Last Friday, I stood for quite a few hours outside Cafe L'Affare in Wellingon. I was soliciting (oh, I never tire of saying that!).
With my little collection bucket, I was looking for donations for the Mary Potter Hospice. Cafe L'Affare have the most generous patrons. But, oh dear, last Friday ... it rained.
And not just your spitting, or drizzling, or on-and-off rain. It poured throughout the whole last hour I was standing there.
And it was freezing cold. And the wind was howling. And my brand new umbrella blew inside out within the first five minutes. And there was no verandah above Cafe L'Affare ...
At the end of my shift, I was absolutely positively soaking, and shivering. My shoes were squelching, my hair hanging in wet rat-tails. My fingers were so frozen, I couldn't move them. I stumbled onto the Miramar Heights bus to return home.
As the bus trundled past Hataitai Beach, I thought I saw a movement in the sea. I had to wipe the window to get a good view, and peer in between the high wild waves.
It was "The Young One" in the water, an apprentice winter swimmer who is dying to show old-hands, J and myself, that she can definitely make it through the next few months.
What stamina! What guts! What an attitude! I was huddled in that bus, freezing cold, sitting there in my soaking wet woolly hat, mittens, and scarf, The wind was howling, the rain was pelting down, and The Young One was proving her mettle swimming across the bay in completely wild weather.
Should we allow The Young One sacred polar bear status (we have a t-shirt we could present to her) before we've even hit the real winter months? I'll have to think about that....