Thursday, August 21, 2014

Delivering the message

Today was an absolutely brilliant late winter day in Auckland, so I took advantage of the good weather to deliver campaign leaflets for the Labour Party. It’s a small and easy thing to do—apart from the fact that it was on the Shore, of course.

The thing about Auckland’s North Shore—and I’ve mentioned this one way or another a few times now—is that it’s very hilly. Apart from coastal areas, most of the Shore is made of hills meeting up with other hills. Streets can be steep and winding, and many houses are built on pretty steep slopes.

Take the photo at the top of this post, for example. It’s one of the many hilly streets I walked up and down today. Those bollards on the left separate a reserve (they’re to keep cars out, and they were only recently upgraded). There are no houses on that side of the street, so I had to walk all the way down to walk back up. You can’t see the bottom of the street—it eventually hooks to the right, where it meets up with another street (at least it wasn’t hilly on that other street!) Incidentally, this view is looking more or less in the general direction of where we live, though I couldn’t point where, specifically—just off in the distance somewhere.

All of which means that it can be a physical challenge delivering leaflets—well, it is for those of us who are unfit, of a certain age, or both. Even so, it also felt oddly exhilarating because, I think, I knew I was playing a small part in getting Labour’s “Vote Positive” message out.

Still, there were several times I thought, “this is too much—I’m just going to stop now.” I never did, and finished the delivery route. Part of the reason I kept going was that exhilaration I mentioned, but also I knew that our candidate, Richard Hills, is working really hard and finishing the delivery route was the least I could do. So, to paraphrase the saying (a commercial?), I pushed past the pain and did it anyway.

Actually, I’m not kidding about the pain—my feet and back were killing me by the time I was done. So, I had a bit of lie down when I got home, and eventually came right. Despite all that, I’m planning on delivering more tomorrow (after my periodontist appointment) and more again on Saturday.

The thing is, the deliveries get easier the more I do them, as I become slightly fitter with each round. And I know they’re important.

On my long walk today, I saw many contrasts. I saw really nice houses right next to run down ones. I saw new, fancy letterboxes, and nearby ones that haven’t been tended since they were installed many years ago, complete with badly faded house numbers and lichen growing on them. I saw MANY with signs or hand-scrawled messages saying variations of “no junk mail”, and I wondered how many of them understand that political mail isn’t considered junk, even if they don’t like it. I also saw many letterboxes that were stuffed full of free newspapers and other advertising flyers, so I could kind of understand why some people might have put on the sign or hand scrawled message.

All in all, it was a good couple hours spent outside on a beautiful sunny late winter afternoon. And, it was time spent doing an important thing, helping a campaign I support and believe in. So, that’s why I didn’t mind the hills or the soreness; I was doing my small part #ForABetterNZ

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