Saturday, May 24, 2014

Jobs for Winter, part one of...

The last race of the season is tomorrow, and there's a storm raging outside.  This means two things - firstly, that I'll soon be having a few weeks with a bit more time, and secondly, having dropped my daughter off to a friend's house, I've been given a timely reminder of two of the jobs I've been promising the bus this winter - one is to clean as many of the electrical contacts up as I can, in an effort to improve the frankly abysmal performance of the wipers whenever anything else is on - like headlights, for example - and the second is to install a new heater cable. 

Grown men cry at the prospect of installing a new heater cable on these things, specifically because of just how much fun it can be removing the old one.  I'm going to have to think of something cleverer than the next sentence to accomplish this:  I've had a good tug (well, the nights were long and there was nothing on the telly) with a pair of pliers (ouch) and vice grips (double ouch) bracing my feet on the wheels and heaving for all I was worth (mustn't boast, and all that) and nothing showed even the slightest sign of coming.

If this storm produces a bit of snow, I might even manage to put it off until next year.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The last weeks of autumn are always bittersweet:  The water's still warm, but cooling.  The barefoot sprint across wet grass and the foreshore prior to a morning session (and the less sprightly exits afterwards) leave feet that take longer and longer to thaw out, the hunt for missing booties is acquiring urgency.  The racing season is drawing to a close too - 6 weeks of forced downtime in the darkest months is an invitation to drink, eat, and get fat.

Such things will come to pass, and soon, but not just yet.  There's still warmth enough for after-school surfs with #1 son, still the last couple of races to hold on for, still flowers in the garden.  The low sun shows off New Zealand's famous clouds, the views of the Milky Way take the breath away.

 I'm writing, more than I have in a year or two. Word count seems to be a fairly common tool by which writers measure their self worth, but with only a snatched twenty minutes here and there to write, I've revised my expectations dramatically downwards.  I think it was Graham Greene who said something to the effect that 400 words a day should be enough for anybody, so I've set myself the goal of 300 a night.  It's little enough to be achievable, yet enough to grow something with.  And more often than not, I've found myself doing more.