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TWELVE

On ONEYEARANDTHIRTYTHREEDAYS

A few notable things have happened in the past couple of weeks. Firstly, I went for a horse trek- a wild, wet, windy canter along the sands following a splash in the surf and a beautiful stagger through the native bush, over little streams and across wide open paddocks. This was with Wayne and Penny, our neighbours, kind of, at Wildcoast Ruapuke. Lucky to be invited, and excited to be back in the saddle, riding reminded me of how wonderful it is simply to walk and to look, to not really think, just sit back and go with the movement, in this case of Blue, a handsome and sturdy roan.

Also, I spent a day working for a clever friend of mine, Ben, who makes groovy shoes from upcycled materials under the name Trash Footwear (www.trashfootwear.com). This earned me an awesome pair of boots, ready for Winter wanderings. He's off to Oz to do some work, so needed a hand tying up loose laces and fattening up the website, which was real fun.

Then there was the storm. A mighty weight of wind, whipping and smashing through Ruapuke, taking trees, power lines, tipping, tossing, tumbling all kinds of objects as if rubbish, leaving then strewn across lawns like an obstreperous teenager, who's in fact still waiting, sulking around the mountain and shouting gusts of air, though for us now from a more amiable distance. It came in the night and felt like it could kick the bus down... Fortunately, it's reasons lacked conviction and it seemed to stomp off after an extended tantrum, leaving, well, just a bit of a mess. Which afforded us a lovely day at the bus, with no power and a good reason to cook delicious food on the fire, dream up cool ideas for the bus and of course, siesta.

Day One: Palm Springs, California

On From Cactus to Polar Bears

It's six in the morning, alarms go off. Rolling out of bed showing no physical signs of the urgency and panic you are dealing with mentally. Grab clothes out of the bag- who cares if it matches. Shoes? Socks are too much work... Flip flops. Where are the car keys? Oops, I sat on them. You reach for the door handle to the main room. The door opens and everyone else is rushing around cleaning and packing; last minute odds and ends. That sense of urgency and panic? Yeah. You could use a little bit of that physically right now.

It's 7:00 am. You lean on the door to shut it right. Drive away.

It's 7:25 am and you arrive at the stables. Get Luna out, brush her, clean hooves, strap on shipping boots, braid tail, put tail in purple tail bag, wrap the top of the tail in pink vet wrap, give treats. Walk up to trailer. Walk into trailer. Tie horse. Close doors. Walk away. Drive away. Hit the highway.

1:30 pm: uhaul breaks down. Best source of shade? Crawling up and sitting cross legged inside the hay manger.

2:34 pm: leave uhaul to be towed, cram into truck and RV

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