Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Beans... Always, with the Beans!"

Actually, I didn't have to handle the beans today, but as always, beans were present here in Little River today. Seeing as today is Sunday, Glen slept in, so Kiko and I had a leisurely beginning to the morning as we lazed in our lean-to until 9am. As much as I enjoy the downtime, I find it unsettling not knowing what is expected of me, or when I am going to have to work, etc.; I do so much better when there is a clearly-set schedule, like there was at Howard and Rosemarie's.

As Kiko went to make her coffee this morning, she had a bit of a nasty surprise: when she went to pour the water out of the kettle into her her mug, she spotted something floating around inside; it was a white-tailed spider! It was dead, having suffered a rather unfortunate death-by-boiling-water demise, but seeing as they are poisonous (and introduced from Australia; thanks, Australia!) Kiko opted to dump the boiled water down the sink and start afresh. Glen and Ivy also dumped their already-made coffee and started again from scratch. Now my silly habit of always checking inside a kettle before I boil water doesn't seem so silly!

This morning Glen made ready-to-go stir-fry mixes by blanching the beans Kiko and I prepared yesterday, adding chopped onion, squash, zucchini, and broccoli, and packaging everything up in ziploc bags to go in the freezer. Kiko and I helped by running outside to pick the onions and squash, but other than that we just tried to stay out of Glen's hair; it's not a very big kitchen. Instead, we settled for working outside, uprooting dandelions from the lawn (there sure were a lot more than first meets the eye!).

After lunch Glen and Ivy went into town as Glen went off to work at one of his odd jobs, and Kiko and I busied ourselves outside making compost: Glen had previously brought home several bags of horse manure, and Kiko and I raked leaves from lawn, creating alternating layers of manure and leaves in the compost. I was kind and did all the manure handling myself; the look on Kiko's face when I opened the black garbage bag was enough to let me know she didn't want any part of spreading horse droppings with a pitchfork!

By midafternoon it had started to rain here, and for some reason I had developed the mother of all stomach aches (too many beans?) so after harvesting a few vegetables from the garden (tomatoes and potatoes) we came inside for a quiet afternoon. I spent it mainly researching and earmarking places to stay when my parents come here in just under ten days; I could never be a travel agent, I find this sort of thing too stressful. Then again, maybe it's my ├╝ber-slow internet connection that's causing me so much grief; the cell phone reception isn't always great out here, so my mobile internet key can be wonky. I imagine booking things would be a lot less of a headache on a zippy broadband connection.

This afternoon I also phoned Frank in Napier to give him the heads-up of when my parents and I are planning on visiting, and fired off an e-mail to Howard and Rosemarie to tell them when we were going to be in Nelson (so they can draw the drapes and pretend not to be home, ha ha). I also called my next WWOOFing host, Penelope, and confirmed that I will be coming to stay with them starting tomorrow afternoon. All this phoning was made slightly interesting by the fact that I was using the SIM card from the mobile internet key to make the calls; when I purchased this month's internet data, I got 100mins of weekend calling to NZ mobiles and landlines as a free bonus, so by swapping the SIM card out of the mobile internet key and into my phone I was able to take advantage of those free minutes to make the calls.

So yes, tomorrow afternoon I am leaving Glen's place here in "Paradise", as he calls it, and heading back into Christchurch. As an unexpected bonus, Glen is heading into Christchurch tomorrow, so I am able to hitch a ride back into town with him and the whole motley crew. He'll drop me at the bus exchange, and from there I'll catch the #28 out to Lyttleton where Penelope lives.

I must admit, I'm not terribly sad to be leaving this place; while it is a beautiful location, I could do with having a shower and an actual toilet again (not just a camping toilet), and with this being such a small house I constantly feel like I'm intruding on Glen and Ivy's private lives; it reminds me somewhat of being in a dorm room where a couple is constantly engaging in intimate moments and actions and the whole world can't help but hear because we're all in such a small space. I suppose Kiko can pretend to not (or might actually not) understand everything they say, but I'm looking forward to leaving and not feeling like I'm the third wheel that they really just want to leave by the side of the road.

Anyway, it is five minutes to nine now, and Glen has been making movements like he wants to go to bed early, which means I had better get out of the living room and sequestered back into the little lean-to I share with Kiko (for the last night). Goodnight!


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