The first of this season's migratory kite fliers have just arrived from the northern hemisphere for the NZ summer (which had been excellent until they arrived) and more are due in the next few days. By New Year we'll have a very full house.
I've been here myself for most of a month now- almost a record- and consequently have advanced the tree clearing and building program significantly- and have a new single line kite on the way.
Like youth being wasted on the young, retirement could be considered as wasted on the old- but I thoroughly recommend it- it's great being able to do things you want to do rather than things you have to do- though as it seems to have turned out in my case they're exactly the same things- like making and flying a few kites, complaining about the wind (always too much or not enough), taking off bumps and filling in hollows (with the lawnmower), and playing with old engines in spare moments.
Our new kite field is now rolled and seeded, the jungle has been cleared and grassed, and we christened it's overlooking barbecuing and wine imbibing deck last evening to welcome Gianluca and Stella from Cervia (well Cesenatico, but near enough).
Everyone agrees that the deck has great promise but a few helpful suggestions were offered;
Like that the deck planking should be nailed down- not that this was the builder's fault (Robert, eldest son, back from England until Jan). He was quite willing to continue nailing but guests chose to trade off physical security for absence of hammering noises.
Also, the roof would have worked better if there had actually been one, not that it rained much anyway- the water mainly came from attempts to put the deck out when the brazier fell over.
And, come to mention it, that it would have been better if the new brazier hadn't fallen over- twice- which charred the decking in places- but is easily fixed on account of it's not being nailed down yet.
Jackie (Penny) spoke for all the sheila's when she said halfway through the evening- "if we're very good can we all go into the house now please?"
So they (and one snaggish bloke) all went indoors, while the real blokes stayed out by the campfire for 3 or 4 hours more, having convened a design committee to consider redesign of the brazier.
Gianluca's holiday is not going to work out quite as he planned either – on account of Simon (in the kite factory) being off for 7 weeks from having broken his ankle last week playing soccer. So the new plan is for Gianluca to be chained to a sewing machine instead of going sightseeing with Stella.
And the new single line kite?- it's a snake- called the AI Cobra – why 'AI' will be revealed in due course.
Like most first designs from me, it's green- not that pretty I agree, but it's on account of green fabric always being what's left over.
And, it doesn't fly yet either.
And the shape's not right- a visiting kite flier earnestly asked me; "is it meant to be frog?"
I'm not even that sure he was winding me up.
But I have hopes!
Ashburton NZ, 1 Dec '07