I bumbled my way through aikido. Funny, the energy flow and esoteric stuff may be working way better, but somehow my techniques have not made any kind of miraculous improvement. Go figure - maybe, um, good solid practice might help some, whaddaya reckon? Also, I made friends with a new aikidoka, did a handstand that went for over a minute (remembered to breathe, yeah) and missed a Moment. And for those who are interested in such things in relation to aikido - First, the galaxy-between-palms in seiza in combination with centre-earth grounding = FUCKYES! Second - funakogi with kiai from the centre after the abovementioned = orgasmic (in a non-sexual way).
This is Makara. It's kind of magic.
Because it's westerly-facing, we got to watch the sun set over the sea, coming from behind the clouds gloriously just before setting and illuminating the land with a golden glow that promises summer in a whisper, while waving winter in our faces. Earth, fire, air, water, all meet here. Magic. You should go there and see for yourself.
I wore my long wool tartan skirt. I've been meaning to put a slit in this skirt because it is straight and it's kind of like being hobbled when walking down the street - it doesn't allow me to stride the way I usually do. But at Makara, I learned to appreciate being forced to walk slowly and look around me. I think I'll keep the skirt as it is.
Also, these sheep obliged me by posing. This is one of the few real farms around Wellington and the sheep are as wild as the hills they live in and the coastline they overlook. They also looked like they had been washed and blow-dried - which, if you think about it, they had.
(For those not living in Wellington the last week has been one big, long spring storm that's blasted up off Antarctica and forced us all to get out the winter woollies one last time)
These sheep, on the other hand, come up to you and ask for food:
The Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association turned out to be very nice people, and shearing with a bunch of people watching your every move, with camera flashes going off in your face, is not as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be. In fact, it was fun. I've decided that I really like meeting new people. Which is good, because I'm meeting another tonight.
The avalanche has started by the way. I'm now fully booked for Labour weekend, and today's group have made bookings as far out as Feb/March. I may have to start getting professional and make business cards and a page for my website. *MEEP*
Finally, a thought on accents and cultural understandings. When asked about my sideline whilst in the States, my standard reply would be "I shear sheep for lifestylers." I couldn't understand why people would look at me funny after saying that. Turns out that in the US, a 'lifestyler' is someone who engages in 'alternative' sexual practices. Combine that with my accent sounding to the Americans as if I were saying "share sheep" - and, well.. you get the picture. So to all of you who I said this to before I was educated, IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!! Honest...