I took my daughters and one of their friends rollerblading at the Kilbirnie Rec Centre.
Rollerblading is very silly. Entertaining to watch though; sitting on the seats outside the rink watching a carnival of anxiety, grace and pratfalls. I spend a good three minutes watching one teenager straddling the top of a ramp with one boot and halfway up the ramp with the other. It is a tussle between willpower and gravity with dignity long forgotten. Eventually the teen wins. This time. Gravity licks its chops expectantly. The teenager wobbles down the ramp in that wonderful convulsive full body motion that is sort of like the whole body trying not to vomit up its intestines: a series of correcting involuntary thrusts of the tummy back and forward.
This skittering, unpredictable drama is punctuated by that peculiar spattering, clattering sound that people on skates make when they fall over wearing wrist and knee guards.
Rollerblading is one of those things I like to imagine my cat watching. My cat likes watching me take showers. I assume this is because she can think of literally nothing worse to do to yourself. She once popped her head up behind me while I was sitting on the toilet and looked down into the toilet bowl. Fair enough. Sitting on a toilet is an odd think for a mammal to do. Like rollerblading really. Cats have the look of alien overlords taking notes. Sadly they are just highly successful parasites on homo sapiens.
I have been watching the moon closely. It’s the first time I have done this in a slightly systematic way. I am doing it because I am trying to understand where I live better, and the experts on that are the Māori. And so I am paying attention to their calendar. The moon turning: Maramataka. I am trying to see.
“While the blue bowl of the sky was filling up with the shadows I saw a curl of white off to the west above the hills. The moon. The gorse flowers must be turning brown for the green, heavy-shouldered hills are looking threadbare and rusty. It’s colder. In the morning there is condensation on the inside of the windows when I pull the curtains back. The cat has rediscovered the heat vents in the floors and hesitates a little longer before obeying the pressure in her bladder.”
And reading Pōtiki by Patricia Grace which I am holding back from finishing because it has a good taste, and I want it to last.