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.

Thursday, 7 May 2015


The earth shock here a couple of days ago. Initially I stood frozen to the kitchen floor my chocolate spread sandwich clutched in my hand. A sharp creak from the ceiling beam had me heading for the door however and once outside I once again stood motionless waiting for the next shake , the one that would render all the recent work I'd done on the house pointless. It didn't come however so I headed back in to rescue my chocolate buttys from the house flies. Bolted to the coal range is the house earthquake monitor. Every home should have one and mine was reading force 1. Number one ball bearing had come out of its rocker indicating that I hadn't imagined the shake. I'd hate to be here if no. 3 , or more came adrift.

My tickets have arrived in the mail so come mid August I will be standing in Helsinki with just my Mercian for company and my trusty compass pointing me north towards the Arctic. I've checked Helsinki on Google maps and there looks to be a reasonable campground in town. I will be very jet lagged when I get there as the flight from New Zealand goes all over the place. I arrive at about 4 pm so will then have to assemble my bike and stagger towards the campsite. I'll stay a couple days in the capital until I feel human enough to head into the northern environs.

The east side of the old house is now under my scrutiny. A quick check revealed more wood borer Infested timber. About the only part of the front facia not infected seems to be the verandah.  So I removed the climbing vine from it and have repainted and attached a proper gutter to it. Getting enough gutter and spouting home to span the 11 Metre length could have been problematic had I not bought a bicycle canoe trailer last summer. The 3 Metre lengths proved no problem with this trailer and I'm guessing that when I start ripping out Infested weather boards I'll be able to bring them home from the timber yard in this way as well.

 After a full mornings work installing the gutter I was pretty pleased with the finished product. I thought I deserved a break so went off to tinker with my bike in the garage for the rest of the day. Just as dusk was falling I returned to the house to perform a working test on the new drainage now that the glue had all dried. After all an expert spouting installer like myself knows better than to pour water into a system that is still dying. Rain was forecast for later in the week so a test was deemed sensible. It was just a matter of pouring a bucket of water in the far end and watch it happily discharge down the downpipe. I poured it in and nothing happened..? So I poured another bucket in and still nothing. A third bucket showed me where the problem lied. Clearly back in 1879 the builders had constructed the house on an angle. There was only one thing for it. I had to reposition the outlet to the other end of the verandah... problem solved and the water poured out to perfection. Nineteenth century workmanship clearly not up to 'Niel the Wheel's' standard.

Autumn weather has been kind to us in Nelson. Just today we had fine weather and a temperature of 21C. Yesterday it was raining but at 95% humidity and 19C it was hardly cold. Winter will turn up sooner rather than later though so it was just as well that Murray the firewood man finally delivered the wood today. Stacking a truckload of wood into the shed takes the best part of a day but when it's done you  get a satisfied feeling knowing that you can sit next to a crackling fire when it's frosty outside.
 The gum takes so long to dry out though that it will probably be spring before it's ready. I could start burning the borer Infested weather boards until it's ready I suppose. Perhapes I should attempt to go through the winter without heating to prepare myself for a Scandinavia Autumn. N

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