In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

What I've Been Unemployed For A Month!

It’s been a week or so since I last reported on progress towards my world cycling domination. So what has been happening on the old training front? Well actually nothing much. Kilometres travelled on the bike have been at an all-time low. I have to say that I’m not really at all concerned about this because in two weeks’ time I’ll be on my bike again cycle touring the South Island. And at 150-200km per day I should be back up to full fitness in about 3 days.

I have been busy over the last couple of weeks though;

Firstly I had to make a trip to the dentist who managed to wrestle $360 out of me and a couple of teeth that I really didn’t need anyway since I can easily gain all the sustenance I need by sucking my chocolate as I sip my coffee. One thing I must warn others about though is never drink really hot coffee while your mouth is still anaesthetised because you can burn the roof of your mouth without realising it and then wrongfully accuse the dentist of being overly rough with said mouth.  If I had done what Adi said and taken painkillers I would not have had to have an afternoon in bed. But since it was raining cats and dogs that day I couldn’t have done anything else anyway so thought I might as well practice getting over the dental treatment the hard way.

So after I had recovered from the dentist’s chair and enormity of the bill appearing in our letter box the next day (NZ mail gives special post haste to dental bills) I needed to focus on the cost of next year’s firewood. Because as we all know there’s no point in trying to burn wet firewood. So while people were out all over the world buying Christmas junk for friends and family Adi and I bought each other the best  blue gum firewood. A whole wood shed full. I spent a whole day carting it to the woodshed and then another day stacking it in. I’m pretty proud of stacking it in, in such a way as to give maximum airflow around each piece. Adi’s a Virgo so I‘ve learnt not to let her stack firewood as each piece is arranged in such a way that it fits perfectly into the adjacent piece. Five years of drying wouldn’t achieve the desired result! There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a full woodshed. Thank you Father Christmas. Off course come next winter I should be in China somewhere but Adi might still like to warm her booties in front of the fire before she comes to visit me.  Mr Stewart the woodman recognised me and wished me a happy cycle trip which was nice.  He then prised open my hand relieving me of $500 and was merrily on his way. Ho Ho  Ho
As Neat as a German Wood Shed.

As I mentioned above it rained for a few days on end this week and we ended up having a once in forty year flood. While the hill suburbs slipped towards the sea we gained some pretty big puddles around the house and once again the road disappeared under about 2mtrs of water. The upside though is that now our well has a staggering 3 ½ metres of water in it! A new record! If I fell down the well I could drown. Or another way of looking at it is that the ground water is now only 2mtrs below the surface. Since we rely on the ground water for pretty much everything round here, including making a mug of coffee, it’s pleasing to know that I can easy source it.

While the rain fell I decided to try to figure out why the engine on my Vespa was always covered in oil despite my motorbike being only a couple of years old while Adi’s Vespa has a shiny clean engine at all times. This is not because Adi cleans her engine but because my motor has always had a bit of a leak and I don’t trust letting NZ mechanics have a go at my Italian masterpiece. I’ve seen how NZ mechanics work. Since most of the Italians in Nelson seem at the moment to be occupied with growing tomatoes I tackled the job myself. A few hours of hard graft while the rain drummed down on the workshop roof and I had the offending gasket identified and sealed. Time will tell how effective the operation was. I just hope I haven’t sealed it so well that the oil has stopped flowing through the engine as well as out of it.
Vespa 'Be Happy'.

Adi told me the other day that I had been officially unemployed for a month! It certainly doesn’t feel like it. Bunnings hardware staff are getting used to me turning up on the Mercian for building materials and the record for lengths of supplies on the BOB trailer keeps getting broken. This time I managed to bring home 3mtr lengths of guttering and down pipes.
The Gutter Man's on the Job.

 It would certainly be easier if I had the kombi running. But then I’d be paying the Government even more tax. So I think we’ll keep that van in the garage where it doesn’t cost us anything.

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