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Deadlyjelly’s New Year Resolutions 2010

First, some notes on the collective resolve for 2010.

If you pay attention, you will notice the list is a bit on the light side. This is because the emphasis is on QUALITY, not QUANTITY. I could give up smoking while getting fit, being a nicer person, earning more money and hand-washing my panties, but that’s just fluffing around wasting time and energy feeling like a failure – and anyway, I don’t smoke.

Instead, I examined the areas of my life that need attention, identified what is really important, and focussed on a small number of worthy and – I feel – admirable objectives.

Where possible, resolutions are expressed in specific terms. For example, ‘Be a better person’ is an ambiguous goal. What is ‘better’ anyway? And how much should I strive for betterment in order to really BE better in realistic terms? And if I were actually better, would I simply be a parody of myself?

On the other hand, ‘Whenever leaving the house, I will wear a spandex cape’ is a specific goal.

In further accordance with the SMART mnemonic for evaluating objectives, my resolutions are all measurable, achievable, repetitive, and er, totally something else.

Where no timeframe is given, the resolution implicitly applies to the twelve months comprising 2010.

As you can tell, a lot of time and effort went into this list.

Note: if you like my resolution model and wish to copy it, consider it my gift to you.

Deadlyjelly’s New Years Resolutions

1. Drink more.
1.1 Especially margaritas.

2. Give up snoring.

3. Avoid dogs that smell of perfume.

4. Show appreciation to stalkers (hi Cian! Thanks for stalking me! You rock! Happy New Year!).

5. Be a parody of myself.

32 PSI

On Wednesday morning, Husband rang as I finished packing the car.

“How do you feel this morning?” he asked solicitously.

“Terrific!” I said.

“Right, pay attention,” said Husband. “We’ve been discussing how to get you and Jed to Oamaru, and we think the best way is to parachute you in-”

“I’m driving.”

“You’re joking,” said Husband.

“Nope. Little road trip. <Jed: come! Sit! Good boy!> Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ferry to catch in eleven hours-”

“What?”

“The eight o’clock. We’ll be with you sometime tomorrow.”

“But what about Jed?”

“He’s looking forward to it. <Jed: hup! Hup! GOOD BOY!>”

“Have you got food for him?”

“Course. Stacks of Tux, some dog sausage, half a cow carcass.”

“Is there enough money in the account-”

“Check!”

“Have you got music for the trip?”

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN YAY! Hey – how much air should I put in the tyres?”

“Niamhie, are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Absolutely. You’re so negative. Why are you denying my natural instinct? I was BORN to drive the open road.”

“What if you break down?”

“Eh, some bloke will probably stop.”

“I think you’re mad.”

“Get counseling.”

I mean, come on: it’s not as if New Zealand is that big. Why, it’s not even a fraction of the size of Australia. Well, obviously it is a fraction, but a very, very, very, very small one.

And we were off. We left the house at 09:30hrs, but only hit South Auckland at 11:00hrs after a pit stop to fill up on diesel and air.

I always underestimate the time it takes to get from Auckland to Wellington. Well, obviously, I have limited experience having only done it once before. The AA website estimates the distance from Auckland to Wellington as 658km, or 9 hours and 25 minutes – but they probably cater for the lowest common denominator i.e. tourists trying to locate the accelerator on a campervan. However, it’s a 40-minute drive from Henderson to Auckland Central, and the Interislander specifies check-in NO LATER THAN 1 HOUR PRIOR TO DEPARTURE TIME and they really sound quite snotty about it.

It was a foul day – driving rain. Luckily, I was prepared with Deadlyjelly’s Ultimate Road Mix, a solid foundation of Foreigner, the Erics Carmen and Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Crowded House, Matchbox 20, and Dire Straits, with a dash of Mister Mister and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

I obviously took full advantage of Bruce, since Husband has declared the house a rock-free zone. He makes the occasional exception for Bon Jovi, Van Halen and Aerosmith – really, any rock band that relies heavily on lamé and/or spandex. However, the soundtrack of our lives mainly comprises female artists that sound as if they are preparing a compilation for their own funeral.

Driving through Kaimanawa Forest Park south of Turangi, the rain retreated and mist drifted through the trees. Jed was inspired to blow raspberries out the back of the car. The Desert Road was bleak and beautiful.

Apart from a diesel stop in Waiouairouaeaou and the odd five minute break to stretch Jed’s legs, I pressed on. So you will appreciate my joy when I discovered a bar of chocolate Helen had abandoned in the center console. In that moment, I loved Helen in a romantic and entirely inappropriate way. Probably just as well she was not present.

In Hunterville, I pulled over to give my puppy a trot and he lifted his leg for the first time. I am not sure whether it was because I had been on the road too long, or I was tired, or because it was a gorgeous evening with late sun tinting the country with a sepia glow, but I got quite emotional thinking about my little dog growing up and how Husband was not there to see him balancing confidently on three legs.

Coming into Wellington, I called Husband and asked him to book me on the 20:00hrs ferry that left in 45 minutes. The Interislander had closed Internet and phone bookings, but there was plenty of space when I rolled up to the check in booth. The Hilux Surf was the only car, dwarfed on all sides by articulated lorries.

Dinner was a smoked salmon sandwich I had purchased in a BP Connect in Paraparaumu. I had prepared a description of my falsely advertised soggy sandwich featuring the faintest trace of salmon flavour. In fact, it was a superb and supremely salmonly sandwich and I am hard pressed to recall a more satisfying meal. I will also seriously consider serving up Bluebird crisps for dessert the next time we have guests.

Although I was prepared for it, in the end Husband ensured I did not spend an intensely unerotic night sharing the boot with my dog

Dispatches from the road, Part II

Me: You know that Irish bloke with the bike – the one I was chatting to outside? So, I asked him whether it was true that cyclists hate motorbikers-

Husband: IS that true?

Me: No, I was just making conversation with a challenging opening gambit. Anyway, he said not at all; but when he’s a pedestrian he hates cyclists because they take over the pavement. He actually used the word ‘cocky’, can you believe that?

Husband: Um-

Me: Anyway. I told him it’s because cyclists wear so much lycra. It makes them aggressive because it squeezes bits it shouldn’t. And he looked at me and said, ‘It wha?’

Me: So I said, you know, the lycra. Makes you funny in the head. And he said, ‘WHA?’ So I’m getting a bit desperate; I said, ‘You know: LYCRA. Like spandex?’ and he said, ‘Oh sorry love, I’m not a one for the fads and fashions.’

Husband: That’s called: how to kill a conversation with one clean shot

Me: Bullseye

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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