Visiting Hawkes Bay, Dragon Stalking and battling the Storm


You know someone loves you very much when they will drive for 1000 km (there and around and back) so you can go and watch your team play another team in a sport you are not particularly interested in.  But Brett did exactly that for me last weekend.  He’s a keeper I tells ya.

Watching sport of any description is not his favourite activity, but fortunately there are always good eats and drinks and most of the time the sun seems to shine whenever we go to the Bay.

If you look really closely
Snow on these hills – if you look really closely

As usual the Bay delivered, and we definitely got the sunshine and some great eats and drinks.

We are very lucky that whenever we are down this way, we get to stay with lovely hospitable friends Julie and Jim.  Who not only know the restorative powers of a stiff gin, but Julie is a fantastic cook (getting the impression there was lots of eating and drinking on this trip because trust there was)

On Saturday we went to one of my favourite restaurants.  Ten Twenty Four. it consistently delivers delicious food in a fun way.  I can thoroughly recommend choosing their R&D (research and development) menu and just placing yourselves in the hands of the chef.  Fabulous.

http://http://www.tentwentyfour.org/

Tentwentyfour dessert
Ten Twenty Four dessert
Crazy feijoa bubbles
Crazy feijoa bubbles

After our delicious eats, I thought it would be a good idea to go for a run.  It wasn’t, a 3 course lunch and matching wines does not put wings on your feet – just saying.  But hey, how else were the good citizens of Napier going to see my Dragons shirt.

Beach at Napier
Beach at Napier
Photo stop aka breathing stop
Photo stop aka breathing stop

Before too long it was time for the big game.  We were lucky enough to be staying at a great place, the Pebble Beach Motor Inn, which was only a hop, skip and a jump from Maclean Park.  A couple of interesting – well to me – observations

  • the guys running the Pebble Beach Motor Inn were absolutely thrilled that a League game was on, and in they would have discussed League for ever
  • one of them may have referred to me as the perfect woman for coming to the game – who am I to argue?
  • Maclean Park was originally a League ground, and then as League went through a decline in the region, Rugby took over

It was a cold but clear night, perfect for a game of footy and a tub of chips and a hot dog, which did not rate on the gastronomic experience at all.  But once again thanks to Brett for queuing up for the longest time and making sure there was enough sauce on them chips.  I had the important job of getting the wine and having my photo taken with the Four Nations Trophy.

Yay the Kiwis own this piece of silverware
Yay the Kiwis own this piece of silverware

Then it was game time.  My boys lost.  It was sad.  In my humble opinion they were a bit unlucky, a couple of calls didn’t go their way.  And someone may have wanted to leave before the end of the game.  But as I told Mr Brett, if my boys have to stay out there, the least we can do is stay and support them till the bitter end.

I had a great time regardless, I sat by a Maori woman who was a Storm supporter and a real wag.  There may have been streaking dares, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

At the match
At the match

So all in all, a great night, despite the result. Nearly 15 000 turned up and a really good atmosphere.  Plenty of Storm supporters there to back local boy Tohu Harris, who did play really well.

Unfortunately life isn’t all good eats, stalking your team and being told you are the perfect woman.  (Although I probably do get more than my fair share of these activities if I am quite honest)  At some stage you have head back to the big smoke, which is what we did the next day.  But we did get to see a beautiful sunrise and have a yummy breakfast at Emporium  before we hit the road.

Sunday Sunrise
Sunday Sunrise
Emporium in Napier
Emporium in Napier

The trip home was uneventful, but it was nice to see when we got home that Brett had purchased a new form of transport for me.  I told you he is a keeper.IMG_2669As I write this, the Dragons are playing the Knights and I am following the match online.  Full time whistle has just gone and a win by 22 points over the Knights.  Good times.  7 wins in a row, then 7 losses and now a great win.  Whoop Whoop.

I am a bit sad however, because it has just been announced that Heath L’Estrange hasn’t been signed for next year.  I know he was hoping for one more year.  But it isn’t be.  I really like Heath because he is such a character, he gives his all on the field and is a real family man.

Next week is going to be interesting because the Dragons will be taking on the Warriors in Wellington.  Both teams really need the win to stay in with a chance for the finals.  I am going to head down to Wellington to watch the game.  So that probably means the Warriors will win, based on how helpful my support is to the Dragons.  But hey that’s ok.  I win either way.

If you have managed to battle through that sports/eating/travelogue, just a couple of comments on events that have been in the media this week.

Adam Goodes – there have been some excellent articles about why this great AFL player and former Australian of the year has been constantly booed and derided by spectators and some in the media.  They are well worth a read.

http://http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/postcolonial-blog/2015/jul/31/we-feud-over-adam-goodes-because-our-big-questions-remain-unanswered

And no we in Aotearoa shouldn’t get all smug about this, when a Fijian player left the field in tears after the abuse he suffered in Christchurch (and I know most of us think – well that’s the dick heads of Christchurch) but it isn’t acceptable ever.

My great grand dad William Thomson was half Maori and represented Waipa and Waikato for rugby early last century.  Apparently one of the reasons he stopped trialling for representative teams was because he got sick of being called nigger.  People shouldn’t have to be still dealing with this crap more than 100 years later.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/adam-goodes-retelling-of-mcg-ape-incident-distorts-the-truth/story-e6frg6nf-1227463695268?login=1

And the T.P.P – Trans Pacific Partnership.  I don’t know what’s in it, because apparently it is too important and too serious for the people of New Zealand to know the details of. Even though is sounds suspiciously we will be signing away our sovereignty to big business.  Thank Zeus is didn’t get signed this time around in Hawaii and maybe the New Zealand public get more a chance to see what is actually in the thing, and what it really means.

There is so much I don’t like about Seven Sharp and it’s host. Mike Hosking.  To me this clip demonstrates it perfectly.  Mike crapping on, loving the sound of his voice.  His co host basically saying it all seems hard for my brain to take in – blech.  But he gets totally owned by Professor Jane Kelsey, who in a few minutes lays out a few pertinent facts that make more sense than the whole line we are being fed by our “glorious leader” and his minions.

Take it away Professor

http://http://tvnz.co.nz/seven-sharp/does-tpp-affect-little-old-me-home-video-6364031

Have a great week everyone, and just for the record I don’t find the idea of a Maori Language Month boring at all.  Just another thing to add to the reasons why JK and I are incompatible list.

Advertisements

Johnny Mar Concert Review – by a special guest blogger


Nattybugle is not the only member of the whanau who does the writey downy stuff.  My brother Dan has a blog, Dad is world famous in Tapora for his poems, and Granny McConnell actually won a prize from Peoples Friend magazine for a story she wrote about a tui in a flaxbush when they were farming at Pokapu.

So this week I am very pleased and proud to include a concert review by my daughter Lauren aka Bad Lauren*  Lauren attended the Johnny Marr concert with a couple of her buddies last week.

When I told people Lauren was going to the concert most didn’t even know who Johnny Marr is, although they recognised the band The Smiths. And as I only found one review of the concert on the interweb, I requested that she write a review.

She is a big fan, she had a great time and she managed to pick up a pretty cool souvenir, which goes quite nicely with the piece of Morrissey’s shirt she got from his concert.

Take it away Lauren.

And Johnny Marr fan
Guest Blogger 

As I sit in my car, I hear a radio ad for Madonna’s first Tour of New Zealand, nervously I check my vehicle for a hidden Flux Capacitor  and make sure I haven’t hit 88 miles per hour.

No? So it must be 2015 then.

My Co-Pilot exhales loudly, “Really?  Its not even like she’s relevant anymore”

All I can do is giggle awkwardly. I’m going to a Johnny Marr Concert, and here we are talking about artists no longer being relevant.

For a bit of background, Johnny Marr formed, owns half and was the guitarist for the 80’s band The Smiths. Since then he’s worked with The The, The Cribs, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, and most recently released 2 of his own solo albums.

I adore Johnny Marr, he’s my favourite Smith. His work is genius, he changed the face of guitar music forever, but is he relevant?  After last nights show, so very much yes.

At the power station at 8:20 doors open, we were informed the show was running late.  Around 8:40 Dictaphone Blues come on, 5 quintessential hipsters with impressive beards, a home grown chilled rock band that was a perfect warm up, fabulous energy, well worth looking into.

Next we have another support band as security explained called ‘change over’. I think they were a type of performance art group, as they played around with equipment almost like they were setting up.

Then the man of the hour comes out. In the front row we are about half a metre away from the stage. In those 30cm are 5 photographers for different media outlets, And doesn’t Johnny just know it! He’s hip thrusting, pulling faces, holding his guitar up and ready for the cameras to take their money shots before they fade away.

Johnny Marr is a rock star, we are there to see him and he knows just how to perform. He plays new stuff, he plays old stuff. even a track from his time with Electronic. Finishing up by bringing his friend Neil Finn on stage for the encore. He performed amazingly, a little sloppy here and there, but when you are expected to sound like a polished Johnny Marr track, anything is sloppy.

Still wonderful and I expected no different, but relevant? He’s one of the most influential British guitarist of all time. (Oasis? yup, wouldn’t be around without this guy) He’s got the fame and he’s got the money, so he can do what he wants and make something he thinks sounds great- as he describes his first debut solo album, The Messenger, “I just made something I think sounds like Blondie, and I love it”

He has completed the rock star check list, he’s used drugs, he’s had a big court case, been drunk and crashed a car, and now he’s moving on most gracefully, not drinking, no substance abuse, running and being a vegan.

To me this is what makes Johnny Marr a truly rare product of the ’80’s music scene, and completely relevant. He knows where he fits in the world, he know what his fans want and is in no way out of touch with reality.

We didn’t want to see a guy in his 50’s reliving his glory days. We want to see him jumping around, playing worldly for the cameras, making us laugh and ageing gracefully. This is something I wish Madonna and so many other artist still kicking from the 80’s would do.  Grow up!  Be the age you are because your true fans will love you for it.

Cool Souvenir

Thank you Lauren I don’t know how many other 20 somethings were at the concert, but I think you summed up the experience really well.

The Herald review pays more attention to the balding and paunchy contingent that were in attendance, and an awful lot to Neil Finn.  I will attach it for comparison.

Herald Review

I think I may need apologise for the “hits” on Madonna, even though they are well warranted. Lauren has been traumatised in the past by watching her mother try to emulate Madonna dance moves after a few gins and putting her back out.

*She isn’t bad, in fact most of the time she is quite delightful.  But I would hate to think of her to get above her raising

Weirdo Alert – I got up at 5:30am on Sunday morning to go on a “fun run”


And I loved it.

Sunday was the last run in the Run Auckland Series of six 10km runs, I have been participating in.  They have been held at various parks throughout the city about once a month.  While I have moaned and groaned before and during every event, I really have had a great feeling of achievement each time one is completed.

On Sunday morning it was dark and cold and wet, but I dragged my sorry arse out of bed.  (Mr Brett lying in bed with a cup of coffee telling me I was a champion kind of helped but didn’t by the way)

The run was at Millwater, a newish subdivision by Orewa.  The course was a really nice mixture of flat and undulating with interesting things to look at.  Amazing to think that only a few years ago it was all farmland.

Although it was a rather miserable morning, as you can tell from the happy looking people below.  I managed to do my best time yet and I really did enjoy myself.

Millwater

As usual when I go on a run, my “monkey mind” likes to work overtime.  I am pretty sure this is because I am incapable of concentrating on one activity for more than 10 minutes, let alone an hour, so when I am running thoughts get pretty random

Here are a selection (no wonder I need to go to bed early)

  • 2 years ago I couldn’t run 1km let alone 10
  • How my idea of what a fun activity is has really changed.  Well not that much – gin drinking and chippie eating is still fun
  • How much I like pretending to be a Kenyan runner on someones shoulder waiting to overtake them with a powerful kick
  • How can that woman who is so much larger than me be so much faster – she is absolutely far more Kenyan than I am
  • Will my Dragons still want me to support them when I must have put a hooddo on them so they have now lost 6 times in a row.  I even pulled out Kia Kaha in my inspirational tweet – nothing
  • Why haven’t I won Lotto yet when there are so many cool things I would do with that money?
  • Do I really look like a condom wearing my running hat?
  • Is Mr Brett out of bed yet?
  • Where is the finish line?

I managed to do 5 of the 6 runs and I am very pleased and proud of myself because I ended up about halfway overall in the field for my grouping – 40-49 year olds . Not bad for a former non runner.

So a very big thank you from me. Run Auckland people for organising such a great series.  It has managed to keep me motivated enough to keep running/shuffling through winter and I am really grateful for that.  Otherwise the gin and chippie fun activity would really taken over.  I will definitely be participating next year.

All a bit sad on the Footy front, both my teams lost – boo.  (sad boo not angry boo – call me old fashioned but I really hate hearing booing at games, it just seems so boorish and unnecessary)

Both teams did play a lot better in the second half – so we are taking heart and feeling positiveish for next week.  And they were both tough games, the Dragons were playing the Bunnies – last years champions, and the Warriors took on the Chooks, who are always competitive.

This weekend, I am super excited because Mr Brett and I are heading down to Hawkes Bay to watch the Dragons take on the Melbourne Storm.  I really hope the guys go well, and there isn’t a stalker alert placed out on me at McLean Park #awkward.

Whatever the result I do know the guys will give their all and do their very best to win.  I also know that I will get to eat some great food, drink some nice drinks and tormenting Mr Brett in another part of the country is always an enjoyable bonus.

Just before I close I do have to mention Anika Moa (again) and her fantastic album Songs for Bubbas.  If you are ever looking for a present for parents of little ones, this is highly recommended.  There is a lovely mixture of funny and sweet songs, lots of Te Reo and of course she sounds amazing.  I bought one for Isla, and I have it on good authority that she approves.

http://www.amplifier.co.nz/release/103793/songs-for-bubbas.html

Ma te wa – that was especially for you Brenda

Natty

Just Another Freaking Aucklander Moaning About the Cold


You see here’s the thing, I live in the northerly part of a South Pacific Island mainly because that is where I have ended up and also because I don’t like being cold.

You won’t find this softy moving south of the Bombay Hills because

a) the earth shakes

b) it gets cold

c) no one has invited me

Yes marvelous eating and drinking things are produced further south and clever and funny people live there, but anywhere thermals has to become part of your daily wardrobe is just not for me.

You can then imagine my consternation this week when it has been bitey cold for days on end and white stuff (not cocaine – I don’t live in Ponsonby) has been found on the ground on the mornings.  Not happy.  We have been having brilliant days of sunshine, which are great for the soul, but my goodness once that sun goes down it is bitter.

We even had big frosts up at Okahukura Lodge this weekend, even though it is 110km north of Auckland.  But it did make for some pretty pictures.

Fire and FrostIMG_2627IMG_2626IMG_2624

Aotearoeans who deal with this sort of cold and more on a regular basis, and with lot less complaining you have my upmost respect.  You are all amazement and the backbone of this country.  In the meantime this hothouse flower will continue to drain the National Grid keeping her footsies warm.

I am actually very lucky that Mr Brett having previously resided in Wellington* for a few years has clever heating strategies.  Our house has double glazing – fabulous.  We also have heaters with timers so rooms warm up before you get up in the morning.  I am sure that having these clever strategies implemented had nothing to do how the intensity of my whining increases with the level of my discomfort.

I also know that I am incredibly lucky that we can afford to heat our house and have enough blankets and all the things that make winter bearable.  I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like living in an uninsulated house and unable to afford heating.  Pretty bloody crappy that is for sure.

That is my winter grumble out of the way, no doubt before too long I will be able to start on my Spring Equinox rant.  Good times.  I know you can all hardly wait.

While this has been a very lighthearted moan about the winter there is a wonderful group of people out who call themselves The Aunties who work with Women’s Refuge to help keep vulnerable women and children warm and safe.  Here is a link to their blog because I believe what they do is so very important and unfortunately necessary.

http://www.aunties.co.nz/2015/05/08/how-you-can-help-us/

Apart from complaining about the cold, and tormenting Mr Brett – you know the usual stuff, the week was fairly quiet.  We did go and see the Auckland Theatre Company production of Rupert by David Williamson.  It is about Rupert Murdoch, and I thought it was very funny and clever.  It just helps to remind you what an old villain he is. (if you needed reminding) His mother lived till she was 103, so we probably have another 20 years of him controlling our media landscape.  Lordy.

One of the most telling things for me was at the end of the play they put up a screen showing the media outlets he controls.  Crazy.  For one person to be in charge of so much.  Just incredible.

Just incredible in another and far more positive way, is this Nathan Friend back flip that lead to a fantastic try when the Warriors beat the Storm at Mt Smart yesterday.  The sheer athleticism just blows my mind.  And as you know I have attended a handstand class.  Shaun’s side step and backward pass isn’t too shabby either.  A fantastic win to the Warriors – now fourth on the table.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEorIWAGos0

Meanwhile my Dragons are going through a wee slump.  Some of their players are injured and things just aren’t going their way.  But they will come right.  The world renown philosopher Phil Gould probably summed it up best writing for the SMH this morning

All teams go through an injury run at some stage of the season. Some get it worse than others. The Dragons are just having their bad run right now. Never mind. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/ben-barbas-trysaving-tackle-could-be-moment-that-turns-cronulla-sharks-season-20150712-giap2s.html#ixzz3fkteylcD

What Phil said.  Maybe I will use that for my inspirational tweet next week.  Because frankly, ” I hope you boys have all got a nicely ironed hanky and clean undies” doesn’t seem to be working that well.

In other exciting (for me at least) League news.  The dates for the Auckland Nines for next year have been confirmed – February 6 and 7.  Hopefully the Dragons will want me back again to hang around and keep out of their way at the same time.  I will still be going regardless as it really is a fantastic event.

One event that I do plan to attend this year is this one.

http://www.undertheradar.co.nz/news/9854/Delaney-Davidson-Tami-Neilson-Barry-Saunders-and-Marlon-Williams-Announce-Church-Tour.utr

The fabulous Anika Moa had a Face to Face interview with Marlon Williams – who I had never heard of.  (I don’t get out much)  The interview is funny, but 7 and a half minutes in, they sing Hine E Hine together and both their voices just blew me away.  As Mr J Campbell of Auckland would say Bloody Marvelous.

 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11478112

Anyway lovely people keep warm and safe.  And a shout out to Sister Julie for sending through the lovely photos of Noosa looking so sunny and fabulous, I really did appreciate them I did.

He Konei Ra

Natty

*Actually if you want to hear moaning, have me visit Wellington when that Southerly is ripping through – bloody hell.  Might be another reason why I have never been invited to live there.

A week with art, comedy, a whiskey bar, great food, yoga and a visitor from Sydney is a good week


I struggle with winter.  Lord knows how I would have coped as a member of the Ingalls family trapped in a log cabin for months on end with metres of snow outside and only Pa with a violin for entertainment inside.   I know I live in Auckland that doesn’t even get that cold, but when winter rolls around, all I want to do is hibernate.  I don’t want to go anywhere, and I don’t want to do anything – particularly listen to fiddle music.

Just to illustrate how much my brain goes to mush in winter – exhibit A

My gym packing for Monday morning.  Somehow I managed to not only put two completely different shoes into my gym bag, they were both for the right foot.  How does that even happen?  Actually I think the headstand workshop and 10km run on the same day may have also impacted on my mental processes.

Shoes
Shoes

So in an effort to try and combat the winter blahs, and the potential threat to Mr Brett and Ms Billie of me getting cabin fever, I arranged a couple of excursions which forced me to leave my winter besties Mr Couch and Ms Blankey.  I am really glad I did.  A very jolly time and indeed informative was had.

The first outing was to see American comedian Beth Stelling.  I didn’t know anything about her, but the price was right.  The venue had a special, buy one ticket get one free and we definitely got our money’s worth.  She is one bright funny woman.

http://beth-stelling.squarespace.com/bio/

But not only did she impress she was also very well supported by two Kiwi Chicks Louise Beuvink and Angella Dravid.

I liked Louise’s set, she tells a great yarn and had a pooh joke that I know Lauren would have adored.  But I have to say I was most impressed with Angella.  She was very funny and sweet and self deprecating, which is quite a lot to pull off all at once.  I did see her afterwards and tell her how much I enjoyed her work, she loved that and gave me a hug.  I then realised that Louise was right beside her #awkward.

While I was looking for information about Angella, I found this story of hers.  Heartbreaking and empowering at the same time.  She really has been one busy girl.

http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/leaving-behind-a-past-life

Before we went to the show, Brett took me to a lovely whiskey bar called The Jefferson, in Fort Land.  I don’t drink whiskey, but this bar was very cool and welcoming at the same time.  The staff were just lovely, and the barman let me taste a couple of wines until I found one I liked.  Nice work barman.  Who knew it would take me 15 tries until I found a wine I liked?  So if you like whiskey – some people do apparently, give it a go.

Just half of the whiskey selection
Just half of the whiskey selection

http://www.thejefferson.co.nz/

Because I managed to survive going out on Wednesday, on Thursday night we went to the beautiful (but freaking cold) St James theatre to listen to a discussion about Public Art.  Hosted by Metro editor Simon Wilson, with Chicago-based curator Mary Jane Jacob as the guest speaker.  It was interesting to hear her take on what public art is and why it is important.  She framed art being vital for a functioning society and indeed democracy.  Art for everybody.  Of course the struggle for councils and governments is paying for art and artists, when people are stuck in traffic for hours at a time or haven’t got a place to live.  But a city doesn’t just live on roads alone and tidy berms alone.

I can’t wait until the St James theatre is done up – such a beautiful (but at the moment freaking cold space)  I know when it is restored, everyone will say why didn’t we do this sooner.

Then if all this wasn’t enough excitement for Ms N Bugle, Sister Julie visited for the weekend.  That’s right, we had a visitor from Sydney.  Tres excitement.  She is a wonderful guest and it is always lovely to have her visit.  She had 3 requests.

  1. A yoga class
  2. A run
  3. Lunch somewhere nice

These I was able to fulfill, and rather well even if I do say so myself.

Firstly the yoga class, on Saturday morning the lovely Jaqui from The Centre Yoga Chaturanged and Downward Dogged us for a wonderful 75 minutes (that doesn’t quite sound right does it) It was awesome anyway.

Following restorative coffee and recovery time, we then went with Mr Brett to deepest darkest Parnell (not our usual part of town) to the newish and fabulous restaurant Woodpecker Hill.  It has had very good reviews and they are absolutely deserved.  Imagine slow cooked Southern meats with an Asian twist.  Beautiful.flavours and a lovely space as well.  I mean I nearly took a photo of the toilets, they were so beautiful.  But I didn’t, I just concentrated on the food porn.  This is the 14 hour slow cooked beef, which tasted just as good as it sounds.

Slow cooked beef from Woodpecker Hill
Slow cooked beef from Woodpecker Hill

The boys from my work are incredibly passionate about bar b q and the virtues of low and slow cooking, and they seriously get very excited about the food here.  Probably just as well it is in deepest darkest Parnell and not just up the road from Intuto HQ.

If I was to have one criticism, it is that this is quite a pricey establishment (and rightly so) but most of the tables are quite small, and are very close to each other.  So if you take your honey here for a special night out you had better hope that the people at the surrounding tables are the sort you want to spend the evening with as well.

After all that excitement a quiet night was spent at home, there was a rugby game on somewhere down the line, but we chose to watch Kingsman – The Secret Service instead.  I loved it, a funny take on James Bond movies.  It had a great cast too.

An inspirational tweet was sent to the Dragons, but unfortunately the Cowboys must have lassoed it, as the Cowboys won 18-12.  But we are still number 4 on the table and we did have a few players were out due to injury, so not all doom and gloom at all.

The Warriors had a bye.  Yay 2 points for resting.  They are currently number 7 on the table.  Good times.  Next week they are playing the Storm at Mt Smart, so I am sure they will be feeling dangerous and happy to be in front of the home crowd.

The final activity on Sister Julie’s list was a run, and we managed to fit that in as well.  At 7:15 am on Sunday we ran along the cycleway that heads west from Pt Chev.  I quite enjoy this because it is mostly flat (apart from the nasty hill at the end when you get back onto Carrington Road)  and if you head out for 5km you nearly get to Te Atatu, and then you have no choice but to run back.  This ensures you do run 10, rather than taking shortcuts and only doing 6-7, as a certain blogger has been known to do.

I have never done this run before on the weekend, and I have to say the cyclists we came across seemed a lot more cheerful and happy than the ones I see during the week.  I suppose there is a big difference between cycling for fun with your mates on the weekend and having to head into work.

As I usually run on my own it was great to have Sister Julie for company, especially as she has done a lot more than me – half marathons and a marathon even.  She was able to share some handy hints – breathing is good.  And she kept me at a steady pace, which made the run far more enjoyable.

It was also very enjoyable to stop at the halfway point for a quick photo.

View from Patiki Cycleway
View from Patiki Cycleway

Sunday morning Runners

You will notice one runner seems quite well rested and the other quite manic.  This might be due to relative fitness levels or that one of these runners is just quite manic.

Anyway it was an awesome way to start a Sunday.  Not that this needs to be done every Sunday.  There is a lot to be said for lolling and ordering breakfast in bed.

Sister Julie then hit the road as she was heading south for the rest of her time in Aotearoa, whereas I spent the remainder of the day walking slowly, moaning and resting.  I do feel it is important that one works to their strengths.

And while I did this I made very sure to be mindful and grateful for a few things including

  • I am fit and healthy enough to stretch myself, touch my toes and run in the way and then get out of the way of cyclists
  • I have more than 2 pairs of shoes to wear – even if I do confuse them sometimes
  • Snow doesn’t bank up outside my door – even though I remember the Auckland snow flurry of August 2011
  • I get to eat and drink very well.  Sometimes at even more lovely places than Brett and Natty Manor
  • I live in a city and a home where art and music (not necessarily fiddle) and books and theatre and comedy and all the glorious things that help make life worth living are appreciated
  • My two teams are in the top 8.  Yay!
  • When my members of my family visit, we get to do interesting and fun things together.  And sometimes they even bring gin
  • I have fabulous friends who also like gin, and even me if I over indulge in it’s juniper goodness
  • My lovely daughter Lauren may do things that makes me despair sometimes. But I will never have to apologise for her being cruel in the way Pebbles Hooper was this weekend
  • And last but certainly not least, I get to look at 2 gorgeous furry faces each day.  I don’t think Brett will thank me for sharing a photo of him.  But here is the other gorgeous face I get to see.  Needless to say it makes me smile
  • B Dog
    B Dog