Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beautiful Things

A few beautiful things:

Renewing my driver's licence turns out to be a very enjoyable experience thanks to the lovely young African immigrant customer service employee at the AA. I should really write a letter to his manager commending him.

Getting off the bus on the way home I notice that someone has been playing with chalk on the footpath. A green line extends all the way down the middle from the bus stop to the garden seat a neighbour placed halfway down the pedestrian accessway to our street. Someone has marked out a circuit workout down its length. Every ten metres or so there is a new activity, including walking, skipping, hoppping, jogging, running, acting like a dog, acting like a chicken, side stepping, and a monster walk. The last direction is simply to 'rest', with an arrow pointing to the bench with its lovely view over the mountains and the Cook Strait. I briefly consider following all of the instructions and contemplate how I might 'monster walk'.

Hamish and I open one of the 'quaffing' red wines my parents gave him for Christmas and it turns out to be a very pleasant drop. One can't ALWAYS drink the Guthrey family international award winning Pinot Noir (especially given that we probably shared the last bottle in the country with Nic and Leonie).

After a beautiful ride through rural Makara I have a case of post-ride insomnia. Hamish and I stand on the veranda as a full moon rises over the mountains. Below us Berhampore and Newtown are lit up like a Christmas tree. I sleep with the bedroom curtains open and the moonlight on my face.

After showering post-6.30 a.m. RPM and eating a breakfast of Bircher muesli with yoghurt my stomach continues to demand food and I placate it with fruit. Realising that I'm going to fall asleep on the sofa I briefly debate what of the activities on my holiday list I should indulge in today. The weather seems a bit cool, overcast and windy so I decide to walk to Brooklyn to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the Penthouse Theatre. There are only four of us attending the session and I have a whole row and a big comfy seat to myself. I start crying about halfway through and keep crying for the rest of the film.

Walking back home from the theatre I pass the young Chinese family who have taken over the local dairy. The mother already waves to me every time I run or cycle past her. Today the father is playing outside with his two young sons. The grandparents are strolling leisurely down the footpath. Back at home I am starving again so heat up some delicious leftovers from the freezer, followed by more fruit.

I clean the fridge (another item on my to-do list) and wipe down all the kitchen surfaces then clean the bathroom. Afterwards I reward myself with a little more of that quaffing wine and a sweet, juicy peach. I then call a friend who has returned to New Zealand from London after having been away for several years. We arrange to meet for lunch tomorrow at Parade in Oriental Bay. At the same time I am exchanging txts to organise another evening ride. I'm a little worried about the state of my legs.

I enter both the Taranaki Cycle Challenge and the Grape Ride.

Two things that have become very clear to me:

If you smile people will smile back. If you are friendly people will be friendly back.

Left to my own devices I will quite happily sit here on the sofa all day (once the day's exercise is out of the way). However I am self-aware enough to know that I will feel bad about wasting my 'time off'. I operate better when I have a schedule and have decided to plan the rest of my holiday to ensure I get some of my planned activities in. However some things are going to get left by the wayside. I doubt, for example, that I will get around to painting over the feature wall in our lounge. However Hamish and I have made real progress in getting the vegetable garden organised, so I'm not too upset.

Tomorrow's forecast is for more sun and less wind so I have plans to make my way slowly to Oriental Bay where I will sit on the beach until it's time for lunch. I need to rest before tomorrow evening's big ride!


leonie said...

it's quite possible that monster walking is completely dependant on the individual monster - go on... try it!


Pip said...

You know, it's still there - and every time I go past the urge to monster walk is overwhelming. If I walk that way tomorrow I just might ...