It’s a holiday, you know.

Today, January 2, is a public holiday.  Banks are closed, no city services…nada.  Most importantly, because I worked New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, I got the day off today.  Not familiar with any particular event which occurred on the 2nd of January, I asked why it was a holiday.  “Because….it’s the day AFTER New Year’s Day.”  I was told in a very matter-of-fact manner.  Well, yes, of course it is.

But the REAL reason today is a holiday is because it’s my wife’s birthday!  Sadly, she isn’t here yet to celebrate the day that was apparently created in her honor.  So I did what any good New Zealand husband would do on their wife’s birthday.  I  went fishing.  And I caught fish, too, which simply must be so overwhelmingly joyful to my wife..I’m sure she’s beside herself with excitement.  Oh, I think I just heard her scream…


Nothing, and I mean nothing, says I love you like a brown trout.

It can’t all be about fish, though.  (OK, it can, but it’s Debra’s birthday, so I’ll mix it up a bit).

Ever find yourself looking in the mirror and thinking, ‘Damn, I’m too skinny.  I need to put on a few pounds.’ ?  Well, here in New Zealand we have just the thing.


Just rub a little of this on your tummy, maybe your hips, and in the next morning, BAM! You’ve got curves!  It’s not as big of a seller back in the U.S.

A lot of my friends back home wonder how I’ve survived without my daily blueberry fix.  I wondered, too, until the last month.  That’s when the calendar said it was summer (the weather still feels like winter, but I’ve been assured it will get better).  And with summer came the berries.


That is one massive boysenberry!  And they melt in your mouth; they are that good.

Blackberries, too, are in season now.


Pretty awesome, isn’t it?  Blueberries are starting to come into season, but aren’t yet at the Saturday Farmer’s market (where I picked up the bad boys in the pictures above).  Another one of the big things here in Dunedin is Christmas cherries.  They are sold everywhere, in the grocery stores, at the farmer’s market, even out on the streets.  Think back to Christmas stories in London, where street vendors sell roasted chestnuts.  Here they sell fresh cherries.  Very Southern Hemisphere.

Back to Debra’s birthday.  Now you know I had to do more than just brave the elements today and catch a couple of brown trout for her, right?  Right.  Last night, just after the stroke of midnight, I shaved.  Here is the last picture of me with facial hair.  I know, I know, I’m too good to her.


In all sincerity, now, Happy Birthday Debra! And don’t worry, your present is waiting for you here (in the freezer, but I promise to cook it).



Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

4 thoughts on “It’s a holiday, you know.

    1. Hi Thanks for the thoughts. We had left Wellington at 9am on the Interisland ferry that day; the earthquake was about 4pm that afternoon, and we were on the road, driving, and didn’t feel it. cheers, dave

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