I really have been trying to take it a bit easier and look after myself, honestly! I even took a couple of days off sick last week to get over the worst of this cold (though it’s still lingering a bit – I feel fine, but my voice is still really scratchy). Of course, the temptation to use the long weekend achieving all the things was very strong.
After work on Thursday night I went out for dinner with the LGBT+ meetup group that I met during Pride week. They seem to be a really friendly group of people, so I think I’ll keep going along to their meetups (once I get back from France, at least – the next couple of meetups are while I’m away). It feels like time to start expanding my social circles again, now that I’ve stopped going to Toastmasters.
Friday I did spend reasonably quietly (enforced by the shops being shut for Good Friday) – after getting the housework out of the way, I spent most of the rest of the day just sitting outside reading. See, resting!
Saturday, however, was a getting things done day. First stop was the supermarket – normally I try and go on the way home from work, but having been off sick I hadn’t had a chance, so I was running out of everything. Of course, I managed to mistime it so that I had to wait half an hour for a bus (or take a different bus and have a long walk with heavy bags at the other end, but see trying to rest as much as possible), but it was a nice day and I had a book with me, so that wasn’t too much of a hardship. It did mean that pretty much as soon as I got home and got the groceries put away I had to dash out again, because I had a long list of things to get done in Riccarton, plus I was meeting a friend for afternoon tea.
I managed to get everything done in Riccarton with the minimum of stress (well, apart from the usual long weekend, the shops were shut yesterday so everyone’s in a panic that they’ll never be able to shop again, the mall is totally packed sort of stress, but that was to be expected). The trickiest bit was trying to find a birthday present for Niece – I did brave a few of the terribly pink and demanding-of-gender-conformity toy aisles, and even visited that temple of tween consumerism Smiggle (where I was both disgusted and slightly impressed by the cleverness of the way they display their prices – or rather, don’t display prices for most of their stock. None of the items have individual price tags, but are instead listed on (very small) sign boards on each shelf, making it near impossible to match an item to its price. The only solution is to take the item up to the counter and ask for the price, which I’m sure is the downfall for many parents, because by the time you’ve got the over-priced pencil case your child is begging for to the counter, it’s going to be difficult to tell the child that no, it’s actually too expensive. The psychology of it is brilliant. The ethics, not so much.) In the end, I had to retreat from all the pink glitter, and took solace in Whitcoulls, where I found a copy of Go Girl, Barbara Else’s new storybook about exceptional NZ women, which seemed a much more palatable choice of gift (to me, anyway – I suspect Niece would have preferred the pink glitter unicorns in Smiggle).
After all the shopping, I met up with Jenette at Coffee Culture for tea and cake, and lots of really interesting conversation. But why is it I always seem to make friends with people just before they leave the country? She’s moving back to Ireland in July, and seeing as I’m going to be away until May, we won’t have a lot of opportunities to catch up before she goes. Oh well, it’s still nice to meet new and interesting people.
Dad had messaged me to say they’d be passing through Christchurch on their way south from Nelson, and that he also was on a birthday-present-buying mission, so I’d arranged to meet him at the mall once he got to Christchurch. I’d thought I’d need to kill some time waiting, but Jenette and I had talked for so long that the timing worked out perfectly – I just had time to race in and buy myself new gymshoes and then it was time to meet Dad. He was much more decisive than me about present-buying – we went into the kids’ clothing department at Farmers, he picked out a couple of items of the correct size off pretty much the first rack we saw, and I reckon we were out in the carpark again within about 5 minutes. That’s the kind of shopping I aspire to!
Shopping accomplished, we picked up Stepmother and Stepsister, and (after being enthusiastically greeted by all of Stepsister’s dogs – she only has three, but somehow they always seem like a lot more than that!) we went over to a pub in St Martins for dinner. A pleasant end to a very busy day.
Lytteltonwitch had proposed a road trip for Easter Sunday, and texted me to suggest Kaikoura. It turned out she had an ulterior motive, because the town had recently been yarn-bombed, and she wanted to document it to send to her European yarn-bombing accomplices. I didn’t mind though, because I haven’t been up to Kaikoura since their earthquake, and I was interested to see how things had changed, and in particular the changes to the seashore (where the seabed has been uplifted by several metres in some places). Plus our road trips are always fun, no matter the destination.
Despite there still being a lot of road works, Kaikoura was full of tourists, and seems to be well on the way to recovering from the earthquake. The damage to the land itself is still very visible in places, with huge scars on the hills from the landslides, but the town itself doesn’t seem to be greatly changed. The yarn bombers had been hard at work, and pretty much every post and railing (plus a park bench and a bicycle!) had been decorated, so we had a very slow walk along the main street while Lytteltonwitch took photos of them all.
In the rush to get organised to leave first thing, I’d neglected to take my big camera, so while we were wandering around the shore I was experimenting with my phone’s camera (see above). This led to experimenting with the video, which led to joking about being a vlogger now instead of a blogger. So we proceeded to film a “totally professional” vlog, which lasted all the way back to Christchurch (and was over 2 hours long, and used up all the battery power and almost all the memory on my phone). Which I then spent most of today trying to cut down into something of a (slightly) more watchable length (ok, and playing round with adding silly title cards and stuff as well). Don’t think I’ll be giving up blogging for vlogging in a hurry (though it might be fun to try it again occasionally – I definitely learnt a lot from the process of making this one (mostly what NOT to do )) – it takes even longer to edit a vlog than it does for me to edit all the photos for a blog entry!
For your viewing pleasure:
Sitting at a computer all day editing video counts as resting, right?