We’ve done it! The big hand has once again reached the top of our continuous gardening crawl clock leaving the way clear, for a while at least, to work on a few of the projects pending.
Now just to clarify: this does not include the house painting. No, that task is an All Hands on Deck job rather than a Goat Herd-Milk Maid production. What this dynamic duo, ably assisted by The Bean Counter who is enjoying a week long holiday, are now working towards is re-siting and morphing the cycle shed into an easily accessible, preferably spider-free wood shed. Like most around here, this is one of those easier-said-than-done jobs as currently the chosen site for this re-purposed outbuilding is occupied by our hoard of cobblestones and red bricks (they’re sure to come in handy one day). As we clear another space for and transport these stockpiled treasures (some of them for the fourth time), there is a lot of time for chattering, nattering and outright exercising in the art of conversation and we thought we’d share what we’d been contemplating here with you all; a sort of Chew-it-over Tuesday.
Have you noticed how many simple, playful, fun-loving pass-times are slowly being regimented into rule-bound “hobbies” requiring specialist equipment, “accepted practise”, and a great many rules? We say that in light of two recent events in our beloved New Brighton: Kite Day and the Annual New Zealand Sandcastle Competition. Both are wonderful events, the sort of things families much nicer than us make memories to last a lifetime at, and have our humble suburb resonating to the sound of the cash register bell as our cafes and market fleetingly get the patronage their standard deserves. From that point of view, an utter success.
Our beef is more with the actual activities. Aren’t sandcastles meant to be bucket-shaped, seaweed bedecked, lop-sided creations that, more often than not, don’t ever get to have their moat filled by the incoming tide because your little brother jumps on them?
Isn’t kite flying meant to be all about finding the right bits of wood, attaching the newspaper (in the older Homesteader’s case) or plastic sheeting, filching the pair of tights for the tail from your mother’s drawer, and then running several kilometres, throwing the stupid thing into the air while your sister, at string control, yelled at you for “doing it wrong”?
Oh, happy memories…
Nowadays, we deduced, it seems to be more about money and buying stuff: the kite kit, the moulded sandcastle template, the spatulas and shaping tools and water misters, more kite string, replacement kite frame… Maybe, though, this results in more children enjoying the art of actually flying the kite or building the castle, rather than spending all their time in preparation – that is if the manage to prise the equipment out of Dad’s hands.
The Homestead jury is still out on that one.
We’ll continue to build the same lop-sided, multi-layered, shell windowed, driftwood palisaded mermaid castles we always have. Maybe one day we’ll even manage to get the moat filled before The Farmer or Renovator jumps on it. We’ll still marvel at the flying creations (and their pricetags) as we wander up the beach of a Sunday.
So, really all this pontificating is pointless. But it helps pass the time while your heaving cobbles around.