The smug victoriousness of having made it through Winter relatively intact continues to simmer gently. Nights are frequently clear and cold; days switch between extreme winds, sporadic showers and hopeful sunshine. The earth is warming – every plant and tree that can bud or blossom is going for it.
As I type this, the sun is shining – I have dropped Small Z at school early so she could prepare her ‘Kahoot’ as an activity option for the other kids when they arrive – they have a thing called ‘Four Pillars’ which are four options written on a whiteboard at the entrance of the school and they choose which thing they want to do for the first half hour or so…
Anyway. So far on the Block we have planted two cherry trees, a blueberry bush, a Huonville Crab apple tree, a golden plum and four tomato plants. I am hoping the latter survived the night because I only planted them about 14 hours ago and last night was c-o-l-d. It was low tide on my way to the Block yesterday and I collected a gaggle of driftwood and boatbuilding offcuts on my way there, stuffing them into my blue trolley.
Trolley? I hear you ask. Why would you trolley when you have finally attained a vehicle bliss point?
BECAUSE CARS HATE ME.
Goldie, on inspection by someone who actually knows cars (Roger the Mechanic Next Door), has a dead clutch – that will be another $1500 – thank you. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
But wait! There’s more! Roger – a man whom I like very much – has time management issues and an inability to say NO. Thus, Goldie – who he was supposed to look at late last week – continues to languish like some mocking static statue in the middle of the Block.
Yesterday I popped through the hobbit sized doorway in the side of the shed holding my mallet that I’d been using to invent a fence for my tomato seedlings.
“I heard you moving stuff around on the other side of this wall,” I told Roger, who appeared out of the shadows of engines and oil and hoists and general mechanical paraphernalia. “I was going to bang back with my mallet.”
“Why would you do that?” He is endlessly affable – an amazing thing considering that he probably spends fifty percent of his time dealing with dickheads who want their car fixed yesterday… or last week, as the case may be.
“Because my CAR is still not up on YOUR HOIST.”
“Ah.” He gestures vaguely to the Holden ute that’s poised in the air – not the Mercedes 4WD that was there last time I harassed him. “That’s not up there for long – that was an accident.”
I’m distracted by the fact that he’s leaning on a skip bin I haven’t seen before. I immediately recall that he and his son are going to be cavorting around the workshop this coming Sunday – they are being filmed for an advertisement in their authentically greasy workshop.
“What’s this? You cleaning up for the big shoot on Sunday?”
“Nahhhh, just trying make some room.” He clocks me itemising the contents of the skip. “There’s nothing any good in there.”
“What’s that then?” I point.
“Oh, that’s just a sheet of old copper, no one would want that.”
“There you go then.”
Check-mated. Unable to complain further about the car he’s had for TWO WEEKS for at least another 24 hours because he’s given me some lovely copper that I needed to have, but have absolutely no idea what I’m going to use it for. The world’s tiniest splash back?
We consider the forklift that is still in place under the skip bin.
“What’s that run on?” My knowledge of forklifts is minimal, but I’ve always presumed they run on gas or electricity – neither of which seems quite right in this setting.
“OK.” I look at the two oversized bicycle chains that help it to lift Large Things up and down. “I bet that doesn’t break down on you often. Looks simple.”
“It has never broken down on me. You know when it was born? 1964. Just does what it’s supposed to do. Lifts stuff.”
“So if you were reincarnated, would it be as something like this? An excellent and reliable bit of machinery?”
“Reincarnated? As a forklift? Nahhhhh – I’d rather be something like a seagull I reckon. Or a plover. That’d be okay I reckon. Have you seen the baby plover? It’s not a baby anymore! It grew so quick!”
“I know!! It was a cotton-ball on two sticks for about a week and now it’s a mini-bird with no baby fuzz.”