My Electrical Well
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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The last couple of weeks have gone really quick. Highlights include some idiot reversing in to the side of the van (a guy from Smethwick of all places!), the spectacular arrival of Chicken's 'mam', Jez's horrific trauma and a night at the circus.
Actually the circus was excellent. I can't say I ever remember going to a circus, so this was a real treat. I went with Jez and Lyn-Marie on Saturday night. Honestly, we were like kids - clapping our hands and cooing every five seconds with our hot dogs and candy floss. We were loving it. The show was put on by an outfit called 'Weber Bros' and had all the usual crazy 'how the hell do they do that?' kind of antics as well as a couple of well planted mad acrobat characters which suddenly sprang from the audience. The young Mongolian contortionists were painfully good - I read in the Mountain Scene afterwards that one of them had just turned six years old!
Jen arrived last week having flown via LA and its whirlwind of hassle. She's come over to spend a whole 4-5 weeks with the Chike. I got a text the day she landed and went down to meet them for a few beers in the Pig - smiles all round! I can't believe it's been a whole year since she was here last, when we spent those two joyous weeks bounding all over the South Island in the campervans. She hasn't changed at all. Apparently, we've become a lot fatter, and paler.
It was great to see her again and even better to see her re-united with her Chicken. It kind of reminded me of the Paul Simon song 'Mother and child re-union' ('it's only a motion away...') which of course is about a chicken re-uniting with her egg. Speaking of Mr Simon, I've just finished his thick biography, which is quite a read. The guy never fails to impress me. He truly is a genius, a musical geisha, a legend.
I'm still sitting tightly with everything crossed for news on the standby statistics regarding the Hollyford Track (please please please!) In the meantime, there's another unplanned shocker of an adventure starting in a couple of weeks. It came about after a very cheeky stroke of luck and will be a big fat cherry on top of the whole New Zealand experience. But more on all that later!
I've told my boss I'm leaving. And I've got lots of things to do before I leave; niggly things which are just causing shit loads of inconvenience. Example: after my iRiver packed up in Dunedin I haven't been able to access it as a drive so I've lost all storage privileges. Nice. This means that at some point I've got to back the whole thing up (all 40GB of it), as it no longer talks with windows. Lovely. I've looked in to it and it's actually a fault within the device. Apparently, 'this can happen', frequently does, and the manufacturer generally offers to replace the unit. Not much consolation really. It's my treasured tunes and years of unforgettable memories caught on camera that I really want, not a sparkling new (empty) unit. Looking at buying an iRiver? Don't. Just don't. If you do, make sure you go to all the inconvenience of backing it up every week. See one day, without warning it just might make itself invisible. But don't worry. Apparently, 'this can happen', frequently does, and the manufacturer generally offers to replace the unit.
There are however, two options:- I can send it back for a nice new replacement and lose everything (but then what if I have one of those moments where I suddenly need to listen to 'Birdhouse in your soul'?); or, I back it up from the unit itself via my camera's tiny 256mb memory-stick. If you understand how these things work and how long it takes to transfer each file, you'll know what a ball-ache of a task it'll be. And how sick and numb I feel.
So all is bright and sparkly for the moment, apart from that and getting the van repaired which is a bit tricky, as both of us have no insurance. After seeing how pissed off I was, the bloke who reversed in to me actually said he'd cover it and I've since had quotes of between $400 and $760 to get the thing banged out and resprayed. Whether he does or not, I guess we'll see. And then there's Jez and his utterly disturbing recent trauma. Get this: he was bitten by a whitetail spider - New Zealand's only poisonous and very rare, spider - which happened to be basking on the kitchen worktop, poised, and ready to strike. By the grace of god, I wasn't there at the time. A white, tail, spider. Say the words. That's all I can say about it as I shudder when I start to imagine how distraught he must've been. Oh the blood, oh the horror!