Soon after we emigrated from England in 1987, friends asked us to stay at their bach at Whangamatā Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. The possibility of going to the beach on Christmas Day was too hard for us Poms to resist.
The weather before Christmas had been unsettled, with storms along the east coast. As we walked along the beach our friends warned us about ‘bluebottles’. A local child had been taken to hospital from this very beach with bad stings from a bluebottle.
We were horrified: in England a bluebottle is a housefly. We wondered what on earth the flies in New Zealand must be like if they could put a child in hospital! It took us some time to work out that bluebottles in New Zealand are jellyfish. What a relief!
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Photograph by Peter Batson
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