Meetah Cheetah

It was amazing. Cheetahs are excellent.

I’m a pretty good present giver, I must say. It’s a gift.

(pun unapologetically intended)

I think it stems from enjoying wandering around the internet reading lists of pretty things. Occasionally I buy the pretty things and I give them to the pretty people in my life.

But at Christmas I was torn because pretty things take up space and the one thing you don’t have when you pack your life in a suitcase* and move across the world? Space.
So I decided instead that the main part of the present to my best girl would be an experience – we’d go and hang out with a cheetah.

Wellington Zoo: Cheetah Encounter

Meeting to meet a cheetah

I had thought you would be shuffled into a pen or holding area and the keepers would bring a cheetah in on a leash and perhaps you’d get to pat it and take a photo or two and then that’d be about it and oh I just the most wrong you can be.

Pat pat

You sit on a log and the keepers spread a hessian sack out in front of you, they open a gate and the cheetahs lope on in. They settle themselves right in front of you. They might just choose to sit on your feet.

EEK

You’re told to make no sudden movements. You do not make any sudden movements. There’s something instinctive, inherent that happens and when he yawned with his long long teeth ever so close to my tiny defenceless ankle? I was not making any sudden movements.

Back to being a cat

There are three keepers, four other people, and two cheetahs. One keeper for each cheetah and an extra for good luck.

The keepers tell you all about cheetahs** and about conservation and answer questions while you get to pat pat pat at the cheetahs. Their spots are ever-so-slightly softer than the rest of their fur.

The third keeper also takes the camera and takes photos for you. It’s the best thing.

TEETH. Close to my exposed ankle.

At one point the cheetah at our feet stretched and turned over towards us. Just like a cat. Only much much bigger.

Cat again

CHEETAH

THOSE EYES

Oh and my girlfriend? She loved it. Her smile alone was worth it. Worth anything. Priceless.

* 79 days! We leave in 79 days. Good graish.
** Did you know it’s a bone that makes cats purr? The cats who have it can purr but not roar and those that don’t can roar but not purr. Cheetahs have it. They purr so loud.

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I like your face. I like selfies

I am unapologetically pro selfie.

Wandering Eastbourne in the rain.

I like my face. I like your face. I like the faces of my friends and family. I want to see more of them.

I wasn't even drunk

I want to see what you do and where you go. I want to see your adventures and your joy.

Yea democracy #etcetc

I want to see you when you think you look beautiful.

These specs, man.

Or when you think you look like a cute alien.

Feeling a bit like a cute alien this morning.

I like selfies.

International Woman of Mystery

Caveat: of course this is not to be at the detriment of an experience. You can do both. I want you to do both. And if you didn’t presume that from the outset then I just don’t know what to do with you.

Priorities. Austerity. Coffee.

In 2013 I bought a coffee every day on my way to work. In 2014 I did not.

Wednesday: Coffee with Tapp

When I announced I was giving up purchasing my daily coffee more than a couple of people doubted my resolve or doubted I would last the week or the month or the quarter.
A few more pointed out that on a stay to day basis, a $3.50 long black was not going to save me all that much money. But I persevered.

I made it an entire year.

I can’t say I put that $3.50 a day into my saving account but taking a daily extra step towards austerity, thinking about saving every morning as I filled up a cafetière in the office, I think that change in my thinking was the most important thing.

Don’t for a second think I’m holding myself up as someone who is excellent at saving or anything like that. I’m not bad at saving, I barely have any debt (about $500), but I still could have saved so much more this year if perhaps I’d not gotten quite so many tattoos, or been more vigilant about bringing lunch from home, or not drunk nearly so much.
I’m just saying: this one little thing, this thing I did manage.

I was thinking about this today as I decided I probably can’t justify spending $400 to travel to Auckland for two and a bit days to go to a concert. Not 3.5 months before I finish my job and leave New Zealand to travel the world.

I’m not happy about it. Not by a long shot. Two of my all-time favourite people live in Auckland I am dying to see them before I go overseas. But perhaps I’ll be able to manage a trip where I don’t have to take time off work and where I don’t spend $150 on a concert ticket. I know I’ve made the right decision for now.

Oh and finally, today was my first day back in the office for 2015 and the first thing I did after logging in? I went to the kitchen and made myself a coffee. It didn’t even occur to me to go and buy one.