Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Good

So...Mike is doing Oxfam on Friday 23 August.  100km hard slog largely through the beautiful and rugged National Parks that surround Sydney.  In fact they don't just surround Sydney, they insinuate themselves all the way into it's inner reaches.  We are 10km from the city and 500m from National Park.

He is in a team of four, and they have been training quite a bit.  Sort of...maybe not so much.

He had planned a walk today but for various reasons none of his team mates could join him.  He wanted to attempt two sections of the track he has not previously tried.  He printed out the related maps and instructions.

Only problem is, he's not great with directions.  He's quite crap really.  Bless him.

He is so happy.  But he can't read a map.  
Mike is a smart guy.  In some areas he is so smart it is frightening.  But he cannot read a map to save himself.

It was just gorgeous.  
If he went alone, he would get lost for sure.  We'd be sending out the choppers before sunset.  Plus he would be lonely without me.

I couldn't let this happen so I decided to go with him.  Because I am a good wife.  And very supportive.

Now the farming out of three children on a Sunday, for six hours with less than 24 hours notice is no mean feat.  It's a delicate balance of favour asking, child matching and compatibility, not over staying our welcome, knowing ways we can help them in the future, past events, future possibilities, cosmic and planetary alignments.

And despite this, the divine people who took Issy off our hands for six hours we already owed big time child care debt to.  I think we're talking about 6 playdates and a sleepover to even begin to bring the ledger back into balance.

The older kids were sent together to my great friend G who has 2 matching children.  We alleviated some of our guilt by taking her son to the Reds vs Waratahs game and march past at Homebush last night.

When I say we, I mean Mike.  I stayed home and watched the first few episodes of 'The Time Of Our Lives' on ABC iview.  I am now dead keen to watch the next episode.

So this morning we jumped up, farmed off, and feeling simultaneously guilty and grateful we implemented our grand master plan for world domination.

After parking near Roseville Bridge we attempted to flag a cab to take us to St Ives Showground and nearly caused an accident as the driver tried to stop for us in a completely illegal spot.  He gave up before we could get to him and drove off.

We kept on going up the hill, trying to flag down the odd cab who were all either occupied or in the wrong lane, we were feeling pretty despondent until a beep from the other direction startled us, and our original cab driver waved and beeped and pointed at a nearby bus shelter.

His message was clear.  Stay put and I'll get you.  $35 later and we were at St Ives Showground.

The Showground was a terrifying hotbed of equestrian activity.  Horse floats, expensive 4WD's and enormous semi trailers chocka block outfitted with horse float bits, bunk beds and who knows what else.  (I suspect gourmet kitchens and jacuzzis)

Everyone except us was wearing jodphurs, expensive boots and pristine white shirts.   Young girls were on horses and ponies, going over jumps in a equestrian ring, their Mums, dressed identically, strode around watching, and shouting a bit.

We had a good view of the equestrian ring because we got lost for the first 15 minutes and had to walk past it three times.

As we walked, we vowed that Sarah shall never see this sight.  Because she is still in her horse phase and we can't afford it.

When we did find the right trail, we met three other walkers, who told us there was a locked gate ahead and they'd had to turn around.  We ploughed on, and didn't let a little thing like a 6 foot tall locked gate get in our way, Mike climbed over and I wriggled under.

Because we are adventurous.

We walked and talked and wrangled pleasantly over directional ambiguities.  It was like a date night but during the day.  And very active.  It was steep and rugged for long periods, with occasional easy bits.

After 22km, I hurt all over.  But not as much as Mike who kept going after we got to Davidson Park and did another 12km home reaching a total of about 38km.  While he slogged on, I returned to the car and retrieved our offspring from those kindest of friends.

As I staggered walked across the Roseville Bridge I noticed the amazing contrast between the view on my left and on my right.  To my right, the beautiful mangrovey foresty watery view, and to my left, just cars, going really fast.  


And finally, seeing as I had done all that walking, I thought it was best if I ate most of a family pack of Maltesers on the couch.

All that good work, gone in one quick chocolate frenzy.  Damn.