Sunday 10 April 2022

A long overdue catch up

It is ages since I posted - our weekend away was at the beginning of February and we are now almost at Easter.

Lots has been happening and while I have written lots of posts in my head, I haven't managed to get them into the blog. Usually because I write them when I am out walking or when I am driving or when I'm in the shower - and none of those are places where it's wise to have the laptop...

About 7 weeks ago, we had another weekend away in the  motorhome - we went to Himatangi Beach about an hour and a half up the coast from us. Peaceful place, quaint holiday park with lovely people running it. The village is definitely 90% baches and a few large new homes that can only be called beach houses. I've described the difference between a bach and a beach house before, so won't repeat myself... for a change.

While we were there and out on a walk, we had a text from our friend Julia asking us to call as she had bad news. She certainly did and it was a huge shock to hear that her husband Mick had died that morning - winding the boat at Welford. Given he could easily stand up in the water, it's most likely he had a heart attack or stroke that caused him to fall in and he died.

Mick was a very good friend to us and I have blogged about travels with Julia and him, as well as with Laughing John, as well as the work that Mick did on our boat.

You can read about the amazing job done when Mick and Julia helped us to get up to Birmingham for David's eye operation here

And this is the last boating photo we have of them here 

It seems very strange and hard to believe that we won't see him again or hear his voice on the phone when he calls.

David is probably going to the UK for a month and will see Julia while he is there. I think then the reality will hit.

On Saturday this weekend just gone, we went to Masterton for a treat weekend - decided to stay in a hotel and take the bikes so we could do some little adventures in Greytown and then in Masterton. David would visit an old family friend in a rest home and we would meet up with another friend for dinner.

Well, best laid plans and all that:

Firstly we had a disaster with the bike rack - we had forgotten that the u-shaped piece that holds the bikes upright had to be wiggled down into their seats in the frame and then secured. So we put the bikes on and drove away (it sounds like that was a quick process, but don't be fooled - we spent ages trying to get them sorted ...). About a kilometre down the road I hear a tooting behind us and look in the rear mirror and see the bikes are lying down because, with the weight of the bikes, the U-shpaed piece is leaning back - not seated properly, see. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

Pull over, get them off - difficult as they are very tight against the wheel straps and difficult to access. We still haven't sussed that we needed to aggressively jiggle the U-shaped piece down into position. So we ride the bikes home, and John our neighbour drove me back down to collect the car. John assertively jiggles the U piece into position, and away I go home. But David and I are so shaken up that we decide not to take the bikes.

Off we go, much later than planned. We get to Carterton and I am overheating so I ask David to get my arm out of my sleeve so I can take my cardigan off. He pulls on my arm instead of my sleeve, and when I tell him not to be dumb, he gets angry. Seemed totally unreasonable to me - it was a dumb thing to do - how the hell was that going to a) help me get my cardigan off, and b) contribute to safe driving of the car as I am pulled over to the passenger side? 

Silent but extremely toxic marital discord ensues. I drop him off at the rest home to visit Janine and head back to check in at the hotel after calling in at a supermarket. I check in, and foolishly pay in advance. Get to the room and it is small and dark, but I take a chair and sit outside, but the traffic noise is not too loud but in my grumpy state it's annoying.

I go and pick David up and back we go to the hotel. The traffic noise gets louder. I go to ask if we can swap rooms. The hotel is fully booked I am told - the Drag Racing Champs are on tonight and they have lots of people staying for that. 

Deep fucking joy! Traffic noise from State Highway 2 outside the hotel, plus drag racing car noises from less than a kilometre away. Triple AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

So I ask David would he mind if we went home after dinner. He suggests that we cancel dinner and go home now. So we do. A lovely drive home in the setting sun with the light falling on the ranges in the west.

Bliss to be home in our own bed, no drag car noises, a bigger room.

And a bike ride on Sunday morning from home. Lovely - even though I did fall off in exactly the same place I'd fallen previously - no damage because it was on to soft pampas grass stuff - I had crossed a small foot bridge and then had to turn left up a narrow channel-like path that was uphill - fell off as I was telling David that this was where I fell off last time - great gales of laughter from us both, and I lay there for a while unable to get up as I was laughing too much. Let's hope that if I fall off in future it's in places like that!