Day Thirty-four


Jan sea swimmer2

Or is it Day One of Level Three? I think I'll stick to the numbering above because for me it will be much the same.

I drive into town about 9.30 for shopping, although I don't need much. I'm still looking for wholemeal floor so I go straight to the organic shop on Collingwood St where one of my neighbours is queuing although it doesn't open till 10. I tease her that she's like the people outside MacDonald's and she looks horrified. I'd noticed there was no queue at the supermarket so I go back there and pick up a few things before returning to the organic shop. Success! They have two kinds of wholemeal flour and I get a bag each for me and my friend. I have less success finding someone selling coffee, though I can wait for that, and the milk machine is empty so I'll need to come back tomorrow.

I take some things up to my friend and we chat as usual through the kitchen window, catching up on news and talking about some possible plans now that the restrictions are relaxed a little. As someone over 70 she has been at home for nearly six weeks, keeping to the rules faithfully, and she can now come out a bit more. She's a good cook and looks forward to going to the vege shop to choose her own produce. We could walk on the beach together, perhaps, keeping some distance.

I go home via the waterfront to check out the sea. It's a windy morning and the waves are choppy but not high. I have a swim in mind. By the time I get back to the beach in my wetsuit the wind has dropped and although the water's cold enough to give me an ice-cream headache at first, I get used to it and swim parallel to the beach for about half an hour. It's been a full month since I last did this and my breathing is tight, so I stop now and then, enjoying being in the water and looking back at the beach and out to sea. There are a lot of people walking but only half a dozen swimming: two quick-dippers, three squealy girls going out to the buoy and back, and me stroking doggedly along. I feel tingly and fresh when I get out. I'll definitely do this again.

I've missed the writing group Zoom meantime but when I open my email their stories and follow-up chat is there so I spend a pleasant hour reading the stories and looking at the conversations. I also check in with my sister and find that her husband is home from hospital with his arm in a sling and they are both doing well. Later, when they go to pick up their bikes they find that the man who was storing them at his workshop has fixed them, including straightening the wheels. They are very grateful and comment how good people are.

When the phone goes I don't recognise the voice at the other end until it says, 'I'll give you a clue – hello, stranger!' It's my eight year old grandson with his trademark greeting. We have a great conversation about the joys of home-schooling when the house is full of interesting devices, the 200+ teddy bears he's seen on the neighbourhood bear hunt and whether it's right to include the one at his mother's house which has been taken down, is TV school any good (it is) and the robot he and his dad are making which needs a new part 3D-printed. He's such fun to talk with. Eventually he hands over to his father and drifts off but comes back for a warm good-bye and 'miss you.' I look forward to being able to get to Wellington before too much longer.

Later I decide the swim was a bonus rather than exercise and set off for a walk around the waterfront where the traffic is almost at rush hour proportions and drowns out the podcast I'm listening to – that's the downside of Level Three! The sun is low and as I head back it slips behind the mountains leaving a fingernail moon in the clear pink sky and a mirror-like sea, where there are some swimmers, some paddle-boarders and a kayak. It's peaceful and beautiful.

Photo by Susan Shaw c 2015