I’m addicted to this poem.
Ships Are Safe in the Harbour
All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments
As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments
Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for
We call for random order
You can’t control Mother nature’s daughter
Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for
The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he’s not alone
He’s trying to down my magic moments
As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments
Talk about going off topic. But aside from being a good writing exercise, its my moral obligation to shout the love for those who keep me supping salt rimmed margaritas while eating Mexican inspired food with a hint of a Spanish heart.
Judging by the effortless way the staff worked the floor, its hard to believe Mamacitas Restaurant has only be open for a month or so. Located in the heart of Havelock North its given locals plenty to chit chat about.
I’m glad I tuned in. It helped, as the corporate peeps love to spruik, “to manage my expectations.”
If you’re looking to tuck into a plate of belt loosening Tex Mex nacho’s, refried beans infused with artery clogging lard, or a burrito swimming in a pool of cheesy tomato goo, you’re going leave feeling less bloated, but disappointed.
Same goes for the wines. There is no “wine menu”, only a house red and white. This will plummet the spirits of many wine savvy locals who take pride in living in the heart of wine country. At the very least they’ll want, no demand to know, whether the house offering is at least good.
But wine wasn’t on my agenda. The margarita and cerveza (beer) menu was. I started at the top with a classic margarita. The recipe calls for the right balance of tequila, lime and in this case, triple sec. Topped with a rim of salt, I sighed. Damn, it was as good as the bar shelves adorned with an impressive fancy looking line up of tequilas. Next time I’ll order a Patron.
But back to the margaritas. Oh my. By the time I finished my second margarita, I teetered on the brink of ordering a lagerita….no, that’s not a spelling mistake, but a marriage made in tequila cerveza heaven. Imagine a margarita topped with beer. Next time I promised, next time.
At most Mexican restaurants, it takes a good five minutes to get through the first read of the menu. At Mamacita’s, you’ll be done in thirty seconds. It’s tiny. But, in this case size doesn’t matter, quality over quantity of dishes offered does. Tapas style, smaller plates matched with reasonable prices are packed with flavor, and surprisingly generous portions.
Excluding the couple of salad options, there wasn’t much choice for vegetarians or vegans. I hope this will change. And rumor has it, guacamole will soon make its menu debut.
Our chilli prawns were fat, juicy and sensational, spoiled only by the clashing, mayo heavy coleslaw. My boyfriend’s appetite was rendered useless after devouring lip smacking ribs and fried chicken. Even though the chicken deserved more seasoning in the coating, he declared both “really good.” High praise indeed.
It’s hard, but I’m going to forgive my sneaking suspicion that the salsa was out of a can. More like a passata – it was nothing like the fresh zing of tomato and coriander homemade salsa. Tomato season is upon us – so I live in hope.
Thank god I’d just run the Auckland Marathon. I so deserved to eat ten plates of churros. These doughy, sweet, bite sized, crunchy, sugar cinnamon coated treats are highly addictive and impossible to refuse. And, it would have been rude of me not to dunk them into the bowl of rich decadent chocolate. Bliss.
I overheard one diner remark that the chocolate chili lime cake was delish and packed just the right amount of kick.
It’s obvious the team behind Mamacitas have given a lot of thought to creative direction. The end result is lush branding wrapped in a vibrant, fun and welcoming atmosphere. The watchful eyes of Frida Kahlo, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) lend a tranquil calm to the frenetic energy and the never-ending comings and goings of people.
Mamacita’s, its busy, buzzing and bloody good. I’m going to return. After all I’ve got my eye on the chicken in mole sauce, but more importantly I have to do my bit to ensure the longevity of margaritas and Mexican food.
Mamacita Restaurant, 12 Havelock Road, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Tel: 06 877 6200 – No bookings, turn up and hope for a table. If not, wait at the bar. It’s well worth the wait.
PS – This is an unsolicited review. I paid for dinner….no sorry, my boyfriend paid for dinner.
Last Sunday, November 3, I laced up for the 2013 Adidas Auckland Marathon. My first as a fifty year old, my second marathon within six months.
As a gift to my 50 year old self I decided to run a marathon. Somehow through my fuddled post first marathon brain the gift super-sized. Two marathons later, and with three toenails missing, I’m richer for the experience.
My Wellington marathon has been blogged and blagged about. Auckland, well that’s a whole other story.
I’d certainly slogged out the training miles, often while the birds warbled renditions of the dawn chorus. My shoes, neon pink and bright, matched my positive attitude, and I was confident I had enough in the tank to fuel me from the start in Devonport to the Victoria Park finish line. Total distance: 26 miles and 385 yards or 42.195 km’s.
Things started to unravel before my toe crossed the start line.
Without sounding like I’ve packed a gym-kit of excuses, here’s a brief summary of the indicators which ultimately led to a bad day at the office.
1. Tight butt
My hip flexors and lower back muscles were tighter than Miley Cyrus’s VMA’s outfit.
2. Dodgy pasta
My pre-race pasta meal was dodgy and sat undigested for hours to come.
Despite not being in the construction business, there was a lot of hammering going on inside my head.
4. Zero sleep
Our hotel was not only well positioned to catch the early morning ferry to the start line, but also for Saturday night yobbo’s who partied hardy way beyond my 3:45am wake up call.
I woke up with the dry horrors. Despite not having had a drop of alcohol for days prior to the race (perhaps that was the problem), my mouth felt like it had spent the night soaking in a bucket of salt water.
Yet with every step, apparently marathoner’s clock up around 46,000 steps, I felt good.
Until the Auckland Harbor Bridge descent wound its way around more undulation and corners to the 17km marker. Here, my right butt cheek, and hip seized, my brain fired off a rapid, oh no not now signal.
Reaching the half way point, 21km, my friend yelled, ”you look great.” I replied, “my legs are hammered.”
A few meters down my boyfriend encouraged me to keep going, I faked a smile.
On any other day I would’ve cut my training run short. But….with no chance of quitting the next 21km’s loomed.
By 27km’s my darling legs felt knotted, twisted and confused by the fact I was still running. Come 30km’s the pasta finally decided to gurgle its way down in a fast acting southerly direction.
After that loo stop, my body was physically spent. Running a marathon had become a marathon to overcome. At least I still had my marbles, mentally I was toughing it out.
I simply figured I wasn’t dead yet. And, I’d have to change my plans.
My goal of running a sub 4 hour time quickly lengthened to 4:15, 4:30, then of letting time expectations go and reverting focus to the original plan. Crossing over the finish line.
I did. In 4 hours 52 minutes.
It wasn’t pretty, and I wasn’t prepared for the emotional toll and soul searching that follows a disappointing result.
But, thanks to the huge amount of love, support and encouragement from my family, and friends, perspective has turned disappointment to “holy crap I’ve just finished my second marathon. Yah!”
Post Bad Marathon. 8 Lessons Learned.
1. This one event does not define who you are.
2. Plan to adapt.
- during the latter stages of the marathon, I instinctively knew that if I didn’t listen to my body and pull back I would come to serious injury blow. I hated it, but my physio loved me for it.
3. Think about what went right.
4. Then analyze what went wrong. Here’s two things I now know:
- don’t venture into new culinary territory the night before the race
- downhill running hammers hip flexors
Allow time to bathe in the tepid shallow pool of pity. Feel, think, and talk about the race. Don’t obsess. Let it go. It doesn’t define you.
6. It’s tempting to want to exact revenge.
- as much as I want to register for another marathon, my body and mind need a vacation. After two weeks of active recovery, I’ll run again. Regain confidence, and then plan my next event. Quite possibly another marathon.
7. Never Again. Reads as NOT RIGHT NOW.
8. Judgement Exists Inside Your Own Head.
Unless you’re an elite runner paid mega-bucks to run nobody is judging you.
I know. I’m my own harshest critic, I beat myself up about stuff…which I guess, after having just churned out 42km’s is entirely unkind.
A couple of days ago while chatting to a friend she remarked about an Olympian. With a long career as an elite sportsman at the top of his game, he only ever peaked three times.
Now, that’s perspective. And I’m a runner who couch surfs the Olympics.
Talk about a week worth remembering.
On Tuesday, October 29th I turned 50, ah well, it’s the new 30 – I’ll take that!
Tomorrow, Friday, November 1st – my NaNoWriMo 2013 writing vacation begins. Or should I say, writing boot camp starts; 50,000 words to write by the end of November. No excuses. Last year was my first NaNoWriMo, and I absolutely loved, despised, loathed, and truly relished the focus of the experience. This year, I’m sharpening my fingers to hammer the keyboard to finish the rewrite of Love in the Vines. My plan is to merge the sequel Love Entwined – turning the original into a more substantial yummy modern day romance. Well, that’s the plan.
I’m finishing off the week by running the Auckland Marathon. Come 6.10am on Sunday, November 3rd my Mizuno clad feet will cross over the start line and begin the 42.km (26.2 miles) to the finish line. Oh, I can’t wait to taste the joy of a celebratory Margarita!
So, if, during the month of November I’ve gone as quiet as a door mouse, you now know why.
Here’s a big SHOUT OUT – loads of love, writing and inspiration to every doing NaNoWriMo 2013.