Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Burner

I'm writing this post from Mum and Dad's house in Geraldine. It's great to get out of Auckland for a week. I flew down on Saturday; Air New Zealand have just implemented comedy safety announcements: "When an oxygen mask appears above your head, don't ask why, and don't ask if you can have it in a different colour." Mum and Dad picked me up from Christchurch airport and we stopped briefly at Uncle Dan's. It was the first time I'd seen Dan since his diagnosis with throat cancer 18 months ago; he seemed in remarkably good spirits, albeit a couple of stone lighter than I remember him.

On Sunday I went to Pleasant Point to watch Dad fly his plane at the Model Aero Club. For a while he had me fooled with what I thought were some rather nifty aerobatics, but in fact all those impressive-looking vertical loops weren't in the script at all. The electrics were dead, and the plane - which Dad had spent many evenings making - came down in a local farmer's back garden. Dad wasn't a happy bunny; he went home with his tail between his legs while the plane's tail was no longer attached. He still thinks he can salvage the situation. I realise now he just enjoys gluing bits of balsa together; actually flying the finished product is secondary.
The engine room of Mum's life, on the other hand, would seem to be the golf course. I had a hit with her yesterday - quite a lot of hits in my case. It was the first time Mum had used her new club - the Burner. By spending a few hundred dollars on this club, whose head is the size and shape of a large spud cut in half, she's become one of the "haves", rather than the "have nots", of the golfing community. We played nine holes; I consistently scored double par. Mum is out playing a tournament right now, with the Burner of course, which is why I'm able to write this post.

I still don't feel quite right. I'm not sure if it's the depression, the drugs, or something else. Tomorrow we're planning on going to Hanmer Springs which is uncharted territory for me. I wanted to talk about the strange thing that happened to me last week - it was strange precisely because it happened to me - but I'm fast running out of computer time.

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