Not too many weeks ago, I caused much laughter and general hilarity around the office when I resolved that by the end of the summer season I would be the proud owner of a bronzed physique that would allow me to supplement my meagre income as a SBW double.
Being a slightly lardy Pom with flesh reminiscent of a bottle of Anchor, my colleagues’ comic disbelief was understandable. Not only did I have the inconvenience of an intensive sit-up regime and modification of my diet to match the calorific intake of a bulimic mouse to contend with, but also a fairly major raft of genetic inadequacies too.
However, with the foolhardy determination of one whose only previous association with the word ‘diet’ was as a prefix to ‘coke’ I set about my challenge with gusto. And without wanting to blow my own trumpet I made a fairly decent fist of it – thanks to a couple of sunny days at the beach my skin tone transformed to a weak beige and because I live in an area of North Shore where you need pitons to get up the average driveway, I shed a number of kilos through gentle exercise; things were looking good.
Then, along came Christmas.
Thanks to well meaning but entirely misguided efforts at gift giving on behalf of my circle of friends, around 80% of my diet for the last seven days has been manufactured by Cadbury’s; with a similar proportion of my liquid intake coming courtesy of the good folk at the Tui brewery.
And because the weather has been changeable at best, my exercise regime has dwindled to become nothing more than lifting paint rollers during half-hearted efforts at renovating Grimley Towers. So because of this, in conjunction with my calorie intake ballooning to that of the average American, it’s no real surprise to find that the electronic scales now feel the need to remind me that they don’t take coach parties.
All of which has taught me a valuable lesson – making resolutions that require a) lots of physical effort and b) self deprivation of the almighty foaming ale is a really stupid idea.
But to find the silver lining in this particular cloudy vista, the 31st December is rather a good time to learn such a lesson. Because while the rest of the country will be crawling out of bed the following afternoon with a stinking hangover and the first gym payment looming, I’ll be on my way to putting a sizable chunk of my own resolution to bed.
At the crack of dawn (which is around 10am in my world) we – being myself, the current Mrs Grimley and a bag of acceptably clean underwear – are clambering into my sheddy Mercedes and chugging off in a Northerly direction. And unless the car decides otherwise, we are going to keep going all the way to Cape Reinga.
It can be all too easy for those of us whose working week and other commitments mean we often see little beyond our own home town or city to forget just how amazing New Zealand is. We know it’s pretty special and we know it’s out there, but somehow there’s never quite enough time to pop out and visit. Besides, we seem to get a lot of jealous karma from tourists just for being on the same landmass anyway.
But to take the place for granted in this manner is nigh on unforgivable; particularly when so many of these incredible places are at the end of some truly spectacular drives. And so, starting tomorrow, I resolve to get out there, drive the roads, see the sights and truly appreciate this astonishing country. I can only hope the Mercedes agrees.
And as soon as I get back I promise the sit-ups will start again.