Monday, 28 June 2010

Sometimes, I feel like Bambi.

That bit in the film where the poor little blighter is struggling for a foothold on a frozen pond? Yep, that's what my life feels like right now.

Please don't misinterpret this as me finding hidden depths, or getting philosophical on yo black asses. Not the case. I am way too shallow for that kind of behaviour, I mean it literally. Whenever I step out of the house to walk to work - downhill - I find that someone in the night has plotted my route to work and covered it entirely in a thin white sheet of teflon.

Since being in Queenstown, I have thrown myself out of things, jumped off stuff, I ski hard, I occasionally try stupid things on a snowboard, yet I can't help feeling that life enjoys dealing blows laced with irony. Just like Colin McCrae - drove cars stupidly for a living and died in a helicopter crash - I am bound to hurt myself doing something incredibly mundane like walking into work. Every day is a challenge. Every day I tentatively put one foot in front of the other, walking like Douglas Bader, just struggling to stay standing, only to suddenly find I am 30 yards further down the road with my skid marks being the only evidence of my travel. Both kinds of skid marks.

Enough, back to Bambi. Part of me thinks the film would have been way better all round if it hadn't been Bambi's mother that got shot by the hunter. It should have been Bambi. It would have made a much shorter and more bearable film, and the hunters family would have a jucier, more succulent piece of meat for dinner.

I fucking love meat. It's great. I live by a few rules when it comes to meat. I'll try anything with two or more legs, up to four. Anything with more than four legs is probably an insect, and I've stepped on insects and seen their insides, and decided many a time that those insides do not need to be in MY insides. And no seafood. Fish have no legs, and they are fast, and hard to catch unless you use a trawling net. And they were put miles underwater. If we had been intended to eat fish, they would have been give four legs, fur, and been put in fields. Much like cows, those big dumb rectangles of tastiness just vacantly chewing grass waiting for the bolt between the eyes. But getting back to the original point about Bambi again, as good as cow tastes, baby cow tastes much better. The younger and cuter the animal is, the more I would love to see it on a plate. I bet kitten tastes fucking awesome.

Since winter kicked off again here, we have had to endure some winter training which has involved a few class based sessions, but more enjoyably traipsing around town trying more activities and eating. Eating lots. If you have read previous posts you will know that I like nothing more than being told when to eat, what I am going to eat, and having all the effort taken out of going grocery shopping and preparing food. So for a few days none of this was necessary.

A few of us went on a Dart River Wilderness Safari. This involved being taken to Glenorchy/Paradise - population: 3 old men and one very sore dog - in a four wheel drive being given a guided tour of the area, with various filming locations being pointed out. Surprisingly, some film that no-one EVER bangs on about called Lord of the Rings (or something similar) was filmed around that area. Others too, Wolverine, Vertical Limit, I think I dropped off at that point because my mind is now trained to slowly start drifting off as soon as someone mentions that Lord of the Rings was filmed s........

Anyway, the scenery was amazing, the drive was sweet, the guided forest walk was interesting, climbing inside a hollowed out tree was fascinating, the jet boat ride was just that - another jet boat ride, but the soup was good, and the pizza we were given at one of the two Glenorchy pubs was astounding.

Later on that night we traveled up the gondola in town to experience the traditional Kiwi Haka, worth doing to see exactly how much weirdness one human face can achieve in 30 minutes, and then the buffet dinner - of which I only managed five courses due to over eating the pizza. It was like being at a Harvester with an extended salad cart - extended to include every type of food under the sun. Buffets are one of the few areas in life that I generally excel in.  I  managed multiple dinners that night, and who doesn't like Venison Rogan Josh for desert?

Dinner at one of the local restaurants, a sample platter of the food they offer which included a big plate of meat dripping in blood from various different cute furry little animals, a catered night out from one of the local mountains who kept the food coming all night. It's been a blessing that I currently have a toilet to myself at home.

There has been other things too. Another jet boat ride (imagine "another" being said in a voice that indicates that all these jet boat rides are becoming a real drag), an afternoon quad biking which although is a guided tour, you can still spice it up by waiting until the people in front of you have disappeared and then opening the throttle and caning it for all you are worth. There's probably been more but I am buggered if I can remember as more importantly all the ski fields are open right now so that has me completely fizzing at the bunghole. If I had a bunghole to fizz at, obviously.

Two weeks ago we had a massive dump. Could you hear me sniggering as I wrote that? I awoke with a raging hangover, went to empty my bladder which was running at twice it's capacity, and noticed that the outside through the frosted glass was unusually white. I grabbed my board, apologised profusely to my skis, and walked as quickly as I could to get the bus. Which to be honest wasn't that quick at all, as I have discovered two things about most of the trainers I have - they have no grip whatsoever, and they have less in the way of waterproofing. But none of this could bring me down, there were plenty of fresh lines to be had, and the day was probably one of the most tiring I have experienced in a while, but remarkably satisfying. Currently the ski fields are overrun due to there being something like a million schools on holiday. Myself and a friend made an effort to ski on Tuesday this week, but upon finding the hill rammed with Australians we decided it may be best to turn around at the top and spend all day in the pub instead, one of the best ideas we have come up with in a while. Until the following morning of course when it took every muscle in my body to prevent what little dinner I ate the previous night making a re-appearance from most probably my mouth, and both nostrils.

Finally, and most recently, I managed to get heli-snow-mobiling. I have no idea if I have hyphenated that correctly, and to be honest don't even really care. It was similar to the quad biking, except we were transported by helicopter to a remote area in the mountains, and were on snow-mobiles instead of quad bikes. Once again, the most joy to be had was waiting for everyone to disappear over the horizon, spend a few minutes taking in the peacefulness and serenity of the snow covered plains, then hitting the gas and firing off as fast as possible with no regard for any kind of safety whatsoever.  Slow down through narrow gateways and warn the person behind?  I don't think so, I saw it myself from a mile off and reckon I can make it doing 45.  30kph maximum round this corner?  Yeah, I'll try it at 60 and see how we go.

In fact, both this and the quad biking have now led me to realise that life is way more fun if you view warning signs as challenges.

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