Maraetai Matrimony & Mean As Mangeres

Maraetai Jetty

This weekend just gone was a cracker. Speaking of crackers, if the past weekend could be classified among this type of snack, I’d rank it as a Meal Mate… with cheese and relish… washed down with a cold beer on a hot day. And, speaking of beer on a hot day, that’s exactly how the afternoon/evening portion of last Friday (Wedding “Eve” if you like) was indulged. On a warm, sunny afternoon on the deck of a rented bach in Mararetai. Glorious.

The next morning, aided by the bach-owners advice on high tide times, we headed down to the main beach to check the water temperature. One of the most picturesque jetty/wharf greeted us at the main beach in Maraetai and the consensus was assumed and obvious… time for some mean as ‘Mangeres’! The running man, the staple and the good old-fashioned, tucked-up bomb were all employed to great effect in the refreshingly cool water. We had to show some of the up-market locals how these techniques were properly performed and they were very appreciative.

That afternoon, one of my closest cousins got married on Saturday in a quaint Scottish/Maori (believe it or not) church/chapel next to Umupuia marae – a stone’s throw south of Maraetai main beach. I had the great honour of being a groomsman and took my duties very serious by standing still, smiling when needed and escorting a bridesmaid back down the aisle after the ceremony… very tough work.

A gathering of close friends and family witnessed the event and “ooohed” and “aaahed” over the proceedings, tears were shed, knowing smiles and meaningful nods of the head were given and received, beautiful readings were voiced through watery eyes and, overall, it was a wonderful ceremony.

The Happy Couple - Len & Sig

The obligatory bridal party photos were taken and I managed to squeeze in a few of my own via a really cool iPhone app Intsagram. Then it was time for the reception…

On the edge of the marina in Pine Harbour is a modest, yet well-situated, bar/restaurant called Pepperjacks. We (the bridal party)arrived to a traditional Maori greeting and found ourselves (and the rest of the reception attendees) seated overlooking the huge number of up-market dinghies and over-priced seaworthy runabouts that fill the water-logged parking lot. Very picturesque.

Speeches were heart-warming and, in the case of the bestman (my other cousin – the groom’s brother), hilarious – I nearly pissed my pants laughing at his 5-10 minute foray into the transformer-related story of how he and the groom grew up together. He reckoned he was Optimus Prime but I reckon he was probably Megatron. Apparently they used to fight a lot over the Allspark

Great day, good company and, later on, many a beverage drunk.

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