Playing the Victim

Someone watching my diving over the last few days would have been thinking that he’s a right plonker, and shouldn’t be allowed in the water. I’ve failed to disconnect my low pressure inflator hose, I’ve put the snorkel on the wrong side, I even had my tank on backwards yesterday. Then once I got into the water, I had more mishaps. I ran out of air, I panicked, I cut my leg, I cut my arm, I went catatonic. I’ve been hauled out of the water at least 10 times, I’ve had rescue breathing and I’ve been on oxygen. Emergency medical services were called out more times than I can remember. Truly, a shocking performance.

But fear not, for while my diving skills still needs A LOT of practice, they’re not quite THAT bad. I have been assisting on a PADI Rescue Diver course. This is a great course, where you get to learn how to handle incidents. A couple of students had pulled out, leaving just the one student. And you can’t have a rescue course without victims, right? So I was called upon to assist with the course – and this meant being the victim. Steven had to calm me down, bring me to the surface, get me out of the water – and then I’d just go and do something silly again. Lots of fun.

It made for a busy weekend, in the classroom yesterday morning, then the pool all afternoon, then out to the Lake today. Unfortunately it was a bit windy, so we couldn’t go out to Matheson Bay, like we had hoped too. But that was OK being in the lake, because then we were near an Open Water course that was doing their last dive. Because wouldn’t you know it, there were two instructors there, and one of them lost the other! So we had to go searching for Colin, recover him, and bring him back to the shore. It was a bit tough on Steven, as when you’ve got a few other students on the course you don’t have to remember everything yourself. When you’re the only one there, then the instructor/DM will only jog your memory a bit, if you need it. But he did really well.

The only problem was that all the ascents and descents got to me, and on one of the descents I had a sharp pain in my sinus, that I’ve never experienced before. So I put in a real incident, just to mix things up. Then of course you have to make it clear that this is not a drill… It’s still a little bit sore, but when I stuck my head down a few metres later on it seemed OK, so I’ll just have to watch it. It had better be OK this week, as I’ve got pool sessions on Monday and Thursday, and then all weekend I’ll be at the Poor Knights.

No, I’m not the stripper!

Last weekend I went to a “pre-wedding celebration” for my friend Karen, who is getting married this Easter. Let’s see, group of women, going out for a party, just before a wedding…well that would make it a Hen night, wouldn’t it? But aren’t those usually for women only? So how did I end up going? And aren’t they rather raucous affairs, involving screaming women, dare games, and foot-long novelty penises, not to mention the always popular game “Pin the Penis on the Groom”?

Well, according to that Wikipedia link, it seems that the party may be a “normal party…in the style that is common to that social circle.” I have known Karen since my first days at university, where we were living on the same floor at O’Rorke Hall. We subsequently flatted together for several years at 196 Hobson St. Over those years, I can recall fewer than 5 parties with Karen that involved novelty penises, so maybe there was a valid reason for the party being a quite civilised affair, with no Pecker Pops involved. Turns out they’d sold out of those anyway.

Since this was not going to be a stereotypical hen night, and because I’ve known Karen for a long time, I was invited to join them. I was unsure about it, but when told that I would not be the only male, I agreed to attend. I thought I would be safe enough, and could avoid being roped into being a stripper if there was another man there. However, late in the piece, someone, and I’m not naming names, but it starts with P and rhymes with wall, came up with some rubbish excuse about having to go to India for work. That sounds all well and good, but how many fridges does Fisher and Paykel sell in India? Eh? Bollocks. So I was the only male.

Not to worry though, for Suzie and Anna had organised a lovely day out. Auckland had turned on one of those days that make you forget about any problems the place might have, and want to tell any Jafa-haters to **** off. Blue skies, almost no wind, calm waters, thousands out on the water in boats of all manner, etc. We caught a ferry over to Waiheke Island, where we went on a tour of wineries. with an interlude of lunch on the beach. So there was a little bit of drinking, but it was all of a civilised manner. You can’t just quickly down glasses when you’re pretending to be interested in whatever nonsense the winery people are rabbiting on about.

I must make a special mention of the lunch nibbles that Suzie had prepared – she had outdone herself, with an outstanding array of treats. It was all a bit tough sitting under a tree, on the beach, drinking bubbly and eating from an exotic assortment of hordeuvres.

One of the wineries we visited was Obsidian. This was my favourite winery, for both the wine and the relaxed atmosphere. Janet, who had cooked our lovely BBQ lunch the previous weekend, was one of the people who ran the place. It was great to be able to return the favour, by visiting her winery and buying wine there. Not that I did it for anything other than selfish reasons – it’s good wine! Nice to complete the circle.

In the end I only had to deal with a few comments about being the stripper, and it turned out to be a really nice day. Tucked up in bed early I was too. Think it could be a bit bigger night at the wedding mind you…