Tuesday, 1st, November, 2011.

Today Sarah and I went back to the multicultural Centre to have a chat with Eve, she was sitting at her desk massaging her head. She said she had a migraine and we could tell it was causing her some grief but none the less she was cheerful and as before incredibly helpful.

She asked if we were going to do the woofing in the Fairfield house. I said we would not do it. We were looking to do exchange in hostel instead. She suggested that we go up to Fairfield and check it out at least. What I was initial worried about was working 4 hours a day and not getting paid for it but Eve managed to sell the place and soon after Sarah and I went up to Fairfield house to have a look.

I thought I had been there before, last week I had gone in the direction Eve had told me to and came across a large house, with decking all around and a little coffee shop. It would appear that it wasn’t fair field house, just up the road from this phantom house was the genuine place, up on a green hill a red and white house also with decking all around and a tall star gazing tower on one corner of the house.

We walked up the hill to the house and saw many builders at work outside, cars pulled up everywhere, people weeding the garden. It was fully alive. ‘‘Do you know if Catherine is around?” I asked one of the builders ” she might be round back” he said and we walked around to the front door, it was open and we walked down a well-lit corridor, a notice board showed theatre groups, meditation, yoga, spiritual healing all advertised at fairfield house. Another notice pointed us upstairs to the main office, the banister wound around smoothly and up to the second floor. It was one of the first real vaguely old houses I have been in in NZ.

We approached the office and heard talking inside. I gave a tentative knock and it was swiftly opened by a thin woman with curly pale blond hair, she had a phone in her ear ”hello?” she said looking busy. I explained that we had talked last week about the woofing and that if she had time could we have a chat. She said that as of tomorrow there was a woofing position open for a couple, 20 hours a week, very flexible, we would get our own little studio away from the house and 150 dollars a week for food. I instantly like Catherine, even though she was running round like a headless chicken talking to tradesmen, caterers and another rather confused looking woofer.

We looked at the accommodation, a small rustic concrete floored studio up on a hill above the main house, with sofas, TV kitchen and bed, it was next to a vegetable garden ” these are our vegetables so we can eat them anytime” Catherine said. She managed to show us the meditation house, a wooden house with a large bright attic space, windows at all corners, downstairs a peaceful carpeted room with chairs, the grounds where well-kept but not too neat and tidy, a large flat lawn Catherine said tai chi classes are held on. The garden went up steeply and turned into a large hill with huge trees on it. ‘’we just had one of them fall down a day ago, it was luck it didn’t hit the woofing studio’’ Catherine said to us as she pointed to a very large old tree which had fallen near the studio. A team of men with chain saws where noisily cutting up the giant.

Sarah and I decided to move in on Friday after our rent finished at the Tasman bay backpackers. I was excited now, we had sorted out accommodation, now I could relax a bit and start to look for martial arts classes and begin to think about my writing again and as if the universe had noticed my thoughts when Sarah and I walked back down into the Centre of Nelson we passed a small side ally by a Thai restaurant and I just happened to look down it as a car moved out of the way and I squinted and just made out a simple black letter sign on a long bare warehouse ”fight club” I told Sarah to wait by the street and I approached the long building, a door was open and I could see, heavy bags all lined up on a matted area, there where sweaty men, some shirtless doing shuttle runs up and down the training area. At the back of the gym there was a boxing ring and sat on the edge was a powerfully built Maori man who I assumed was the coach. I entered took my shoes off and walking behind the bags I went to greet the coach. His name was Isaac and he ran the Thai boxing gym, all images of brad pit doing bareknuckle boxing vanished. We had a brief chat and he invited me back for the next training session. I was excited, a Thai boxing gym right on my door step. Finding martial arts clubs has been a bit of a struggle sometimes when I didn’t have a car or if I have lived in small places, but now I have a car and local clubs.

Our life in Nelson is slowly beginning to fall into place. What a fun time.



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