Life at No.22, Musings

The Changing Seasons – June 2020

Joining in with Su from Zimmerbitch and the rest of the crew for a review of June.

Firstly, the weather. This month started off with a deluge of rain, much needed in many parts of our country. Though not necessarily all at once. As fast as the rain appeared it disappeared and the sun shone for days on end. Push the repeat button.

Lately, I’ve noticed something’s been missing during my early morning walks, not the obvious like the Squire [he was the sensible one staying warm at home], it was an unseen more like a feeling. Our smallish city center has lost some of it’s vitality. Mainly due to the deconstruction of old buildings and the construction of new big city plans and then the ultimate lockdown. Cranes dominate airspace where new buildings will eventually stand. It will be years before the place is up and running at full throttle. I am not going anywhere in a hurry. I can wait. In the meantime, there are excellent cycle and walk trails to give myself that sense of freedom in such restricted times.

I’m an Active Relaxer

Lickety split around Tauranga’s cycle trails on my new bike. Oh, did I mention the purchase of a new electric bike, our second vehicle? I’m loving the power assistance. So dreamy in a safe way!.

I confess, I’m no fancy Lycra clothed speedy cyclist. Nowadays, I go at a slower pace while on two wheels unlike in my youthful days when “no hands on the handlebars” was the “thing” to do. Somehow, I’ve misplaced my daredevil streak. Thankfully, my enjoyment of cycling hasn’t been lost.

Frocks on Bikes

Meeting point before heading off

After many attempts to meet up with this fun-sounding group, I managed to do just that this month. A very enjoyable time was had cycling and chatting with other like-minded people. There were even a couple of women with frocks on. I was suitably impressed, as it looked as if I was trying to impersonate a polar bear with my too many layers of clothing. On a positive side, I stayed warm, and that nasty cold wind didn’t chill my bones. I’m looking forward to warmer days and shaved legs to show off my new summer frock. Until then, the polar bear look stays.

Half Marathon Training

During my walks, my head is full of rattling ball bearings carrying bouncing thoughts, with most, about mundane things to organise in life, like meal planning etc.

Then, there is the deep and meaningful; this is where it gets tricky.

Usually, this insightfulness occurs on long walks; this months dialogue was how competing in a marathon, and life is quite similar.

On Race Day, you start with a whizz and a bang full of enthusiasm of obtaining a new Personal best, and then mistakes start occurring ones you haven’t corrected during training, “shouldn’t have eaten eggs the night before a race”, sort of thoughts.

Then the aches and doubts start happening with fierce revenge as kms are eaten away. Suddenly, out of nowhere that second burst of energy occurs, and everything in the universe becomes bright and clear.

You can conquer this, and you do.

Racing over that finish line, exhausted, exhilarated and in the words of Ed Hilary “we knocked the bastard off.”

Development of Dark Humour

This month we’ve had long chats interspersed with well-nourished humour. It’s a coping strategy and so is fine-tuning the dark side of said humour. Every day includes laughter, some days there’s even belly wobbling laughs. Alongside chatting with ease about living with terminal cancer and what’s going to happen, other days we act like ostriches. Ostriches don’t do belly laughs.

Often people may think those who enjoy dark humour have something terribly wrong with them. After all, what type of person appreciates jokes about death or illness?

However, the truth is at some point in all our lives negativity, illness and unfortunate events can be hard to cope with, and humour is one amazing tool for us to move past these experiences, change our perspective, and take some control over them. We will talk about cancer and life, literally to death. Writing about it on a regular basis is different. As I haven’t reached that point where I have fully understood it’s impact on our lives or perhaps the lack of it.

From my personal experience, I often find that those who can be the funniest people in life are also those who have gone through an substantial amount of shit in life.

The Cat has the last say

Rocky is his name, who knows what he wants when he wants it and who is to administer his every whim. Lately, the furball and us have seen quite a bit of each other. Rocky happens to live with my parents. With each visit, there is attention to be given to that furball before it’s diverted to anyone else. A pat, and a chat – off he slinks to his possie in the sun.

He does have a purr-fect life.

To join in the group fun, head on over to:

“The Changing Seasons” – Su from Zimmerbitch

60 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – June 2020”

  1. Hi Suzanne, sometimes humour is the only way to cope isn’t it? I also know that getting out and exercising is great for our physical and mental health. As for me, I’m 62 and have never really ridden a bike! That surely must be something to add to my bucket list. I also like your term Active Relaxer staying fit and healthy but at a slower pace. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and sending best wishes to you and the Squire.

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    1. It is not too much different from a “normal” one in that you still have to use the pedal. It does pay not to get too reliant on the power assistance as the main reason for a bike its too get fit.

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  2. Lovely post Suzanne. I would love to hear what you think about the Big City Plans that are happening nearby. Do you consider it a good thing? Your biking group looks very colorful and energetic. My MIL has an electric 3-wheeler. She doesn’t drive, so it gives her a lot of freedom and independence.

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    1. To be honest Suzanne, I haven’t had time to really analyze what’s really happening with our city development. It is all going to take a few years and plans will change with every election. Even though my bike has power assistance I still get a workout from it. I can imagine your MIL would love her independence via her electric scooter.

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  3. Yes I agree Suz, humour is a very useful thing to have in these times. Sometimes I prefer to be the ostrich but it doesn’t help in the longer term. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the new bike, I know what you mean, I love mine too 🙂 Pass on our greetings to the Squire #mlstl

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    1. Greetings to the Mathematician 🙂 Hope he is feeling much better now. I enjoyed cycling before but now I am loving it, as I get to do tramping/walking and still have the energy to use my bike. Though tend to use the power just to get uphill or when the wind is too strong. Very liberating. Hope too that you are feeling ok and not worrying too much about your family.

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  4. Lovely scenery Suzanne and I noticed a cycling group out near our place the other day when I was going for a walk – they looked like they were having a blast. I’ve also seen a lot more electric bikes (and trikes) out and about – it seems to be the latest craze (and they’re not cheap from what I’ve seen!) Glad you’re enjoying yours. #MLSTL

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    1. Cycling and even electric bikes have been very popular for quite a while. I use it as our second vehicle, and don’t use the power assistance unless I get very tired or on a major hill and strong wind.
      Hopefully the cyclists were considerate to you as a walker and used their bells. As I hated cyclists scaring me as they roared past me.

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  5. What great images, Suzanne–both those you captured with your camera and those you painted with your words. Thanks for sharing them with us. #MLSTL

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  6. Suzanne, I love the comment… an active relaxer. That’s perfect.

    I’m not but it helps me better understand those who are. I don’t like to be doing things all of the time. I mean, I guess I rarely do nothing but for me I appreciate watching TV or reading etc as relaxation. Maybe I’m just not an outdoors person!

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    1. Sounds like you aren’t an outdoors person. Each to their own and I rarely watch TV, as too many horrible American reality shows and other rubbish on it. Much prefer to watch a good movie or series via Netflix – no adverts!

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  7. That image of the clouds reflected is fabulous. I’m glad you and the Squire can find humour in the crap life throws at you. It would be so easy to sink into the depths of despair, but you have so much to enjoy together still and so many wonderful memories to share. Stay strong!

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    1. Thanks very much Jude and we will certainly stay strong and there is still more to enjoy in life. I love our sense of humour and after 20 years together we have nearly perfected it.

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  8. I was admiring our postie’s e-bike this morning. It just zips along with a few pedals. So good for the environment too. You are so on trend, Suzanne.
    I have wondered about how you and the Squire are coping. it can’t be easy. I am so relieved that the virus is under control for the moment on your side of the Ditch. Keep your borders closed because who wants to be locked down when time is precious?

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    1. Thanks Tracy and we are making each day count even if most of the days are being cautious with what we do out in the big wide world. It’s important for us to spend time together and still pursue as individual hobbies. We are coping well and hopefully that will last.
      I love my new bike and I can see the car not being used too often.

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    1. You’re right Lisa it is very motivating cycling with others. So is tramping [hiking] which I about to do this morning. Though I enjoy my walks with the Squire along the beach and around our neighbour just as much.

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  9. I used to bike all the time, but that was a few years ago now. But the thought you’ve put in my mind of an electric bike gives me hope for my biking days to return. I love Tauranga, my daughter lives there and I’m longing for the travel bubble with NZ to get here so I can visit. Love the cat picture, Rocky looks like a cat with attitude

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    1. Like anyone who has tried one you will love using an electric bike. I enjoy using mine and I still get a good outwork with it. It would be lovely to catch up for a coffee when you do set foot in Tauranga.

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        1. Perhaps people are more into walking and swimming? As it is flat there really isn’t any need for a power assisted bike. I love the fact that I can go for miles using my own steam then on the way home if I literally run out of energy and there is hills I can turn on the power.

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  10. Ways of coping. You seem to have developed some excellent ones, Suzanne. Of necessity. At least when you look back on your life together you’ll not have space for many regrets. Two lives well lived, in tandem 🙂 🙂

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    1. That’s life and I really just wanted to highlight that a dark sense of humour is really good to release those “feelings” in us all. No regrets and we have always made the best of what has been dealt us.

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  11. A lovely post Suzanne. I firmly believe, as you do, that humour is a wonderful coping strategy and when life is full of uncertainty, struggle and pain, it is a blessing to be able to laugh — however dark that humour may seem.

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    1. You would love an electric bike Lyn. It is very liberating and gives you the opportunity to venture long distance without the concern of whether you will make it home. I love the uprightness of the bike, disc brakes and big tyres plus having lights in the front and the back.

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  12. My next bike will definitely be electric! I love the color too! My husband and I laugh about a lot of things… and often our humor turns to the dark side too. Life (and certainly death) isn’t all rainbows and unicorns but one can find bits of humor if we are open to it. Rocky is a cutie… and I love the contrast of his white fur against the red leaves.

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    1. Janis, you’re right life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It was so funny that day I took the photos of Rocky, as he usually doesn’t stay put. This time I must have ignited his curiosity and I think he thought I had lost the plot.

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  13. Enjoyed reading this, Suzanne. I’d imagine electric bikes are wonderful to ride.
    I can understand the need for dark humour sometimes, it can help.
    I love the cat photo and the contrast in colours. Have a great day.

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    1. Thanks very much, Cathy. Electric bikes make cycling on windy days a breeze as it means I can venture further without wondering if I’m going to have the energy to get home. My back is appreciating the upright position.
      Wishing you a good day too.

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    2. Thanks Cathy, and pleased you enjoyed my post.
      The humour bit was to highlight the need for us all keep using it as it is certainly a tonic.
      Electric bikes and hills are a combination made in heaven. Rocky the cat is such a character and has everyone trained so well!

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