Departures 3: Big Box adventures in Porirua

We had handed the house over to the property manager and waved goodbye to our neighbours Maureen and Tony, and had dropped the car off at the  Marshalls and been awarded our Emergency Kit. Now it only remained to drive Tonka to our friend Mariska’s place, as she had offered us a place to stay for the night before we caught the ferry south.

She may have regretted this. 
First, we nearly demolished her fence. Tonka is short but it is wide, nearly as wide as Mariska’s gate. Her gate was nearly a lot wider.
Second, the offer originally was only for one night but was extended to two. We were so overwhelmed with stuff that remained to be done (OK, we were hopelessly disorganized) poor Mariska was saddled with us for two nights. 

Here, Dave is installing tank monitors and rediscovering his flower child origins. Tank monitors are useful to track how much fresh water you have. They are not infallible as Dave found out when he ran out of water halfway into a shower. He was all soaped up. It was after a hard tramp, and it was 11 at night. 

Installing the monitors required the entire tank to be removed and then reinstalled. We later discovered that failing to connect the intake pipe when reinstalling the tank has the happy effect of converting the interior of the motor home into a water feature. It was also an excellent way to rehydrate all the missing couscous that escaped during our various ‘failure to tie down’ episodes.
Third, while Dave grovelled in the flower bed, Mariska and I went shopping. This would have been a lovely surprise for her as Mariska loves shopping as much as I do.
Because the house was let fully furnished, we had to kit out Tonka’s kitchen.  Given the tiny amount of space, this required considerable strategic planning and the careful construction of a List. I lost said list about 20 minutes into the expedition and the whole episode went downhill from there. This was drawn out over an excruciating four hours. We visited most big box retailers. Some we visited twice. We even visited the Mall. A terrible test of a friendship. We didn’t buy much. We both agreed that Big Box retaining is the nadir of modern planning and both wondered why exactly we were there.
In the end we did what most civilized people do in times of stress.
 
That is, look at maps.