Walk for 10 minutes
Thank goodness there is no staff meeting. I could wait for an hour and text hubby to come and get me this would allow me sometime to do stuff in my classroom. But to be able to leave early on a Monday is a rarity. Out of my bag I take my walking shoes, shorts and a t-shirt. Head phones and I'm ready for the 10+ minutes walk home. It could be longer but I've never timed it. My student's SOL life books in one bag and my planning diary, empty lunch box, camera, pencil case and work clothes in my back pack. One quick puff on my asthma pump. I'm off!
Check that my classroom is locked. I walk pass the bus students. I see 3 teachers from Kakariki syndicate chatting. They don't recognise me because, the high heels are gone, the teacher look is exchanged for the chilled out, relaxed, me. I see Mr C walking across the quad to the DPs class - I smile but I'm on a mission. Pass the library and I'm heading towards the field. I take an apple out of my bag but it's difficult trying to eat with my pack on one shoulder and my long strappy bag on the other shoulder. I shove the apple back in my bag. Across the field I race...I see Mrs M and wave she doesn't wave back. She doesn't recognise me. The grass on the field needs cutting.
A quick walk across the field and I notice the scouts building is tattered looking with the covered up graffiti. I suppose the whited over paint looks better than the ghastly graffiti painted by some hoodlum. Through the gap in the fence I walk. An old children's tunnel thrown at the back of the building...it's seen better days. I imagine children laughing and playing as they scramble through the discarded old tunnel. My side bun is falling out with the vigorous walking. I reach up and loosen my hair and I'm fiddling around taking out the bobby-pins. I plait my hair to one side. The path meanders like a river...my children call this pathway teletubbly land. Soft rolling hills and scattered trees. Mosaic sculptures erected along the way. The heat of the sun is beating down. My walk is still brisk. The backside of the buildings along the path look sad and untidy. I scan the occupants of cars zooming along the motorway. Faces unknown. I reach the intersection and see two teenage girls chatting and eating. I don't study their faces or their movements. I keep my gaze upon my path in front of me.
I stop at the intersection. My bags are heavy. I wait as three cars turn into the town. Shall I run across...I wait for one more car. I look left and I see cars zooming to turn left. I'm going to run across. Phew! I'm not as fit as I used to be. I should walk more often. Is it old age, yes! Is it the fact that I'm unfit, yes! Across the pink carpeted flower bed, near the entrance of BK. The worlds biggest whooper! Yeah right. I'm feeling a little tired and rather hot but my goal is to get home.
The car park of BK merges with the the petrol station. Up ahead I see two boys playing and walking across the stone wall. The older boy holding the little one's hand as he balances across the top. I smile. Beep! I look up and see the black truck. "That's your mum," I say to the older boy. He replies, "yes". I march on across the grassy-highway verge. One strip of stoney path is supposed to provide easy walking but it just hurts my feet. I need some better walking shoes I think to myself. The camping ground is to my left - I kind of hate that place...I notice a woman sunbathing in the sun next to her tent. My mood towards the camping ground lightens. I see a man walking ahead of me with a New World plastic bag. I don't know the lonely looking figure. He needs to walk faster or I'm going to catch up with him. Shall I say hello??
My pace quickens as up ahead I can see the fence line outside my house. The lonely figure is walking too slow. I slow down. My gaze is fixed on him. This part of my walk makes me suspicious... He slows up. I slow up. He walks diagonally towards the fence line. I watch. He looks tired with his shoulders slumped and his pace slugged. Where is he going? He moves off the path and walks over to the bush and he sits on a rock. Should I take more note. He's just tired. I walk past glancing to the side to see what he's up to. Nothing.
I'm nearly home and I see my driveway. My pace quickens and I'm feeling relieved. I walk across the bank and down on to my road. Up my driveway. Our fat brown Labrador is sitting at the door. "Hello fat dog!"