Day Forty-five



I've had some calls and messages checking that I'm ok – and I am, for sure, but thank you! The thing with blogging is treading a line between being honest and not worrying people. Also not being too much of an annoying Pollyanna!

Today is calm and sunny, the perfect day, and mid-morning I put on my old clothes, ready to tackle the top corner of the garden.

This is the scruffiest and most neglected part of the section and strictly speaking it belongs to the Council so I deal with it a little grudgingly. I get my sickle and whetstone out of the shed and put an edge on the blade. I like using the sickle, it connects me with my mother-in-law and my grandmother. Amma, my mother-in-law in Nepal, used her sickle for everything thing from harvesting rice and millet, to splitting bamboo to make a fence, and peeling garlic. My grandmother cut the lawn with hers and my grandfather had a grindstone for keeping it and other tools sharp.

I put on my gumboots and spend a happy hour slashing and stomping just below the level of the road. I'm not going to carry all the cut grass and weeds away, so I tread them down and hope that over the winter they turn into mulch and nurture the plants I want to thrive.

I come in for lunch and after a suitable rest-and-digest time I change into running gear and drive to the car park by the pool. From there I can run up the Maitai valley which I haven't done for months. From the start, even while negotiating some steep places, I love it. The sound of the stream and the birds accompanies me all the way to the wooden gate which is my turn around mark, and running through patterns of sunlight and shade under the trees is interesting. I'm wary of unexpected cyclists but mostly the people out on the track are walking dogs or children. On a grassy bank a woman with jaw length curly blond hair sits looking at the river, with a small white dog doing the same, his ears giving him the same hairstyle. I smile and wave. Further up on a rocky bank a young woman with a platinum blond child nearby is photographing herself in yoga poses with the river as a backdrop. Perhaps she's going to advertise a class that will resume when the restrictions ease.

I've been watching out for a kawakawa bush as I go but I see mainly crimson maples, yellow poplars and five-fingers. When I get back to the car I drive round to the Centre of New Zealand walking track and there right at the beginning is a huge healthy-looking shrub. I pick some leaves for tea, something I found beneficial when my sister gave it to me in Auckland.

Back home I shower and change and walk down to the waterfront for a coffee. There are quite a few people standing around either drinking from takeaway cups or waiting for their order. I sit in the sun and sip my decaf while I look at the shining sea, but I also think I don't really need this too often. I've got used to the coffee I make at home.

In the evening I make a cup of kawakawa tea for my bedtime drink.