First boat excursion of nearly-summer, in my friend Julie's yellow dinghy on the bay at Huia. We paddle noisily around the rocks and practice our sailing skills in the shallow waters of a tiny empty beach. L tries his hand at rowing and is a pro; I give it a go and have us going round and round in circles. On the next door neighbour's front lawn there are no less than seven boats in different stages of renovation, and even though we're out of central Auckland and there's no traffic noise, there's the constant buzzing sound of Sunday DIY. We sit on the deck eating strawberries, looking at the scarred tree across the road where a huge branch fell down the day before and crushed the carport. It's one of those days that stretch out slowly into the distance - a lovely summer holiday kind of feeling with sandy feet, a new bottle of sunscreen and the Sunday papers. Glorious.