I seem to have been born with a gift for shopping; inherited, I suspect, from my mother. I'm already close to a third of the way through our Christmas shopping, for which I would be patting the hell out of my back except that there's been a little bit too much one for me-ing... I'm working on it, but it's not easy when everything I'm buying is awesome. After trying (and failing) to make presents last year and the year before, this year we're focussing on being organised, and trying to buy books, fair trade, or secondhand... Which include most of my favourite things. What am I supposed to do?
Today, in an attempt to get me up to child-bearing health, Vincent and I went walking. He would like to walk up all of Auckland's volcanoes (I'd like to have been up all of them; subtle but key difference), and today we crossed Mangere mountain off the list. We found out when watching the news tonight that Auckland was the windiest place in the country today; our experience said no shit. The ascent was beautiful and interesting but also a bit too perilous for a Sunday afternoon, and the wind hurt my ears so much I growled like a child and wanted to kick things. Afterward, we went to the Otuataua Stonefields, where I didn't really want to get out of the car but also didn't want to seem lazy or churlish, so I did, and after spotting some cows, decided I wouldn't mind a little stroll to the foreshore (one of the walk attractions listed at the entrance). When we reached the water, I got so carried away fantasising about one day throwing a hand-grenade that I kept walking, and when we came across a sign that said 'Stonefields 5 mins' it seemed silly to stop, even when the path ended and we had to fight our way through long soft grass that seemed like it had to be hiding dead bodies and live rats. I probably don't need to tell you we got lost, and ended up visiting all Otuataua has to offer (historic Maori gardens, the Stonefields, the foreshore, and the Avocado orchard) in an attempt to find our way out. I remember a card my grandmother sent me once that had a sticker on it with a picture of a girl trying to lift weights and a caption reading "I'm going to get fit if it kills me". I don't relate.
Yesterday I learnt that reindeer can swim - like really swim, for an hour (saw it with my own eyes! on tv...), and I'm now convinced that is how Santa gets around. Also I've started to wonder if maybe he just does countries around the North Pole. I also saw incredible Northern Greenland Inuits do scary and amazing stuff like go under ice while the tide was out to harvest mussels and break up the monotony of their winter diets of fish and sealmeat, and catch a narwhale using only a couple of spears. If I get so drunk I can't do anything the next day except watch tv every friday for the rest of my life, and tv keeps playing documentaries about animals and cultures, I might end up knowing as much as I would have if I hadn't gotten so drunk I couldn't do any study the next two days every Friday during my last years of school and all of university.
Lastly, it seems as if it would be wrong not to include a song I've been listening to every day this week. A few weeks ago, Vincent and I spent a drunken half hour making up the best dance ever to it, and since then I've been perfecting my step/click and left-right-left ready for next time. I've never been content being anything but the star, but apart from the fact that when Michael is playing, Vincent is Michael, I really don't mind being Vincent's back-up dancer. Yes, friends. I found him.