Once upon a time a furry wee kiwi named Fuzzyleft the comfort of her dark forest floor for the BIG WIDE WORLD. It was a pretty daunting prospect for this seemingly timid wee bird with no wings and a big nose but kiwis are, if nothing else, gutsy! As if to prove this point Fuzzy chose to go The Long Way, that is instead of ‘jump on a plane at Auckland, skip through Australia, SE Asia, Middle East to London’, she elected to ‘jump on a plane at Auckland (there aren’t too many alternatives to THIS) and get off the plane in Beijing’!
While there Fuzzy did what all self-respecting visitors to Beijing do- she had a McDonaldsand went and checked out a wall!Having practiced her ‘sher sher’ and ‘ni hao’ for a few days, she got on a train (not just any old train but ‘The Vodka Train’), left Beijing, and set off for places West! The first proper stop was Ulan Bator in Mongolia where Fuzzy visited what she thought was a yurt camp but was told was something else!-it was a ger camp! She reckoned it was a lot warmer than the burrow back in the bush even though the snow was thick outside! (Snow, what is that!!) The Vodka Train stopped off near Irkutsk to visit Lake Baikal to see ‘the nearly midnight sun’ and Fuzzy took this neat photo of his travelling companion holding the sun in her hand!Clever little Fuzzy! It was just about another 4000 kilometres to her next stop, Moscow where one of the ‘must see’ places was Saint Basil’s Cathedral.She reckoned this one was aaawsome, but the travelling companion said she liked the onion-topped church in their next stop better- having a bit of a ‘classical romantic’ bent Fuzzy had decided to take a train ride to St Petersburg.This snazzy wee eatery, the ‘Soul Kitchen’ was a place that was a ‘must do’ to remove from the bucket list but Fuzzy wasn’t completely taken by the salty pickle- it spoiled the taste of the vodka, she said!
Now it was get on another plane and head to Spainwhere she had a relaxing time playing with some cats on a wee farm in Orgiva before popping across the Mediterranean to exotic Marrakesh! Wow!Bazaars, souks, markets and lots of coffee bars and fragrant smells! Having got REALLY laid back for a while Fuzzy wondered where to go next, and thinking that ANZAC Day wasn’t far away Turkey was an enticing destination. From the Hagia Sophia Fuzzy was able to see the minarets of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and, of course if she looked the other way she could see where she’d been!!! Sort of- Asia, anyway!)
Still determined to take the long way Fuzzy then made her way through some of the Balkan countries before arriving among the tulips of Amsterdam!She then crossed into Belgium to to see what the European Capital had to offer,because it HAS to be an important place to be! (…and it was best viewed from the hat of one’s travelling companion!) Moving on, and because it wasn’t too far to go Fuzzy trained to Gay Paris! It was funny but she had thought that the leaning tower was elsewhere! You learn something every day, huh!!
While in this supposedly gay but definitely somewhat grubby town Fuzzy paid a visit to a very famous lady, who some call Mona and others La Giaconda.
She didn’t say much so after a quick baguette and a carafe of wine it was on another train and north- to Norway! Fuzzy had heard of a place that was supposedly just like Fiordland back in Aotearoa-New Zealand so after she got off the train and just escaped a horrible fate in Osloshe made her way up the ocean coast to Lysefjord where she climbed up to what is known as Pulpit Rock or Preikestolen.She knew that the family back home would be scared out of their wits by it so she got her travelling companion to take a view from the pulpit. Thinking a base-jump might be a step too far Fuzzy then went a-wandering around Norway a bit and while there made a quick side-trip around a lake to Sweden!That’s Swedish lichen that Fuzzy’s sitting on with Norway across the lake in the background. Next time up this way this lichen would be under several feet of snow and she and the travelling companion would walk across the lake!
There was a bit of a lull in the clouds of volcanic ash that was drifting across Europe from Eyjafjallajokull Volcano that had been popping off a bit so Fuzzy decided to go to this mythical land of ice and volcanos. She found that EVERYTHING was unpronouncable
Luckily the aeroplanes were still flying and one of them took Fuzzy back to London for her to start the British part of her OE. London was great, and being an artistic bird with a bit of dramatic flair she took her travelling companion along to The Globe and she tried treading The Bard’s boards. It was a wonderful experience but the audience were a bit hard to please-they kept walking around!!!
After London Fuzzy visited a couple of acquaintances at Beatrix’s placebefore going down the road to a school that New Zealand has a special connection with-RUGBY! Without the influence of this school and the crazy antics of one of its pupils, William Webb Ellis Aotearoa-New Zealand would probably have a national pass-time that involved little more than horse-racing and beer!Her travelling companion helped Fuzzy to visit the playing fields and the museum where she recognised a few other kiwis, sorry- Kiwis.
After trying a few tries, and kicking a few goals Fuzzy moved on to visit the Eden Projectto see how we should be doing things. Fuzzy was DELIGHTED to see that what we were doing in Aotearoa-New Zealandwas bang on!! Having had it confirmed that the world was in good hands in Godzone (God’s Own- get it?) Fuzzy moved down a road, and down a road and down a road until she came to Land’s Endwhere the Cornish people made her a few pasties and poured a pint or two.
Having been away from home for quite a while now Fuzzy was delighted that she was easily able to remind herself of what she was so far away from by simply going to a store and picking up one treator another. These sustained Fuzzy and her travelling companion as they headed northwards to their roots. Along the way Fuzzy picked up another friend, Hairy Coo. While Hairy Coo was a quietly spoken wee bovine it quickly became obvious that he had one or two vices!!Of course Fuzzy is always ‘up for it’ so she joined in!She couldn’t understand why they made bottles so deep! Of course it was little better for Hairy Coobut they had some REALLY good timeswending their way through Bonnie Scotland.“May ye n’er want a frien’, or a dram to gi’e him! Tir nam beann, nan gleann, nan gaisgeach!” Some VERY good times! Some of the mornings weren’t too flash but Hairy Coo showed Fuzzy a GREAT remedy for a cotton-wool head-gowf! Fuzzy and Hairy Coo golfed a golf or two at the Old Courseat St Andrews, the home of another one of the ‘traditional’ games of the Home Land. Fuzzy shot a couple over par and blamed the caddy, sorry, the travelling companion for providing bad advice for the couple of slips that happened ‘tween tee and cup.
The next step on the journey of our brave wee kiwi was across the Irish Sea to The Emerald Isle, for it is almost certain that the roots of the roots grew deep in Irish soil.despite the fact that Fuzzy was no great fan of Jamiesons. Obviously Hairy Coo was prepared to work at blending the single malt and the juice of the bogs though.
Fuzzy bid a fond farewell to the Celtic Lands and prepared for the journey home by going into the frozen wastes of Norway to ‘chill out’ for a while before getting on a big silver bird. She decided to take the short westerly route home and was doing very well until she got hijacked on the way by some tropical fruits and juicesand exotic vegetation on the islands of Hawaii. Having thawed out (after the snow of Norway) Fuzzy made a final boarding at Honolulu and jumped a day arriving back in the bosom of her flightless family for a slightly delayed Merry Christmas.
What a bird!! Welcome home.