Another overdose of exasperation, and fatigue, from trying to get everything done before getting away, you wonder if it's worth the effort.
But the work gang dont mind going elsewhere for a week while I go walkabout, and Brent, at the car dealer's, where I'm having the Cherokee checked out before the drive to Auckland chips in, don't worry about the work, it'll still be there when you get back.
Mate Peter, some time back suggested how about joining him for the "First Tuesday in November", on his way home to Pennsylvania.
The Melbourne Cup..., never been before, I say OK, fluke a seat with AirNZ through my airpoints and internet booking on much better terms than the travel agent quoted some time earlier, so its done and dusted.
Something of a becoming well worn track we do the pre-flight overnight at Gold Star Motel, Kirkbride Rd, Mangere, where manager David Charteris, well known ex-Wanganui actor and playwright, will term-park your car and shuttle you to and from AKL International all for the room fee of $95 a night.
Easy flight over, Boeing 777, I'm right down the back with my cheap carry-on-bag-only fare, last row, where the narrowing fuselage determines only 2 seats on the outside, so I get plenty of leg room, and somehow the seats feel bigger than on the long-haul 777 to LA and SanFran.
Even better, I manage to squeeze 2 in-flight movies into the wind-assisted 3-1/2 hour trip.
The first was "Secretariat", the story about Penny Tweedy/Chenery and her journey with Big Red to the US Triple Crown, one of only a handful of horses to ever accomplish it, and in the doing win the last leg at Belmont, outclassing by some 30 odd lengths, his grudge rival in the preceding Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Sham, a top horse in his own right.
Anyone with racing connections should love this movie, Diane Lane and John Malkovich do outstanding work in their roles as owner and trainer, and the crowning star, the horse. Actually, Peter says, five horses were used to composite Secretariat, but you wouldn't know it. The camera and sound work is a treat, and the opening and closing voice-over recitation is a real stir, taken from Job39, there's all sorts of translations, but goes something like this:
"He paws the earth, rejoicing in his mettle
laughs at fear as he runs to the battle
He does not turn back from the sword
He does not stand still at the trumpets sound
He scents the battle from afar
the yells of the captains and the thunder of war
In excited rage he races over the ground"
Breeding and racing has more than its share of ups and downs, I'm going to buy this DVD for inspiration and encouragement when things aren't going so good.
Still an hour and a half to touchdown, so I search for a short movie and find "Red Dog", one hour 20, that'll do, and another treat unfolds.
It's about an Aussie red kelpie and his exploits in a Dampier, WA, mining community, an intelligent heart-string tugger, if ever.
My first dog was a red kelpie, and I've had one in my team ever since. They're an intelligent little dog, clean, and fantastic company.
I wont say anything about this movie, tongue in cheek, sympatico humour, just go see it.
Melbourne materialises behind the wing, the CBD high-rises tower out from the sprawl, its sunny with a bit of wind says the captain, as the last vestige of guilt at work left undone flies out the cabin window.
Aussie here we come.
Picking up a paper in the terminal, along with a few items from the pharmacy I couldnt take on board in my cabin bag, waiting for Peter's flight, I come across an item mentioning "Red Dog"s growing popularity.