Moata's Blog Idle
We have neighbours, and like a lot of people we don't really have that much to do with them. We nod if we happen to be at our front gates at the same time or occasionally say hello, or like yesterday, cautiously introduce The Master to their cute dogs. Contact is infrequent but benign.
But then there's one neighbour. Why is there always one who is a massive pain in your arse? He has this uncanny knack of gearing up his stereo just as we're trying to go to sleep, usually in the middle of the week. We've had several polite conversations with him over the back fence, late at night asking him to turn it down and usually he does.
One time he was blasting Ed Sheeran across our bow, and in defence claimed he was wooing a lady. Fair enough. I'm not sure that women are generally impressed with having their eardrums beaten into submission by Thinking Out Loud (that strikes me as more of a quiet, romantic, snuggling track) but what do I know?
A big part of the problem is that he has his stereo cranked up to 11 and his back door wide open. If it were closed the sound wouldn't travel as far. Another part of the problem is that we have a 1 year old who likes to wake up early and so our sleep is precious to us. I used to be something of a night owl but not any more. So our relatively early bedtime (10ish) doesn't really fit well with whatever schedule our neighbour is running to.
The most recent episode was on Tuesday night. The Silver Fox had gone to bed early because due to a meeting in Auckland he'd had an insanely early start (4am). It was just before 10pm and I was just about to head to bed when the toddler woke up crying and the neighbour's stereo started blasting Higher by Creed. Now, I know that the band Creed is universally reviled as The Worst but I've never been as offended by them as many other people are. But whatever the song, I know that kid's not going to go back to sleep with music booming through the house.
Being one half of an engaged couple means there are a lot of important questions to answer. When will should we get married? Can we dress our son up as an Ewok for the wedding? Is picking out china still a thing that people do and how I can I use my influence to make sure it's this set?
And on it goes.
But surely, the key question any modern couple must ask themselves is "how can we make it easier to get sexual in public places?"
Because as parents of an official "cute widdle zombie shuffling" toddler, sexual escapades are a "nice to have".
Unfortunately, sleep is also in this category. It's like if Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep were both up for the Best Actress Oscar. I mean Reese is great. Everybody enjoys the heck out of Reese's performance. We're a big fan of "Reese"... but Meryl is probably going to win three out of four times and that's just the way it is. Sorry, Ms Witherspoon. Maybe next year?
For the longest time after I had a baby I was really, truly, not comfortable with the word "mother". Well, not so much the word itself, more that it now applied to me.
It just seemed to come with a lot of gravitas. Far too much for this flibbertygibbet.
Obviously I'd thought about becoming a mother throughout my pregnancy but even then I was trying to fudge it, coming up with a modified version of it, declaring I would be entering "muthahood" instead.
But eventually the mist clears, you get a bit more sleep, and you stop fighting it. You are the mother of a strange, adorable, infuriating creature. You accept this responsibility and on good days you think you might even be passably good at it. And then they fall off a piece of furniture on to the floor and you immediately regret your hubris.
Central Christchurch. It ain't what it used to be. I mean, BIG time.
New buildings are rising out of the rubble at a surprising rate now (after the last four years anything faster than glacial speed feels pretty giddy) but buildings aren't people. A central city needs life, the hum and bustle of people going places and doing things. When I visit Auckland or Wellington, this feeling of energy, of people just going about their daily lives is what strikes me because it is largely absent here at home.
So when all these new buildings are completed we will need people to come and live in and operate businesses from them. And I believe this is the purpose of the recently launched Live Central website. To encourage people to live centrally and to give them an idea of what that might look like. To this end they have included a group of city dwellers to share their stories about living centrally.
Which is a great idea - except for how everyone looks like they could comfortably get away with using the same "medium-beige" L'Oreal foundation.
One of the great things about living in the burbs is that you get a little patch to call your own. A small oasis of privacy and calm away from the glare of your fellow citizens. A bit of unkempt backyard and a deck in need of staining to call one's own, if you will.
When I step out my back door, if I squint a bit, and the neighbour's dog isn't barking much I can imagine that I am alone. Apart from the wriggly toddler on my hip, that is. Blissfully, apart from the one year old, alone.
Except that we're not alone at all. As much as surburbanites may have more square meterage in which to play than city dwellers, we are as surrounded by humanity as anyone else.
This was never more clear to me than earlier in the week when I stepped out that same back door and sensed a presence.
There was no one there but it seemed as if there should have been as I could detect the unmistakable odour of men's body spray. Something in the Lynx line, if I wasn't mistaken.
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