Fading Memories

Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Making a Mountain out of an Anthill.


After a lengthy absence, which might possibly be explained at length over the coming days or weeks or indeed may never be explained, we're back with a new family member and a list of things to make and do which is so long that the time for completion, if we abide by our traditional method of dealing with such lists, may well not take place in this lifetime.

Meet Jean Claude Damned Van, the product of decades of discussion, volumes of hastily sketched notes and thoughts, years of planning, and a hasty last minute decision to purchase in the face of a looming deadline.  

It's fair to say that there were a few ticks missing from the boxes on our carefully compiled list of "must haves" and with fewer than five weeks to create some semblance of habitable space before taking off into the great red and blue northern unknown with a third of our children, the process could best be described as "not relaxing".

In a departure from our usual diaries, daily documentation has not been possible due in part to a complete absence of communication networks, and during the build period when networks did exist, a complete absence of energy left to do so. 

Yet here we are.   Locked in, with not much else to do but catch up on three months' worth of garden maintenance and tell the tale of how we got here.


Friday, March 05, 2021

Dust collection.


It's been 535 days since we last saw our "Joyeux"and the count continues.

We think we've faced our separation with a good deal of stiff upper lip and bravado, fortified in part by the position we find ourselves in, in a place where "Covid 19" is pretty much something you read about being a danger to other people in countries which were less lucky than ours, and perhaps with governments less decisive to be fair.

But without being ungrateful or wishing to sound smug, being safe IS starting to wear a little thin when it means being perpetually land-bound.   

As our second missed cruising season looms, there are slight pangs of homesickness, larger pangs of missing our friends, (and greater pangs of relief as a vaccine looms not far below the horizon). Even though the time for a reunion is still at least a year off, lists being made of what might need to be done to get our poor little craft shipshape once more.

In the meantime on the home front, the 3d printer has been working overtime making bits to improve the dust collection system in my workshop, which is ironic really, because tucked up in that shed in Belgium is the biggest dust collector one could ever wish for.

Friday, January 08, 2021

We've got two TVs!

We have two spots planned  for TVs in our house, one for watching and one for looking at, but we hadn't really convinced ourselves that we needed a greater ratio than one television for every two pairs of eyes until we became victims of one of the other side effects of "the Covid Shutdown":- rampant consumerism.

The first item on our list of things to make and do is: "BUILD UPSTAIRS TV UNIT" (pictured in March), which was well underway but came to a screeching halt back then when we commenced our "leave", and has not progressed since.  The second item is "Downstairs TV Unit" which is in an even lesser state of construction, but since we didn't actually have a downstairs TV nor any particular plan to purchase one, was in a lesser state of urgency still.

Then our Government interfered, and without consultation gave us some "Covid Relief" money, which got us to thinking that if we bought some timber, and stacked it neatly in the garage we could get onto it as soon as our long service leave ended.   We also got to thinking that it might be nice to have some idea of what we were building before we started to cut up those expensive sticks, so set off to a big box store in search of a television set we could measure in order to make a template.

As fate would have it in those strange times, whilst wandering tape in hand, drowning in a confused sea of televisions of ever inncreasing size, the thought occurred that it would be much easier to simply buy a gigantic television than to make a gigantic template to fill an even more gigantic hole into which it would one day fit.  Stunned though we may have been by the hastiness of our decision and the enormity of the thing we chose, the real surprise came when the man in the shop assured us that it can receive sporting broadcasts.  

After its installation a world of things like cricket matches, football and motor racing would be open to us, a feat which to this day the other of us insists is not attainable for our aged "Upstairs TV".


Tuesday, January 05, 2021

The List.

 When it became apparent that last year was not going to be a repeat of those that preceded it, we decided that since we'd been doing what we've been doing for a little over ten years, we were pretty much due for long service leave.

For the following three months we simply changed the dates on our lists of things to make and do to some time later in the year, turned off the lights to the shed, and commenced lying idly about, or at least doing things differently to our norm.

As far as I can see, the only problem with lying idly about, is that one has time to read, and trawl the internet, and to take long walks along the beach and one's mind does not remain as inactive as one's body would perhaps like.  This perhaps explains how the 3D printer came to be built, and perhaps excuses the growing pile of parts for the CNC machine that will one day whirr in a corner somewhere, and how the camera club website was reconstructed, and why the list, nine months later is stuck like a clock with a flat battery at the first deadline: "June". 

I would like to sneak back in and write "2021" after the months in the list, but dare not lest come next year's retrospective I risk being hoist by my own petard.


Sunday, January 03, 2021

With 2020 Hindsight


Last March, an eerie silence descended on us and we buckled up and waited for the Tsunami that became known as "the Pandemic" to sweep us away.   For reasons inexplicable, in those days immediately before kwhat became known as "the lockdown", many people gathered by the ocean's side, staring silently for a sign of the Riders of the Apocalypse approaching over the horizon

Fortunately for us, New Zealand is in that direction, the prevailing south-easterlies were virus-free. Not so returning travellers and cruise ships however, but swift government action aided undoubtedly by the relative ease of isolating the entire country have kept us almost free of the ravages being experienced by much of the world.   None the less, there are some cracks appearing in the fabric of our little part of the universe, and I have felt compelled to update March's photo to better reflect the present.

It's been an interesting time for us, rather than a terrible one, a time when we can be grateful for the sort of opportunity that presents itself when change is forced upon us.  

We've been busy of course and it's quite possibly a portent of things to come that the first post of the new year did not occur until three days after it, but the decision to write more regularly has been made if for no other reason than to keep track of all those wasted days, making marks to keep track of time on the invisible walls of our prison island.  For now though, the reality of spending another year in more or less the same manner as the last is beginning to sink in. 

Let the good times roll!


Monday, August 24, 2020

Monday 24th August


screenshot from abc.net.au news feed

Crikey it's cold!

Even our Premier is imploring those with the slightest hint that they may be symptoms to go out in the near blizzard to get Covid tests done.   To be fair to us, we live in a place where temperatures are normally such that we don't actually possess the means to heat our houses, and today inside ours made it as far as the high teens, so things aren't entirely toasty.

We've had enough.  A curse on those westerlies and the Covid-symptom sinus infections and hay fever that the dust they carry brings!

We're heading a few hundred kilometres north for a bit, to a place where the climate is expected to be… well exactly the same actually, but being in the company of good friends should warm the cockles!


Gardening Leave.
Monday 24th August


We've been wondering how to describe what we've been up to these past few months, locked as we are in quasi-isolation in on our admittedly very large prison island.   

There's been no a lack of motivation to work on our little projects, but we've certainly suffered, if that's the word, from a lack of urgency brought on by the feeling that perhaps we should pace ourselves lest we get to the end of our respective lists before a reliable Covid vaccine is discovered.   

During the past decade while lounging on the deck of our boat, or wandering aimlessly down a winding cobbled alleyway or along some exotic beach in a far flung corner of the globe, we've often been asked whether we were "retired".  Invariably we'd reply "Oh no, this is what we do for a living".  Therein perhaps lies a clue to the challenge that we have in describing our present state.   After a decade leading a gloriously peripatetic life, it dawned on us that perhaps we should consider this halt in proceedings to be a well deserved long service leave.  lf that were the case though, the implication is that on the completion of our leave, we would take up our former life where we left off, albeit suitably refreshed, and in the current world circumstance that seems to be in unlikely probability.

It is increasingly common practice for employers to direct an employee to take so called “gardening leave” after an employee has given notice of termination of employment.  This is a time when in order to protect proprietary information, said employee is bound to his or her former employer, before being allowed another position which is often required to be in some entirely different field of endeavour.   Perhaps that's it.  When the new normal is found, perhaps we too will have to invent our new career path, rather than face "retirement". 

That's it!  We're on gardening leave. 

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