Monday, April 23, 2012


Okay, this week's entry - I flatter myself, as if I could ever manage anything so assiduous as weekly entries - concerns the world-wide shortage of tea-towels, which I have traced to the top drawer next to the door in our kitchen. Mice have invaded, and the tea-towels all needed washing in consequence, and I discovered that the reason there is a world-wide shortage is because my wife has bought them all and crammed them into this drawer so *ucking hard that it has actually compressed the spaces within the atoms. All these electrons were squeezed into scrunched-up valencies and stuff, and when I opened the drawer they all sprang forth and the kitchen was entirely filled with linen, a bit like that polyurethane foam that builders use to make a mess of things. We can now rig a decent sized sailing ship of the Napoleonic era, should one float by. Which is less unlikely than you might have thought cos the other day we went to Picton and visited the Edwin Fox, which is the ninth oldest wooden ship in the world, according to the museum. It was brilliant. The outside of the hull is a bit munted but the inside is still solid teak, and you get a feel for how spooky it would have been to be an emigrant in 1873 when 190 souls were crammed together in a space fifty yards long for 114 days. The Edwin Fox was used at one stage for transporting convicts to Fremantle, and the museum contains a list of 'em all and their heinous crimes, one of which was Sacrilege (weeing on a gravestone) and several of which were Uttering. I liked Uttering. If I was to be convicted and sentenced to fourteen years penal servitude in Fremantle, it would have to be for Uttering.

After we'd been in Picton for a day or two and done the stuff you can do in Picton - buying a hand pump made of bronze for $65 in the junk shop, a stomper of a bargain not least because Irrigation Connexions who purport to know about water said you can't buy hand pumps any more - we hop't on the train and went south.

The train is fantastic. It doesn't go tiddly-pom, tiddly pom because they've welded all the tracks together. This means, obv., there's no room for expansion in the hot summer sun, so the rails all bend sideways and as it's a narrow gauge to start with, a good deal of wobbling takes place. But there's an advantage because it can't go more than fifty miles an hour, and therefore they can have an open coach with no sides and it's jolly fun and jolly noisy and when the diesel fumes get blown in your face it's jolly smelly too.  They weigh the baggage, too, and you're only allowed 20kg just in case the train has a growth spurt and turns into an aeroplane. For sixty miles it trundles along the actual coast and you get to see seals and once, dolphins. We loved it.

Near Christchurch we hop't out and there waiting for us wasn't Mr. Knight, who was late. We were going to visit him but since everyone in his house was injured or wounded or Mrs. Knight's mother it was like a hospital 'cept no flowers, so we stayed in a motel ten yards up the road and pop't in frequently to view the Famous Geared Facile which is every bit as glimmery and cunning as his convoluted or introverted gear calculations imply.  (Which calculations, for the record, nobody on the Whole Internet has read, or ever intends to.) And we had goes on Mrs. Knight's  Royal Enfield, a bicycle pretty in despite of view i.e. not being red and yes I said in despite of because that's Shakespeare (1) who's birthday is today even though Google, the ignorants, failed to mark the event. Shakespeare's birthday and St George's day as well and why do they make such a fuss about St Patrick's day? Hmph. Nobody got born on St Patrick's day.

Okay, no John's High Racer news because I've been a Knob again on account ov I found that in despite of (again) all my detailed drawings I still managed to weld things in the chainline, and I've had to weld a hole on so I can attach a chain idler which the entire machine was designed to avoid, and I'm not going to tell you about any ov that in case anyone suggests I get a job at NASA designing the Hubble telescope. 

1. Sonnet 141


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