Finally, after what seemed an interminable wait, my stuff from Fiji was delivered on Thursday morning. It has been here in NZ for months of course, and in Wellington since before Christmas, but the local office of NZ Vanlines did not record or tell the Auckland office that I had rung them at the beginning of November to advise my home phone was on the fritz, and they should call my mobile. When we finally got in touch again there was the paperwork and fees. Then Customs and Quarantine were snowed under. Then a mysterious hiatus between being advised the consignment was ready to deliver (and my advising in return that I was ready to receive it) and the actual delivery.
Even then I had to go and collect the bike Wednesday afternoon. They would not deliver it. Ok, It was not far away. Great to be back on it, even if it was only for a quick unregistered ride home from Seaview. I won’t be riding again any time soon though. The VIN and registration is going to set me back around $650. Possibly it will need a new tyre too. All the sam, it is not really as bad as I had feared. The VIN component of that is only about $150. I thought the Fijians had cost me much more than that when they insisted I deregister it here.
Still. I have to amass $650 first. And there are other priorities. Like food.
Anyway – my stuff has arrived. 7 boxes of shit that I now realise I may just as well have given away in Fiji. Apart from the clothes, which I needed rather badly, and a few very important items, most of it will just stay packed until everything goes into storage or to my next digs.
The point of this post is that there is an enormous amount of gratification one can get from the smallest of pleasures sometimes. Since I returned, I have had access to my favourite set of kitchen knives. I had not, for some unaccountable reason, taken them with me to Fiji. However, they were appallingly blunt,and may just as well have been cheap crap. The sharpener here is next to useless.
Now that I have retrieved my favourite sharpener, all the kitchen knives are again beautifully sharp. Even the cheap crap ones. Each one passes the tomato test, and finely dicing an onion is not only once more possible, but is actually a genuine pleasure, especially with one of my lovely Victorinoxes.
I have kind of made a New Year commitment to myself not to blog anything about my own life, if I can’t say something positive. So I have refrained from blogging for a bit. In retrospect I had plenty positive to report. The negative aspects of life just seem a little intrusive on occasion.
I have received generous gifts of great food and drink from an old friend, I have two cheerful daughters who help keep my spirits up, and the letters advising me that my job application was not successful have been most pleasantly phrased.
I have spent at least two hours a night writing. If Bryce Courtenay can do it, so can I. Eventually. Problem is, I am more like Oscar Wilde – spending an hour deciding whether to insert a comma, and another hour deciding whether to delete it.
I am not writing here about what I am writing. That is not at all a good idea. But it is a pleasure doing it. It passes the time if nothing else, and makes me feel as if I might – one day – produce something worthy.