January 14th, 2016
Next stop Kaponga, Central Taranaki. Actually, pretty much right at the base of the mountain. My friends Ringer and Nicky are living the dream. But I wouldn’t be arriving before a minor disaster struck.
Pulling away from my parents’ place with my brand new trailer coupling, I was feeling confident that my car issues were at an end for now. Alas, having connected everything up and pulled away, I was halted by a concerned mother: “You’ve got a cable hanging down”. Sure enough, I did too. As I’s straighten up the trailer, the cable had not had enough slack and all the wires pulled clean out of the coupling on the trailer end.
With a bit of hasty autoelec-trickery, I bunged all the wires back in place. Or at least, I thought I did. Sadly, I’d reversed the earth and tail light wires and in not too long, a warning light let me know I’d blown a tail light. Bugger. After checking that the indicators and brake lights still worked, I decided to go on anyway. Hoping I’d just blown a fuse, I decided it was best for a real autoelectrician to make sure I’d not cooked something.
A couple of hours later, we arrived at our destination. And WHAT A DESTINATION!
I was super jealous immediately. The quiet was penetrating and the peace of the area was palpable. The happy couple (and brand new parents!) had set up a sizeable veggie garden and had a couple of sheep, chooks and a cow. Open greenery as far as the eyes could see. That is except where it was obscured by the majesty of Mt Taranaki or, if you looked really hard, fringed by the churning Tasman Sea. Casa de Ringer was indeed as redneck as had been promised and it gave me such a thrill to see that they had successfully carved such a life for themselves. If they could, maybe I could too.
Much catching up was done, babies were cooed over, cordial introductions to the cow and sheep were made and my wee lads met Ringer’s ‘hound’. Joyful frolicking and crotch sniffing ensued. Then the dogs started playing together too 😉 Ringer and I decided to pretend we were real men and began playing with the car, grunting things about sumps, radiator flushes; jacked the car up; got out a heap of unnecessary tools; got covered in oil and even did a little rewiring. As we clearly had no idea what we were doing, not much was achieved by this. We did sink a couple of beers in the process and had a good laugh though.
Ringer and I took to the kitchen and cooked up a storm. Dinner consisted largely of the home-grown veggies on display in the veggie patch. While they are still really only getting a useful harvest around the summer months, there’s every sign of their yield improving gradually. They hope to eventually be growing, raising, collecting and butchering the majority of their food year-round. With the amount they have already learned about creating a sustainable lifestyle and with the can-do attitude they both have, I have no doubt they will make that dream a reality.