Some say that you cant squeeze blood out of a turnip. Im going to get blood out of a turnip! Itll just be turnip blood. But then it will be good for vegetarians to read, too. I keep waiting for the perfect content for the blog and the shining captivating childs story plot to curl out of the pen, all the topics in my journal, sitting waiting. Nothing seems important, entertaining or significant enough. Im going to write everyday regardless of what comes, though. Ill keep writing. I am also going to swim everyday. Even if I have to crumple up and throw away the drivel with my scaly salted, clorinated hands, Ill keep trying until something good comes out!
The fact is that a crafty writer can make a story about standing in line at the bank fascinating. After finally serving my last day at work to embark full time on my studies, I was dismayed to experiance no spontaneous productivity in my writing. What was wrong? Id cleared the slate, it was time to produce! I spent plenty of time planning what to write, and when I could write but the planning didnt bear written fruit!
I had to back myself off. Me maligning myself wasnt solving the problem. My husband seemed to be constantly working out his studies, why couldn't I? About a week ago I was downright surley from the dilemma.
My studies are a three pronged impliment of writing, competitive ocean swimming and an offbeat fiber arts project. I was rotating from one realm to the other without much progress on anything. The writing was particularly stumped. Then one thing happened. One night Lillian crawled up on the dest and tipped over a drink onto my laptop. There was a graceful spontaneous cooperation between Jordan and myself as he unplugged it and I tipped out the water, cringing. We dried it out and all seemed fine until I started writing on it. The computer was doing some pretty strange rearranging of my words. This was actually a blessing, though. I had bonified permission to get off my back about writing!
In a matter of a couple of days of catching up on swimmming and getting into a crazy wonderful repair of our hammock using fun old tea towels I was feeling worthy again. One evening I decided to go to do an exersize routine that winds around Panmure basin. It's one of those circuts with 12 different stations and a circle of 3.5 kilometers to walk. The walk is around the basin, a lakelike inlet that disappears twice a day with the tide. It is a lovely natural arena and the people are interesting to note: many shapes, sizes and modes. Desmond showed an interest in going and we tried to pry Jordan and Lillian from the couch to join us. Jordan windged about having to study, which is exactly what he'd done all day. Focussed at the computer with a sort of confused faraway look on his face. Each time I tried to get him to garden or play with me he had that somber response. I'd had enough. Was it so unreasonable to expect to fit somewhere into his agenda? Why did I care about it anyway?!
" I just want to do something with us all together!"
"I told you, I have to study, you and Desmond go by yourselves."
"harrumph!" I harumphed, "If we are so much a bother for you to relate to, maybe we should just go away for a few days and let you really study, without any of our distractions!"
Then there was this glimmer in Jordans eye. I could see that that sounded good to him. That made me even more irritated! So in the flash of an instant a trip was concieved and we packed an odd assortment of supplies and headed out at about 9:30 pm on a summer monday night, the last day of a three day weekend. Better late than never.
I was at a loss as to where we would go. I called my friend Helen and shared the bewilderment of my open ended travel plan. She was slightly encouraging and certainly a good listener, but going to her house was out of the question, due to her landlord living very close to her cottage and her recent evening visitors causing some tension with him. She having babysat my kids plenty of times, knew that trying to keep them mum would be futile. I decided, after serving my kids 50 cent ice cream cones from the drive-through, that I would head North. I drove along as the children slept. I reflected on the events, I called Jordan on my cell phone to make sure our parting hadnt left him ,or us rather, too estranged. I asked him if he wanted to know when we were coming back. He simply replied: " I trust you'll come home when you are ready and have gotten what you left for."
OK, now with that out of the way, I was looking forward... into the lights of endless cars, heading back into Auckland after the long weekend and also looking into the meteor shower in the righthand corner of the windsheild.
I stopped at a hotel about 90 minutes out of town, paid and carried the sleeping beauties into beds and flipped through the channels on the TV. LOST was on and it seemed to fit.
The next day we had some chammomile tea, apples and peanuts for our breakfast and set out to see what we could see.
I had been working a lot at a job that didnt seem right until a week before. I had lost touch with my kids, a little. They called me Daddy out of habit when they had a question or a need. This kind of bugged me. It was time to reconnect with them.
We had a great three day excursion. We headed to the White sillica sands of the Northland. I had read about them and had conjured up a very novel fantasy about staying there. I told the kids we were going to the "land of the white sands" I couldnt remember exactly where they were but New Zealand gets less complicated at the top and I knew we'd find them. There was no notation of them on my map of the area. We had a second breakfast at a neat little cafe and gallery I'd gone to with my pal Nancy when she was down for a visit. There were toys and the kids ate a nice portion of eggs, which would ground them a little for the travelling to come. I wrote a little and sipped a coffee. There was a daredevellish airplane spraying some white powder on the nearby forest, Desmond was intrigued. The ladies that ran the restaurant were very hospitible and we left felling well cared for. The next stop was the Koanga Organic Garden center. I had read about the place and even bought a catalogue of classes and products recently. The kids roamed around the seed garden and checked out the cool mud hut, made for children to explore. It was shaped like an igloo, but made of earth and had some bottles sculpted into it to let in just a little light. Lillians comment was "Too scary". Desmond also had some true repulsion as to the outhouse, although I thought was really charming. We bought some honey for a valentines package were making to send off to to the Northern hemisphere, a book about gardening, and a nice country dress there too, Lillian,having already stained both outfits I had brought for her. We got cute little "strawberry" apples and amazingly yummy manderin oranges for our journey. They also had toys and the kids were pretty well behaved. We drove on to an animal park which was (thank God) closed. The kids had seen the sign and I thought it would be a good leg stretcher, so we followed the country road, winding on encountering a few one lane bridges. Despite the sandwich board signs set up on the roads, the place was closed for the day. It looked to me that you walked around someones livestock on fenced paths and looked at them, occasionally stopping at openings to feed the beasts with the bag of feed provided. All for 24.00. Luckily I didnt have to be the source of that "no".
It was darned hot in the afternoon and we were relying on the air conditioning, but there was a bad squeal that would come and go when I turned it on. I figured it must just need a belt dressing, I stopped and had a mechanic take a look. The air conditioning motor was seizing and we had to travel without it from then on. This meant that we now had that safari feel (and look) of travelling with the windows fully down. I had noticed some tiime ago that there was uneven wear on one front tire. I kept thinking of it and decided to get it checked out. A very nice and busy fellow at a tire (or as they spell it here, TYRE) center told me I should replace the tire, but they were some special long wearing wallet gouging 180.00 a peice. he normally replace two at a time, but under the circumstances he could do some rotation and just replace one. Desmond was asleep in the car and we left him there for a few minutes to go to the toilet. The toilets in this particular town, called KawaKawa are very famous as it turns out. They were designed and partially built by a visionary archetect and artist named Frederick Hundertwasser. Here is a link to some photos of it. Quite a priveledged privy! www.pbase.com/philinnz/kawakawa_toilets
When we got back to the car, with man underneath, Desmond was awake, looking a little hot and disheveled. The man had decided to check our spare tire and had discovered a pristine one, and had moved the other rear tire up and put the spare on the back. No new tire or 180.00 bill. That was my second car service with no charge, how nice. We went to a railroad station cafe where the kids had a piece of carrot cake and ambled through the vintage trains, swung on some swings, and got back into the car for more safari driving north.