Saturday, January 1, 2011

Going To The Shops!

Beach life is sublime, especially if you can also add in a spot of shopping. So it was with great excitement that I found the best little store in the world in Downtown Ohope Beach (population 2000). It's called Ruby Dunes and after opening five days ago, things are selling out and I can see why.

What is about hammocks, swing chairs, white couches and silvery pillows that leaves me gobsmacked in reverential awe? It's redolent of a life where linen pants, ukuleles and fresh fruit cocktails will never go out of fashion.

"Going into town" were the sweetest words I heard growing up and my husband Kevin aways laughs when he hears it.  I would ring up my best friends Helena and her sister Zofia, we'd hop on our bikes and zoom off to the "Mike's Corner Dairy" for some aniseed wheels, chocolate fish or a pineapple "ice-block".  I can still smell that aniseed. Then we would come home, giggle for hours and inevitably someone would pee their pants from too much laughing. At age 13, I would have enough dosh from babysitting the four kids next door to bike down to the record store to purchase the tunes of the hour such as Captain and Tennille.

But back to Ruby Dunes, gorgeously appealing and inexpensive. Nikki Pocock owns the store with her mother Karen. Nikki - whose father used to own a butchery next door - is a floral artist and that spare way with flowers reflects in how liltingly everything is "curated".  From a eclectic mix including antique tea cups, driftwood chandeliers and modern Batik butterfly dresses, she and her mother create vignettes of a dreamier life. Karen travels around South East Asia to source the clothing, jewellery and furniture. Some of it also comes from France. I can see why they opened five days ago and are quickly selling out with no more stock arriving for a week and a half.

Tallulah, nine, was fascinated by the feather earrings and Nikki explained to Tallulah how the styling works: "You can just wear one feather earring and wear a shorter different style earring in the other ear, Somehow it works" I love this shell collage from Tony Ogilvy for our entry - what do you think?

Pietra bought this silk butterfly dress for just $60 and thinks she will wear with big chunky mis-matching necklace.

And we all fell in love with the guitar. I have to say Zofia, Helena and I could do a smashing rendition of "Muskrat Love (Captain and Tenille, natch) on the guitar.

Then we headed down the beach to the Ohope Craft Market where I admired the lamps decorated with peacock feathers and I bought three wooden bowls from native woods, one decorated with Paua (abalone) shells.

While Tallulah and Leah sent a wonderful ages picking jewels to make necklaces I snapped a few cruisy passers-by.

We met up with Mum's friend Pam. Last year they travelled though Morocco and Spain together.

Back home Tallulah and Leah started making their jewellery to sell on a stand outside the house. Tallulah whipped up a few signs to attract the customers.

There was a knock at the door and whaddayaknow it was Zofia, my old childhood friend. She's called in with her husband Charlie and their three tumbling boys whom I had never met. Zofia and I had been together all the way through school from age five to age 25 at law school. (She obviously attended lectures a bit more frequently than me, because now she's a high-flying tax lawyer.) And we travelled together off and on for years in London.

Our conversation: "Remember that guy who wore that red shirt and he had dark hair"
"Oh yes! The one with the sister"
Then we would be laughing hysterically at something we both remembered at the boy "with the sister" Funnily enough although we had known the boy for 25 years neither of us could remember his name.
"It's like we're our mothers watching a TV programme. "said Zofia
Her husband Charlie smiled patiently at our continuing "Remember that girl..".  Then he was  dumbfounded "What on earth are you talking about?"  And after listening to more of our cackling, he quietly slipped away taking the boys down to have another swim.

We played silly buggers in the garden peeking out from the plants and laughed again.

But we are older and so much more mature now -  noone peed their pants that I knew of.

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