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Posts tagged ‘bush trail’

Happy birthday to me

Husband claimed that, due to the time difference, my birthday didn’t start until 11:00am yesterday, but he gave me my presents anyway. He took me shopping on Monday and I chose the new book by Marian Keyes and ‘On Chesil Beach’ by Ian Mcewan. In honour of my great and ancient age, I also picked out a knitting book, some needles and balls of wool. These gifts came with a signed guarantee that Husband would wear anything I produced. Foolishly, he failed to insert a subclause that they had the requisite number of holes and were within striking distance of two sizes.

If you are looking for a husband, do try and choose one who gets anxious that you don’t have enough presents. In fact, Husband was so concerned about the scarcity of giftage – despite my protesting that he’d got me more than enough of just what I wanted – he drove into town the day before to bolster the birthday offering with two DVDs, and a bottle holder and mudguards for my bicycle.

After the gift ceremony, the sun came out. Husband affixed my bottle holder and front mudguard and we went cycling. I’ve never been concerned about the skidmarks administered by the back tyre, but the mud and small twigs splatting onto my glasses was always distracting – especially when trying to negotiate a bank or predatory bush. The new front mudguard effectively abbreviated the mud, and is high enough that trees don’t get stuck in it (that much).

We returned home to find my bridesmaid dress in the post from Róis. Over the last week, she has engaged in some alarmingly un-Róisín-like pre-wedding stress over whether she should get my dress in size 10 or 12. The outlet’s size guide on the Net indicated that size 10 was perfect around the bust and hips, but no matter how much I sucked or how tight I pulled, my waist resolutely refused to conform to 68cm. Róis and I had several emergency phone calls about the issue, and eventually I instructed her to get the size 12 on the grudging hypothesis that it could be taken in if necessary. Róis evidently knew I was conflicted about it, because she got the size 10 – and it fits. Perfectly. Well, it had to on my birthday, didn’t it? Lucky it arrived when it did.

My second family all called and the Outlaws in South Island Skyped and sang me Happy Birthday with party hats on. I was so touched I would have cried except I was laughing too hard.

Later that evening, Husband and I went for dinner at The Hangar. We cooked our food on stone slabs heated to 400˚ and didn’t singe ourselves once. Then Husband took me to see The Incredible Hulk (I would like to hastily point out that it was at my request; Husband is not that romantic on his own initiative). It wasn’t the best movie ever but it was fun.

Turning 36 was pretty cool

How to distinguish sun from lightning

We woke to rain again this morning. When I say ‘rain’, it fails to convey the force of nature that it is here. It patters on the leaves, it dreeps from the gutters, the wind hurls it against the windows in pellet form, and the trees release water bombs that explode on the balcony.

It was around 11:30 when – “Hey!” I said. “Sun’s out!”

“That’s not sun, it’s lightning,” said Husband.

“Let’s do something. We’ve had no exercise for over a week.”

(Australian food still prowls my digestive tract on a round trip to my hips.)

“We could walk up to Scenic Drive,” suggested Husband.

“Ah now come on, that’s barely beyond the postbox. Wouldn’t raise a pant, never mind a sweat. Let’s go to the top of the hill.”


“For the view.”

“But it’s raining!”

“Be hardy.”

We set off fully equipped for the weather. In other words, I had a waterproof jacket and Husband an umbrella.

The creek by the drive is in full flow. A stream has taken out the corner of the road by the neighbour’s drive. About half a kilometre from the house, the rain picked up again.

We got wet.

Note the shrinking hips, cause: exercise or damp (undetermined)

Mr Poppins

Kauri leaves, illuminated by sunshine. Or it could be lightning

Name that song: dum dum dum dooby doo-ah

This morning we biked down Mountain Road, up Opanuku Road, then cycled along Ferndown Track. When I say ‘cycled’, technically it was more like a hike carrying bikes and on one occasion Husband headbutted a tree, which was fun but admittedly more for me than him. At the end of the track we freewheeled down Grassmere Road.

Then we had to cycle back to the house.

Mountain Road is about 5km long with a 400 foot climb from bottom to top. We were told this by some bloke we met in the Waitakere Estate and we took him at his word because he was wearing a cardigan and had his hair parted down the centre.

Husband and I have different methods of approaching long uphill distances. Husband goes at it in short bursts with fluctuating degrees of enthusiasm. He generally considers handlebars to be decorative in function and prefers cycling over obstacles rather than around them. His boredom threshold is so low as to be undetectable, so he likes to race me, making up the rules according to which of us is winning (he’s better at the downhill sprints, while I have the edge the other way). He spends a lot of time twiddling around with his gears – or mine, when they are within reach – and supports regular refreshment stops.

My approach is more methodical. Once my legs are following my own internal rhythm, I’m unstoppable.

Today, I was doing so well, my internal rhythm became external.

“Let’s have a little music!
On the road again, ah cain’t wait to be oan the road again
La la la la la la music with mah friends
Ah cain’t wait to be oan the road again-

Hey! What else can we sing?”


“‘Lak a rhanstone cowboy
Ba bom!
La la mutter mutter mutter star spangled rodeo
And mufflers coming over the phone-

Hey, why aren’t you joining in?”

“I have to breathe.”

“Well, so do I-”

“Evidently less than I do!”

“Hmm, you might be right. Hey! Any requests?”

“Can you please, PLEASE shut up?”

“Ah now, come on. How about something by The Travelling Wilburys?”

“Can’t think of any of their songs.”

“Tom Petty?”

“Nothing’s coming to me.”

“Hey, I know! Roy Orbison!
Only the lonely-’”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

“NO, it’s: Dum dum dum dooby doo-ah.”

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