Saturday, June 30, 2012

Paddle Board at Hataitai Beach (and nice people)

You get such nice people at Hataitai Beach.  Dogs are only allowed on the beach out of daylight saving time.  Here's a pic of R on  her paddle board, with her lovely dog, Pinot.
And whilst I'm at it, a word (or a couple of hundred) about the nice folk who come down to Hataitai Beach in the summer.  Many of them I've known for years through beach visits.  We barely know each other's names - isn't it funny how after months of talking to someone you're too embarrassed to admit you've forgotten their name?   At the finish of the summer season, around about end of March, it's sad when we come to final farewelling until the following summer.
Sometimes, some of our friends never turn up again, and we can only wonder what's happened to them.
In our particular group, we love to sit on the board-walk (a rather grand name for a platform) outside the changing sheds, and we can plunge straight into the water, from the steps.  We don't have to walk into the sea, getting gradually tortured.  I can't stand sand in my sandwiches, and the wall of the shed protects us a fraction from the wind.
I was sitting on the platform eating my tomato sandwich one lunchhour and a rather posh-looking man brought out a picnic hamper, with pate, cheese, turkey leg, cutlery, etc.  He picked up a long-stemmed glass and poured from a bottle of wine.  I thought "My, he's classy".  He put on his headphones and I presumed he would be listening to a symphony orchestra or an opera.  After a minute or two, I could make out the tune he was listening to:  "I should be so lucky, lucky-lucky-lucky....".

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

fifth swim

Ho-hum, it's getting so tedius now.  We completed our fifth swim this morning.  Let me background that:  our fifth swim in roughly a week!!   Wowwweeeeeee!!!! ( So much for trying to act all nonchalent.)   After we'd completed our third swim for the month, we hi-fived (yeah, two 'little old ladies' in bathing suits hi-fiving in the freezing cold outside the changing sheds at Hataitai Beach.- what a picture!).  But it was so cold today (air temp 10c) that within seconds of getting out from the water, my toes and fingers were like icebergs and there was no thoughts of hi-fiving.  Just an Olympic games rush into the sheds.  Hey, come on, Wellington City Council, when are we going to have a heated changing shed (wouldn't that be lovely?), or a skylight in the ceiling to let in some light and sun, or a hot shower.  We always say that it's colder in the shed than outside.  Trying to dress after a swim is horrific in the winter.  We can't button up our clothes,  put on socks, turn clothes the right way about.  Our fingers are just so numb.   But we're laughing the entire time with relief that we've done the required swim.  I also laugh hysterically as I plunge into the water.   Sorry, Hataitai Bay residents if you hear this neighing hyena type continual braying;  it's just me!

Monday, June 25, 2012


After being so worried that we wouldn't get in our three swims because of such bad weather this month, we've just completed a FOURTH swim for June, all in the space of one week.  Are we on a roll, or what?  Last month, we did 6, when all we were aiming for was three, and this month, wow, it's four swims:  three at Hataitai Beach and one at Breaker Bay.
As we're about to step in the water, we always have second thoughts, then we get into water, and we have third thoughts.  We have fourth thoughts the entire swim!   The water is really cold.   What will July and August be like - brrrrrrrr!!
We also came across about our third ever person today who said something, to the effect, that how great we were swimming in Wellington waters in the winter.  I must confess that most people use the word 'mad' in a sentence when they're talking about J and me.
Not bad for a couple of 'little old ladies'*, eh?
Anyway, laurel-resting time until July. 

*we pondered for a long time this morning on why folk talk about  a)  'little old ladies' and,  b)  "a 'little man' came around to fix the fridge".   It probably all stems from the class system in Britain.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Swim No. 2 - DONE!

We've done our second swim for June, this one at Breaker Bay!  The residents have one every year.  There's a bonfire and, afterwards, mulled wine and soup in the Breaker Bay Hall opposite the beach.  I am so relieved that we've managed to get the swim in.  Now, it's two down, one to go before 30 June.   It's imperative that we get a day with no storms or hurricanes, or typhoons.
I didn't think the water at Breaker Bay was ultra-cold.  Maybe this was because we'd only been swimming the day before and were a fraction acclimatised to the cold winter sea.

It was hilarious in the water because there was literally no water!  Couldn't have been more than knee deep in most places and was so stony and seaweed strewn that it was all but impossible to actually swim.  I kept getting bogged down in seaweed, and J hated the stones.  Probably about a dozen people in the water.  They all seemed to be just quick plungers, however there were these two boys of about ten or 12 years old who, because of a $5 bet were trying to out-time each other in the water.  J and I left them to it.  It would have been nice to be the last out, but that damn seaweed really got to me.  Give me good old wonderful Hataitai Beach where we can just slip easily into the water from the steps, and there's nary a stone in sight.   Having said that bit about the stones, I must mention one huge stone at the bottom of the steps at Hataitai Beach that both J and I have tripped/banged/fell over at one time or another.  J turned her fall into the most graceful dive, whereas I just yelled out, grabbed my foot and hopped around like a wimp.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Swimming! - one down, two to go!

Finally, the weather has let up and J and I got in our first swim this month - yay!, pause to hear clapping and cheering!!!
  It was very cold but we managed to swim across the bay at Hataitai Beach and back again.  We were in such a triumphant mood as we got out.  We now have two more swims to do at the beach before the end of the month.  It's going to be tight, what with the terrible weather we're having.
Here's a pic of low-tide Hataitai Beach.
J is determined to go tomorrow to the mid-winter swim at Breaker Bay at 3 pm (Saturday23nd June).  The swim is on wet or fine.  If the weather's truly bad though I may stay home which would give J the advantage.  We're counting Breaker Bay (into our total of three) because the water there is colder than at Hataitai Beach.  If we were swimming at say, Mission Bay in Auckland, that wouldn't be counted because the water is warmer up north.   Goodness, we have so many 'rules'.!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thinking about poetry

I'm beginning to think there are lots and lots of secret and not-so-secret poets out there in the big wide world.  I have two close friends who like writing poems:   A J Ponder (who already has a link on this blog,   And, of course, there's J, my swimming buddy, who wrote that lovely little poem for me about Coco my Wednesday dog, earlier this week.

Some lines from poems stay in your mind forever.  I well remember a poem of Sam Hunt's in the New Zealand School Journal many, many years ago.  It referred to a truly long tunnel that a child was travelling through.  Sam said the tunnel was "as long as next term".  What wonderful phrasing.     Then another School Journal poet (Mona Williams?)  wrote of a child discovering how to read.  She briefly mentioned in the poem how hard it was to learn to ride a bicycle.  The last line was where the child finally got the hang of reading and triumphantly proclaimed something like, "I'm riding this bicycle all by myself" ... beautiful!

I had a poem, too, in the New Zealand School Journal, maybe 100 years ago, called "Puffity Pom", about a fluffy cat.  When it was printed, the editors or printers (don't say typists - I used to be one, and I was fed up with bosses blaming everything on 'typos') missed out a line.  Darn!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coco again (cute dog)

Well, J, I always knew that you were a real nice person.   J read the blog about my cute little Wednesday dog, Coco, and she wrote a lovely poem about the incident!    Now, if I can only figure out how to transfer the poem into this blog, I'll be set .....

When doggies want to go outside
They try to let you know
When standing by the door was tried
You didn't want to know.
And so your little Wednesday pet
Just had to try once more
It seems her tummy was upset
She had to use the floor
Poor Coco did her very best
She's been so good before
The moral of this story is
Don't hang things on the floor.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

My naughty (cute) Wednesday Dog

I have a Wednesday dog.  Her name is Coco (after Channel), and she is a (spelt phonetically 'cause I don't know how to spell her breed name, so sue me!) chit-zu.    Her human mother works and gets worried that Coco is lonely when she's stuck at home.  
Her mother told me,  "Coco never does poohs inside.  Only when you take her for walks.  And only once a day.  Don't worry about that."
So, I didn't worry about that.  I took Coco out for a 10 a.m. walk.  She poohed.  We came home again, and I plonked down on the sofa to eat my lunch.  Dr Phil was on telly, and I got involved with him (oooh, naughty!).  Several times I saw Coco sitting with her nose to the front door, but I just mumbled "Later, baby, later."   If I say the magic word "walk", she goes beserk.  She'd walk me all day if she could.
Later, I went into my bedroom to change from slippers to trainers, ready to take her out again.
"Oh, nooooooo!!"  She'd poohed on my day backpack - $40.  And my bra - $25.  Lesson to be learned:  never throw your bra, with mad abandon, on the floor.
What could I do?  I  threw the bra and backpack away, and handed Coco over to mummy without mentioning the mishap. 
Then I hastily grabbed a library book up from my bedroom floor (another lesson to be learned:  always stack your books tidily on a shelf) and raced to the library.  I pulled the book out from my  supermarket throwaway-type bag and saw a huge brown substance seeping all over, across, and into the book. 
I realised immediately what it was because the book had been on the floor under my bra.
The librarian reached for the book.
I had, like, a moment to think of a cover story.  "My jar of mango chutney has broken!   I was frantically wiping the book down with some pocket tissues.  The librarian insisted on taking it from my hand.  I stared dumbly as he walked away with the book.  All the librarians were laughing heartily now, along with silly old me;  all over my 'broken jar of chutney'.
I was billed $45 for the book because as the Cental Library librarian told me on a phone call, "we just can't clean the chutney off the book."
Oh, you naughty, playful, gorgeous, adorable little Coco.  I could kill you .... but I won't.  How about a huge cuddle instead, huh?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Musical stage shows

I love going to stage musicals.  I've shot up to Auckland more times than I can remember for shows.  For years my favourite all-time show used to be "42nd Street".  I've seen the movie, of course.  I've seen the stage show in Wellington (two different productions and something like 25 years' apart), Auckland (again: twice and years apart) , Palmerston North, and New York.  The best production was ...... Palmerston North!  The New York production starred Shirley Jones who we oldies all remember from "Oklaholma!"  and other wonderful film musicals. 
Nowadays my favourite musical of all time that I've seen has to be "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - the Musical" that I saw at the Civic in Auckland a couple of years' back.  It was spectacular!!!  And the Civic has such a breathtakingly beautiful auditorium. 
Believe it or not, another favourite has to be "High School Musical" which I've also seen twice and the best production of this was in Palmerston North.  I think it's because the actors in Palmerston put their all into their one week or so of performances.  
I quite like The Rocky Horror Show as well.  I've seen three different productions.  The best one was the Tina Cross/Mark Hadlow version.   The Michael Hurst one at Skycity was a bit vulgar (oh goodness, when did I turn into a prude, especially over Rocky Horror!)
I missed the musical "Mary Poppins" by a couple of weeks in both Melbourne and Sydney and I was furious.  But now, it's coming to Auckland in October.  I am so excited!  Bookings open on Thursday.

Will we get in those three swims for this month???!!!@@**

Here it is, 17 june, and we haven't been swimming this month at all.  It's been too cold, too wet, too holiday-ey (are you reading this, J?).  How on earth are we going to fit in three swims by the end of the month?  There is a mid-winter swim next weekend, apparently, at Breaker bay (or somewhere off the south coast) and we could aim for that for one of our swims.  Our 'rules' would cover it because the south coast waters are colder than Hataitai Beach.  We wouldn't be allowed to count, say, a beach in Auckland because of the warmer winter seas.   I can see us fitting in, definitely, one more, and at a pinch two.  But three swims by the end of the month .....?