Monday, December 25, 2006

White Christmas

Grr... the beta Blogger isn't letting me upload photos today. When things are up and running again this post will include photos...

The last week has been well and truly insane. Thankfully none of our managers seemed to expect us to actually get any work done. There are times when I love being a public servant. Weeks where I work at 50% of my capacity and still get told how wonderful I am and how pleased they are with me are those sorts of times.

Oh well, at least I did still get a limited number of workouts in, including my last swim with Lesleigh on Monday, the odd run, and my last PT session for a year. I fully intended to go to RPM on Friday morning, but I guess it wasn't such a good idea to agree to Christmas dinner at Hope Bros on Thursday night, at the same time as the Les Mills staff were having their Christmas drinks. It appears there were also RPM drinkies at the Cue Bar, however my recollections of that part of the evening are rather hazy. Enough said. Actually, too much said, but that's an even longer story, and I really am going to have to stop drinking so much at some stage. Like, tomorrow.

Trust me, I don't want to do another hung over Body Balance ever again. Particularly when it was a new release. The one thing I DIDN'T need was to have to concentrate on a new routine. My body was sooo full of alcohol and food toxins, and so short of magnesium, that nothing was going to be easy. Expecting my body to attempt to stretch was pure foolishness. Going easy was the only option. Loud note to self - do not do that again. Seriously.

The only positive thing about getting slammed on the Thursday night (I am way too old for this @#$@) was that, when our group manager opened the bubbly at 10.30 on Friday morning, I was not even remotely interested. In fact, I could have vomited when someone started drinking red wine in front of me. I ate breakfast, but then didn't even feel remotely interested in food again until 3pm. That's unheard of for me. No more! What the heck do I thnk I'm doing anyway?

On Saturday Hamish and I drove to Stratford, Taranaki for pre-christmas Christmas with my sister Shaz, and my Mum and Dad. Taranaki turned on the usual band of rain between Hawera and Stratford, and remained indifferent for the rest of the day. It was so cold we kept the heater going, and through the gaps in the clouds we could see snow on the mountain.

Mum loves Christmas, and I really don't want to be the Grinch. We had what Hamish referred to as a sweet weekend, with Christmas stockings, wine, food, presents and more food. On Saturday night the weather mellowed out enough for the family to go for a pleasant walk through the park in Stratford, along the Patea River. We watched downloaded television until late, then slept soundly through the night under a soft feather duvet.

I woke at 6am to a crisp, clear morning. The mountain was revealing herself in her ivory cloak, splashed with pink from the sun. I crawled back into the warmth of my bed until 7.30. By then it was well and truly time to get up and run. Despite misgivings about secluded trails at odd hours of the morning the lure of the river was too strong to resist. I spent a lovely 40 minutes getting lost on leafy, bush-lined Stratford trails. I skipped up steps and down gentle inclines, over bridges and along the river-bank. Once again I concentrated on technique. I've given up worrying about speed. Comfort and pleasure are important right now, together with not injuring myself. My knee is liking me for it.

Breakfast preparations were well underway by the time I returned home. A stretch, a shower and then the family sat around the table sipping on strawberry and mint fruit cocktails and munching on bacon, grilled tomatoes, home made bread, fresh fruit salad and yoghurt. Have I mentioned my mother is a dream chef? Then it was off to Opunake where Shaz showed Hamish around her new home on the cliff and Hamish pointed out his own childhood home.

A quick cup of tea back at Mum and Dad's, then Hamish put Mum's new cycle computer on her new bike (she's training for the SPARC duathlon, and I'm very proud), and we jumped in the car and drove back home again. We were home by 6, and had tidied the house and eaten dinner by the time our prospective catsitter arrived to meet the fur children.

It was good to see Mum and Dad. Good because, despite everything, they seem well and relaxed. The house seems well-maintained, the garden is flourishing. It's true that Mum complains about Dad and that Dad worries about Mum. This has always been the natural order of things and it's hard to know how much of it to take seriously. They don't have a lot of friends, and when Dad's not working they spend all their time in each other's company. I guess I'd probably want to complain as well. What can I do other than keep in touch and hope I'll be able to sense when the time comes to start paying more attention. Stratford is a lovely town for them to live in, but I'm nervous that it could also prove to be a little isolating, particularly for Mum, who has never learned to drive.

Back at home, the reason Hamish and I chose to stay in Wellington for Christmas was to be able to enjoy the day in our own (selfish) way. All the running around over the last week was supposed to culminate in a day of sloth and gluttony. I'm pleased to report that the day has, by and large, turned out exactly as planned.

The first part of the equation - lie in bed reading until after mid-day. The second part of the equation - Hamish cooks a breakfast of pikelets and organic bacon. The Pip secret ingredient - a half-hour rolling-hill run to Brooklyn then back up the long slow incline to Mornington and home. VERY slow - very full of food and yesterday's alcohol, VERY hot in the glaring sun. However, you know you're a runner when... Anyway, I sent Allie a txt and she'd just gotten back from a 5km run. So there!

A quick shower, then the third part of the equation - more reading, a cider and Radio Active on the veranda at home, while soft feathery rain falls down over the valley of Berhampore. The fourth part of the evening - a long, slow-roasted pork, roasted vegetables and bubbly, followed by left-over Mum's Christmas dessert sampler.

The fifth part of the evening - episodes of Torchwood. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. No tinny Christmas Carols, no screaming children. No expectations.

Yes, as I said, it's a selfish way to spend Christmas. I'll spend next year with family again, I promise. Just let me have this one small moment!

1 comment:

Sass said...

Hmm, maybe I'm a little jealous of your trail run :) I got your text while I was lying a little hungover on a friend's couch after a hens night that involved various toxins and groaned at your *disgustingly* fit and awake message :p