Celebrating British Holidays, Ice Cream, and, oh yeah, Democracy.
Hi guys! So I was a little sad about my lack of Halloween festivities, but I totally forgot about a different holiday that I *did* get to celebrate: Guy Fawkes
day! Night! Guy Fawkes day (night?) (I’ve always called it day, but I did some totally legit in-depth wikipedia research and they say night. Whatever) So, Guy Fawkes day (or bonfire night, as it can also be called) is a holiday in which people celebrate either Guy Fawkes, or the fact that Guy Fawkes didn’t blow up the House of Lords (Brits I’ve talked to seem confused on this issue) by burning gigantic bonfires, having some firework displays, and riding amusement park rides.
Oh, and sometimes they burn ol’ Guy in effigy. Manchester does this up big, and is always lots of fun, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that New Zealand also celebrates it! I initially learned this by being woken up in the middle of the night by my student neighbors setting off fireworks, and being very confused by all the firework sale ads on tv. Although Wellington doesn’t do it up as big as Manchester does, Grant and I did get to go see some fireworks:
Ok, so another thing I thought I wouldn’t get to ‘celebrate’ was election night. I know it has been said before, but what a huge difference tonight seemed compared to four years ago (and not just in terms of the election, in terms of life). Four years ago I was living in Durham, working at a restaurant, dating some guy named Grant (ok, by that point he was more than ‘some guy’ – I’m pretty sure I had already called my mom up and informed her that, although he didn’t know it, I would be marrying him eventually) and I went out to a bar called Reservoir (which is closed now! boo!) and when Obama won everyone cried and hugged and FREAKED. OUT. We ran out into the streets and such. This year I spent the afternoon watching Al Jazeera in Wellington, New Zealand and then went to an ice cream party where they only turned the tv sound on for Obama’s victory speech, and everyone pretty much got bored and stopped watching half way through (there was a moment when the sound was turned down and the bartenders started clapping). So, not much to report. What there is to report, however, is an awesome ice cream party! An ice cream and beer party!
Wooden Spoon, a small business here in Wellington, makes the most amazing, unique ice cream and then delivers it to your house. Awesome, I know. They work on a subscription basis, and so you get it three months at a time and can choose to get one or two flavors each month. We only did the one flavor, so it is lots of fun every month when the email telling us our flavor choices comes and Grant and I argue it out. Then they bring it to you. It’s like the ice cream man combined with Santa. You guys, this is seriously one of the best things ever. REALLY. And the fact that it is truly some of the best ice cream (maybe THE best?) that I’ve ever had makes it that much more magical. For Halloween they had a pineapple lumps (a candy here in NZ) flavor:
See that spoon next to it? That was our ticket to the beer ice cream party! It got us free ice cream and discounts on beer (as a man next to us at the bar excitedly proclaimed “it is such a great deal! by the time I drink ten beers, I’ll have gotten one for free!)
There are quite a few excellent small breweries here, and Wooden Spoon partnered up with three of them and a bar called The Little Beer Quarter to debut new ice creams based on three types of beers.
There were many flavors, the very, very best being a coconut one and an earl grey one. (I am a sucker for any earl grey flavored dessert).
Here is the cute little serving setup they had:
Not a ton of people at the bar seemed to be there for the ice cream party part, but I guess thats what happens when your clientele is basically ice cream loving shut-ins. Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I really loved the bar – the closest thing to British Pub-y that I’ve seen here yet.
Oh, and on the way home we saw this: