Day 101 – Last trip up the hill

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Today I went with Mum on a road trip up the hill to Kerikeri and back again. She has been trying to get my grandparents house cleared out for them, they have finally sold it and Mum is the one who has been sorting it all out for them. She has the onerous and emotional task of going though all their stuff, deciding what they might still want and what goes in the rubbish or to the charities. So on her last day trip today me and the lads went with her to try to help. We drove three hours each way and the lads were really good. They were patient and funny and kept us entertained all the way. We went to a cafe in Kerikeri called ‘Santeez’ that was gluten and wheat free (said so on the sign outside) and had a yummy lunch. I had a real coffee with real milk. On road trips the rules don’t matter.

Mostly my job was to sit and say what to chuck and what to keep so Mum could just power though. We threw out 11 rubbish bags of an old ladies collected pieces of paper. We hadn’t noticed how hard it was getting for Nana to remember things. Little tiny pieces of paper in all of the drawers with lists and facts on them that she was trying to remember. The family; the daughters and their children and their children – all the names and birth dates. On multiple pieces of paper. Mum has found identical lists of phone numbers – copied in duplicate up to 50 times. Every single letter she had received, every bill, every receipt, every lotto ticket. Mum found SO many combs. I found a drawer entirely dedicated to empty glasses cases. And this is after Mum has been going week after week to clear stuff out.

Anyway. I thought I would have more feelings about the building itself. But it turns out no not really. Nana and Grandad never really imprinted on it. In the twenty+ years they lived there they just occupied it really, and without them there I had no feelings for the space. It still smelled the same, it still ‘felt’ the same. But it is just a building. The people are what matter. The people are who you miss. I took my camera because I wanted to get some pics of the empty house but it was simply to document the process.

It’s funny, when Mum and I have been going through the photo albums we have found endless images of the house and it’s gardens. Her gardens were beautiful but my Nana was/is a terrible photographer. The photos are mainly blurry or composed badly or completely fucking random. But I kinda love that about them. She repeated the act of photographing her surroundings, shooting film after film, getting them developed and then patiently sliding the images in to photo album after photo album. It’s the same bloody photograph over and over again. There’s a million reasons why Nana might have needed to take these photos. Some more obvious than others. Repetition in order to prove existence. As if she needed reminding. And here I was today walking the same path. Taking the same photos. Although mine are in focus.

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Day 67 – I’m baaaaaaack and I brought a little friend with me…


Hello! Missed your face! Nah not really ha ha – it was so good to be out of town for the weekend, just me and the grumpy Dutchman, we didn’t miss anyone!

As much as we love our little grumpy dutch-kinder, it was awfully nice to be just me and my man for the weekend of our wedding anniversary. Just like the good old days, we loaded up the boot and headed off to the Coromandel to lie around, read our books, op-shop in Whitianga, have a fancy dinner out without anyone running round the restaurant like a mental person or ordering four different things only to declare that they ‘weren’t hungry anymore’. The GD did really well.

It was raining when we got there but it was fine actually – we just got wet.

Hahei Beach
Hahei Beach

We wandered around Whitianga like hippies with no jobs. Like the ‘before’ us. The GD bought books and I bought shoes from the church shops (don’t be grossed out I will clean them) and we sat at a beautiful spot and read our books while the world went on around us. The waitress stopped to say that she liked how comfortable we were reading together and the GD decided that she must be in love with him and was hitting on him. Of course! That must be it.

The few times the GD stopped talking were really tranquil. Seriously, he talked the WHOLE drive there, for most of our stay, and then ALL the way home. The man can talk the ass off a donkey. Hell he can talk the ass off an elephant. He nearly talked the ass offa me! You know that Mother thing where you can’t imagine what life was like before you had kids and there wasn’t someone saying ‘Mum, mum mum‘ every five seconds? I remember now what I could hear. It was the GD. ‘Babe, babe babe!’ He likes to ‘educate’ me. He likes to wind me up. He likes the sound of his own voice is what he likes.

The GD in his happy place
The GD in his happy place

Because we were taking a break from life, this also meant taking a more relaxed approach to my restrictions… Unlike the good old days we were not sleeping in our car, and it was good that I had mentally prepared myself for this ‘relaxed approach’ because at the B & B where we booked the guy was really rattled initially when I said I was gluten-free. Which is really frustrating because when we booked in September last year I specifically mentioned that I had coeliacs and would happily deal with breakfast myself if they didn’t have GF options (I like to give peeps fair warning to get out of feeding me if it freaks them out). We had a whole email exchange where he got increasingly short and rude about GF food and cross-contamination and using the same toaster not being ok. So I mentioned my ‘special needs’ with trepidation when he asked about breakie. I ended up having a ‘lite’ version of Thom’s breakfast and he tried really hard in the end – he kept running out of the house with random food to offer me and I like to think we educated one more person on the way. But it is annoying to be the awkward one.

I was conscious of the fact that I didn’t want to feel stressed about eating while we were away without a kitchen and so I made a decision to eat well where I could and to allow a few treats. Like a Flat White each morning to make up for my lacklustre breakfast, and my first ever Creme Brulee after our fancy dinner. YUM.

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And THEN. On the way home we adopted a kitten. We were walking around in a completely relaxed state when he came up on my news feed as still not having a home. My friends who had found him couldn’t keep him and the SPCA had no room at the inn so I mentioned him to the GD. And he must have been feeling really relaxed because he said yes! With little thought to how our dog and cat would feel we threw caution to the wind and said we would collect the little dude on the way home. Colin is 6-8 weeks old (he is a foundling so we don’t know for sure) and he is a confident little bugger. He has settled in to his new house really quickly. Although I think Molly may take a while to forgive us.

To top the evening off poor master 7 was violently ill. He will be going to work with daddy tomorrow poor kid. Glad to be home!

Day 64 – going off the grid

I have got the munchies HARD. I broke on the way home and bought 3 nectarines – they didn’t make it through the night. I have been fantasising about cheese. Cheese for fucks sake. I have been eating blue corn chips because we have them – even though crunchy scratchy. Feeling generally bleurgh with the munchies.

BUT tomorrow means the start of our wedding anniversary weekend. The in-laws are taking over childcare duties as of Friday afternoon and we are heading to the Coromandel. I don’t know if our B&B has Wifi, the guy can’t even email me back about GF breakfast options (he is shaping up to be an arse and we haven’t even met him yet) so I am not sure if I will be posting. I think I might take the time off from being witty and urbane with y’all – ha ha – and just live in the moment.

Even if ‘the moment’ consists of us being rained out all weekend and having to lie around all day catching me up on Breaking bad – oh dear how sad!

Have a good weekend – see you on the other side!

(Oh I forgot to say that Master 7 did not on fact eat his delicious sushi roll. Apparently he ‘wasn’t hungry’ and only ate the three biscuits he got! He left the carrot sticks, muesli bar, popcorn – all of it. Why do we bother…)

Day 13, Road trippin’, fat shaming bitchin’ and sugaaaaaaaaaar cravin’

So today I discovered the horrible, completely lacking in empathy or tact, Katie Hopkins. I hadn’t heard of her – apparently I am the only person – and my sis-in-law Suzy sent me the link to her ‘Big Fat Story’ (or some shit) to watch because she thought I’d be interested in this monster of a woman. I was having some major eating-because-I’m-bored issues – because there wasn’t anything I could eat in the house basically without the effort of cooking or similar – so I decided to distract myself watching the two episodes. The photo is courtesy of Kris – who was trying to get my disgusted face – apparently I was exclaiming out loud at how horrible she is. Basically her beef is that ‘all fat people are disgusting’ and are just too lazy to get off their arses and stop eating so much and if they did they would all be thin. Easy peasy. And to ‘prove it’ she decides to put on 4 stone (24 kilos) over the course of three months and ‘get fat’ so that she can then spend the next three months losing it by moving and eating less. And along the way she goes to visit fat people and fat activists to shout at them and tell them that they don’t deserve to exist. Of course she starts off underweight. She is so skinny that some people/family tell her they worry that she is borderline anorexic. This is a woman with serious control issues around food – which with the help of a psychologist, she admits might have something to do with her Epilepsy and lack of control over that. I wanted to like her by the end. She made a couple of breakthroughs about control and emotional over-eating. But I just couldn’t like her. As she got skinner again she got bitchier, her walls went back up and she went back to being awful. She wanted the whole world to conform to her ideal aesthetic standard of what was right and good and ok. She projected all of her up-tightness and awfulness about food onto those around her and was so fucking mean. GRRRRRRRR.

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It was a good reminder to me that my ‘year of health’ isn’t in fact about weight loss (although I am going to be interested to see if my weight changes at all) but more about HEALTH. Healing my gut, getting my iron etc up and my coeliac antibodies down. Working on my immune system to support a healthier gut. Halleluyah.

The sugar cravings are still there but I managed to not stop and buy ALL the nectarines at the fruit shop. I am getting the body aches now – legs tonight – and I remember this from last time so I’m not worried. I walked around a lot today to try to stretch them out. I am quite proud of my navigation skills – I took myself to Sumner (outside of Christchurch) without a Map!

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and I found my way back to the house for lunch – and then I repeated the map-less experiment and got into town right where I needed to be to visit the Christchurch museum. Totes proud of myself y’all. I wandered around, talking to myself – as you do, ‘oh let’s go and have a look at that giraffe!’ I exclaimed excitedly to myself – scaring the shit out of the little old man I was walking behind. And I took a lot of touristy photos. And….. I know I promised to stop buying things darling but I found the PERFECT denim shirt. And I have been looking for one for, like, three years! So. Sorry babe.

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Anyways, home tomorrow night! The phone calls from my little men are coming more frequently now – Master 7 rang me tonight to say A. that he was sunburned and B. that he was watching Family guy. Both things he knew would worry me because A. SUNBLOCK and B. Family guy is not ok for little men. The grumpy Dutchman got on the line – at my request – and assured me that the little man was just stirring but I think it’s time for me to go home to see for myself!