And so the challenge ends- but not really

I wake up at 11am with swollen eyes. It's raining again and in quantities that Aucklanders are not used to. I know it's mean but I can picture (with glee) drivers on the wet road acting as if they just finished their driving lessons last week. Auckland is a great city- a fact (in spite of the housing problem, the growing gridlock) but Aucklanders are one of the stupidest drivers in the world- also fact. It's Sunday and I've nearly completed the challenge (Leila is catching up) which is hardly a challenge, and Leila and I both know that. The whole point really of the exercise is to point out the obvious; you don't need challenges. You just have to fucking do it. You also have to say that to yourself as forcefully as you can. And if you can't do it, then you have to remind yourself of it another time to do it. And then try to do it and if you fail, well, you have to try and do it again. And again. 

There are days- weeks even- when I just fall blissfully into routine, silencing that voice with dreams that bleach themselves out with the lateness of the day; you eventually wake up at 11am, 12 noon because there is nothing else to dream and your eyes are full and swollen.

I dab a cold anti-eye puffiness roller ball under my eyelids and plunge into the shower.

We drive to Newmarket and the rain for the first time in a long while, is not the spitting, insipid thing it normally is. The gutters along Broadway in Newmarket have become swirling rapids and Kiwis, normally blasé about rain showers have been forced to tote umbrellas, don water-repellent jackets. 

Selera Malaysian restaurant in Newmarket

Selera Malaysian restaurant in Newmarket

The normally robust Sunday crowd has also been thinned by the weather and finally, empty seats at the always busy Selera Malaysian restaurant. Sitting down to perennial favourites Mee Goreng and Hainan Chicken, you realise that the food is nothing spectacular- just honest, well-cooked home dishes which incidentally, are perfect for the weather. That chicken Big Mac may have to wait.

Quilted leather-bar stools at Chanel

Quilted leather-bar stools at Chanel

Don't ask me how I ended up at the Chanel store in Britomart, but I've discovered that (outside of the US, at least in Honolulu), high-end stores usually have the best staff. So I don't get the stories of customers who get rebuffed by snooty sales-staff because of the way they dress. That Asian lady with the funny shoes and the cabbage smell may just matter-of-factly, humbly pay for her low five-figure purchase with a black AMEX.

Man, it's so humid outside I non-chalantly say to Petra the sales-associate. She smiles and deftly tips my face up before delicately spritzing a fine mist of Chanel's Hydra Beauty Essence mist. That should do the trick she softly purrs before attending to another customer.

See what I mean.

I had to cook Sunday dinner for the flat-owners grandmother, this lovely old Scottish lady named Doris and I promised a Filipino styled meat-loaf, 'embutido'. So from Chanel, I end up at Save Mart, an Asian supermarket. I was specifically looking for RAM pickle-relish (there was none) and Sun-Maid raisins before realising that I could go to a regular supermarket and get gherkins and sultanas. I spy some Choc-Nuts and pray to God they weren't off- we have a Pangasinan word for it- 'maali' which means the oil used in the sweets has gone rancid.

It hadn't.

Sunday, 10pm
I remember when my mother first attempted 'embutido'. She unwrapped it and the mince had not set at all for some reason. It was a few months after my dad had passed away and she was trying to learn how to cook. We didn't laugh even if on another day, another time, it would have been hilarious. She cried and it took all my willpower not to burst into tears. 

No such mistake for me but this would have to be a separate post for another day. Suffice it to say that I wasn't completely happy with that I made; I've set aside a roll in the freezer for Doyet to taste and to tell me what I had missed.

I start on the last post for the seven-day challenge:

I wake up at 11am with swollen eyes. It's raining again and in quantities that Aucklanders are not used to...

But I just know that I wouldn't be able to finish it, not tonight at least.

But it's okay. I'll finish it tomorrow.

Monday, 9:40pm
And I do. Goodnight!