Today, I officially registered for the Wharf to Wharf Marathon which is an annual event on Great Barrier Island and I believe on Waiheke Island as well. It takes place on the 15th of October and you have the options of walking, running or pedaling a full or half-marathon. The rugged terrain of GBI ensures that no matter how you chose to participate, you will be challenged. I’m doing the full marathon on the mountain bike and like to send a shout out to thank Barry The Legend Smith for sponsoring me.
I haven’t been able to do much on the site this week, have been busy at work, and we are experiencing strong south-westerlies so I have not fished either. The plan is to do some more gardening on the site on the weekend and go for an evening fish. I went for a stroll along the east coast though, exploring new areas to do rockfishing. Have a look at the Google Map at the end of the post. What else is new, what else is new? Hmmm, yesterday I had an outdoor bath and since it was so cozy, a bottle of Pinot Noir was opened and emptied quite quickly. I really enjoyed that bottle and the decision was made to go down to the pub and keep enjoying. My site is not only beautiful and private, but also only 2 km away from the the Currach Irish Pub, the post shop, the Wild Rose Café and the shop. That means I quad down the driveway and walk for 500 m and I’m right in the heart of Tryphena. Apropos Wild Rose Café, yesterday one of my neighbors – she owns and runs the Café – visited me and gave me some eggs. She gave me useful tips on how to set up my gardens, to prune and to ensure that the fruit trees do well.
It was interesting to see her walking up the steep bit of my drive way without huffing and puffing, I’ve seen younger people struggling to get up at all. It just shows you that life on Great Barrier Island keeps you fit, unless you fly in to your beach bach in your private helicopter…
So here I was, half drunk and going to the pub for the first time! RWC 2011 is on (Rugby World Cup; ALL BLACKS # 1, spread the word!), and the Americans were playing the Russians (USA won 13 – 6, I did so much enjoying that I had to look this up, as I forgot who played who….). To my surprise lots of people I never met knew who I was and I had a great time chatting with the locals. Turns out that my property has a long history and that lots of people in the Tryphena area have fond memories of it and have actually lived/camped on it. I’m writing down the names of the locals I meet and have a chat to. The list has 70 entries now. As I envisaged, people here are not stressed, they don’t constantly complain about stuff that has no value anyway, they don’t were masks and put up a facade; you can talk to a guy who mixes concrete for a living, is missing most of his teeth and perhaps looks like a bum to many people, and you will notice that this person has meaningful things to say to you, that he actually listens to what you say – instead of merely waiting for his turn to speak – and it might even turn out that this person has a million dollar mansion on coastal property.
I love the characters here and as one lady told me:”Ben, this is still a place where you are allowed to be and have a character.” Another person said the other day while I was hitchhiking to work – how cool is that BTW – that in town (Auckland) people tend to constantly complain and stress, and that if you are around such people you tend to live in a ‘small world’. How true is that? I can fully relate to this, the group of academics I worked with and for before changing my life(style), was led in such a manner. No matter what day, no matter what time, 90% of the discussions entailed someone complaining about someone else and talking bad behind other peoples backs. I have to admit that 8 years in that group took a toll on me as well, I was doing exactly the same thing. Complaining, talking bad about people and stressing about things that never were important.
Reflecting on that I conclude that if you are in such an environment, you will never achieve anything great. Your world will be so small and all you will be doing is complaining about others to justify your existence or job. It is a vicious circle that is more difficult to escape the older you get. At the moment, I’m collecting my thoughts and memories, and intend to publish on my site my experiences in the academic world. So make sure to tune in to read my first post which will be entitled: ‘Top Ten Tips on How to Become a Successful Academic/Scientist’. Success in terms of making lots of money and milking the system rather than being a good researcher. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet many of the latter, but oodles of the former successful type…
In the following a few pictures that I took today while hiking around the east coast. The ALL BLACKS are playing Japan tonight. Spread the word:’ALL BLACKS # 1′. You heard it first on www.BENIsLAND.co.nz. If the ALL BLACKS don’t take the Cup, I suggest an embargo on talking about rugby for the rest of the year. ALL BLACKS # 1, they just need to know that the nation expects them to win. I don’t want to hear any stories about, the cup is ours next time. ‘If you are good at making excuses, it is difficult to excel in anything else.’
Have a good one and don’t live in a small world.