Car Games

When we first moved to one income – when I was on maternity leave – and child Tahi was 6 months old our car stereo died (just at the start of the trip on the Ferry from Wellington to Nelson!).
Replacing it never crept that high up the priority/affordability list and so we didn’t. I used to sing songs to Child Tahi; when child Rua came along he hated my singing and the only song I was allowed to sing was Lola – one of my favourite songs of all time. Child Rua thought I was singing about one of his favourite book characters –, no that’s not what you and Mummy are singing about…

Lyrics are below for those of you not familiar with the Kinks song.

Once, when we were in my parent’s car – and they had the radio on – child Rua, then 3, said ‘Mummy where is the other man in the car?’ as he had never heard a radio/stereo in the car before!

One bonus of not having a radio/stereo for five years (we have one now) is that we my boys got used to talking, playing games and ‘making our own fun’. We play endless games of ‘I spy’ – and have even extended it to ‘I hear with my little ear’ and ‘I smell with my little nose’ (generally when we pass a piggery).

Our favourite car games are:

  • I spy (it is amazing how inventive you can be when you live in the country and there is hills, grass, sheep, cows, fences…ummm)
  • The car colour game, where you keep count of all the cars you see that are the colour you have selected – this can be tricky if there are not many cars around. We tend to have several colours each and also one person might have ‘all the trucks, motorbikes and motorhomes to count. I saw variation on this on an ad – count the squashed opossums on the road.
  • Telling stories – my boys love hearing stories about ‘back in the day’, when I was their age. Child Rua likes to tell stories about his own world that he has invented.
  • Singing songs: Once child Rua became 4 I was allowed to sing songs again.
  • The desperate song. My mother invented a song when we used to travel down to visit my aunt when we were kids called ‘I think we’re almost there’ (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell) in which you alternate ‘I think we’re almost there’ with ‘I think I can see (insert people’s names you are going to see).
  • Now we have a stereo we often just listen to music when we go somewhere in the car and I miss the inventiveness of not having a stereo; however child Rua insists on at least one game of I spy usually.

    Lyrics to Lola by The Kinks

    I met her in a club down in old Soho
    Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola [LP version:
    C-o-l-a cola
    She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
    I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
    L-o-l-a Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

    Well I’m not the worlds most physical guy
    But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
    Oh my Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola
    Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
    Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
    Oh my Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

    Well we drank champagne and danced all night
    Under electric candlelight
    She picked me up and sat me on her knee
    And said dear boy wont you come home with me
    Well I’m not the worlds most passionate guy
    But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola
    Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

    I pushed her away
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at her and she at me

    Well that’s the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my Lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo Lola
    Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

    Well I left home just a week before
    And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
    But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
    And said dear boy I’m gonna make you a man

    Well I’m not the worlds most masculine man
    But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
    And so is Lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola
    Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

    Farmers’ Markets

    Okay, so you won’t necessarily get the cheapest goods at’s Markets however you get to buy really good value for money, super fresh produce direct from the makers, in a lovely environment and feel super good about supporting local people. I also find it is comparable to the supermarket and sometimes cheaper.
    Ever since moving to the country I’ve been hugely keen on buying local where I can. Child Rua (can’t call him child number 2 – sounds like a euphemism) and I headed down to the Farmer’s Market yesterday morning (Child Tahi stayed at home and read comics).
    We met a friend of ours and wandered around the stalls: honey, eggs, vegetables and fruit, organic vegetables and fruit, coffee, bread, fish, meat, and chutneys.
    I bought some amazing grapes (like the kind your Grandparents grew or the kind I spent money on at Commonsense Organics) $7 for an amazing paper bag full. I also bought some incredible – award winning – local cheese as a treat to take to a BBQ. I bought vegetables and fruit and honey and bumped into friends – it felt like living in France. We then sat down on the grass while Rua ate the pinwheel scone I had bought him ($2) and chatted to some other local acquaintances. Rua then wanted to climb the statue of a dead war hero but I persuaded him just to run around on the grass instead.

    Two hours after we arrived we walked home.

    Competitions – win free stuff (*** winning not guaranteed)

    My father-in-law suggests that you should hold a bottle of wine the way you should hold a woman -‘Not round the neck, round the bottom.’

    I suggest – possibly less controversially, that you should select competitions to enter like selecting a partner: selectively with a view to spending energy on something that suits you.

    When I was eighteen and home from University I was reading the Sunday News at my parent’s place and came across a competitions for tickets to Billy Bragg. I wondered how many Billy Bragg fans would also be Sunday News fans….I entered for myself and my boyfriend: we won both sets of double passes for Dunedin.

    Local newspapers – which I have a soft spot for (Sausages win first prize! True headline…but bless not death or grim news that’s why I love them) often have free giveaways for concerts. A lot of competitions nowdays are email based however I think you often have a better chance if you have to send an envelope in.

    The kuds (kids in a NZ accent) and I entered a competition in a local newspaper.