August 18, 2020
March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path.
Khalil Gibran (1883 – 1931)

It is always prudent to reflect when you suffer a reversal on your ‘pathway’. Is it really that bad? Do you still have your health? Can you picture people in worse situations? … and always you can.

Perspective is something that is so easy to get out of kilter. In the last week New Zealand has had an outbreak of community-transferred Covid 19 cases in Auckland. Disappointed though we all were, the government acted swiftly and imposed restrictions on the nation.

The Auckland region went into a Level Three lock-down and the rest of us into a Level Two. As an island nation we still have a chance of defeating this invisible plague. We’ve done well with only four deaths per million, which in comparison to the similar island nation of the UK with 609 deaths per million looks very good.

Not fair, you say as our population is only five million. So we should be compared with Ireland, another island nation … one with the same population as us, and a death rate of 359. So you can see that there are a lot of people, a lot worse off than us, even though it was seen as a ‘tragedy’ that the much anticipated and sold-out rugby game between the Auckland Blues and the Canterbury Crusaders was cancelled with two days’ notice.

And my personal disappointment?  I had a moto adventure planned.  The extravaganza that was to be the launch of George Lockyer’s book Tales And Trails Down Under was to take place at the historic Governors Bay Hotel last Friday night.  Posters were up all over town, there had been a letter-box drop – excitement was rising, George and I were pumped.  

Launching a book, is like giving birth … and I was the uncle.  I had winterised my K75S BMW  by making some ‘Hippo-hands’ to keep the digits from freezing on the seven-hour ride.  I had zipped the winter-lining into my riding trou and found my ‘woolly bears’.  This last item of clothing is not needed often in NZ.  

Back in the late 1970s I worked in the laundry of the Blue Whale, the crane ship building the Maui oil platform off the Taranaki coast.  Woolly bears were worn by the construction divers under their dry-suits.  They are a type of synthetic fur and are amazingly warm.  One week, a diver never returned for his laundry and ultimately this treasured item of under-clothing came my way.  So I was pretty happy with my lower half. Above the waist, from the inside, I intended wearing a long-sleeved merino, a brushed cotton shirt, merino again, woollen jersey, a sleeveless fleece then my bike jacket, with a final PVC over-layer.  As well, I have invested in a long-fronted neck-warmer of possum, merino and mulberrysilk.  

Add into the mix my natural furry-pelt and walrus-like layer of adipose tissue and I was ready … possibly unreasonably excited for what was just a long weekend away, but an adventure is an adventure, no matter how big or small. So to be cancelled with a day to go before departure was shattering, to me in my little world … and to George of course as well.  But in the big picture it is just a tiny hiccup.  

We’re still all well and happy.  Importantly, so far we’re still safe due to these minor impositions.  And of course people can still buy the book on-line.  I hope they do … it is a damn good read. Like all George’s work it is imaginative, informative and gently amusing.

Part of the New Zealand message around this troubled time, is to remember to be kind
It is not sheep-like to follow the rules in this instance ... it is the secret to our success
The wonderful 'Hippo' hands work well. Makes a change from the old plastic oil containers that I sometimes use on the other bikes.
Winter lining in ... nearly ready to go!