Right first past the post with the pop artist who sang that un-comered title receives… something. No goggling, because I’ll know, and anyway it’s like falsifying your golf scores so you’re only cheating yourself. Although playing Golf* automatically cheats you out of most things anyway, except possibly life membership of the social cripple and comedy jumper societies.
Anyway enough of silly pastimes. And no, not for a minute could Mountain Biking ever be labelled silly. Bikes that cost more than cars, figure hugging lycra barely constraining middle aged spread, riding round in circles, getting muddy, spending the family savings on pointless pimpery and occasionally breaking out into “Dude, I railed that berm, pumped the jump, sent it over the drop and would’ve shredded the switchback except the rebound spiked the rotor arc. Bummer“. Whereas golf, don’t get me started.
New Zealand sits behind nine weeks of winter darkness, the liver damage triggered by in-law angst and New Year resolutions. Now the latter are funny, Icarus like in the face of a blazing sun, born in alcohol, crafted in imagined degrees of separation from the last time and burned in the fiery death of the real world. January brings train journeys long in faces and radically free salad, but short on joy. Roll forward a month and the comforting fug of pasties and Silk Cut once again envelopes the carriage.
Right the point. Don’t get excited, it is hardly worth waiting for but it does have novelty hat content. Because the concept of a package holiday – embedded with schedules, cracked out smiley guides and an atmosphere of Brian “grumpy as fuck” from Wolverhampton – resonates with a happiness frequency similar to the sticks and ball brigade, we’re pitching for a camping experience.
Without the actual camping of course. After a day of the ‘world is the wrong way round’ jetlag, we’ll be taking 14 day possession of this confused truck. Is it a car? A caravan? An integral part of a Blitzkrieg armoured brigade?
A truck mates with a caravan.
No this Mercedes is the latest in touristy mobile homage, with an upstairs bedroom to banish the kids, LCD TV, DVD Player and some cooking stuff. And a fridge to keep my beer cold. It’s also the thick end of eighteen feet long which suggests I may need to practice with my car towing the trailer, and Carol’s wagon roped on behind.
So I’ve taken soundings from my friend Martyn who is all things camper van. His sage advice can be distilled into this:
1/ There’s a lot of truck out back. Think about that when turning, reversing and – most importantly – overtaking
2/ Keep an eye on the “dirty water“. The consequences of a high pressure blow back are really too horrible to contemplate.
3/ Procure a Driving Hat. On donning said headgear, a chain reaction of packing outside stuff, expensive electronic goods, and – if time – the children shall be triggered. Anyone not on board in 60 seconds is hitching.
Sounds good to me. And the kids are belted in so far back from the cab, they could easily be in a different country. And while I like the sound (or lack of it) of that, I’m hankering after watching TV while I’m driving.
I mean, really, what could go wrong?
* I refuse to accept that Golf is a verb. My American colleagues insist on twittering on about “I’m off for a weekend golfing”. But – because I ensure that Bad Grammar Hurts – they never make it. Honestly, if we taught English with a copy of the light program and a baseball bat, the world would be a simpler place.