Sometime in the next five or six years there’ll be a tipping point. Electric cars will be like CDs after records or Netflix after DVDs. Suddenly you’ll realise the old is out and the new doesn’t feel new, it’s just normal. I expect I’ll own an electric car one day soon. I quite look forward to it, however, I think I’ve left it too late to be an early adopter as I was with my E-bike (which I’ve reintroduced myself to lately – so good!).
In an episode of Comedians in Cars getting Coffee Jerry Seinfeld declares “How you can not notice and appreciate cars is beyond my comprehension“. He’s driving a 1965 Porsche 356 in green. One from his own collection by the sound of it. Next episode he’s driving an Alfa Romeo Giulia Super, circa 1970. He said it was a “barn find” in Italy. Both vehicles beautifully restored. A Fiat 600 Multipla followed. So cute!
Anyway, so when we’re all driving electric cars, will we be allowed to have an old sort of car? Probably yes, and hopefully on the road too – especially for weekend trips.
So I wonder if it’s time to get a future classic or two for those road trips in the weekend when petrol stations are as rare as car charging stations – plenty around but they’re not obvious unless you are looking – and most cars are much the same (or even more so).
It’ll be a different world, and many significant global challenges face the planet in the immediate future. Who hasn’t got a bit of anxiety about what’s in front of us? But you have to believe that there will be time and space for things that provide contentment.
I’m counting on a weekend road trip in a classic.
p.s. they’re Alfa Romeo Giulia Super cars in the header photograph
Mum turned 85 recently and from a possible 39 direct descendants (which for the record includes one husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and spouses thereof) we had 26 for lunch in Christchurch. She’s a similar age to the Queen with her birthday in the same month, and we couldn’t help but notice she was sporting a real royal haircut too!
We had lunch, some gifts were given and words were said and it was back to Mum and Dad’s for a slide show put together by Dad. There’s a lot to capture in 85 years and Dad did a great job of a selection from Mum’s 80th, their 60th wedding anniversary and a top up from the last few years. We laughed and marvelled at the haircuts and the fashion, and of places been.
A great top up of happiness.
My son Thomas graduated with his Master of Science last week. The hard work for him seems to me to be long ago and it would be easy to be cynical about the graduation event – a lot of pomp and ceremony just to pick up a certificate. Like Mum’s 85th it brought family together. Great happiness and I’m pretty proud of my big boy too. Data Scientist extraordinaire.
You don’t have to accept my proposition about life’s meaning, but you sure can find some happiness in the simplicity of family, in whatever form that takes for you.
Its seems like just the other day I was returning from Europe, although it was over two months ago. I’d been saying that as soon as Boxing Day (or St Stephen’s day as it also is!) arrives, I’d be happy. Christmas day arrived, I was well prepared with a nicely decorated tree thanks to my son Thomas and his wife Dannii, and I had gifts for everyone I needed to. It felt quite relaxed. Work too, is under control (I think).
So some time off which stretches out, but isn’t long at all, although it’s always after Christmas. Which creates a buffer of sorts at the beginning of the holiday to hold the holiday proper out just a little bit before it begins.
Christmas as a boy was a very large tree with dozens of presents, the family car well polished, a trip to Dad’s boss’ house for a drink, a chicken roast and a lazy afternoon with new things. Those Christmas’ always had a familiar ring about them but they were temporary, or passing. There have been recent Christmas’ with visits to grandparents and great grandparents who were laid to rest at Waikumete Cemetery. That was a norm for a few years for me. It stopped this year with a different Christmas morning.
Christmas day is a special day for me. Each time is different, but always special in its own temporary way.
The memories we create from any shared event are those that give the joy beyond the day. It might be that someone or some people weren’t at your Christmas this year and that left a gap. But the day is the day. Reflecting on my day, which started differently for logistical reasons, it was a great day and brings me happiness to think about it.
I won’t try and do the same next year – it might happen – but I won’t be bothered how the day pans out. As long as there’s family and friends, an unseasonably hot roast and a couch to snooze on at in the afternoon, it’ll be perfect.
Knowing that, for once, I’m almost looking forward to it!
Travelling on two wheels up the bus lane on Dominion Road most mornings gives me a sense of the futility of single car commuting. I spent years doing it, love driving and retreat to the car when I’m not feeling 100% or I feel the weather is a risk factor.
This morning there was quite a group of scooters and motorcycles together for most of the distance. A feeling of camaraderie and freedom. It’s a lot of fun too.
The e-bike is just as good, if not better, and not much slower. The fantastic Grafton Gully to Tamaki Drive cycleway is mine to luxuriate on for half the journey.
The other day I counted how many cars I passed on Dominion Road, many stationary.
I’m deliberately grouping bike and motorcycles together, there are similar advantages. It’ll take quite a lot more commitment by leadership to make it a preferred option for the solo-car commuter.
From the car it can appear mildly annoying, not like real road users. From the two wheels it’s freedom, fun and most of all fast!
It might not be an alternative across the bridge (yet), but for many people I see, it would be a great option. Forget lectures about the environment, congestion or your wallet.
Your day job will pay the bills and hopefully give you some freedom and choices. If you’re fortunate it will also provide a level of satisfaction and future prospects.
Work is not everything but it can feel like it at times.
I’ve given up many things for work at times. It’s not just the time it’s felt like not being in the groove of doing the “other things”.
I’ve noticed some people travel by booking and going. Go the movies by, well, going. Having a picnic.
I enjoy all of these things and blogging too. Blogging about leadership and personal development provides me with a deeper reflection time and a level of satisfaction that complements what I get from work.
But I’ve been neglecting it these last couple of years. There’s been blogs most months, with a promise to myself that “I’m away again”.
The last week or so, as one reader commented I’ve “Burst into Action”. I just started and kept going. Like going to the movies not worrying too much about what movie (within reason, it can be a lot of fun).
So what are you wanting to do? Burst into it and do it. It won’t wait until work is complete. Thankfully, work is never complete anyway.
It’s an easy jog from the Olympic Pools in Newmarket through the Domain and over Grafton Bridge. Under Grafton Bridge is the remains of a cemetery. Most of the graves are in disarray, broken from vandalism, tree roots and the shifting ground.
Down into the gully and over a little creek and you’re at the new cycleway under construction. Can’t wait for that to be finished but I’m one of the first to run on it I’m sure. Back up the hill, more of a bush climb than a run and all of a sudden you’re at Governor Hobson’s grave. Signed the Treaty of Waitangi on behalf of Queen Victoria and six months later dead. Aged 49.
Running after the pool was quite hard for some reason so it was the end of K’Road and back. A cold day, wet and nice to be in a hot shower and in warm clothes. Going out for exercise when it’s cold and wet is hard. It’s definitely easier not to go out!
As I’ve said before from the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, life is short, life is dull, life is full of pain. But it’s not that hard to make something special for yourself.
And in the winter where there’s not a honey bee in sight, just rain, cold, and at Grafton Cemetery a stark reminder of how long you’re gone when you’re gone, time to give yourself something simple for an uplift.
Might be a run, a movie, time out with a friend or connecting with family.
Even with a cool breeze running through the house it’s well over 80% humidity according to the dial in the hallway. If you’re a parent of a young child you’d be sweating too, if you haven’t done the business by now and got a suitable collection of presents under the tree. It’s a festival for mid-winter for most of the world but we’re here in the most humid time of the year, with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Evan apparently in our midst.
One of the Franklin Road houses has a big ribbon around it with words that make you look twice. A colleague at work commented that they “couldn’t wait for Christmas”. When I enquired what that was about, I was told it was the current pressures. “Now is as good as it ever gets” was my reaction. It always is.
Enjoying the present is very much part of Christmas, whether that be the wrapped sort or the real sort. Even for a cynic who looks forward to the end of the actual day so they can start enjoying a holiday, here’s an opportunity to really take stock of the present. Sweating it out with a hot roast here in Auckland can be tough, but don’t worry, those relatives won’t be here for long! Always waiting for the future is a trap. The present is our gift to ourselves.