'Mum, why are there train tracks on the beach?'
A cool day with clouds scudding briskly across the sky. I am walking on the beach with sandals on my feet leaking the cold sand inside. Mum has warmly wrapped me against the cold of a Dunedin summer in my woolly coat and we hold hands against the gusting wind.
We go along the road and look at the mole as it forges its way out into the boisterous waves. I am aware of the smell of seaweed, the screaming gulls overhead and the stony sand beneath my feet laced with bits of broken shell.
'There was a little train that carried the rocks out to build the mole,' said Mum
We walk out onto the causeway and look at the sea and the lighthouse and the birds. The wind whips my hair across my face.
I don't remember the rest of that walk. I was 18 months old, on holiday with my parents at Aramoana, and interested in absolutely everything.