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Up The Coast

March 12th, 2010 by the_lifer

“You didn’t have to call to tell me Win’s back, Mummy. I’ve been reading her Twitter posts all week. At least now that she’s back she and Will can reduce their carbon footprint properly.”

Even Mina has to admit that her eldest daughter, Karin Kapiti, takes herself rather seriously.

Karin has her mother’s height, topped with long hair (currently streaked with aggressive white-blonde bars) that gets wind-tangled and split when she visits Wellington. Her tall angular figure is perfect when draped in gloomy cutting-edge New Zealand fashion, with a large bone or jade carving clanking around her neck. She creates ferocious metal sculptures that do well in Holland.

After art school and going thoroughly off the rails in her early 20s, she became the third wife of Kev Kapiti, the renowned half-Maori ceramicist. Kev is much older than Karin – when she married him and went up the coast, there were cracks about her retiring early. They live in a spacious, drafty 1970s house, which is now in fashion again.

This is typical of how Karin always manages to be ahead of the curve. She talked Kev into a web site in 1997, was painting rooms in their house black in 2001, and got her home-grown vegetable garden started in 2005.  Right now, she is upbraiding everyone about being carbon-neutral locavores, hand-weaving raincoats out of plastic grocery bags and showing them in galleries, and campaigning against the evil that is wind farms.

Annoying as Karin is, it is difficult to say anything nasty about her, because it was her idea that she and Kev should host a foster child. The boy adores the avuncular Kev, and listens patiently when Karin goes on about his whanau and expressing his culture.  Karin’s friends, many of them childfree women like herself, are bracing themselves in case this is the next must-do lifestyle trend.

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