The Rugby World Cup was over a week ago, but remnants of it still remain throughout the city: the World Cup logo still flies prominently beside street lamps, country flags are still visible in shop windows, cars still carry the All Blacks flag proudly attached to passenger-side windows, and the aftermath of the parade - ticker tape and streamers all the colours of the visible light spectrum - occupy cracks in the footpath or are still tangled in the power lines that give life to our fleet of electric buses.
I've been walking through the city a tad happier than I normally do, a small smile making its way onto my face if I allow my mind to wander and think about everything that happened in October.
The biggest thing for me was of course my birthday.
Yes, I'm one of those October-born people, throwing all our birthdays into one month of the year to make peoples' calendars look super busy and to annoy gift-buyers. I passed my last birthday milestone a long time ago, which I reckon is the 21st. After that, card-makers stop being specific about your age and you find yourself receiving a lot of non-numbered birthday cards until your age starts resembling a new decade.
I didn't really know what to do this year for my birthday. I've already written that my normal birthday traditions have gone out the window, so I thought to do the only other thing I could still continue to do - take a day-off from work - and see what happens after that.
Melissa was in the country on the day of my birthday for the first time since... 2003? She took me out for breakfast, meaning that on my day off, I had to get up early. On any other day I might have complained, but I thought I better get as many waking hours as I can out of my birthday. That, and I'm not one to turn down free food.
Free breakfast on my birthday; a good start to the day :)
After I walked Melissa to her work so she could start her day of working and I could continue my day of not working, I went to my favourite place in the city to kill time: the library.
When I sat down to read through my current book, I found myself unable to stay awake. Sure waking-up at my normal time on a day when I would have normally slept-in might have taken away some valuable sleeping hours, but I didn't just feel sleepy: I was sniffling a bit more than usual, and I felt really tired already. Oh no, I thought to myself, don't be sick, don't be sick, not now, not today...
The only other thing I had planned for the day was to meet-up with Katrina, who I hadn't seen since she was discharged from hospital, at which time I tried (and failed) to make her dinner since she was unable to cook herself and needed help until her family were able to come home (they were all away at the time). I needed to be well enough to travel some 20km to visit her at the hospital after one of her physio sessions, and my stuffy nose was looking to ruin that.
I didn't catch-up on my sleep at the library (I didn't want to look like the homeless guy sleeping in the library since there was already one there in the far corner), and I didn't want to catch-up on my sleep on the train to the hospital either (I didn't want to miss my stop, which I had done several times before when I'd slept on the train), so with a few hours to go until I had to meet Katrina, I went back to my place, collapsed on my bed, and fell asleep.
I woke up with time to spare before the train I planned to catch, without that nagging fatigue I had at the library, but I still had that damn stuffy nose. So this is how it's going to be huh? Fine then. I told myself, and off I went to the train station with an extra handkerchief, just in case.
(to be continued...)