Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Second One: Clip clop, hip hop, pick up my dead cat.

“He often used to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep and every path was its tributary."It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to."”

So I have been in New Zealand for two weeks now. I think it’s going well as far as these things can be judged. The flight was a success at least. We took off on the Sunday, spent the Monday not existing and landed on the Tuesday. In between I didn’t die or end up crashing and having to land on an island where some “Others” repeatedly try to kill me and I have flash-backs revealing shocking things about my past life. With a hatch.

Good job really. I would have been a rubbish character in Lost.
Dave is in a jungle. Dave drinks coffee while watching telly. Dave is in a jungle looking at a hatch. Dave has another coffee while watching telly. Dave is in a jungle looking at a tree. Dave has a coffee while turning off the telly. Dave gets killed by a smoke monster. Dave makes himself a cup of tea, which he actually prefers! LOST.

I don’t think I would watch that. Even if it did have a polar bear in it.

Before starting work at the hospital I have been doing some touristy things. I have been to a climbing centre and learned how to climb a wall as well as going on a horse trek.
I am not sure climbing is really for me. I wasn’t particularly good at it making it only three quarters of the way up the wall. I think the problem was that my goal while climbing was to move as far away from the ground as possible. This is the opposite of my normal goal (recent plane trip aside). I like the ground. It’s where I spend the majority of my time. The higher I got I realised that if I were to fall off I would very quickly reacquaint myself with the ground. The ground would then show me how much it missed me by giving me a great big hug. Then I would die. I know I am being overdramatic. I was off course attached to a rope, so even if I did fall, I would certainly only end up severely broken. Still I did spend a lot of time wishing I was Spiderman. Or that I had gecko gloves. Apparently some clever engineers have developed an adhesive material designed around the same concept as how geckos climb walls. That is millions of micro-fibres packed into a very small area.

If I’d had some of that I would have been much happier. Probably happier than if I was Spiderman anyway. The last thing I need as I worry about where my next foothold is, is if the Green Goblin is going to attack. No, as a great philosopher once said “I would rather have me a pair of gecko gloves than be Spiderman and no mistake” Wise words.
Horse trekking once more successful. Mainly because while you occasionally have to point it in the right direction the horse does all the work. And I had a good horse. His name was Moose. Good old Moose. Second best name for a horse there is. The first is obviously John McLane. But that’s because John McLane is first for everything. Except dying. Yippee kay yay, Mother flipper.

(Myth I would like to spread #1 There is no swearing in New Zealand)

The only problem with Moose (apart from it seeming like the people in charge of horse trekking had picked a horse with a name that would make me sound fat. “Look at that guy, best bring out Moose!”) was that he wasn’t too keen on walking in mud. As most of the land he was walking across was muddy this meant he had to take increasingly bizarre routes, risking his (and as an extension my) life and limbs by climbing up relatively drink banks and jumping to distant islands of dryness. This made for a jarring ride, jeopardising my future sitting down happiness. Anyone who thinks I should have tried steering him has never seen a horse. They will do exactly what they want. Especially a horse called Moose. As it happened, Moose was very well trained and would react to some steering so I definitely didn’t die on that ride, despite what the British tabloids might be saying.

At least Moose didn’t suffer from narcolepsy. Horses can. Also while they can sleep standing up they need to lie down to experience REM sleep. If they are denied this they will randomly collapse while slipping into REM sleep while awake and standing. These are one of the things you can know if you have a psychology degree or have access to Wikipedia.

I will have properly started my elective by the time anyone reads this (I know you’re there, I can hear your imaginary breathing) and hopefully should be able to write about it soon. I have fairly sparse access to the internet as it takes a while to shovel enough coal into the furnace and then crank it up but this is hopefully improving soon.

A fairly glum note to finish on, but then it would be. As I was leaving the house this morning, I saw a man walk round the corner with a spade with something peculiar looking on it. It is hard to describe but it looked a bit like a stuffed toy of a cormorant that had been in an oil spill. They will never make this toy. They never take my suggestions. The man then dumped this object at the side of the road; looked into my eyes with a look that would curdle sour cream and walked off. As I focussed on the object I realised that it was a cat in what can only be described as in the advanced stages of rigor mortise. Welcome to New Zealand!


  1. There are several episodes of Lost that your character may well have improved.

  2. Ah yes, the famous episode where it turns out Desmond used to drink mint tea. Brother.