This was OK. I had, with my limited knowledge of geography, visualised the Bridle Path as being a gentle stroll round the bays, perhaps, or a jaunty trot down the dales. I had visualised myself, notebook in hand, meandering along writing pithy observations about country life. I had imagined sauntering merrily along the beachfront, feeling superior to the cattle. I had even considered wearing a beret. I had completely forgotten that in between Christchurch and Lyttelton there is a big mother-fucking hill. (I have got to learn some basic geography.) So we were driving out towards the hills - nice sunny day - when suddenly it dawned on me.
"Mum," I said, "we're not going over the Port Hills, are we?"
She gave me a strange look and said, "Where did you think the Bridle Path was?"
"I feel I have been duped!" I said, because I did.
"You have duped yourself."
Curses! Duped by my own ignorance once again!
It took an hour to go up one side of the hill and down the other (we stopped a lot) and I regretted my careless decision to not bring a drink bottle (we don't need no water let the motherfuckers burn (my lungs are the motherfuckers (birds don't have lungs did you know that))). I also yearned for the sweet embrace of death and complained a lot. Apparently the early settlers climbed up & over this carrying bedding & babies & God knows what else. I would have got five minutes up the hill and gone 'fuck it, I'm staying in Lyttelton.'
Here is the view from the top!
Through the red mist in front of my eyes, I can see my house from here! said Ally the Pioneer
Not so scenic when you think you're going to vomit.
Anyway, after that traumatic experience, we met my aunt and cousin in Lyttelton for a much-needed coffee. I could quite happily live in Lyttelton, I think; there are lots of lovely old cottegy houses, and while it's true that there's only really one main street it has a library, a bank, a supermarket, and a lot of cafes and bars. I would settle down there and Be A Writer (would have to actually write something, though, which is the catch and kind of off-putting.) Also, would miss the big city life. Try to get by. Pressure no ease up no matter how hard I try! - not a problem one would have in Lyttelton.
Am just rambling now, but seen at Lyttelton Farmers' Market: 'Perpetual Spinach' plants (these do not sound like they should be a real plant. Also it's not just plain old spinach because they were also selling that); signposted 'Dog Parking Area,' with dogs tied up in a row; Birth of a Hipster (saw a fashionably nerdy guy with retro glasses and a silly beard trying on vintage hats - had a little giggle to myself before launching superhero-like across the market stall and knocking the hat from his hand just seconds before it was too late! no I didn't really do that but I kind of wish I had); stunning little pink hat with that bit of lace that falls in front of your face and makes you look demure & coy. Almost bought it but then came to my senses at the last minute.
Also, I bought a new notebook! It is the right size to fit in my handbag (old one was, although 'fashionably large', irritatingly capacious (hey, I like that sentence, so it stays no matter how nonsensical it may be)) and has 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON' emblazoned in the front in old Army-style font, with the crown above it. Very, um, me.
On the way home we passed the Legalize Cannabis Party having a Legalize Cannabis party in one of the parks, with a sign saying "TOOT if u TOKE." My mother refused to toot, but then I suppose as she does not toke (neither do I) then that's fair enough.
Tomorrow: onesies and dogs and predicting the weather. Do not adjust your dial.
*one stalking a bird along the eaves of a house, one on windshield of car, one curled up on shadecloth covering a plant nursery (precarious as shadecloth already had one roughly cat-sized hole in it), one clinging to the side of a house! but it turned out to be a drainpipe and not a cat at all.