Having collected a range of photos from the Mapoutaphi Pa, Canoe and Purakanui beaches that I would work on over the next few months, I left the Bay behind to start my trip back to town. As I was leaving I happened upon a sight that warmed my heart. An honesty box.
Back when everyone was a lot more trusting of each other and carried cash, the honesty box was a staple of New Zealand life. You saw them everywhere and you could buy all sorts of things from them. All you needed was a little cash and a sense of right and wrong.
When I was young we used to stop at them and buy fresh fruit like apples, cherries and peaches. Closer to town you could buy vegetables and fresh farm eggs and the challenge was always to get everything home safely without it being broken, eaten or squashed.
So leaving Purakanui my heart leapt when I saw one. I hadn’t seen one in years and I was almost overcome with excitement. There were fresh eggs, carrots, onions, cabbages, cauliflower and courgettes, all home grown of course. Newly dug heritage spuds, beetroot, an assortment of books and freshly baked bread that made my stomach rumble. I considered all the options in front of me and was seriously tempted with the smell of the bread. My thoughts drifted off to a steak sandwich with mustard mayonnaise and spicy tomato relish which would accompany the bread wonderfully. The only drawback was that unfortunately I have long since joined the band of people who no longer carry cash and I didn’t all together trust myself that I would remember to pay later.
I decided it was best to leave the goodies for others and headed back to my car, happy in the knowledge that some traditions are still alive.