On Sunday we went orienteering with John and Hazel at Stag’s Roar. Well, Hazel did the course with Husband and me, while John felt navigationally compromised and read his book under a tree.
A few things have changed since I last orienteered. No more twaddling around with clear contact; control cards have been replaced by electronic ‘keys’ which are inserted into a reader at each control. No more huddling by master maps waving your arse in the air; the courses were pre-printed on the maps. No gaiters, but I think that’s a cultural difference. There appear to be less brambles to whip the shins in New Zealand.
And there was blazing sunshine. Perhaps it’s inverted rose-tinted glasses, but orienteering events in the Irish eighties seemed to always be accompanied by gale force winds, horizontal rain, knee-high mud and puddles of ice.
Husband’s sense of direction continues to be purely instinctive. I was gutted when he hit the third control before Hazel and me. Still not completely recovered from it.
Afterwards, we all went to The Carriages for brunch.
The following exchange illustrates the fundamental difference between John and me.
John: Went to the movies last night.
Me: Oh cool! What did you go see?
John: The Painted Veil.
Me: The- what?
John: The Painted Veil. Edward Norton-
Me: I love Edward Norton. Great actor.
John: Yeah, him, and that babe – what’s her name again-
Me: Liv Tyler.
Me: Halle Berry.
John: It’ll come to me in a minute. Anyway, it was excellent – much of it was set in China at the turn of the nineteenth century, in the cholera epidemics. It was really interesting.
Me: Sounds . . . nice. We went to the movies too.
John: Really? . . .
Me: Yes! We went to see IRON MAN!
John: Oh, with Harry Connick Junior.
Me: No, Robert Downey Junior. He IS Iron Man – he totally rocks! Awesome actor. And Iron Man is such a great superhero – I mean let’s face it, Spiderman is great but Peter Parker can be a bit whiny. But Iron Man, you know, he’s pretty single-minded and you gotta admire that in a superhero-
John: I’m not convinced.
Me: What? How can you not be? Iron Man has compelling motives, an engaging character arc, and he blows stuff up and flies!