DAY 275...Living A Dream

My first laugh this morning was a comment on my Blog: "Will you be home by Xmas?”. Well, to be honest, my pre-planning seems to suck! At the moment, my life is is on a “day by day” basis, the title of a song that haunts me.

Showered, dressed early this morning and on the road to Takaka. A quick “Hi!” to Hobo, who demanded to be returned to his home at 3am this morning. What a rat-bag of a cat! I have a few items to grab quickly before getting back in time to go inlet paddling. It’s a beautiful morning in town. I pop in to say “Hi!” to Granddad and to tell him that Hobo is all good. We have a cup of tea with ginger-nut biscuits and a great chat, all about him. I love listening, because he always has a story to tell.

Slowly, I drive back towards the inlet, stopping to take a couple of calls. Hands free may work, if only the coverage would stay stable! But you are lucky to get a call when there is some actual coverage. It’s a real novelty not to have to repeat oneself, or not get cut off just as you have replied with some important information. By now, I’m starving, so I grab a can of tuna for my lunch and sit in Cuzzie to eat it in the sunshine. Café on wheels, so long as an exotic blackboard menu isn’t expected!! Back on the road. The westerly winds were making me frown a little and my pre-planning for a paddle wasn’t looking all that great. As I pulled up to the inlet boat ramp, it was being filled with truckloads of huge boulders. That was a bad idea for starters! It was too sunny just to head home, so I drove to a little beach called Pakawau that was sheltered, sort of sandy, and where there were no waves. Kind of perfect for a paddle but somehow, I wasn’t able to convince myself to get out on the water. 

Unusually for me, I had a headache in my temples and although I quickly swallowed some painkillers, they didn’t seem to do any good. Instead, I just took off my shoes and walked in the sun on the sand, wading at the water’s edge, watching the tide starting to go out and few cockles being washed up on the beach. I started to forage but then decided the birds could have the cockles. Instead, I walked and thought a lot, stopping to chat to Larry (a lovely man from Collingwood). It was nice to chat and, even though I headed in the opposite direction, I have a strange feeling that we will see each other again. That’s the kind of community this is!

It’s a beautiful beach when the tide is fully in, picture perfect with small shells scattered all along the water’s edge. Apart from Larry, I didn’t come across anyone else. But, at the end of the estuary, there were quite literally hundreds of birds. I reckon that must be where they stop to rest when migrating. I strolled for a little over two hours, then stayed until the sun started to set behind me and the evening started to cool. Then it was back to Cuzzie and back to the cottage. As I was getting stuff sorted inside, to my surprise, there was the trill “miaow” of Hobo who had arrived to say “Hi!”. He continued to wander back and forth with me across the muddy driveway as I was collecting wood for the fire. He was a real chatterbox tonight. In fact, in typical Burmese style, he hasn’t stopped talking since he arrived tonight!

I have to say that, at present, my location is blessed in many ways. From here, I can both see and feel the West Coast, so I never need to doubt the weather forecast. I know full well when I’m able to paddle the native bush-lined inlet or, if it’s too rough, when there seems to be a golden beach on the other side. Unless, of course, even I have a day when I can’t get enthusiastic about getting a wet butt! But, still, there is always tomorrow.

Cat on lap, fire blazing, dinner ready to eat. As I said before, I’m lucky in so many ways. Of course not everything is going to plan but it surely isn’t a boring 9-5 existence, stuck in a traffic jam, wishing for the arrival of the weekend. But, to be honest, I’m ever hopeful of the West Coast weather settling a little bit.

My smiles today:
Will I be home for Xmas?
Stopping and listening to stories.
Walking barefoot in the sand and in the sunshine.
Eating my way through donated cans of tuna (I did once tell Nat that I couldn’t go home until I’d eaten them all!!).
Stopping and sharing thoughts.
Hobo coming to say “Hi!” and staying around for a while.

My thoughts today:
"You can't put a monetary value on living out your lifelong dream." (Thanks, Jason!)

Goodnight from Red and Hobo. Ma Te Wa.

Pakawau Beach.

Pakawau Beach.

Seashells everywhere.

Seashells everywhere.