Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Milestones and Penultimate Moments

In the Nana Olympics Christine would be without a doubt a gold medalist - without a doubt; she's that good.

When we see our beloved grandson approximately every month he has either reached some sort of milestone in his development or he is just a step away from the next one. To date Zane is pulling himself up from the floor and hanging onto furniture. Soon it will be one small step for our grandson, one giant leap in his mobility. Such a sea change in Alex and Ramizas bright new world of parenting will mean that things will never be quite the same again. Intelligence, curiosity and mobility will be an interesting alliance.

How quick has been his development, how so very, very rich the experience of watching him grow - such an abundance of love flows in his direction - he deserves it all - love, his doting parents and his gold medalist Nana.

Modifying The Honda Accord

These two photographs from the Auckland Boat Show picture how some seven foot long P Class yachts were transported in the first half of last century. It was back in the real days when sensible people in New Zealand grew their own vegetables on their quarter acre sections, women knew how to make Pavlova correctly, men hadn't lost their mojos, teachers used real sacks (not these new fangled, pathetic, synthetic thingies) for the children's sports day sack races and real cars had running boards on which to cart small yachts around on - what the fuck happened to the world?

These photographs are fortuitous because I have 7 boats (A sea kayak, a small inflatable dinghy, Two rigid fiberglass dinghies, two sailing dinghies and one relatively large ocean going yacht.) [That's a lot of boats - not as many as I would like; BUT there's still time - but I digress] ...... and I have no way of getting any of the six of the seven boats to the water! I recently put a tow bar on my Honda Accord with the idea of purchasing a trailer to take these little boats down to the sea, but I can see the solution right here in these photographs - a running board on the Honda is what is needed, now, without a moments sailing time to be lost. Bingo! I now have a use for that old sheet of corrugated iron.

Camping With A Seven Footer

On a screen between two seven foot P Class yachts at the Auckland Boat Show I watched a slide show complete with themed music for each decade; beginning in the 1920s, showing the P Class in all its various guises. I took photographs of some of the slides.

This very early photograph shows something I never did do with my own small P class yacht - camping. This is a very New Zealand version of Ransomes' "Swallows and Amazons". On the right of the photo is a P Class turned on its side. One of the yachts mainsails is being used for a tent and the dining table is one of the centreboards. The photograph was probably taken by the other P Class skipper with a Box Brownie camera. The young fella in the photograph is so handsome it could almost be me.

It is said that when you get to a particular age all you do is look back and reminisce - bugger that. Hanging up in my carport on a six part purchase pulley is a small P Class yacht that I restored a couple of years ago. Her name is 'Cygnet'. As I mentioned earlier I never got to go camping in my spinnaker red coloured little P Class called 'Elusive' but I am going to change all of that when the weather gets a little warmer -phfff, who said Halcyon Days are only for those of a certain decade.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Every Friday here at School the children can order a sausage on bread with or without tomato sauce. It costs $1.50 for a sausage at our 'Friday Sausage Sizzle' school fund raiser.

Today a hand written order arrived, delivered by an adult as he dropped off his children. He was doing everything possible to make sure the sausage order arrived and was processed. The hand written note was precise, legible and with exemplary spelling. The signature at the bottom of the note had the flourish of a mission accomplished. It was the sort of note whose nuance (ripped with precision from one end of an envelope) stated unequivocally: "If this note doesn't elicit sausages at lunchtime today then the Cosmos in general and Einsteins General Theory of Relativity in particular needs some serious tweaking."

Lets call the children Jack and Jill. This is the handwritten order.

Hi ******

Could we please get three sausages.
1 X for Jack Rm 1
1 X for Jill Rm 3
Thanks  enclosed $5.00 (Change $2.00)

signed (Adult signature)

This makes me smile. I love this sort of thing because it makes me feel not so alone in the universe. May God bless this man many times.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Auckland Boat Show

There are two annual boat shows held in Auckland. One is on the waterfront where moored boats can be viewed and the other is at the Auckland Show Grounds. I have been very disappointed in the Auckland Show Grounds boat shows in the past as there have been no yachts displayed at all. What is displayed is mainly power boats, fishing rods and their associated paraphernalia and those detestable surf ski thingies that turn pleasant anchorages into dangerous race tracks with their noise and their poncy, ostentatious hubris. In my opinion never has such a lamentable addition to the boating scene  ever been invented - but I digress - I was pleasantly surprised this year to find a small part of the 2014 Auckland Boat Show devoted to centerboard yachts. There weren't as many as I would have liked to have seen but enough to put a smile on my face. I found them unexpectedly just as I was leaving. I had gone to the show to get some information on a new diesel engine for my yacht 'Mariner' and caught the small pavilion out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving. Inside amongst the displays I found a couple of P Class dinghies, an OK Dinghy and a fine example of a Starling sailing dinghy, a boat that I am currently restoring.

This P Class yacht in the photo used to belong to Dean Barker, New Zealands' Americas Cup skipper. I must have been a little over zealous in my removal of the signage in front of Dean Barkers P class so I could take a photograph, as an amused voice enquired, "Are you an old P class sailor?" I replied that I certainly was and added "How great to see not only some yachts at the boat show but some wooden ones into the bargain."

The voice belonged to Dean Barkers father, himself a former P Class sailor. He told me that this P Class yacht in the photo is the boat that Dean won the New Zealand National Championships when he was a young fella. He told me how he had tracked down this boat, restored it and presented it to his son Dean on his 40th birthday. When Dean arrived at the party 'Evolution' was floating in the family swimming pool. I think that's just about the best present I have ever heard of and I told Deans father so. 

"Yes, Dean was pretty stoked to see his old boat again!"

 I can imagine, I know Exactly; how he would have felt.