Toi toi is part of my memories. When I was a growing up we had a large hillock fronting a shared driveway, and toi toi, cutty grass, and the ubiquitous biddy-bids grew there. It was a great place to burrow into, make caves or nests or simply wriggle in and read in sunny shade. And, of course, toi toi could be pulled free and imagined into swords, flags, or whatever took my fancy.
There’s a particular smell that I can remember when I think of that hillock. It’s summer and grass and pollen and petrol fumes (from the road), sunshine and dirt and safety.
Seeing the toi toi on the edge of Lake Rotorua brings it all back.
Sure, everything else is different. That’s the point of going on holiday! The lakefront is filled with birds – seagulls, swans, ducks and more. The native grasses have adapted to the sulphur and warm waters. And there’s a great big lake with a great big island in the middle. But it’s New Zealand, and it’s home even when it’s half an island away.
The seagulls are hard to avoid – they perch on the piers and jetties, squawking and shitting and generally owning the place. But they add something too.
Where there’s a jetty, there’s an opportunity for a distance shot, so those seagulls had to go! Luckily there’s plenty of other places for them to settle – and I had my parasol to protect me if they decided to let fly with poop…
That’s one of the lovely things about being on holiday. There’s time to smell the toi toi, recapture memories. And make new ones, of course.
My lovely husband Apollo took these photos – and put up with my demands very well indeed