Gathan Beaga


Today was one of those days that are uncommon in Wellington: very hot without much breeze. And despite the heavy humidity it was quite nice. This is not like my experience of similar days in much bigger cities like London.

As well as heat and humidity in a big city, there’s a sort of tired and used up smell to the air. It’s as if every breath had already been in the lungs of someone else and it wasn’t the freshest back then either. And then there’s the greasy film that collects over everything, a grey smudge for your fingers and clothes. I sometimes wondered what caused this: what if it wasn’t really a byproduct of the petrochemical soup that passed for an atmosphere? What if it was the collective excrescence of 8 million bodies crammed into a small area: a build-up of volatilised body fats and oils unnoticed among smaller populations?

Nothing like that in Wellington. Only 150,000 people. Just sea air. Fresh. Deep breath. Aaaaah.