Day 48

Dropped Dash and Katie at their art class just after nine – the cat-herding was more difficult than usual today so we were a little late. It astounds me what a production two intelligent, capable children can make out of having a wash, brushing teeth, and putting some clothes on. Having been left at home yesterday (on account of dogs not being allowed at the funfair) Sherlock was very happy and grateful to be allowed to join us this morning. This translated (briefly!) into some “look at me, I’m a well-behaved doggy and I really belong at Crufts” behaviour, trotting prettily beside me on a slack lead. Back home after dropping the children off, I got on with the Body and Mind Method, Microcosmic Orbit and jade egg practice. The change in focus makes such a difference – Body and Mind Method went really well today – a huge improvement on earlier in the week. And, for the first time, the microcosmic orbit was pleasantly trance-y, I guess all the various breathing, tightening, clenching etc has now become sufficiently routine for the visualisation to get a bit more brain-room .

I got my NZ tax return completed – yay – and started on the next piece of tedious admin. I collected the children from art class, taking Sherlock along so that we could give him a good romp on the Heath on the way home. Foolishly I allowed myself to be persuaded to buy the kids an early dinner at Giraffe on the way home, in spite of the fact that, having Sherlock along, we would have to sit at the outdoor tables. Fortunately there was one table in the shade and, after the regulation amount of faffing about, all of us, including Sherlock, were eventually seated in at least partial shade. We had just ordered, and Sherlock had been provided with a bowl of water, when an elderly couple approached and asked if I would mind if they sat at the next table, one of the ones we had rejected as being in full sun. I couldn’t understand why they were asking – we weren’t using the table they wanted – but then they asked could we move our chairs a bit, a bit more, just a bit more, so that they could sit in the shade – while we baked. Giraffe’s notoriously slow service takes on a whole new meaning when one is roasting alive. The children were slightly stunned when I asked for the bill as soon as the food had been delivered and vetoed all requests for pudding and extra rounds of drinks. I was completely focused on finding some shade – not least because poor old Sherlock doesn’t get to take off his fur coat. It was a relief to get out on the Heath, where at least there was a breeze and Sherlock could run and run with his spaniel’s ear flapping out behind. The part of the Heath near the village was packed, which is a pain when you can’t easily predict who is going to cuddle the dog and whisper sweet nothings in his ear and who is going to start yelling “control that brute” or “get him away from me”. In general young people are more likely to react positively than old people, and light-skinned people are more likely to react positively than dark-skinned people – but there are no guarantees. So, in rather curmudgeonly fashion, I said something like “Hmph, all these people cluttering up our heath.” but Katie immediately came up with a brilliant, if rather self-serving, reframe: “Mummy, I can think of something good about all these people cluttering up the heath. All these people probably buy ice cream, which means the ice cream truck will stay around!”. I was quite impressed with this – a level of understanding which had proved completely beyond people who bought homes and baches in Akaroa, attracted by the lively cafe and restaurant scene, and then decided that they hated the plagues of tourists – completely missing the point that the restaurants and cafes only existed BECAUSE of the tourists!

Arrived home so hot that all I wanted to do was sit in the path of the fan and drink lots of cold water – which provided a perfect opportunity to get my second tedious admin task all sorted and sent away, and then attack the pile of stuff waiting to be filed. For the first time in a couple of years, I really can’t think of any admin-type thing I should be doing. Feels good.

Listening to a radio item on ebola while I did the filing, I took a moment to feel grateful that I no longer have any responsibility for clinical countermeasures.

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