12.01.2011 23 °C
When Kenzie and I leave the house at 6 AM every week day morning, I always stop and wonder for just a moment: can I hear the ocean or is it still today? In summer, the sun rises at 6ish so we see spectacular hues of red, pink, and orange appear over the adjacent volcanic island Rangitoto. Some days we can smell the sea from the front door, other days I miss that pre-coffee jolt.
Kenzie and I walk to our town, Browns Bay, through a circuitous route over hill and dale, along the water front, and back up the hill. It can be close to an hour. We see regulars and typically stop for a quick chat. At that hour it is all business and most everyone has an internal clock ticking. Our most frequent buddies are “Phil and Lucy” and the “Rubbish Men”.
Phil and Lucy are so nice. He is a cheery, smart, and successful, almost retired Hospital Industry guy and she is a near deaf/blind totally adorable little white fuzz ball. Bichon? (I get them all mixed up.) The rubbish men are fascinating and friendly. One is a tall skinny farmer from South African who tells me stories – “ah the guns, they are so bulky – when you get a call you gotto move the guns, always the guns, so bulky and in your way!” “He rode his bike around Australia, literally (!!) and can talk at a similar steady stream. The other is a Kiwi bloke whom Kenzie adores, I let her off the leash and she runs to him like a long lost pal. Today he was so mindful of not letting her get any of his bacon pie.
On with the schedule! Home by 7 AM then shower and breakfast with Howard at 7:30. We talk about the news and our plans for the day. Off to work I go @ 8ish. My drive is easy, due west, which bypasses the motorway completely.
Back at home, Howard typically has a busy day of work, emails, letting in the numerous repair men who come to piece together this white elephant of a house, working out, and doing errands. Every day he has a long list of things to do, people to see, writing to accomplish, and of course a dog to walk. Yes, Little Miss Pumpkin Princess gets a long afternoon walk as well.
Typically Howard walks her at the end of the day before dinner. This is so nice as it gives me a quiet time to “creativity cook” whatever I can rustle up and then putter around. For example, right this moment they are walking (this involves reading under big trees by the sea) and I am up in our lounge typing away and glancing out to the distance whilst I hear the surf as it crashes against the beach. Dinner IS cooking I promise!
After dinner lots of people the world over watch TV, yet I find TV quite dull. I find TV dull everywhere but in NZ I find it worse. Perhaps this is because I’m enjoying life and am busy? I’d rather read my library book or go online than watch dumb TV and yes I’m an international TV snob. We have many shows from the US, the UK, and of course from here. It just seems irrelevant to watch TV when I can see what I want online. Howard says lots of Kiwis love to watch US sports and many people wear shirts celebrating their favorite American athletes. American movies are VERY popular. Howard likes to watch old movies and sports so we have the $$ Sky TV dish satellite system. Maybe if the TV was in a different room I would watch it, probably would. Right now TV is in our upstairs lounge which means you have to go upstairs – I know such a hardship! Wonderful news about the actual dish (about 18 inches in diameter) it is always pointed north so you always know where north is - isn’t that just so handy!? You never know where or when you will need to know where north is.
Our lives are not unique. We work during the week, do chores and have fun on weekends. We live like many other couples, except we live in an amazingly beautiful place in a small isolated country. The isolation is a double edged sword… think about it. We do not lack for things and the people here are more relaxed than I am used to and many like to take “chit chat” to full blown “talk” about significant interesting topics. One thing I have noticed, and appreciated, is the level of depth you can reach in a short amount of time. For example, guns in the US OK let’s talk about that! The brand of NZ as being “clean and green”, OK let’s talks about that. Mortgages in NZ and the cost/ processes of buying a house, yeah lets talk. People often have time to talk about something other than themselves or people they know. Or maybe they are interested to hear a foreign opinion - and we have those in spades!
Our typical days here are not unpleasant. Sure we have issues and challenges, yet they seem petty and inconsequential. Items on our negative list are rapidly receding whilst items on the positive list are growing. We enjoy each others’ company, our work, our location, our life. I wish more people could have what we have.