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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A yoga class
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.
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.
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
Obviously it was always going to be difficult to top a week that had me going to most boring awards night ever and discovering Spotify and Uber. but I don’t think I did too badly.
Missy Isla Brett’s and by default my grand daughter turned one this week. She is a happy and healthy little monkey, with very loving and capable parents, doting grandparents and a crazy aunty who can’t wait to take her on excursions. All little people should all be so lucky and loved.
And maybe I am just a little bit pleased and proud to get smiles and cuddles
Officially with the shortest day having just occurring we should be in the middle of winter, but we all know that is rubbish. Winter is just starting. I actually found a wonderful diagram to illustrate this perfectly.
It is called A Realistic Calendar for Wellington New Zealand, but it isn’t too off the mark for Auckland. Particularly Sep to Dec.
Thank you Hello this is Amy @amyherself for the image.
There really has been some shocking weather in the lower North Island this weekend. It must be so miserable to be cold and wet and having to deal with a flooded house. I know there are still plenty of people who deny climate change is occurring, but if the Pope can announce shit is getting real about this stuff. It might be time to pay a bit of attention. How awful would it be if little Isla grew up and wasn’t able to experience a weekend in Whanganui because half of it had washed away. It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
A special shout out to my dear readers in the Manawatu, I do hope you are managing to keep dry and warm and have not run out of essential supplies like coffee, sweet treats or tonic.
Another momentous event this week is Sister Julie left her role as customer experience manager for 12WBT. She did a fantastic job there, and it is obvious from the Facebook posts from her staff she was deservedly loved and really made a difference.
I mention this because thanks to Sister Julie getting her role at 12WBT, the great program and her supportive team. I have made huge lifestyle changes. I will always be susceptible to the couch, salt and vinegar chippies and alcoholic beverages. But I will also now get my sorry arse out of bed in the morning and go for a run, or go to the gym.
I cannot speak highly enough about the benefits of regular exercise and a bit of mindfulness in the nutrition department. Not just physically but mentally as well. Making positive changes isn’t always easy (well not for me anyway) But knowing that Sister Julie and her awesome crew had my back really made a difference. I can’t thank you enough. Next Sunday I am going to a yoga class on perfecting your hand and headstand. Can I just say the Natty of two years ago wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this. Brett is just bracing himself for more party trick demonstrations of me trying to do a headstand after a couple of gins #notpretty #notgraceful
I discovered an interesting website this week. Thank you Kim Hill for interviewing Ross Ashcroft and bringing to my attention Renegade Inc.
Sometimes I feel that the economic path we are following is the only one that exists and we will continue to go down the path of the poor getting poorer, and the rich getting richer. And to be honest that scares the bejeezus out of me. But Ross spoke very eloquently about the need for change, a new economic model, how young people are getting this and why rising house prices are killing the art of conversation.
Now for the League – Anne you can avert your eyes.
The Warriors had a great win against the Titans on the Gold Coast last night. My cousin Brenda actually went to this game. Here is her review Umm ’twas different and cold. Now maybe she is not the greatest sports follower in the world, but I think she has summed up watching the Warriors quite well. It is often cold (Mt Smart in the afternoon when the sun goes down anyone?) and one of the joys of being a Warriors fan is, it is always different and heart stopping. She just missed out super exciting and fun. Next time Brenda.
My Dragons had a bye last week, so hopefully they will be well rested and ready to go against the Roosters on Monday night. The good news is Jason Nightingale and Will Matthews have agreed to respective two-year contract extensions which will see both remain at the Club until at least the end of the 2017 season.
Jason plays for the Kiwis, knows his Te Reo and has a wonderful calm presence about him. There were rumours he would sign with the Warriors. Good news for the Dragons but I think he would have been great at the Warriors too. Will is playing really well this year, and it is great he will be staying on.
Oh and do I happen to have photos of myself with these two nice gentlemen. Well since you asked, maybe I do.
Too funny when I showed this photo I did say to Mum I was so thrilled to get my photo taken with Jason. She said that was obvious, but was Jason as thrilled?
Here is young Will, as I said he has played really well. I may have been pleased to get my photo taken with him as well.
Good luck against the Roosters, Dragons. Don’t give them anything to crow about.
And finally if you are having a rough day or week, may your song come on and make everything a little bit better
Sometimes you click publish on WordPress and then you realise that maybe you could have made things a bit clearer or you didn’t have all the information to hand. Anyway after yesterday’s blog I realised that I didn’t actually explain why I was stalking Mike McRoberts. Believe it or not I do have some criteria. Mr McRoberts is on my stalkee list because he is Mr Silver Fox and I really want to get a photo of us rocking our do’s. The closest I have come before is this – which isn’t really the same I will admit.
Mum wrote Thanks for the Free Tickets Eric on her banner. Sister Julie queued up with half the New Zealand population of Sydney to get the tickets which were for the game against the Roosters. They were free to anyone with Kiwi passport. Worth every cent. And then Mum made Julie drive through the Eastern Suburbs with a Warriors flag flying out the back of the car.
I did say that Young Nat’s don’t count. But on reflection, I think I am wrong about that. Any young people whe want to get involved with the democratic process should be encouraged. It does scare me if you start off as a Young Nat how right wing you might end up by time you are 50. But the thought of the majority of people not even bothering to vote or have opinions about our political process scares me more
I did not send the Warriors an inspirational tweet and now I feel really bad about it.
Last week Hilary Barry got a hard time from Mr Emotionally Intelligent Michael Laws, and seeing her cry reminded me of the Sia song Big Girls Cry, which if you haven’t see or heard I think is worth having a look at.
Well the big girls were crying on Friday night at the McFred house I can tell you. It was the final episode of Campbell Live. Lauren came over, made amazing home made pizzas (she makes the bases with yeast and everything) and then we settled ourselves down and basically just cried for half an hour.
We cried for the amazing crew who had lost their jobs, we cried for the people who won’t have a voice anymore, and we cried for ourselves because we knew the Evil Empire had Struck Back, Hans Solo had been frozen in ice, and Jabba the Hutt was making us wear inappropriate clothing and pulling on our pony tails. We were not happy. I was going to take a photo of us watching Campbell Live for the last time, but trust no one would want to see our sad little faces. Brett wondered what the hell he had walked into when he got home at 7pm.
But we did take comfort from the fact that there were over 500 000 New Zealanders who felt like us and who watched the show and give a damn. And Michele A’Court summed it up perfectly with two wonderful tweets.
Michele A’Court @MicheleACourt · May 29
Remember when TV mattered? Remember when everyone watched the same thing at the same time & talked about it? It was like this. #CampbellLive
Michele A’Court @MicheleACourt · May 29
Just a general note to the people in charge of shit: FUCK YOU.
Nothing more to add really, but Michele you keep doing this stuff my girly crush might turn into something more stalkerish.
Actually I lie, I do have one more thing to add. I am not quite sure what is happening at the New Zealand Herald, but apart from the awesome Anika Moa video interviews they have each week, there is also an excellent column/webpage called the Spinoff, which has some very clever and funny content. This tribute page that put together for John Campbell is simply the best. I defy you to read some of these tributes and not get a bit emotional.
Anyway it hasn’t been all tears and pizza Brett and I did go and see Mad Max Fury Road in 3D. I was looking forward to seeing the movie because it has received glowing reviews 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and there has been a lot of discussion about it’s feminist narrative.
Donna Dickens in her blog explains 7 ways that Mad Max subverts movie sexism.
But on reflection maybe the action movie is not longer for me. It was just like watching 2 hours of movie trailer. I mean it was just non stop mad action and violence. I was exhausted by the end of it. As I said to Brett afterwards George Miller certainly wasn’t subscribing to the Less is More school of movie making.
But 5 stars to George for exploring another way of working with the genre. Charlize Theron was fantastic, she was kicking arse and ass all over the place, but she was also able to convey this amazing vulnerability as well. This woman can act, and drive and shoot things. I think I have another girlie crush.
And for those sad boys having a cry fest, because Max is getting told what to do by a female character. Grow up. Go and have a pity party with Michael Laws.
Before the Madness that was Max we saw a wonderful art exhibition this weekend at the Auckland Art Gallery. It is by artist Lisa Reihana and it is freaking amazing.
Here is the official description – In Pursuit of Venus-infected is a panoramic video, a moving image interpretation of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique
Here is my description (and I will be the first to admit I am not too hot at the art critique thing) It is about 35 minutes of gorgeous and thought provoking scenes projected onto a huge wall at the Auckland Art Gallery. It was mesmerising and while we were there, everyone was watching for the full 35 minutes. Lisa’s artwork is on the second floor, and on the first floor you can actually see the wallpaper her art is based on.
I have linked the video, just to give you an idea. But there is nothing like seeing it on a huge wall.
I can’t recommend it enough, if you are in Auckland you really should see it. What else can I tell you to encourage you to get there? It’s free, and clever and thought provoking, there is other cool stuff to look at and although the Art Gallery Cafe has changed hands they still do great hot chips – no more alcoholic beverages served though – boo.
Not that I am saying that all activities have to involve alcohol of course. (because that would be wrong and irresponsible) But I actually rated the Art Gallery Cafe as one of the best lunch places in town. It was pretty special to be able to fortify yourself with a wee morsel, some hot chips and a glass of bubbles before perusing some of the treasures there.
The exhibition is on from the 2nd of May to the 30th of August and I will go and see it again.
As you know a Nattybugle just isn’t a Nattybugle without a League update. (there you go Anne there is your heads up that you can stop reading now) And this week is a special one because it is the Warriors first home game in 4 weeks so they are celebrating their Women in League Round.
The NRL Women in League program was established in 2007 and it’s aim is to make women feel proud of their roles and contribution to the game.
Over 400 000 women have a direct connection with the game whether it is as administrators, players, coaches, employees, volunteers or club members.
The program and round, is more than the players wearing pink shirts or socks, it is about genuinely acknowledging the amazing contribution that women make to the game. Manu Vatuvei is just fantastic at shouting out how much the support the women in his life means to him. Which is why he was voted the Women in League’s favourite son last year. (I have no doubt if my Mum could have voted a gizillion times for him she would have)
I know that League doesn’t always have a great reputation for it’s treatment of women. Sex scandals anyone? But I really think this is a wonderful initiative, more than mere tokenism. I saw the some of the games best players watching the Silver Ferns play the Jillaroos at the Nines this year. They were genuinely interested in the games and impressed with the football skills the young women displayed. When you have fantastic women like Raelene Castle taking a leadership role the game and the experience for those involved with the game can only improve.
Mighty Warriors all the best for your game against the Knights this afternoon at Mt Smart and know that this wahine would like to be there to support you this afternoon, but it is freaking cold and more rain is forecast. So I love my League but I love being warm and dry more – please try to forgive me.
The Dragons are playing the Sharks this afternoon. They are feeling confident of a win – but Holy Crap I have just realised I hadn’t sent my inspirational tweet. While I have remedied this, I just hope it hasn’t been sent too late.
I will update this later – hopefully with some good results.
And finally (if you are still with me gentle readers) Last week I mentioned Hamish and Tracey, but acknowledgement must also go to Anne who reads my ramblings – she skips the League stuff. Linda who increases my readership in Vietnam by 100% and Brenda who keeps a big cousin eye on my – when she gets a spare moment from cuddling her new grand daughter. Thank you very much.
The Warriors had a win against the Knights. Yay the Warriors. Running true to form they don’t believe their fans should ever be sure of the final result until right to the end. But well done.
And my inspirational tweet got through in time – thank goodness. The Dragons smoked the Sharks 42-6 Fantastic result. Next Monday they take on the Doggies. I will need to craft a super inspiring tweet for this game that is for sure.
This week’s blog is a shout out to the suburb I live in – Pt Chevalier Auckland, and all the great things I can do locally. I live here more by good luck than good management but I feel very blessed that I do.
We have some wonderful parks including Coyle Park which has a wonderful view over the Waitemata Harbour towards the Shore and the Bridge
I feel absolutely safe taking Bad Billie for a walk at 5:15 in the morning
Although this always feels to me like a safe area, our wonderful bakery Take 5 run by Hannah who is only 20 (and makes the bestest sweet treats) is taking no chances
Being on a point we are always only a few minutes walk from the beach
We are really handy to good reliable public transport, and they are building big tunnely, bridgy motorway stuff right at the end of our street. And our street will also connect up with the wonderful cycle way
We also have within walking distance a supermarket, great coffee, a couple of bars, an upholsterer, a great library, two service stations and all manner of little retailers having a go and making a living. I am actually not sharing this to make you jealous, but because I think that what we experience should be available for everyone in New Zealand. Ok not living by the beach or having heavy construction equipment at the end of the road. But living in a community where you feel safe and connected, where you access amenities easily and in a timely manner and you don’t have to earn a gazillion dollars to be able to do so. And I don’t think it shouldn’t be a privilege for a lucky few.
Because of this I am incredibly supportive on any initiatives around improving public transport and thoughtful city planning, and extremely dubious about just building more subdivisions further and further out of the city. With no thought given to how they connect and the quality of life people will experience living out there. So if that means that there need to be more levies for public transport and more intensive housing closer to the city, than so be it. If planning is done thoughtfully and properly – not always an occurrence in Auckland local politics, (and as long as Nick Smith doesn’t ride rough shod over the Council) maybe more people could live in a happy and safe community like I do.
I also need to do a shout out to the Neighbourly website. I have used this a couple of times to request local services and both times I have had great service and found people really quickly. Recommended
Anyway enough of the public service announcements, the Warriors had a win. Hooray. It was in the last minute, but great stuff guys. Onwards and Upwards.
And mention has to be made of the great win the Kiwis had over the Kangaroos. An awesome effort. You really did us proud.
My Dragons play the Bunnies tonight. Another tough game, and they will both be really wanting the win. Will just cross my fingers and toeses like I always do and hope the Bunnies get skinned. (Lordy, the more time I spend on the League Fan sites and Facebook pages the more crazy analogies ensue).
I also had another Run Auckland 10km run on Sunday, out at Barry Curtis Park in Botany It was a stunning day for it, and I was really pleased with my time. Although I did start out a bit quick, so there were a few profanities used by the end. This is the third I have done now, and each time I get a bit quicker. Might be time for me to stop 🙂