How marriage made me soft

On Sunday Favourite Handyman had the loan of a motorbike for the day. It was a heavenly treat for him and I wasn't surprised to hear he was having a great time when he rang mid afternoon. Only that wasn't all the news. The accelerator cable had broken and he was a long way from anywhere. He gave me the names of three friends who would be able to help. "If I can't get hold of any of them, then I guess I hire a trailer and come and get you?" He didn't sound hugely convinced but then three friends is a good number to try.

No one home. Not one or two or three. It's been a long time since a drove with a trailer but indeed I have done it before. It has been a very very long time since I've backed a trailer and I'm thinking about avoiding that bit. I pile the kids in the car and we stop at the Mobil shop and I pay for and hook up a trailer. I concentrate carefully on hooking it up properly, ignoring that we don't have the wiring for the lights and that we only have a 1.6 litre vehicle. Needs must.

On my second intersection (about 400m from the Mobil garage) a car stops and calls out that I have a chain hanging down from the trailer. Not a good look. I then see my friend Paula, whose house I had called at for help earlier. "Do you have a few minutes to help me please Paula?" Paula is a very capable and generous person and soon I have returned the trailer for a refund, the kids are playing in her backyard and plans are in motion. More friends are called in and two men head off in Mr G's truck to collect FH and the bike. We collect food and drink from the supermarket and start the barbeque. My kids are in heaven as more children arrive to play with. Eventually the men are back, the bike is back with it's owner and all is good with the world. FH and I are humbled by what good and generous friends we are blessed with.

Yesterday I popped round to the G's house with a tray of chocolate brownies and some petrol vouchers. Tonight, they pop round with the empty tray and a bag of venison steaks. Truly we are spoilt. Last week I offered our neighbours eggs without expecting anything in return. Only that was spoiling day as well as they gave us some whitebait. Who needs the big city...

The big holiday is only a month away. I've been looking on the kodak website for gift ideas which are easily transported, personal and not time consuming. I can't be making the adults twirly skirts as well. Next step is to find some good photos of the children to turn into cups and mouse mats. I also want to call into a local screen printer tomorrow and see what they can do to keep the spending local. The local kodak shop will take the orders, but the cups and mouse mats etc are done elsewhere. If anyone knows of a good source of plain white tea towels for printing onto, I'd be interested in the details.

Things are growing well in the garden but I always seem to be somewhere else of late. The chooks got out of their temporary run the other day and trampled round my newly planted tomato. No go zone, egg workers.

I am creating order in the chaos of my sewing pile. I do understand that some people can re-fold sewing patterns so that they fit back into the original packet - my mother does this properly without fail. Only I cannot. Now I have a pile of snap-lock bags with a pattern in each and the number of lost pattern pieces underneath piles of fabric is diminished. Of course, when there is a babysitter due in two days' time and visitors for the weekend in three, the sewing pile is the obvious place to start cleaning...

The last sleeve of the interminable purple cross-over cardigan is in progress. Planning for autumn 2011, perhaps. Never mind that it was supposed to be for the winter just finished. I'm enjoying Fiona Kidman's Songs from the Violet Cafe. I started Robin Hyde's The Godwit's Fly but couldn't get gripped fast enough for my 10.15pm almost asleep but still want to read something at the end of the day attention span.

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