By Stan Stewart.
It is against the odds and counter intuitive. Something strange has been happening to me. As I have been growing older, I have been growing taller. I have heard of people shrinking as they age but my body seems to be doing the opposite.
How do I know this? Simple. Reaching the floor and touching my toes used to be dead easy. Now my toes and the floor are further away. How come? Simple! The only explanation can be my legs are growing. A slight problem is my arms have stayed the same length. The result of growing longer legs is that it is now harder for me to reach the floor – my shoes etc. If anyone reading this has some advice on arm lengthening routines, arm lengthening foods, supplements etc please pass it on. In the meantime, I am using kitchen tongs to give me extra reach I need because of my lengthening legs.
In the four months I have lived in Whitianga I have been impressed by two things. One, is that residents of Coromandel beach settlements refer to this locality as ‘paradise’. Storms may come, gales may blow, roads may collapse, but nonetheless I hear it almost every day – ‘paradise’. I am living in Whitianga and Whitianga is definitely ‘paradise’. The second thing I often hear or read in many real estate advertisements is that this is the place for a new beginning. The Coromandel towns and settlements are where your new life can begin. Here you can find serenity. Here you will feel relaxed. Here you will feel good. Here you can have a new start.
The new start, new beginning really appeals to me. However, I personally have one problem. This problem relates to my legs growing longer!!! or whatever is happening to me.
I have been thinking of Noel Harrison’s 1968 classic song, ‘Windmills of Your Mind’.
Pictures hanging in a hallway and the fragment of a song,
Half remembered names and faces, but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning to the colour of her (my) hair!
……As the images unwind, like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind!
Harrison wrote that song when he was 34 but his words uncannily anticipate the situation of people of the age I am now. But I am keen for the Coromandel new start. However, what are my longer legs telling me? What is possible? What is it realistic to hope for? Actually, I’m not that keen on being realistic.
Every day I see people who must be around my age. Who are they? Where do they come from? In Auckland it was relatively easy to guess. There was the Remuera look which contrasted with the Glen Innes look. But here, in paradise how do you tell? Many of the men wear shorts and flip flops all year round. I think I can pick the men without women by their scruffy hair and crumpled shirts. This the way men dress in paradise? I like it.
I don’t miss the dress ups. I don’t want to see my suits again. In my Auckland life the dress ups helped you to pick the corporates and high-flyers from the rest. Here in paradise, it doesn’t seem to matter. And in reality, it doesn’t. We (all the scruffy men like me) are all trying to make the most of paradise and getting on with the exciting ‘new life’ the Coromandel offers us. If the new life is about comfortable chairs and copious food and drink this new life is likely to be truncated, shortened. I must say the idea of a life of indolent leisure attracts me - sometimes. When I am wide awake, I think the new life this paradise offers must be more than that.
On the Coromandel when I meet men and women, I don’t know who I am taking to. Who was this person (scruffy man or confident woman) in their previous life? It doesn’t matter. Right now, they are part of the Coromandel ‘new life’ gang. What I can say for sure is that I have met some fantastic people here. Achievers, people who have done great things here, on the Coromandel. Men and women as old as me and older who are working on new projects. And the dreams – how I love the dreamers.
One final thing. If any reader knows of arm lengthening food, please let me know. I’m wondering if celery would do the trick? It’s long and scrawny. Could be just what I need!.