Te Maika – 5

Oh darn… again… I thought I had it sorted … I’ve tried all sorts of categories, tags, menu options… and still I don’t have my menu items coming up correctly… of well… so long as you can find Te Maika 1 – 5 somewhere! (Well, you’ve obviously found 5 cos this is it!)

Back to our bach… my brothers slept in the bunk room and my parents and I slept in the three single beds in the other ‘bedroom’ – a bed space in the living area which we curtained off at night.  I loved going to sleep listening to my mum and dad talking quietly as they played cards or discussed any number of topics  – I couldn’t recall one conversation but the hum of their voices was like music sending me to sleep.

Cooking, as I mentioned, was done on a wood-burning stove on occasion but more frequently on a Primus – a kerosene-fueled cookers set in action by a small bowl of burning meths.  It was “graduation day” for sure when I was permitted to light this by myself! The primuses have long since been “promoted” to a top shelf in the bach reserved for relics of the past! We now cook with gas.

I was about to mention the topic of toilets… In our days of renting baches I vaguely remember having to wander outside and down behind the baches to little outhouses with some sort of seat (or hole in a big board) over deep holes in the ground. Never somewhere we really desired to spend time but necessary anyway.  But then came our own “long drop”.  I can’t remember a “long drop” so I don’t know if there was ever one there.  I do remember the outhouse well, though… a tiny tin shack which contained – no, not a hole dug in the ground, but a bucket… a large paint bucket! On top of this bucket sat a toilet seat… I seriously think a long drop was preferable! Once this bucket was filled to a certain depth my father would dig a hole nearby (but not too close!) and empty the contents before filling the hole and preparing the bucket for its use again.

That’s our bach in the distant centre.


The baches of the bay.
Our bay (Cable Bay) from the hill above our bach showing the mouth of Kawhia Harbour and Beacon Rock on the left.


Eventually the paint bucket was replaced with a portable toilet (or port-a-potty) which made the excavation process slightly less yucky but the emptying procedure remained the same. And that’s enough about that… for now!

In part 6 I will take a different direction and tell you about Julie-Ann…