26 Dec 2014

Sometimes it's a little better to travel...

Norton featherbed frame and Triumph engine.

“Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive” ― Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig.

I dig bikes. While the world was going mental in the early 2000s over the ridiculous rakes and obese rear tyres of American choppers I was building a Cafe Racer. In fact, back in 1995, my first bike, an 88 CBR almost got chopped so many times with the idea of building a Cafe from a new jap road bike. It was obviously far too good for something like that, it was mint but it could have happened in a moment's weakness.

Anyway, I like bike docos too and I've seen heaps of 'em. I've often wanted to post one here just for the fun of whacking a big dirty, greasy slab of engineering on an art blog. Unfortunately, Cafe racer docos tend to be the kind of thing you would expect on an art blog. Bearded hipsters in new old t-shirts put away two tools, close the garage door, which we are expected to believe has been open for weeks as they build their bikes from scratch and take a ride for twenty minuets on a groomed forest road before stopping at a gallery for wine with other bearded skinny people in brown. What a crock. I gotta say, it holds some truth, Cafes are style you'd expect from an art lover but it seems to me, this coupling is redundant and somewhat perverse. Maybe this post is too but fuck it.

Anyway, here's a short Board Track piece from Vimeo. The irony of the riding being filmed in a grave yard is not lost on me for many reasons, especially since he talks about art being pointless because you can't take it to friends to see and enjoy. His beast is obviously not road legal but no bike touched a gallery during the making of this video. That is good enough for me... :-D

I like when people who think they aren't creative become creative too.

TWAD top tip for the fashion savvy - as fuel prices rise I believe we'll see more mopeds on the road and street legal Board Tracks will be the must have, dig it! You can quote me...

24 Dec 2014

Red car, grey car.

So, here we are. I'm a Kiwi. That's what we call ourselves in New Zealand. And I'm in New Zealand for the second Christmas in a row. If I'm honest I feel really spoilt and I should because I am. The rubble and bumpy roads can't hide love and sun, family and clean water. Hospitality is common here but no less hospitable and more so in many ways. It's 10:25pm and a man I look up to just said he feels Christmasy after a Christmas movie. Me, I feel Christmasy too, because of him and his family. I'm a lucky guy and I sit, trying not to get in the way of this household routine on a comfy couch in a corner with a special vantage. I see this family work together and laugh and share and do stuff only a family can do. I am lucky and they are good. 

I've been shopping today. Most have. There is a rush still going on out there even at this time. We passed it coming home from the pub. A sticky floor pub. My kind. There are people out there having fun and some not. There are people splashing out some some over extending. There are Mums and Dads, husbands and wives heading in different directions for sneaky surprises and some just having to make promises for next year. The better year. I feel more like that. I never think I do enough, be enough, buy enough, think enough and remember enough. I'm right too. I don't and can't. I'm just not very good by comparison and believe me, I have good comparison. My heros hold me to shame and so they should but I try my best and always will. But my shopping was not for Christmas. We did our humble mission a few weeks back and now I just cross my fingers that under that colourful paper is a thank you that might ring true. I cross them again. We bought flowers and ribbon and paper puffy ball things for a church. We bought flowers for two beautiful ladies to brandish and honourable gents to flash. We bought pure white for warning, this is the end of the pew. I solemnly declared truths to an official much younger than I and we drove in heavy steel queues. We bought miniature British flags for luck and spoke with a fine woman who to all this is routine. We planned our wedding. 

It's weeks away yet, well, two. Well almost two, but it's just like tomorrow for so many. It's a common reference. An olive branch, a rainbow, a book or a ring. It's a statement and a promise, a smile and a hand shake. It's just a very simple thing dressed like the Emperor. I hope that's OK to say. I hope it doesn't sound like I don't dig it because I mean the opposite. I mean I know truly what it is. I mean I know that beneath all the glitz and cake, the wrapping and pine, beneath the ceiling and ceremony, that these days, tomorrow and my wed, are nothing without the people. Nothing without kind whispers, nothing without love and nothing without your smiles. So like others of it's kind, tomorrow and this day in a couple of weeks is set aside. It's there so people like me, who get caught up in other days' toil and competing with ourselves and television standards, will take it out and spend it wisely. We'll sit and talk. We'll share and give. We'll tell each other how important we are and listen while better people tell us the same and be amazed and humbled. These are good days and every one of them should be taken.

I hope where ever you are things are good. I hope you have time and some cash left. I hope your family invited you round and your friends are well. I hope tomorrow is relaxed and honest and that honest is kind. I hope you have a good day and take time to remember someone who's not there. I hope Christmas is more than Christmas. I hope it is a family day and a friends day.