set up. We do have some camping grounds that have permanent residents (with their mobile homes that have been renovated to the extent that they are not really relocateable). But it is different somehow. I'm not sure how to describe it.....I think I've just run outta words!!!