The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

It was cold and wet at 07:00hrs in Oamaru. The send-off committee consisted of Agent of Death and Morty. Agent of Death was so unimpressed by the cold and wet he didn’t venture further than the yard.

I have to say, the send-off committee is definitely better when Andrew is (about to be not) present. There was a distinct lack of streamers, bunting and muted weeping. Well, Her Goatiness was at a goat conference, so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of muted weeping. The nearest approximation was when Agent of Death stepped on Morty’s tail, but that was more a strident yowl.

I was glad it was raining on Sunday, as oppozed (what, opposed isn’t spelled with a ‘z’? Oh come on: it TOTALLY should be!) to freezing. If I don’t post this pic now, it’ll wallow on my hard disk forever never seeing the light of LCD; so here’s what Saturday’s crack of dawn looked like:-

Yep, it really was that cold.

It rained pretty much all the way to Christchurch. I was picking up a bread machine in Riccarton at 11:30 and found the street despite my scribbled directions to myself (I can no longer read my own handwriting). I located Number 4 Flat 3, and hammered on the door for a while. It was opened by a student who had evidently just tumbled out of bed. He featured a spectacular quiff and was wearing a scarf and not an awful lot of much else. I had previously thought Kiwi blokes’ aversion to clothes was limited to summer. Not any more.

“Dude, I hope to god you’re not Shamsen from Trademe,” I said, backing up sharply.


“Grand, sorry to disturb you.” 

After some frantic texting, Shamsen from Trademe located me and handed over the bread machine.

When the weather picked up a bit, I stopped to give Jed a run. Since the boot was full of Husband’s crap treasured belongings, Jed was creased into the passenger compartment. The novelty of sitting on the seat headbutting the gearstick soon wore off as he struggled to get comfortable in the footwell.

Are we there yet?

Hey! My legs still work!

Snuffle time

Getting to grips with a stick

The rest of the drive was moody, the mountains drifting in and out of mist and veils of rain. I stopped for a couple of photos, although it’s always tricky taking pics along the SH1 which don’t lo0k like a close up of a fence, or a study of a lorry’s radiator grille. I’m not a big fan of landscape photography generally – mainly because the digital representation never looks anything as good as the real thing. These images convey only a fraction of the atmospheric broodiness – (I’m thinking around 2/31. Too generous? 3/92 then):-

Close up of a lorry's radiator grille

Study of a fence

The trailer posed few problems. I guess the main key is avoiding awkward situations where e.g. the car is hanging over a cliff with the trailer at a right-angle behind. But that only happened once.

On another occasion, I misjudged how trailer-friendly a garage was from the other side of the road in pouring rain. I basically cut off all access to the rear yard while I filled up, then had to park nose-kerb to pay. However, at the peak of the park I twiddled the steering wheel so the trailer was pointed in the right direction for reversing, and whatever I subsequently backed over was small, so it was all good.

(All things considered, I would call that garage trailer-antagonistic.)

After negotiating the entrance to our drive in a frankly brilliant five-point turn, I was probably over-confident in deciding to back the trailer into the garage. I approached the manoeuvre with a soupcon too much flair, and fetched up in a tree.

The tree/car was on a fairly aggressive slope. It took twenty minutes and the delicate aroma of stewed clutch before I finally positioned the trailer.

Comments on: "Delicate aroma of stewed clutch" (7)

  1. Cian said:

    Wow – yet another beautifully written road-trip account. Glad that you and Jed got home in one piece – well two pieces I guess since the two of you did not morph into one entity.

    Slightly disappointed that there was no PABX being transported, but I guess you had enough other stuff to fill the car.

    I totally love the grille and fence photos, but then again I love Landscape photography.

  2. The photographs are lovely. We are glad that you and Jed are now safely home. After all, we worry when you travel!

  3. deadlyjelly said:

    Cian – who needs the kitchen sink when you have a pair of five foot high speakers? As for your love of landscape photography, you’re just contrary.

    Forest Green – you are seriously too kind, and it’s good to be home. I love my road trips but I was a little anxious about this one with the trailer.


  4. solartap said:

    Ok – someone has to ask: why 3/92?

    Sorry, i just don’t get it. Am, i missing something there? I mean, i would have understood 5/93, which would have been a sliver of difference, but you lept (and what the hell is wrong with “lept” Mr.Spellchecking System?) from 2/31 to less than 1/31 – it’s just plain weird.

    Slightly freaked needs to know.

  5. solartap said:

    BTW, i do sometimes use “less than” to mean “fractionally over” :S

  6. Cian said:

    You’ve only figured out that I am contrary now. Jeekers. Also if you ask me (and I know you were not asking) you’re contrary too – you wouldn’t accept my compliment on the photos but you seem to have accepted it from Forest Green 🙂

    I’m so glad solartap asked that question as I was pondering it too…

  7. deadlyjelly said:

    Ok, the fractions. You’re not missing anything. I am, though. When I wrote the post, 3/92 seemed a lot smaller than 2/31. I prefer to approach fractions in an instinctive rather than mathematical way. It doesn’t always work out.

    Cian – the better I know someone, the more contrary I appear.


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