Happy New Year! I followed the same tradition last night that I have maintained for many years now, and did nothing. Being only a ‘mildly social’ person, I’m happy in my mildly curmudgeonly ways, which I don and discard in no particular order, and at will, according to the occasion. What can I say? I’m an older woman and enjoy not having the pressure to conform, nor care too about being inconsistent. In fact, I’ve just decided now that ‘inconsistency’ shall be my new year’s resolution for 2022.
Unknowingly at the time, I started off my resolution of inconsistency yesterday by an impromptu visit to a friend of the nephew’s, whose lifestyle is totally inconsistent with mine, and had a fabulous day. The nephew has got himself a new job and his first car, so we went driving in it to see his friend, David. Up until now, the nephew has lived his life in academia and writing academic books, which has been satisfying and rewarding, but not lucrative. Penury has not been a totally unfamiliar acquaintance – but that’s all changed now.
The nephew and I live on the same property – he in the back flat of three, and I live in the front flat – so we engage a bit with each other. Plus, we scored almost the exact same score on the Autism Spectrum quiz¹, although we did squeak into the ‘normal’ range – haha – so we kinda ‘get’ each other, even when we don’t agree with each other.
The nephew’s friend, David, is a retired, but still gregarious, law professor. He and his dog, Bob (a female) and mother to my sister’s dog, live in Port Levy² (Māori: Koukourarata) on Banks Peninsulaᶟ, about an hour and twenty minutes’ stunningly picturesque drive from where the nephew and I live in Christchurch.
Their abode is a big old colonial house on 6.5 hectares (16 acres) of land, which was used in the movie ‘Z for Zachariah’⁴ released in 2015. It’s an apocalypse-survival movie, which doesn’t appear to be on Netflix, unfortunately, but is for hire on Neon.
Upon the nephew’s and my arrival, we were immediately invited to sit with David and his friend and neighbour, Rufus, in the garden to have a beer. We thought it impolite to decline, so we didn’t 🙂
Then we got the house and property tour, which isn’t new to the nephew, although he enjoys seeing the changes that have occurred in between his infrequent visits. The property consists of the aforesaid house, an orchard, gardens, and connecting places amongst them all which don’t have names. It’s has some structure and order, but the other impression I got was that it wasn’t entirely tamed. It had me enthralled.
A recent addition is a holiday cottage⁵, which I could just see myself in for weekends away. For me, it has the right balance of being in an untamed, but not disordered, world, whilst not roughing it. It’s impossible for me to live in disorder, yet I crave to be in environments sometimes that are not totally tamed down. When I turned thirty years old, I decided that I was never going bush-camping again. I hated it, but I’d allowed myself to be coerced into doing it to suit other people. Although I loved the wildness of the bush, I didn’t love roughing it, so the experience was always tarnished by that. More than thirty years later, I’ve finally come to the realisation that places that can combine staying in an untamed world (or close to it) mixed with some home comforts are just my cuppa tea. Some of us are slow learners, but now that my eyes have been opened, who knows where those eyes might take me 🙂
All in all, it was a damn good day, and the spur of the moment decision to drive to David’s was a great way to finish one year, and set the tone for a new one. Here’s to 2022 – and the whole new mess of living and life it will bring – lol!