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Flat out

Dear Reader,

Please believe me that I have not forgotten you nor my blog.  Life just got a little busy for a bit, then I got to be the other sort of flat out for a little bit, and then it got busy again…

In late February and early March I had quite a bit of contract work on, and I decided to do Newtown Fair with about 10 days notice. So I had a stint of about 3 weeks without a day off. Was that was done though, I got to have my summer holiday with my lovely husband. We headed off for a week in the Coromandel. We ended up spending most of it at Hahei Beach. Originally we had intended to move around a bit more, but once we got there it was so lovely, and we were feeling a bit lazy, so every couple of days we sauntered over to the camp office and paid for two more days.  In between we basically swam, laid around, and occasionally went for a walk.

Actually, I lie. We went for one walk. We trekked over to Cathedral Cove. Coming back via Stingray Bay (where I nearly stood on a stingray), then around the rocks to Jewel Bay (where we passed on the snorkelling trail because it was a bit choppy, and what if there were stingrays???).

For me, Stingray Bay was the highlight of the walk. Not so much because you could come in such close contact with stingrays (actually, they make me a little nervous, as the skipper of the junk we went for a cruise on during our honeymoon had carried Steve Irwin’s body to shore 10 days earlier), but because the rock formations were pretty neat.

Does anyone else see skulls and skeletons in the rock formations?
Does anyone else see skulls and skeletons in the rock formations?

We had also noticed on our walk that you could distinguish the few fellow New Zealanders on the track because they were keeping left. So we felt a certain sense of comraderie with the couple who we were about to pass on the stairs as we descended into the bay.  Which gave way to a massive surprise as a realised I recognised them. As casually as I could I said “Hello K*”. “Hello Elisabeth”, she replied, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to run into one of your best friends 800-odd km from home, followed by a little shriek as the penny dropped! They were doing the walk in the opposite direction to us, so we made plans and met up again for dinner. Neither of had any inkling that the other was planning a holiday, let alone that we would be staying a matter of kilometres apart.

Dinner guests
So lovely to have an unscheduled dinner party with Mme & M Ornata – I was so delighted that I even shared my Marmite with them.

We left Hahei on the Saturday night and spent the night in Coromandel Town. We were rather alarmed in the middle of the night when the Civil Defence siren went off, but apparently the local Fire Service uses that as the call to Volunteers to jump to action.  Their tsunami warning would rise to a constant pitch and stay there.  In the morning we discovered that we hadn’t been the only guests at the B&B to wonder why nobody came to tell us we were evacuating!

By Sunday the much-needed rain arrived, so we ended up coming home a day early, but still very rested.  By the way, Thames is an intriguing little town, with an excellent vegetarian cafe (Sola) and we were passed in the street by the local unicycle-riding pamphlet delivery boy. And we also passed this ass.

I'm still not sure about this one
I’m still not sure about this one

Once we got home, I would have got straight into the workroom makeover, but for the drought and outdoor water ban, which means I can’t wash out brushes.  That isn’t my only active goal at the moment. If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware that I’ve been training for my first major bike ride. This weekend I was planning to enter the Forrest Graperide. I even went so far as to get myself some of those fancy clip-in pedals. I went for a big ride around to Baring Head to ensure that I was comfortable with them before hitting the road. That went well, but when I tried to navigate my driveway for the first time…

Slightly less successful

I won’t find out if it’s actually broken for another couple of weeks, but in the meantime I’m in a cast. My friend Shell helped me make my happy sling (I sewed a seam!). So the good news is that I can operate my sewing machine and overlocker. Cutting is slightly more problematic, and I’m not too sure how I’m even going to tackle turning wallets and notebooks out the right way. Fingers-crossed I get the cast off in time to finish stock for Craft2.0 on 4 May. I’m not going to miss this one!