Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nothing to do.

I’m just about to roll into bed after a lovely weekend. A weekend where we had nothing scheduled! Just bliss.

Saturday MD got up to do his last mammoth Saturday morning karate session before his Yondan grading next weekend. I stayed in bed until…..12.45pm! Wheee… that is a record for me. I was there so long that MD joined me, post karate, for a while ;-)

Lunch was delicious concoction of bacon, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach, mmmmmm! The day meandered on with long reads in the sunshine interspersed with hanging out washing. I did NOTHING!

Tea was grilled chops, spicy cubed potatoes, mushrooms (again), carrots and a spinach salad. I’m on a roll here.

Settled down to watch a DVD, Rocky - the original. It’s become a bit of a tradition for MD to watch this prior to a grading. It was great.

Sunday lolled around until 9.30, gulped a breakfast of Bircher muesli and then off to Kata class. Hurrah, very few of the wee children dudes turned up so it was great class with lots of time spent on my stuff. Then a visit to my eldest son (Ben) that ended up being a discussion of his next year’s varsity papers – so much choice.

Home for another bacon, mushroom, asparagus, spinach mix, plus two eggs (hungry!) Then race down to MDs work to listen to Stephen give a floor talk of his exhibition My Pix. MD was introducing him as he curated the exhibition.

Then off for the last big walk before the grading. 3 1/2 hours from the Woodhaugh Gardens along the Leith Stream and up to Ross Creek reservoir and then up the Pineapple track to the summit of Flagstaff, then down onto Whare Flat road, on to Taieri Road, along Dalziel Road, down Fraser’s Gully and along Kaikorai Valley home, whew. According to Gmaps pedometer it was 16.7 km.

Tea was vegetable soup with sausage rolls. We had been invited to Stephen’s for tea, but he got called out to the icebergs again. They have found five more on their way up the coast. Luckily Ben got to tag along. Haven’t heard about it yet, but I imagine it will be in the paper tomorrow.

A lazy hour watching a DVD of Lonesome Dove and then to bed. I’d like weekends like this all the time.

Oh, a word on our wonderful weather. We had outdoor Mass at Kavanagh at 12.10 and Zoë got sun burnt in 30 mins. Late on our walk we had thunder, lightening and rain and then on the final stretch home hail! Dunedin – Four seasons in one day.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The gym today

I dragged myself down to the gym today for my PT session with Mat. I warned him that I was in a foul mood, didn’t want to be here and felt fat, old and tired.

One hour later I was feeling great! Amazing what a little exercise can do. Nice man that he is, he made me do just as hard a workout as usual - even though I explained that my legs wouldn’t hold me up for the lunges this week, and that I had done the stair run last night (x5) and was feeling a little jaded. He just changed the lunge to one on a Bosu (sort of half a Swiss ball) this was what he had told me about last week that was to be a progression from using the weights bench. Bloody thing wobbled all over the place. I accused him of just making up these exercises to make me feel silly. He smiled. Last week he had me doing a calf stretch by holding weights while walking around on my tippy-toes. Now that really does look stupid.

While doing Ab-crunches on the Swiss Ball he said he couldn’t fault my technique. That made me laugh and stuffed up the last two completely, but he was, I think, trying to cheer me up.

I have bruises all down my arms from practicing some of my karate syllabus and when anyone asks about then I just say ”My husband did it” All true of course but I must get some arm protectors. It doesn’t really hurt at the time, but does the next day. Karate camp soon…yeah haa!

Time flies when you have little to do…

So where did this week disappear to? So little to say about having done so little.

All the children are in exam mode and it keeps them vaguely quiet as they attempt to study. We have all types of studiers.

One that announces to all and sundry that “I’m going to study now!” and who lets you know when, where, what, how much, and oh gosh, “Can I show you what I’ve done?”

One that cannot study in his own house - even when he is alone. This is the guy who has cruised all year and failed his school exams, but is actually attempting to salvage the year with some serious (I think) study. But only at his grandparents house…his father kindly lent him a wee red MX5 (?) red sports car thing for the weeks of study, which I think has helped.

One who has decided that this year is a waste of time and she does perfectly well without studying, so why bother when “It doesn’t count anyway”.

One who pedantically studies, for a while, when told to.

These guys all have exams to do yet, but my eldest son (1st year varsity) has his results back already (A+, B+, and A-) for this semester and is out working full time for the first time in his life – very tiring apparently :-)

And of course the nine-year old who is years away from such torture.

Zoë (14) wistfully said today, “I’d like to go back to primary school”. And didn’t appreciate my suggesting she could – as a teacher.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Only two weeks to karate camp. Interesting news in that they are delaying a general grading until the week after camp. This means I will have an extra two weeks plus a whole weekend of tuition, so I am seriously thinking of doing the grading.

If my shoulder is OK after camp I will definitely do it. It’s only the push-ups that concern me at the moment; I haven’t done one in three weeks. Camp equates to eight lessons, so I will have the right amount of classes and I am pretty confident of my syllabus and as fit as a flea. So it will be ‘shoulder watch’ for the next two weeks.

MD and I ran up Signal Hill in 32 minutes the other day. It’s uphill for 4.4km (very steep!) with a stunning view at the top. We had a great walk up Mt Cargill on Sunday afternoon. The book suggests 2-3 hours and we did it in 58 minutes. No iceberg sightings this time.

I piked out of a stair run on Saturday. We did it last week and I had sore calves for a couple of days. MD went out and did it without me, up 198 stairs 5 times. I was knackered the last time, possibly the hardest thing I have done for some time. I’ll do it next week with him.

I did some lunges the other day at the gym that got me pretty wobbly. It was my PT session, so I couldn’t wimp out, but it was hard! One leg up on the weights bench behind you and a single leg lunge, slowly! Times twelve and then swap legs. I did this twice during a couple of leg circuits and found muscles that I didn’t know existed. I can still feel them four days later! I’m not looking forward to next Friday’s session, because I know he’ll make me do it again.

Same refrain as usual: if I could just eat more sensibly I would be both looking and feeling fantastic!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chill baby!

Amazingly, I was looking at this iceberg off the coast of Dunedin this afternoon! Who said summer was just around the corner? Summer officially begins December 1st and today was a balmy 22 degrees C while I was looking at it. I didn’t see it quite as well as this. I could see that they were icebergs and not ships but they were still a fair way out to sea. A lovely man next to me loaned me a better pair of binoculars, which was great.

Icebergs have not been seen from Dunedin’s coast since the 1930s but these babies made it all this way. The media have been chasing them and yesterday a good friend and Illustrations Editor for the local paper went out to visit by helicopter. He now has a freezer full of ice that he says goes down nicely with a glass of whisky.

I finish work at 1pm on Thursday so I rushed to my physio appointment and then up to Jack’s school and pulled him out early. It was then a good twenty-minute drive to the top of Mt Cargill, worth it for the view of two icebergs.

As Stephen said in the paper this morning, “It has long been my ambition to visit the Antarctic – never in my wildest dreams did I ever think the Antarctic would come and visit me.”


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pins and needles

My shoulder aches today. It has been sore for about eight weeks and two weeks ago I had had enough and made an appointment with a physiotherapist. He has given me exercises to do, massages it and lately has been sticking needles into it. But is it getting better or worse? I just can’t tell.

I think about it so much now that it aches in response to me thinking about it. Some nights I can sleep better than before, some worse. I can’t seem to do pushups anymore – I‘m not sure if I can or if I’m avoiding pain. It’s so confusing and annoying. I was at karate last night and we were punching a pad that was held by a partner and then holding the pad while they punched. I usually really enjoy this; it’s not that often you get to vent your frustrations with life out on another person (almost). But I couldn’t hit it hard enough without a stab of pain.

So, do I sit around and wait for the shoulder to get better, or do I go and be useless? Grrrr! The physio has told me that he had a similar injury with his shoulder and he couldn’t sleep on it for a year! A year! Officially it’s a strained infraspiratus (rotator cuff) and also anterior joint capsule adhesions.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bye Kate!

My wee, blogger, buddy Kate has left Dunedin! She’s off to London for a flying visit to a friend and then home to her family in North Carolina.

Kate tried to leave us yesterday but was politely told at the check-in counter that her ticket was for Sunday the 12th. “But” Kate protested “I’ve got to be in London on the 12th!” She hadn’t really checked her departure date and assumed that she had to leave a day early to travel 18 hours and arrive the next day. But that’s not the case in New Zealand. We are ahead of everywhere else in the world and so, when traveling around the globe, we often arrive on the same day we leave. The down side of course is when returning we lose a whole day somewhere.

So this is Kate at the airport on Saturday.

This is Kate out at Long Beach having gained an extra day to sight-see.

And this is Kate actually heading towards the plane!

And Jack giving the plane’s belly a wee tickle to make sure the flight to Christchurch would be an enjoyable one.

Loved having you around Kate!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ish is my nu outhgard

This is my new $75 mouthguard! Fitted just for my teeth, or lack of them. So when people hit (by accident) or kick ('cos they are allowed to) my head, my teeth should stay put. Or as the dentist nicely put it. "If they do knock your teeth out, the mouthgurad should keep them in place until you get to a dentist."

Reassuring indeed.


I have disappointed one of my most regular bookbus patrons. I am annoyed at feeling guilty that I have disappointed him. He is a longtime (forever) resident of Ravensbourne, a small harbour side community that I visit once a week with my lovely bus. Mr B visits every week and gets one Large Print action/adventure type book; Wilbur Smith, Clive Cussler, et al. I have, over three years, developed quite a nice wee relationship with Mr B. Probably because he is about the only person who visits this stop each week and of the 45 minutes I am there we chat for 20 minutes. The Ravensbourne School sends down a class about 10.15 and that is Mr B's cue to leave the bus.

He is as deaf as a post (thanks to shelling at Monte Casino and various other WWII hot spots) and probably doesn't wash his clothes quite as often as he should. His teeth are not good. But he is an interesting old chap and having no family of his own is inordinately interested in mine. He was a bit of a runner in his hey day and loves any sports. During rugby season he follows my two boys' games and often knows the score when I don't thanks to the sports roundup in Monday morning’s paper. He enjoys my daughter’s hockey exploits, comparing them frequently to his cleaner’s daughter’s hockey results. Yes, he probably does live vicariously though our children, but where is the harm in that?

Anyway, I have done a couple of half-marathons and a couple of bloke-free triathlons and a couple of Special K duathlons. Mr B loves to hear about them, likes to check my times and basically keep an eye on my training. This has been fine and it was possibly due to his interest that I did the last two. I enjoy the training mightily, but don't get much of a thrill on the day and dislike competing. Last year I took up karate and am quite enamored with it. Love it, enjoy it immensely! Mr B doesn’t quite understand. It's like a secret club and unless you have partaken of the martial art bug it all sounds vaguely ridiculous to a casual observer.

So last week when Mr B started asking about my training and had I got that bike out yet to start getting some miles under my belt, I just straight out said. "I'm not going to be doing anymore triathlons". There was silence. He just looked at me puzzled. So I continued with my spiel. "I want to concentrate on karate and I have done a few of the triathlons and don't feel the need to do anymore.” He just stared at me. I felt that I had to add. “I’ll still be running to keep fit for karate.”

I suppose he ran for twenty years of so, only stopping when injury or age slowed him down. But I feel like I am letting him down, because he just doesn't get karate. We can't discuss it like running trails and times and so on. I feel bad that I have let him down and that is just daft and, as I said, annoys me. I have failed (again) to live up to someone else’s expectations of me. Pfft!

But I really like karate!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

More days like this please.

I like this no study thing I have going on now. We got up reasonably early and called in to the Farmers market down by the Railway Station. I had only $10 on me, and after we bought a ciabatta loaf and rolls, and lemonade for Jack we had $1.50 left to spend. This was a mission! Finally found a stand selling individual pieces of Turkish delight for 50 cents. Yummmmm.

Jack and I picked up Kate at 10am...

...and went to Tunnel beach.

Conditions (weather) were perfect for a change. I’m so tired of dragging Kate to beaches on freezing, windy days. We have been waiting for weeks to go to this beach as the access route had been closed for lambing and only reopened on the 1st.

We were first to the beach, which was pristine. The tide was out and we had it all to ourselves for about 40 minutes before other people started straggling down the tunnel.

Kate and Jack managed to climb every rock on the beach, explore the cave, find shattered birds eggs, play with seaweed, draw horses and love hearts on the sand and have a game of ‘rescue the driftwood from the top of a rock’…you had to be there!

I lay on the beach and did my physio exercises. A sign of my age: no longer climbing to the top of every rock. I know I could but the coming down is now a concern :-( Bring on the walking frame!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My other Gnome

I would have rather won the golden gumboot, but my aim was not so good over the longer distance.