Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Five most memorable moments of 2006 (Lauren)

The year is about to draw to a close, which is a good excuse to be self-indulgent and reflect upon my five most memorable moments of 2006. And note that by ‘memorable’ I don’t mean ‘best’. Merely, the five moments of the past year that I am most likely to remember in moons to come.

One: The one with the wrongly sent email

While at work one day I sent a kissy smoochy email to Tane.. After I pressed send I realised that the email had gone to my boss instead. Lucky I was able to tell him in time that wasn’t him that I was interested in planting a sloppy kiss on. The minutes following the realisation my heartfelt goop had been sent to the wrong person were by far the most stressful of the year though.

Two: The one with the missed flight

On a trip to the Far North, the people I was with and I decided that we had enough time before the plane left to stop for a coffee. All was well and good until we arrived at the airport to see our plane cruising down the runway and taking off. It was one of those moments where all you can do is gape like an idiot.

Three: The one where Bruce came to the rescue

Tane and I were on the very first day of a week long holiday around the East Coast. That day had all the makings of a fantastic first day of a fantastic holiday, until ….

We stopped at a small bay about an hour's drive east of Opotiki for some reading by the warm sea. I decided to get my book from the car, and after fumbling around in my over-packed suitcase for a while retrieved the book and closed the boot. I then realised, about a second too late, that the keys were still in the boot.

I timidly approached Tane with the most bashful expression I could muster before admitting that I had locked the keys in the car. He laughed, thinking I was joking. His laughter stopped abruptly when realising I was not. We were in the middle of nowhere, and after finding out that shaking our fists at the car wouldn’t open the boot, Tane set off on foot to find help. He returned what felt like hours later with a hard case mechanic named Bruce, found somewhere in the middle of nowhere fiddling with cars and the like. Bruce told me that I should be “hung, drawn and quartered”. I was so grateful that we were able to set off on our way, though, that I didn’t care.

Four: The one with the lying signpost

The tramp around Waikaremoana was awesome. The beautiful lake, the scenery, the mist reminding you that you are in the Tuhoe country Elsdon Best wrote about. There were less fun parts too – the man who snored like a foghorn, the kids that preferred to sing The Sound of Music than sleep, the blisters the size of 50 cent coins (the old ones!) … and the lying signpost.

On the second day after about 8 hours of walking, we came upon a sign telling us that the hut where we would spend the night was 45 minutes away. ‘Hurrah!’ I thought, too tired to even say it out loud. Knowing it was the last walking we would do that day I poured every ounce of my energy into that last stretch. Checking my watch every 5 minutes, I urged my legs along thinking “just 30 more minutes … just 20 more minutes”.
When 45 minutes had passed my heart soared, happy that I could finally take off my smelly tramping boots and snuggle up somewhere soft and warm. I was so busy imagining how lying down would feel I almost missed yet another sign, pointing to where our hut would be, and taunting me with the message that the hut was another 45 minutes away. It felt like Groundhog Day, and was the most physically painful moment of 2006 by a long shot.

Five: The one with the chopsticks

I have been in so many situations where I am in an Asian restaurant, and am the only person present who can't use chopsticks. This is always a dilemma - do I ask for a fork and look like a fool, or attempt to use the chopsticks? The first options takes a bit of swallowing the old pride, whereas the second option always runs the risk of dropping food down your cleavage by accident, which has happened to me. I have been told so many times to 'hold them like a pencil!' This advice is flawed though as apparently I hold my pencil like a munter.

The whole chopsticks thing was becoming a bit of a drama. My sister Erin finally intervened and bought me some baby plastic chopsticks. They are great, and look like a giant peg. But, they did the trick and now I can use the real thing. Yay!

Honourable mentions:
  • Doing a triathlon in the pouring rain.
  • Crashing my Dad’s place one stormy evening in the middle of July after the weather grounded my plane to Hamilton, scaring the ba-jesus out of my sister Ngaire who was staying there alone when I thumped on the door.
  • Finally making it to Hamilton the next day and arriving to Tane holding a giant sign featuring elephants, stilt-walkers, a blimp and the words “Welcome to Hamilton Lauren!”
  • Tane giving his notice at the Times and moving down.
  • Hearing the Prime Minister deliver a speech that I wrote.
  • Seeing my Mum after she’d been in Pitcairn Island for 4 months.
  • Swimming in the Karangahake Gorge in the freezing cold and the rain just because we could.

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