March 2007


Apparently sitting at one’s desk for 12 hours a day does NOT help one stay in shape. I seem to remember reading that somewhere, but I was reminded of that lesson afresh today. Yesterday was one of the first warmish days we’ve had, and in a fit of spring fever I agreed to a game of pick-up soccer on the front lawn of the compound here. And as if that weren’t enough of a shock to my atrophied muscles, after the game my friend and I decided to do some acrobatics on the grass, including my first back walk-over in probably a decade.

Suffice it to say that the goose egg-sized lump on my shin is the least painful result of that game — every muscle in my body is screaming at me today. But it was FUN! I realized what a negative effect the endless hours of fluorescent lights and computer screens must have been having on my general outlook when 90 minutes in the sunshine running around and trying to do an aerial again (not totally successful, but then again I used to have spring floors on my side!) made me feel like a totally new person. We’ve decided that the soccer game should be a weekly occurrence, and despite the fact that I’ll probably be back to sporting constant bruises like I did all through my childhood and high school, I’m totally psyched to have something to look forward to on Fridays. I’ll just have to invest in pain killers for Saturdays…

…I’m giving up on doing the day-by-day posting on our trip to New Zealand. It seems a little silly to keep trying to do that when we’re leaving for our next trip two weeks from tomorrow, doesn’t it?

Some highlights — our two houses on the south island were both really cool. On the east coast, we stayed in Woodside Cottage, near Blenheim and Kaikoura. The house was right in the middle of sheep pastures, so we were surrounded by the sounds and sights of sheep the whole time, which was pretty much exactly what we wanted as it involved very few other humans. 🙂 We walked along the black sand beaches and cooked several pretty amazing meals, as well as spending plenty of quality time lazing in front of the fire.
Here’s the view our our kitchen table and the pastures beyond (and the ocean way off in the distance):

On the west coast, we stayed at the Okari Lake Hideaway, which was even more remote than Woodside Cottage — we shared it only with Oliver and Edwina, our flightless bird friends who tried incessantly to get into the cottage. Having been fairly warned by our hosts that weccas tend to get very nervous once they actually get into the house and…void their digestive systems…we made sure that they didn’t succeed in their quest.
The view from our porch at Okari:
Oliver or Edwina: