BEAUTIFUL OR HEALTHY? WHICH IS IT?

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Like most other woman I have my own relationship with my body. Some days it’s great…and other days it’s bad. Mostly I am at a stage in my life where I have come to accept my body as it is and I generally try to maintain a reasonable level of fitness. As a result I have more good days than bad days. And because I have always been ‘curvy’ I am also very able to see the beauty in ALL body shapes and sizes. I am delighted to see a movement that is supporting this.
Below is a link to a news article I read this morning.When I read things like this I feel like some people are missing the point. What’s up with this attitude of just because you are fat, you are unhealthy and therefore should not dear to love and or accept what you see in the mirror?!.  Just because having bodies like this are a health risk they  should be ignored for their exterior value?  YES….being morbidly obese almost certainly will have bad effects on your health. However…can we not still be beautiful if we are unhealthy? Kate Moss  and other ‘Supermodels’ have been raving drug addicts,anorexics,bulimics etc.I can not even begin to imagine what the state of their insides are like.Or their heads for that matter. But we don’t seem to crap on and on about how they should not be told they are beautiful because of it, every time they appear in a magazine. I have friends that are half my size and I have no doubt that I am of a much healthier state than they are in. They might chain smoke, drink heavily or even eat endless junk food. Does that make them less beautiful/handsome than I am? Sadly I live in a world that says regardless of THEIR health….they are more beautiful than me. That their slender body has more value in this worls than my curvy body. As a teen I was told on numerous occasions by friends and family that I if I lost weight I would be really pretty. Effectively being told that unless I am slim, my  beauty has no currency in this world. As you can imagine, in a world so obsessed with beauty, this most certainly had an impact on my sense of self worth. it took me years to see the bigger picture. I still struggle…but I GET it now.
Beauty is a superficial thing. It is also a personal thing. We all hold beauty differently. Some woman like their men ripped and hairless. Some like them with a healthy layer of life and a bit of hair on their chest.(me included). Some men like blondes…others like brunettes.
I believe that refusing to acknowledge the beauty in people for fear of encouraging them to remain unhealthy is ignorant and in this instance, very hypocritical.  Beauty and health are two very seperate things.One is purely physical and subjective.The other is scientifically measurable. Sadly it seems that depending on what you weigh, they either have an equal value or they don’t.We tell anorexics and bulimics that they are beautiful. They always were and should not let anyone make them feel any differently. Yet if someone is obese…we are encouraged NOT to tell them the same thing?! WTF?!!!??  Every time I see photos of a big women being beautiful, there is an endless stream of comments going on about their health. Funnily enough when I see pictures of celebrities looking fabulous I don’t see an endless stream of shaming because of their cigarette addiction, rampant red meat consumption or overwhelming depression. Because we all know it has nothing to do with  the picture we are looking at. When we see a super skinny model in a magazine it’s the magazines fault.The designers fault. Societys fault. Poor her. How did she ever think so little of herself that she would starve herself like that?  Why is it that the big women in this world are endlessly banged on at about their health every time they show the world they dear to feel beautiful? In this instance it’s always THEIR fault too. Not the designers.Not the magazines. Not society. It’s all about them.  !!!
I think that this Tess Munster is a gorgeous woman. I would kill for those cheek bones.Those lips.I know there are men and women out there who think her shape is bangin’. What if she can run 5km with me? What if she can run 10km and I can’t? Then which one of us is more beautiful ?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/fashion/68016399/Its-wrong-to-tell-fat-women-they-look-fabulous

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COACH TOOTS

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So yesterday I took my 7 yr old Tahi to his 1st game of Miniball for the season. For those of you that don’t know…Miniball is like Basketball for wee ones. For those of you that don’t know Tahi….saying that Tahi is controlling,  over dramatic and inflexible in play, would be an understatement at the very least.

I loaded the boys into the car and headed off for the Primary school . The whole way Tahi told me he was feeling scared. He asked that if he didn’t like Miniball , could he quit the team. He was terrified the others might tackle him or that he might drop the ball and get laughed at. I too was feeling a little nervous. This is the 1st of my boys to do the whole ‘School Sport’ thing. My dear  Tahi has the co-ordination of a drunken Chicken at the best of times. I soo wanted Tahi to feel proud of himself today and know him well enough to know that his challenges often leave him feeling like a failure. All the Miniball Mums would be there, talking about their children’s latest achievements. Swapping recipes and telling lovely wee anecdotes of how their husband and children did that cute  funny thing together whilst they were all out frolicking through a paddock of fresh spring lambs on their families ‘Sunday FUNday’ this week. Yep…I was dreading it.  Visions of Tahi having a melt down on the court cos he didn’t catch the ball while Toru had one of his epic 3 yr old tantrums. Rua would  try to get his 4 yr old self onto the court so he could play with his big brother and disrupt the entire game. The Miniball Mums would look at me with pity and dissapproval..They would smell my fear in a heart beat and pounce. I was sure of it. Saying things like ..” Wow…I don’t know how you do it? I only have 2 boys and I find it exhausting…AND I have a husband to help!” , “But you’re dong such a GREAT  job” * patronising smile to boot*.  ” If you ever need a break….”      Bah humbug!!!!!

As we arrived at the lions den, I was delighted to see that my dear friend , Rose, the English Rose was there too. She too has 3 children . Her daughter had signed up for miniball as well. Her 4 yr old boy ‘ Mitch’ is having a Bromance with Rua and was happy to see us arrive. Sweet!! That would be Rua entertained for the duration of the game . We sat down and prepared to watch. As it turns out ,when the school asked for volunteer coaches for the season… I had promptly pretended I didn’t get the memo and ignored the request but  Babydaddy had volunteered.However..Babydaddy works at sea. Week on. Week off. This week he was away…and whilst the ‘The Breakers’ had their Miniball Mum coach sitting on her teams bench all  “I’m so supportive and   coachy like”, my wee fellas team ‘The Red Bulls’ had an empty bench. The teacher in charge stood on the court and said “Would someone please volunteer to coach The Red Bulls for this game?. They  really need someone”. She was looking directly at me. Of ALL the keen perfect Miniball Mums she had could have stabbed with her eyes of lasery emotional guilt trips…she laser beamed ME.!!! There was no avoiding eye contact and slinking away out of this one. Dammit! “Sure Ms  Laser Eyes, I’d LOVE to do it” * does best impersonation of happy to help cos I’m and enthusiastic Miniball Mum smile*

I made my way to the bench. Making sure I asked what exactly it was I was supposed to be doing. ” Only ever 5 on the court at a time.Just make sure they all get a turn on the court” said Ms Laser Eyes. . Sweet. I could do that. So I sat on the bench and did the best I could to appear to look like I knew how the game was played.. To have them think that perhaps …in a past life I had played in the NBA.There  was 5 on the court already. I sat next to 3 boys. 2 of them had shaved head and rats tails. Brothers. Bob was the eldest. Chopper was his younger brother and stood at about 3ft  high. Also there was Mike. A tall solid lad that, I suspect, may have something up with his hand, as it curled over a bit like a hook if it was resting. Instantly  Bob  was at me. “Can I go on the court? I wanna get out there!! Oh come on. When’s it gonna be MY turn. It’s not fair!!”  Ohhh goooodddd!! I was in for 20 minutes of this!!  Mike just sat quietly. The game started and I proceeded to  internally  curse Babydaddy and his stupid volunteering to coach and his stupid job making him not be there and his stupid making me pick up HIS slack. This carry on was partly why I left him. I was STILL having to do it. Dumb  feckin’ Babydaddy!!!

The game started. I held my breath anticipating Tahi might  trip over his own feet in any second. My subs started yelling out encouraging tips to The Red Bulls. Things like “WASTE THEM YO!!” : “JUST FOOT TRIP THEM, YOU EGGS!”  “KICK THEIR BUTTS!!” Within a minute into the game it happened. The ball was passed to Tahi. For a fleeting second I could read the fear and self-doubt pulsing through his little body. All eyes were on him.  I held my breath.He bounced the ball and moved with it. He stopped. He passed it. Tahi, my unco little chicken,was grinning from ear to ear. He had done it. YUSSS!!. At that moment,Chopper the delightful 3ft blonde rats tail kid looked up at me with his wee eyes and said..” I just wanna get out there and SMASH the other team”.  ” Then SMASH them you will , Daniel son”. I started subbing the kids on and off. Little chopper went like a firecracker. I’m not sure he ever got to touch the ball, but he was having a blast running from goal to goal. Mike was a machine. A big strong lad that could move the ball from one end to the other. No one could stand in his way. A  8 yr old  miniball version of  Jonah Lomu if you will. These kids were alright. I found myself calling out things like.. . “Pass it” “Just take a shot” ” Good effort Chopper” . I was even clapping and shit!!  Half time came and it was time for  a wee team talk. I started..” It’s not how you play the game…It’s whether you win or lose. Oh. I mean…ummm….at the end of the day …it’s a game of 2 halves….hit the showers! Oh shit. umm hang on..it’s only half time…ummmmm”  Fortunately  Rose, the English Rose  was a netball player and had come over to sit with me on the bench. She had some tips for the team that seemed pretty sound.  ” Yep. Do what she said” I barked.

The rest of the game was much like the start.. Tahi occasionally got the ball and managed to pass it on and even get a few shots at the goal. Young Chopper darted around the court with maximum enthusiasm and minimal direction. The kids subbed on and off with little fuss  and I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself.Cooper got a Goal for the Red Bulls and the team roared with excitement. As did I.

By the end of it all I had had a blast. The kids enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. I was all over this Coaching yolk. Perhaps I would be more than happy to be Babydaddy’s fill in when he works. Babydaddy would rather drink a cup of cold sick than have to work with me in any way shape or form. But feck him. Drink away  Babydaddy cos I’m getting me a Bumper sticker that says ” Honk if you’re a miniball mum and lovin’ it ”
BEEEEEEPPPPP!!!!!!

TOOTS CAN RUN. SEE TOOTS RUN.

I am a runner. Yes folks, it’s true. I, Lillytootin Toots, has  learnt to love to run. To love the feeling of my chest wanting to explode in pain as I gasp for breath on a country road. To love  that the pain in my shoulder is actually my diaphragm cramping due to some jolly good  cardio work. To love the feeling of a summer rain on my face whilst splashing through muddy puddles,  listening to the leg pumping tunes of the Black Keys. I,  good people, am running proof that Miracles CAN happen.

To me long distance runners have always been an elite people.They are a people who do something I would LOVE to do and thought that I never could. To me they are the Super Human. They are a  show of phenomenal  endurance, discipline and will power. Did you know that  only 1% of the world can claim they have run a Marathon ? (well so says the Internets). Whilst I have always pish poshed  runners and called them crazy,I have secretly admired them as I’ve driven by them, scoffing down a pie  and spitting half  chewed pastry onto my generous thigh, guffawing at their obvious insanity.They are a  people whom I have viewed as having some kind of super power gene that I missed out on because my parents were hippies( bloody hippies).

Just over 2 1/2 yrs ago I was an epic size of Fatty McFat Fat. I had 2 young children and a New Born . I was in  constant conflict with my  ex husband due to his unfortunate disorder of  ‘Emotional Intelligence Amoebe-itis’. I was stuck in small town New Zealand when I desperately wanted be living in a city that could offer some decent opportunities. Life was feeling spack and I needed to make a change. I decided to haul my mega ass to some Les Mills classes and let the transformation begin.It was great and I quickly settled into a regular exercise routine that worked in well with my  parenting lifestyle.  About 3 months into it I woke up one morning and something very strange  inside me was  dying to get out. I donned my track pants and t-shirt, grabbed my rock laden  MP3 player and jumped into the car. I drove out towards the beach and found myself standing on a sand dusted road. I was about to do something CRAZY. Something sooo out of this world, I couldn’t even THINK about it in fear I would wake up heartbroken that this was not real. Like the time I woke up having dreamed I was married to Johnny Depp circa 21  Jump Street. A disappointment I have never fully recovered  from. After a brisk walk for a few hundred meters it happened. I picked up my pace and found myself going through the physiological motions of running. It was insane! I.  Was.  RUNNING!. Me. Fatty McFat Fat. Doing something that only amazing people could do. I could not believe it. I dared not make any sudden movements or even make eye contact with myself in fear I would break the spell. I just focussed on the gutsy voice of  Dan Auerbach  and pushed on. I had a plan in my head of where I might  run to before I quietly curled up and  died on the side of the road from a heart attack and/or just the  sheer shock of it all. I achieved my route and then some. That day I ran 3 km. I ran the whole way at a slow steady pace. Never in my life had I ran that far.  I was so stoked. I  had NEVER felt as good about myself as I did that day. And not again until I ran 5 km for the first time. Then the first time I ran 10 km. The runners high is a true story. A high like no other ( and I may…or may not have had a few highs in my life.It’s the Hippy Parent thing) A physical and emotional  high that pumps pure goodness and achievement through your  body. For 2 years I have loved running. I  particularly enjoy trail running as it engages my brain a bit  more than road running. You have to look at where you feet are going and think constantly about where they  are being placed. Using your whole body to balance. The terrain varies and the scenery offers a much-needed escape from the day-to-day drudgery of small town  Motherhood. Road running and trail running  are  definitely  different. It’s a bit like driving a manual compared to driving an automatic. I’ve always preferred a manual. There is nothing wrong with running on a road though. It’s all running and it’s allll good.  I am no longer fearful of people seeing me run. All my jiggly bits that I can’t strap down with multiple bras and tight lycra clothing. Who cares what they think.  There may be plenty of me but I’m running !!!That in itself is worth a good gawp.  So lap it up peoples! Now I am the proud owner of more cellulite accentuating shiny shiny running pants than Zsa Zsa Gabore has had husbands…and I LOVE them.

 Over time I made some running buddies. A couple of girlfriends whom were pretty fresh to this whole running thing. We are all music lovers and crank up our tunes and find a good trail to thrash out  our frustrations on.  I still enjoy a solo run too. I  find I am more competitive with myself than I am with other people. Strangely I push myself harder when I run solo. However I enjoy the company and camaraderie of having a running buddy.Setting goals and sharing the highs and lows of the whole running yolk. Sometimes one can make unexpected friends whilst out on a track. I had been running a fantastic mountain biking track and thought I was totally alone. So I just went for it. Singing  ‘ Barton Hollow’ by The Civil Wars like nobody was listening. As I took a hairpin bend with my arms stretched out like an Airplane , I saw him. A delicious looking mountain biker, unable to pass due to the narrow track ( and perhaps my abounding posterior) He was clearly  chuckling at my child like shenanigans. God only knows how long he had been on my ample tail. A small part of me died that day. I have no doubt however, that a small part of him fell in  love with  my singing, jiggling goodness .I could see it in his sniggering sunglass clad face.

My proudest achievement so far has been  running a 10 km event with my 2 running buddies.Wearing a  moustache. In doing this we raised $2330.00 for Prostate Cancer research.  It was a HOT day and most of it was uphill. In fact even the down hill was up hill. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done physically…perhaps even harder than natural childbirth…but I made it. Just. I came  in third to last for my age group and was possibly the proudest contestant there.  It was my first taste of event running and I was on a high for weeks afterwards. We had a ball and will certainly do it again.  The support we received blew us away. I think people pledged money because they didn’t actually think I would do it and therefore felt confidant they  would not actually have to part with their moneys. Huh! We showed them whilst cheating a slow painful death by a very fine line. I just couldn’t even believe I had dome something like this. It was an amazing moment to be pulled up in front of one thousand other runners and walkers  by the sponsors and be cheered on for our fundraising  running efforts. Shucks.Actual real live runners were clapping for ME and MY running efforts. A proud day for me and the girls. I would NEVER have dreamed this would be possible in a million years. I would LOVE to run a Marathon one day. Naturally one would start with a Half Marathon. It takes a lot of time in training. I have in the past attempted to train for one and found it hard being a Solo working Mum, to get the time in. I know that as the boys get older it will be easier to do. I have every intention of running the Jamaican ‘Reggae’ Marathon one day. If I don’t get enough training in beforehand… I will go anyway and just run the 5 km. Any excuse to go to Jamaica. I am confidant that if I ran directly behind a delightful 20 something year old Jamaican chap…I could probably achieve something akin to that of an Ultra Marathon.

All in all , running has changed my life.  My mind is more focussed and I am emotionally stronger. I am  more often than not  able to remain un-phased by trivial nonsense. I have  slowly lost 20 kgs for no other reason than  regular exercise. I eat what ever I like.. though with fitness I have found that I crave healthier foods. Don’t get me wrong. I still regularly enjoy a good hearty Mince and Cheese pie. I am , after all, a good kiwi lass.  My journey has inspired others around me to give running  a nudge. Not surprising. If I can do it….ANYONE can do it.  Apparently this running yolk is contagious and long may that last.. We just have to decide to do it.  The rest is easy.

For anyone that has thought about it and is not sure where to start…check out this website. It works. http://www.c25k.com/

And for those of you who would like to see our Mo-Vember charity run highlights…check this out. Was the best day ever!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE2kpUs6sy8&list=HL1373244618&feature=mh_lolz

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MAC’S NEW SHOES

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 It’s good to have friends.I have a friend. Let’s call her ‘Mac’. I have known Mac near on 20 years now.We met through a flatmate when we were 17/18 and have been tight like Tigers ever since.. She has no children, owns her own house, has a great job in the beauty industry and has travelled the world..She is a woman that works hard to get what she wants. No questions.  Mac is always the first person  I know be  to doing the latest fad or owning the latest new gadget. A perfectly intelligent, beautiful, consumer. The kind of friend that will dry hump your Mums leg , because no one else would dear. The kind of friend that is the ultimate wingman . Recently whilst out and about with her I came to find myself chatting with a rather dashing musician. Dutifully she quietened down and proceeded to become one with the backdrop. As I chatted to the tattooed delight, I noticed her wriggling . CONSTANTLY. I gave her a look as if to ask her what  on earth she was doing. She nodded at me reassuringly and motioned to get back to it. I went back to my hair tossing and coy giggles. She later informed me that whilst I unashamedly flirted with the tattooed delight, a rather large insect had flown into her eye. She was in all manners of pain trying desperately to remove the insect from her eye, fearing for her long term eyesight, whilst being sure not to disturb the flow between me and the aforementioned Tattooed Delight. Best wingman ever!!!! She is also, by far, THEEE. MOST. CLUMSY . PERSON. I . KNOW. If Mac has bought it. She has broken it. If she has found it. She has lost it.If she has needed it. She has forgotten it. If she can fall over it, she will.If there is an insect looking for an eye to fly into, it will find hers.

Mac came to visit me this weekend..One of my favourite NZ bands was playing in town and I was looking forward to going out with her and having a few drinks and a dance with her.No doubt to  finish the night with all  grace and glamour gone and be sitting in a corner with some new best friends,giggling like a couple of drunken Hyennas. It would be a good weekend indeed.

Mac arrived sporting a brand spanking new pair of Tramping Boots. Why on earth Mac owned tramping boots was beyond me.Firstly, they don’t have a 4 inch heel on them and secondly I am pretty sure there is no such thing as an I-boot. But there was no getting past it. Mac was wearing actual tramping boots. I just figured it was some new inappropriate city fashion. Like 4WD’s. What’s up with that?! With her, she carried a box. Full of vegetables.No Gin. No Wine. Just bloody vegetables. Botox was out. Detox was IN . And then she said it. Just before  we were about to head out , she said . “Toots…I’m not drinking tonight,I choose not to because of my detox .I want to go for a walk tomorrow…I mean like an actual Hike. OK?! Like a full day one or something. So don’t go overboard tonight”.   I could only come to the conclusion that the sudden lack of sugar, wheat and alcohol had done something horrific to her sense of reality. Mac and I didn’t ‘DO’ hiking. We ‘DO’ running and Les mills classes and yoga and bikes.We ‘DO’ walking to the local bar to drink Mojitos and talk about boys, make up and the current state of the global economy. But me and Mac hiking?! In actual bush?! Together at the same time?! Hells to the NO!!. Unfortunatley however, when Mac is set on doing something….there is NO talking her out of it. Quickly fantasies of spending the next day lying around in my lounge drinking lemonade and eating pies to refuel my alcohol batterd body whilst laughing about the previous nights drunken antics with rockstars , road cones and a hedgehog faded. It now seemed that tomorrow…I was going tramping.In the bush. In my trail running shoes. SPACK!

The next morning we got up. My head wasn’t feeling too bad. It had been a great night out. A few glasses of water and a couple of boiled eggs and soldiars, I was feeling fighting fit and ready to take on our ‘Hike’. After a little bit of investigasting I thought we might do one that takes us through some old gold mines in the Cobb Valley and to a cottage that had been built by  a couple in 1914.  . Easy peasy. I informed her that if we were going to do this , she needed to know that if things turned bad and we got lost in the wilderness,  and she died,that I would indeed eat her for survival. I gave her permission to do the same. After a quick thought she agreed. I mean , what else are besties for? We made some snacks, packed some water and took the 1st aid kit. I did suggest we take my filleting knife “just in case” , she declined having every faith it wouldn’t come to that. Silly  silly girl.


When we got there, the sign said it was an hour and a half each way.A total of 8km. Pffft. We would smash that out in an hour and a half  .Total.. If that. Clearly they didn’t take into account that I do trail running. An elite athlete ,even.( in my own head anyway).With bag on and plenty of fuel we set off. Mac even talked of jogging. Quickly I set her straight and reminded her that I in fact had NOT been detoxing and the remnants of last nights spoils and this mornings eggs were still in my tummy.  But alas she did not listen and set herself a jogging pace. After about 30 seconds of watching her toddle off I thought I would give it a whirl. So I followed. As it turns out I found the jogging yolk alright and settled in to an easy pace.Only slightly aware of the egg and wheat lager milkshake working it’s magic in my stomach.  We jogged for  a  whole minute. Mac stopped. She was stuffed. And thirsty. And hungry.And she was concerned she might have sprained an eyelash .We stopped and had a drink and ate some detox friendly  scroggin.  The path was very much same same.  I winged about the boring scenery and Mac winged about her back and the uphill. Every 50 meters or so she would stop to “look at the scenery” as she  puffed and panted and winged about the constant uphillness of it all.

We kept on walking. And walking. And walking. And no bloody hut. Then we came to a narrow part in the path that had a sheer drop hundreds of meters down into the gorge below. I could hear the river roaring beneath us. A landslip had fallen onto the path making the walkway even narrower. I did not know how terrified of heights I was until this day. Mac went on ahead whilst I clung to a tree. Breathing. I considered telling Mac that the game was up and I was going back to the car. I looked at her on the other side with her new tramping boots, all red-faced and out of breath, her little puffy face all smiling at me expectantly.  I could see she was sooo happy to be out here frolicking in her $400 boots with her best mate. So I took one for the team. I looked at the ground and just slowly proceeded to walk.Avoiding any eye contact with the certain death awaiting me to my left. I could feel the panic building up in me. My heart was pounding.My vision was dong strange things. I was  terrified. So terrified in fact, I crouched down onto the ground and quietly wept. Right next to that sheer drop I sat and wept like a baby.I wept for my patheticness. I wept for all the orphans in the world. But most of all I wept for my friend Mac. For , certainly I was about to die by falling off the side of this cliff. And then what would she eat if she could not find her way back to the car park? AND I had her scroggin on my back. If I died like this…she would surely starve to death. Ohhh the injustice of it all!!!!  Mac stood at the safe end of the track and gently encouraged me to get up and get to the other side whilst she took photos of  me on her phone . Slowly I rose and step by step I made it to the other side. As soon as I felt safe I burst into tears whilst Mac comforted  me and congratulated me for facing my fears and protecting her scroggin.  I eventually gathered myself together and continued on.


The track started getting pretty gnarly. Clearly we had been sent on a detour due to landslips on the original track.Tree roots weaved through the ground like a nest of baby snakes. Grunting  like a couple of well pampered Warthogs,we clambered and climbed.After what felt like a good hour and a half we still had not reached the hut. Around every corner our necks stretched out an extra half meter as we eagerly anticipated the view of a clearing and a rustic little hut with wild daisies all around it, a few frolicking unicorns and perhaps even  Isaac, the bartender from the Love Boat would be there to greet us with margarita .  Mac wondered aloud what kind of losers would be stupid enough to live this far away from a pub and grumbled something about  a filleting knife. There was no hut around any of the corners. No beautiful black Isaac riding a unicorn laden with a champagne fountain .Just more of the same old. Slowly I became delusional. “I can feel it Mac. We’re close now. Sooo close. ” I could hear the Love Boat theme in the far distance. She started  cussing her new shoes and complaining  of blisters. It was pushing 3pm now. Not long until it started getting dark. Then out of the blue we saw it. As if a gift from the good lord above.Two blonde god like trampers came out of nowhere. BOTH wearing actual tramping boots.That had actually been tramped in. Both with large backpacks on . Filled with trampy stuff. Like warm waterproof clothes and dehydrated food and other such tramping yolk. They were talking to each other and weren’t even complaining about the tramping they were partaking in.  Mac took control and asked the big question. “Ummm excuse me. Can you tell us how much further to the Hut is please?” Then everything changed.  In her german accent  the trampy girl tentatively said ” Vell,,,I guessss you are half vay. ” He, with his tramp ruffled  hair added” Yah. I vould say you haff  anudda hour to go” .         At that very moment a little part of me died. I looked at his tanned blue-eyed face smiling back at me with all his fair-haired German yumminess and fantasized about punching him in his shiny white mouth. Did they really have to be so  perky about me having to endure another hour of this nonsense, all for the sake of Mac’s new shoes!!!! I could sense Mac greedily eyeing up my hind quarters , wondering how many days survival she could get out of  my well endowed butt.Tramping Gods wished us well and set off on their way. Following their little trail of breadcrumbs back to  their trampy paradise.I HATED them!!

As we silently watched them skip off into the distance my heart sank. I knew it would it get dark soon and I knew I had to go back across the Death Drop.  I looked at my friend and could see the same thing written all over her face. Neither one of us would want to be the one to say it. So I did. ” An hour! Fuck that!!! Let’s go back.”.      “Done”  replied Mac .So with little fuss we turned around , being sure not to move too fast so that we didn’t catch up with the German Tramping Gods and be exposed as the amateurs we are. We set a good pace. Started clambering back over the tree root system. The thought of having to go back over the Death Drop never too far from my mind. And then the inevitable happened. Mac slipped. Landed square on her butt . Hard. Now if I had my wits about me I would have pulled out my camera and taken photos of her whilst she howled in pain and laughed at her own clumsiness. But  I was too anxious to get the Death Drop over and done with. I patiently waited as Mac got herself together .  Then it was time. I gave Mac the backpack to carry. If me, her main food supply, was going to fall off the cliff, I could at least leave with her the 2 bags of scroggin. Though she might find issue with MY scroggin not being detox friendly. We approached the drop. My heart was pounding. I could feel  a sweat coming on. I dared to look at the actual drop this time. It was then that I saw it. It wasn’t a sheer drop at all. It fell away quite gently actually. For some reason the angle from the other end looked awful and it wasn’t so bad after all. I practically skipped back over it. I felt elated to still be alive.

On we trucked. Mac determined to find somewhere to sit and have our picnic of apple and detox friendly scroggin. We found a waterfall  about 10 minutes away from the car park and sat by it. We took photos of our shoes and started laughing at our pathetic attempt to be all outdoorsy. At my dramatic break down at the not so sheer drop.At Mac’s fall and her blisters. Mac suggested we get a photo of the Hut and Photoshop ourselves standing in front of it so no one know what failures we were. I quite liked her idea and asked if she could Photoshop out my extra chin too.

We noted that it was getting cold. I suggested that perhaps we would be more comfortable if we used the survival blanket I had in my First Aid kit. I pulled it out and wrapped it around us. Strangely that large piece of tin foil did comfort us. We paid tribute to the wonders of science and proceeded to eat our snack,quietly sniggering at the whole pallava. It was at this moment a couple came around the corner.  They stopped. Still. Taking it all in. Two dishevelled looking woman, leaves in hair, looking absolutely knackered, sitting in the bush of the Cobb Valley with a survival blanket around them. A brief panic flickered in their eyes. ” Have you come far?” the man asked,  very concerned.  “Yeah”. ‘ I replied , realising how it must have looked.  ” We have just  walked all the way from the car park. Most exhausting 10 minutes of our lives!”  At this point we lost it completley. The two of us falling into a fit of pants wetting, snort laughter. The  walkers amused and satisfied we were indeed safe , pushed past us and left us to it on the side of the walkway , falling all over ourselves,in our survival blanket, with our detox friendly scroggin , drinking water out of plastic bottle, next to a waterfall, unable to communicate whilst we cried with laughter at our epic fail of an  attempt to be at one with nature, for the sake of a new pair of shoes.
Yep. It’s good to have friends.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/historic/by-region/nelson-tasman/golden-bay/asbestos-cottage/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icAwcByaNtY

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