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Posts tagged ‘beach’

The state of my soul: soft

On the phone to my father this morning:

Me: . . . but even though the weather’s nice, the sea’s free-hee-HEEzing. Went down to the bay for a swim the other day. Wetsuit vest, swimming hat, goggles – oh yeah, serious hardcore.  It was so cold, I couldn’t even put my face in the water. There was squealing.

Dad: When did you become so soft?

Me: I think that question could be rephrased as, When did I become so SENSIBLE?

Dad: Suffering is good for the soul.

Me: Well, your soul must be in terrific shape.

Me: Well done.

Me: Pray for mine, won’t you?


Husband: Would you like to see a tsunami?

Me: Would I like to see . . . a . . . salami, did you say? Why, is it an unusual salami? Can it do tricks-

Husband: No, a TSUNAMI!

Me: Oh. Mm. Really? Ok. Oh actually – wait. Did you say ‘TSUNAMI!’? Hey! That would be AWESOME! To be humbled by a raw, first-hand glimpse of the tremendous might of Mother Nature.

Me: <rolling internal mental footage of the final scene from ‘Deep Impact’ where Tea Leoni’s face melts off in the pre-force of a supersonic 3 mile high megatsunami caused by a comet striking earth because Bruce Willis wasn’t available and you can bet your ass Elijah Wood wasn’t about to pilot a spacecraft to the face of the comet, drill a hole and nuke the fucker moments before it is due to erase mankind forever>

Me: We’ll have to go to a beach with a really big hill-

Andrew: Well, it’s only a meter high.

Me: What? The TSUNAMI!? But- but that’s pathetic! I make bigger waves farting in the bath!

Andrew: And if we go to one a west coast beach, it’ll only be 40cm-

Me: 40CM? How are we expected to distinguish the TSUNAMI! from other waves? I saw the Queen Mother give a bigger wave from her deathbed! I make bigger waves doing the dishes! Your turn.

Andrew: Er. Mexicans give bigger waves.

Me: Yeah, well, um. Ok.

Yet an event like this does not happen every day, so we decided to drive to Piha to observe this natural phenomenon. Despite myself (I’ve seen bigger waves on a stale perm etc.) I was quite excited. As you can tell from the frequency of recent posts, our life rarely features exciting events (although you will be glad to hear we have no shortage of Magic Moments).

Immersing myself in the spirit of the occasion, I made coffee to go, packed snacks, the camera, and swimming togs. I would have fired commemorative mugs with a big roller and ‘Tsunami Simon’ inscribed on them except I ran out of time.

We arrived at the lookout point above Piha with plenty of time to spare, regardless of Andrew’s pessimistic predictions that we had ‘missed it’. And then we stood there staring intently at the sea for fifteen minutes, until around the time Andrew said it was scheduled to hit Christchurch.

So we didn’t miss it – not that we noticed.

So you might say, the TSUNAMI! was a wash-out, as limited to the metaphorical sense.

We went home.


The main reason Husband returned to Dubai so soon after his last trip was to prepare our property for re-renting. He asked if I would like to accompany him. Optimistically, he presented it as a mini-vacation. He went for the beaches and palm trees angle.

I was more focussed on the 22-hour flight with two stopovers, the skin melting temperatures of the UAE hitting summer, and sleeping on the floor of an empty villa without even an espresso machine. Fairly quickly – you might say spontaneously – I realised there was nothing I would like to do less, except maybe hack off my lower limbs with a blunt axe. Even then, it would depend on how blunt said axe was, and whether I had ready access to Tequila.

Compared to the above, my contribution to the whole process was meagre. I sourced potential tenants, arranged finances, retained a maintenance company and collated paperwork. I was so delighted NOT going to the UAE that staying here with my dog was like a vacation in itself (if you disregard the guilt).

I was particularly glad when Husband described the state in which Tenants had left the villa. Thankfully most of it was cosmetic damage: gashes and chips out of the plaster, nails all over the show, double sided sticky tape festooning three walls, bolts in the master bedroom wall from a badly mounted TV. Husband also said it looked like someone had hit the trunk of the tree with the edge of a spade (who? Who does that to a poor, innocent, defenceless tree? Sickening dendrophile).

Ah, the bitter ruins of a formerly loving relationship.

But then, how was I to know they were dendrophiles?

Tenants had left without cleaning the house. This particularly distressed me, since I spent three days scouring the place before they moved in. I recall Mrs Tenant calling unexpectedly to discover me straddling a kitchen cupboard. She said:-

“Oh, you’re- are you cleaning?” And before I could say, NO THE RUBBER GLOVES ARE MY OWN DISTINCTIVE FASHION STATEMENT AND I ALWAYS PUT JIFF IN MY <EXPLETIVE DELETED> HAIR, she continued, “It’s not on our account, is it?”

I unclenched my tongue from between my teeth to say, “Well, yes-”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” she said. “We’re only going to clean it again after our stuff arrives.”

“Well ok, but, you know, we’re talking about two and a half years worth of Husband’s and my dead skin cells,” I said with an involuntary wince. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine leaving an abode other than spotlessly glistening (in a totally non-mucous context); I mean, I would be pure MORTIFIED. I guarantee that, when the time comes, we will leave our current rental accommodation cleaner than it has been at any point during our occupancy.

“Oh,” she said. “Um, yes, well. Carry on then.”

I suppose I had been warned. Tenants had no compunction about leaving 18 months of their dead skin cells cluttering up the place.

Husband spent hours plastering, cleaning and fixing. Yet apparently, Mr Tenant got terribly upset when Husband pointed out the condition the house was in. There were Words.

Bad ones.

At least this atones for Husband stinging me for cleaning the villa the week before we left Dubai.

Nah only messing; nothing makes up for that. I will carry that grudge to my deathbed AND BEYOND.

However, he has earned himself several nag-free months featuring kinky sex on demand.

I am so overwhelmed by his input I might even provide the sex myself.

Savaged by context

The Creative is playing hard to get. I had the best intentions this morning. After an early morning walk with Husband, I went to a local cafe to work on About Time. I sat for a while, then had a scone, and sat some more. Eventually, I came up with the word:


I thought, that’s not a bad word. Two syllables, pleasing onomatopaeic effect in the middle. It’s a start. Now, only 499 more to go.

Then I realised this was the product of half an hour’s work. Talk about being savaged by Context – as if the weight of Expectation wasn’t enough to be coping with.

So for this post, I thought I would upload some pics from our Christmas hols in South Island. Sorry. Best I can do.



Morty: Wanna PLAY?


Stick makes a run for it




Stepfather-In-Law’s boots


Stepfather-In-Law’s boot, Morty & his human

Bethells Beach

Husband ponders the impact dog rules will have on his existence

This is a photo of black sand

Wave effect

Nostalgic Middle Eastern snapshot #22

For the first time in ages, we went to the beach with Danny today and he brought his kite. Dan’s kite is no shabby paper box with bows on its tail. NO, it is a Man Toy: a three-tiered miracle of lightweight aerodynamics.

Within a short while, a group of children gathered beneath the kite, shrieking and jumping as the kite swooped and glided just above their heads. It was a beautiful, misty tableaux: the kite dancing against the perfect blue of the sky, the minarets of a mosque in the background, the children’s laughter. If you strained your ears, it was almost possible to hear a heartbreaking soundtrack swelling to a magnificent crescendo.

Right up to the moment Dan crash-landed the kite on a kid’s head.

He was showing off, executing loop-the-loops and playing the kite inches above the beach. He put it into a nose-dive, a manoeuvre he had been practicing earlier, whipping up the kite a millisecond before it seemed it must plough into the sand. However, this time he took out a six year old.

Dan put down the controls and sprinted over to the child, who appeared more bemused than hurt. When we saw the parents jogging purposefully towards Dan, Husband and I pretended we didn’t know him – we even considered moving our towels a few yards down the beach. I’m wondering whether Husband and I should ever have children, since we couldn’t stop laughing.

There followed a discussion with surprisingly little parental shouting, arm-waving or kite-vandalism involving smashing it repeatedly against Dan’s torso before dismantling the spars for use as a weapon.

“What happened?” asked Husband upon Dan’s return.

“I accused the kid of trying to sabotage the kite.”

“You what?” said Husband.

“He was very apologetic.”

“What did you say to the parents?” I wanted to know.

“Told them they should keep a closer eye on their children.”

A watery wave

For a while I stopped going to the beach in the mornings: the memory of Raff in a pair of speedos lingered. It was too fresh (the memory as opposed to Raff, who is distinctly more fruity).


Just before Christmas, Viv contacted me and asked if I still swam. At the time I had a lot on my mind and, although my gills had closed up from disuse, I thought consorting with sharks and stingrays might provide welcome distraction. Also, although the gym offers much in the way of Melody TV and a Spandex Spectacular, I have recently found the whole experience a little bit lamé.


I totally underestimated quite how cold The Gulf gets this time of year. Obviously the effects of plunging into The Gulf in winter are not as extreme as a paddle in The Atlantic at any time at all, but 20 minutes/1000 metres into the swim and my skull was numb (not that I noticed much difference, apart from a headache). I am ashamed to admit that, after being washed up on the beach by a large wave, I took a more solid route back to the car.


The following week I came fully equipped with thermal vest, sweatshirt, fleecy jacket, beanie, scarf, mittens, and a flask of hot tea. Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, woolly socks and a car heater. I got some funny looks driving home. (The rigid purple lips probably don’t help.)


The other day Helen told me I’d have to ‘bulk up’ for The Palm swim. She’s done some long-distance swimming and reckons I’ll have to adopt some flobber to cope with the water temperature over a 20 kilometre route.


“There’s no way,” growled Husband when I told him about ‘Operation Flobber On’.


At the start of January Danny, still flush with New Year resolve, joined The Girls for the bi-weekly morning swim. Over the years Danny has been known to sport a wide range of alternative fabrics, yet I felt it was a particularly audacious move when he turned up to meet The Girls in a rubber suit.


“I’m going to tell everyone about your rubber suit,” I thought it only fair to warn him.


“It’s not rubber,” protested Danny. “It’s neoprene. People might get the wrong impression if you call it a rubber suit.”


“How do you spell neoprene?”


“Er- ok, go with rubber. Hang on – why not just: sleeveless wetsuit?”


“Sleeveless rubber wetsuit.”


“Just WETSUIT! What’s WRONG with you? Do you have some kinky fixation with rubber?”


Danny has since ditched the suit, but still swims with The Girls. Brave lad; the oestrogen can reach toxic levels. I’m so proud of Dan – to date, he has partaken in discussions ranging from how alcohol encourages Viv to air her mammaries; how many would volunteer their wombs to carry Wentworth Miller’s baby (all present excepting Dan but only because he is not thus equipped); the correct way to don a brassiere (Helen, demonstrating leaning forward and placing ones bosoms in the cups); and Helen’s colleague who accidentally – not to mention forcibly – sat on a stick necessitating 56 stitches up the hoohoo


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