Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tim Walker’s Questionable

So what do you plan to do then?

Plan to do with regard to what?

Ah, what exactly are you asking?

How do you mean?

Well what do you mean?

What do you mean ‘what do I mean’?

I mean, do you mean what do I mean about what I first said, or what I last said?

What did you last say that was worth repeating?

What do you mean?

Now do you mean ‘what do you mean’ was what you first said, ‘what do you mean’ was what you last said or are you genuinely inquiring, what do you mean?

Is there actually going to be any point to this?

Now what do you mean?

Well, didn’t you say you had no idea what you were going to write this week?

Didn’t I tell you to never admit to such shortcomings?

Yeah but didn’t you also say it was important to never tell lies?

Since when do you consider withholding information the same as ‘telling lies’?

Are you not always going on about total forthrightness being the best thing?

When did you start paying attention to what I say anyway?

But isn’t it also important to listen to your elders?

Seriously, how old do you think I am?

Well you’re older than me aren’t you?

Not sure, when were you born again?

Don’t you remember?

Should I?

How could you not?

Would you really consider it a memorable milestone?

You actually don’t remember, do you?

Honestly, how could I be expected to recall such a trivial date with so much other pointless information fluttering around my head?

Are you saying the date of my birth is ‘trivial’?

Did I actually say that?

Do you want to hear the transcript?

Who taught you about transcripts?

Who taught you?

Regardless do you truly think of your ‘occurrence’ or, ‘happening’ or, at the very most your ‘incarnation’, as a birth?

Well what would you call it?

What did I just call it?

Did I not just hear you label me an ‘incarnation’?

Yeah but what does that mean?

It’s a flower, isn’t it?

Are you being serious right now?

Doesn’t it really mean I’m like the thing that is inside or has come out of the other thing, but it’s not the actual thing?

Is that honestly the best you can do?

Well can you do better?

What about ‘living embodiment’?

What about it?

Would that not be a good way to describe something said to be an ‘incarnation’?

What’s wrong with my way?

Did I never teach you how to use a dictionary?

Do you honestly think people still use dictionaries?

How else would they learn about words?

Are you still living in the dark ages?

Is that how I appear to a young gun like you?

Dude, how old are you?

Have we not already been here?

And did you answer my question the first time?

Well how about browsing back through these pages and finding out for yourself?

Do you actually expect me to read my way through all this crap?

Would you not say reading is one of life’s more rudimentary skills?

Have you not been introduced to a ‘rudimentary’ television screen?

Do you honestly expect your beloved TV or computer screen to slap you about the face with sufficient information to permit you to propagate for yourself a pleasurable and prosperous life?

What do you mean by that?


Do you recall asking me if there was going to be any point to this?

Was that before or after you started insulting my heritage?

Do you even understand the meaning of the word ‘heritage’?

Isn’t it where you came from?

Alright so, from where do you originate?

Do you even know?

How should I know?

Isn’t it important?

Well do you know?

How am I supposed to know?

Dude, how short is your memory?

Is it somewhere back there?

You mean the reason, your origin, or your memory?

Aren’t all three important?

What do you think?

Should I go back then?

Back to the beginning, or just through these pages?

Isn’t that pretty much the same thing?

Do you want to find out?

How would I?

Are you serious?

Would I ask if I wasn’t?

Haven’t you heard it’s impertinent to answer a question with a question?



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Wattie Crocker-Chit

Photography by Suns Nirah-Tech





Tim Walker’s Slothful

Interesting how many of us feel the need to compensate for our lives of inactivity by paying for a gym membership.

In the past we might just have got up off our arses and become active in our own time, under our own volition…

Indeed, where in the past one might readily have combined exercise with leisure – invigorating morning walk or a couple of hours gardening with the afternoon sun – nowadays it appears recreation and exercise must be taken as totally separate pills.

…We now seem to abide the belief that all physical activity is to be reserved for a gymnasium or other fitness institute, while our recreation time is to be used solely for Netflix and/or chilling…

So when was it that we decided we needed to pay to be active – when did we stumble upon the conclusion that healthy movement was taxing thus work and sloth was fun thus play therefore one must be kept apart from the other?

…Pretty sure this philosophy was instituted around the same time as the release of PS3, or that first X-Box; in fact it must have been a similar era to the production of the very first Smartphone, and gosh, what a wonderful time that was for Internet subscribers – best thing since Broadband made it possible to connect the telephone (landline, people) and the Internet at the same time – so now people could be sure they didn’t miss a moment of life’s wonders…

Is it that we as modern people have so much else to occupy our time that we now need to force ourselves to get out and be active?

…To be fair many of these modern people do appear quite content to miss out on life – with its birds and its trees and its air and such – just not their other life – life inside an electronic box…

Do we actually feel that casual exercising is no longer a worthwhile task so, I mean given the way technological advances have removed from life many of the requirements for physical exertion, the only time we now feel able to raise our heart-rates is when our Smartphone App tells us it’s time to hit the gym?

…The physicality of most jobs has been replaced or at least eased by technology, and most people seem to have made the effort to render their home lives similarly inactive – what with all their time-consuming devices that require only a firm grasp and comfortable chair – leaving that weekend saunter through the shopping mall as the only potential exercise a youthful body might enjoy…

Or is it that this modern age of cotton-wool-schooling along with the next few years of a terribly sheltered early adulthood thanks to our Government ensuring that today’s youth can be as disorganised, as unprepared, as irresponsible, as immature and as indolent as they choose and still be afforded a promising start on life – along with the inability to commit to anything unless they are told step by step exactly how to go about it, coupled with the refusal to exhibit towards any potential safety issue even the most basic display of common sense, believing instead that regardless of how much they were asking for it modern people ought to be protected from any of life’s hazards, perils and ills, thus from their own stupidity – has left us with such a low supply of willpower that we simply can no longer compel ourselves to embark on anything the least bit trying?

… Alas even purposeful walking has been substituted for preoccupied – head down, immersed in the computer in our hands – dawdling…

Some of us pay someone to mow our lawns because we don’t have time; we then pay to go to the gym and walk on a treadmill. Some of us pay to put our car through the carwash because we can’t be bothered; we then pay to go to the gym for Zumba classes. Some of us talk ourselves out of going for a late-afternoon bike ride around the block; we then pay to go to the gym and ride the exercycle. Some of us pay to have our trees pruned because it’s too hard; we then pay to go to the gym and lift weights. Some of us pay someone to shop for our groceries to save time; we pay for a gym membership then pay to watch television.

…Seems paying to be active is a trend that might be trending for some time then.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Indie Lint

Photography by Yung Pearson



Tim Walker’s Reborn II

As perfunctory platitudes go, ‘Splendiferous Christmas and a Gay New Year’ are the only season’s greetings I will allow myself to be heard to utter.

The other one, the one I didn’t say but which I have subliminally inserted into your mind – if not in the last paragraph then almost certainly now – used to rile me with its mindless and by implication, its meaningless nature. (Also who still says ‘merry’? Hmm, around the same number of people who say ‘splendiferous’, I’d say.) So I coined a new one. I think it rolls off the tongue. Others opinions are varied. I’m not bothered. I refuse to engage in the modern population’s habit of vacuously reciting idioms, of which much of the time they have little to no understanding, simply because it’s what other folk are doing. I’m not like other folk, see?

No, I’m different. I have no problem with that; it’s the way I am. Reckon I’ve been ‘different’ for over ten years now, so it’s not as though it’s a revelation. Probably fair to say that by now I’m at one with my vast differentiation and indeed, I embrace it. After all, it’s my differences that make me not the same as everybody else.

What I do find mildly frustrating about being different though is how most people I encounter still seem to expect some variety of normality from me, as if their eyes aren’t even perceiving the veritable depiction of individuality upon which they’re gazing; meaning that when I do fall back into my classically outlandish or ribald ways these unprepared onlookers, precious souls as they are, become inexplicably shocked, dismayed, or even, heaven forbid, disillusioned. It’s as though these people, these horrendously ‘normal’ folk expect the well-dressed, clean cut rural lad standing before them with the peculiar tone and queer facial hair configuration – the pointy sideburns, the overgrown tickler along with the disastrously high hairline – to be the height of etiquette and to not speak out of turn; as though they expect I should be acting differently

I recently found myself the subject of relationship advice; the advisor in this case was my 87-year-old grandmother. Typical of the older generation she’s a gregarious soul who believes that everyone should have someone and that no one, under any circumstances, can be happy on their own. Much as I try to impress upon her that I am a currently single male by choice – as I have been for the past all my life – largely because I have yet to encounter that wondrous female accomplice who will put up with my many foibles, who will tolerate my before-my-time bought of terminal eccentricity and/or ultimately, that wondrous female accomplice who will endure my expansively idiosyncratic being. (Thinking of it just now, I am not all that certain that such a woman actually exists but, I guess we’ll see.)

…Here’s the thing, I am acting differently; I’m acting differently to everyone. Here’s another thing, it’s not just an act; it’s actually how I act – despite the active reactions. (Yes, act is a versatile word.) Then after demonstrating to these ‘normal’ folk the mere basis of what it is to be ‘different’, I feel as though it’s then up to me to bring out the metaphorical tub of mental salve to liberally apply to the stretch marks of their frightfully expanded minds…

I am unsure quite how I ever came to be the focus of relationship advice from an octogenarian, but once Grandma started on her rant I realised I was in for the long haul. I could see she had on her impassioned face and had slipped into her adamant tone (this is where any alternatives I might try to edge in alongside her prefabricated conclusions, in fact any contribution I might try to offer at all, is wrong) thus felt that to interject at this point could only end badly, so just let her go with it. This ‘advice’, if I allow to come freely, (passion feeding passion and such) ordinarily, soon turns into more of a telling off than anything, as Grandma brutally points out everything that she believes (therefore that is) wrong with my approach at whatever it is that’s being ‘discussed’.

…It was during my recent stint as a North Canterbury farm labourer that I was introduced to some of the straightest minded people I think I have ever or likely will ever meet (not so much my brother-in-law though, fair to say that after all this time he is starting to get me, and even occasionally reciprocates a bit of my crazy himself), but that’s just farming – seems to be an industry where shenanigans are generally frowned upon. In fact I reckon the only time that farmers do let loose and allow themselves to be depicted (maybe just a little) as idiots is when they’re boozing, although, frequently as that is (the boozing not the idiocy), it’s still too far much normalcy for my liking…

Thinking of it, I had just finished regaling her with the tale of misfortune that occurred while picking up my suit from the drycleaners and finding it in a less than desirable state; I then listened ‘attentively’ as she had regurgitated every piece of dry-cleaning knowledge that she had gleaned from her mother during childhood as well as a couple of glistening pearls (radio talkback, I believe) on stain removal – all of which I have been forced to hear umpteen times already – meaning her next piece of homily, as goes Grandma’s natural conversational shift, of course, was regarding my dress sense. Then as if she had no former knowledge of me at all, she actually told me that I should be looking at what other people my own age are wearing to get an idea of today’s fashion – I looked at her in disbelief and retorted, “What … So I can look the same as them?”

…Posing as the third wheel (technically it’s called a jockey wheel) to the marriage that is my sister and brother-in-law, while at an event mixing with this farming crowd I witnessed a number of terribly ‘stable’ relationships – terribly ‘stable’ men with their similarly ‘stable’ women – which admittedly did start me pondering my own situation. It’s not as though I am unfamiliar with men and women in stable relationships (and like, I’m pretty sure I know how babies are made too), it was just this particular assortment of ‘stable’ men and women and the relationships that they maintained…

”Just to get an idea,” Grandma was saying, as if had no idea, “get an idea of what people are wearing these days.”

“Really? Shit I already know what the cool kids are wearing, Grandma, and quite honestly, I don’t want a bar of it – I tend to do what it takes to go against the grain of convention.”

“Why would you want to do that?” she snapped, insinuating her belief that the most important aspect of life is fitting in so seamlessly that nobody can tell you are a separate personality.

“Grandma,” I started with exasperation, “you know that I don’t fit in with your beloved mainstreamers … You know furthermore that I have given up even making an effort to do so.”

“Why?” she demanded.

I shook my head then stared at her expectant face. “I have no desire to be like other people Grandma, because simply, generally,” I lowered my tone, “I don’t like other people.”

“Well that’s not very friendly,” her voice shot up, “how do you expect them to like you if you don’t like them?”

“I don’t expect them to like me,” I said disbelievingly, almost sardonically; at the same time feeling a little like a primary school pupil under a firm telling-off from the principal, “I have no desire to recruit so called ‘friends’, and even less desire to dress the way they do.”

“Well I’m sure they’re not wearing black suits, anyway,” she muttered, ensuring the last word was hers.

I paused, unsure if I should go on. “My God woman, what are you talking about?” I said with a chuckle. “The only time you’ve seen me wearing my black suit was years’ ago and if I recall, on that day you complimented me on my dress sense – for which, incidentally, you then tried to claim credit as if you had been the one to advise me on it, when, if I recall furthermore, you ridiculed my purchase of a totally black suit, said it was ‘foolish’ of me to buy a totally black suit, particularly to wear to my sister’s wedding.”

“Well, you looked like an undertaker.”

“So why..? But you..? I thought..? But you said…” I gave up, understanding that Grandma’s ability to retain information past more than a few words was lost.

“Just get an idea of what people your age are wearing,” she reiterated (said for the first time).

“Hang on,” I said, realising if I wasn’t careful this could go on indefinitely, and in fact if it did Grandma would probably be quite happy. “Look, I know what people my age wear, just as you know what I wear and typically, as you know, I don’t wear a black suit.”

“Really? When do I see you dressed up?”

“Every Wednesday I come by here – today, for example.”

“And you look very nice today.”

“Well, I do at least make an effort to at least look presentable.”

“And you look very nice too … Oh that reminds me, my neighbour’s got a very smart jacket he was throwing out, that I said you might like..?”

I sighed, thinking of how many ‘people my age’ would wear that jacket. Grandma’s neighbour lives in the retirement village with her and is older than she is; besides, and if only for her own sense of self-importance, I had taken an obligatory look at this jacket the first time she had made the suggestion, several months earlier.

…All the seemingly happy couples did make me wonder if perhaps I should be making a bigger effort to conform to the ways and methods of these folk – of ‘normal’ folk. I understand that it would be a terribly dull existence but then I wonder for how much longer I can realistically pull off being ‘different’..? (I have a feeling that after a certain age a man’s abnormalities, their quirks, or ‘differences’ as it were, are perceived less as fun and light-hearted foibles, and after a certain age I think he stops being perceived as simply ‘different’ and starts being seen as ‘that creepy old guy’. I don’t want to be a ‘creepy old guy’. Shit I can’t imagine being an old guy, let alone a creepy old guy. That wouldn’t be any fun. I imagine that would be hurtful.) Would a ‘different’ pensioner even be accepted by his contemporaries or would he be cast off as the invalid pariah? On that, I wonder if the New Zealand Government even recognises ‘different’ pensioners, or if they are treated as foreigners, thus immigrants, and face an impending life of persecution at the hand of Donald J Trump?…

At jiu-jitsu recently, as is frequently the case I found myself rolling with a more experienced, stronger, older, therefore much more able athlete than myself who was, as is frequently the case, pummelling me. At one point during the session (an uncomfortable stint of ‘knee on belly’, as I recall), as is frequently the case, I found myself uttering an assortment of involuntary squeaks and grunts (along with the customary kneeonbelly onomatopoeia which if spoken quickly and in a strangled Japanese voice I do find mightily comical). Then through the good-humour I saw an opening. With a flick of my hips and twist of my pelvis I managed to sweep my assailant, toppling him and regaining the upper hand; this time releasing an (entirely voluntary) squeak of delight/relief. He looked up at me questioningly – perhaps fearful that during all my involuntary grunting and ‘knee-on-belly’ onomatopoeia I had genuinely defecated myself – I nevertheless recomposed and joked, “Sorry about that, just saying a prayer in Hindi.”

He shook his head. “No point praying man,” he said mater-of-factly, “there’s no god.”

“No no,” I recovered once more, “it’s alright, I pray to myself…”

I witnessed a grin cross my opponent’s face as he awaited the punch-line (something for which I just now realise I have become renowned among my jiu-jitsu classmates).

“…The only being in this world in which I do have faith,” I concluded.”

“Good man,” he said, before sweeping, turning, then submitting me with a neck crank (which is no more fun than it sounds), “gotta have faith in something, eh.”

…I’m not going to do it today though. Today I have more important stuff to do – Grandma related stuff – and I scarcely consider improving my outward display of normalcy important…

I do have faith in myself. I believe in me; I won’t lie, I won’t cheat, and I’ll always do what it is that I say I will do.

…Yet until this world starts making a better effort to comply with me and my standard of living, I have little desire to comply with this world.

It’s just that simple.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Norm L Si

Photography by Nick Rank

Tim Walker’s Reborn

Having taken an extended hiatus following, no less, posting of my 500th Daily Dose of Profundity, I now feel equipped to resume correspondence.

Meantime high country labouring in the Hurunui, toil I have been enduring on my sister and brother-in-law’s farm for the past while, has afforded me the clarity to view my predicament from an objective stance…

One might recall the recent ‘Kaikoura’ earthquake – curiously bitched and moaned about more by Wellington than anyone else – the epicentre of which was situated somewhere between Waiau and Culverden; just kilometres in fact from the aforementioned farm’s location. That particular quake, November 14, 2016, of a 7.8 magnitude, was the largest shake modern New Zealand has seen and, having been sleeping a mere 10 kilometres from 2010’s epic 7.1 epicentre, I could relate to the Hurunui locals’ collective sense of unrest. Yet on this fateful occasion (14 November, 2016), I just happened to have departed the Hurunui District in the days before this 7.8 monstrosity struck, thereby experiencing rural North Canterbury’s November 2016 quake at a comparable magnitude to that which I expect Christchurch city experienced rural Mid Canterbury’s 7.1 shake in September 2010; suffice to say, unnerving, but little more.

…Initially arriving at the Hurunui farm in September of 2016 with the intention of assisting with the tailing of an estimated 7000 lambs, it soon transpired that the younger brother of the wife of the farm owner was in fact a rather fine worker. Further to that discovery, the novelty five litre bottle of Beam that came out after tailing each night, and which he appeared to approach with the abandon of a seasoned drunkard as opposed to a youthful larrikin, was becoming alarmingly depleted…

Back in September, the fresh spring mornings heralded by an idiot rooster which appeared to have little comprehension of time at all, waking and getting up with the sun after sometimes only going down a number of hours earlier had an interesting effect on my constitution, yet really only cemented the adage: the best thing for a hangover is indeed hard work (also copious fluids).

…Five on two off; four on three off – I would arrive at the North Canterbury farm Friday morning (later every second week after a mid-morning visit to the NZ Blood Service to excrete 750mls of plasma), work through the weekend then Monday and most of Tuesday, where I would shoot off a smidgen early on Tuesday afternoon in order to ensure that I made it back to Christchurch in time for jiu-jitsu that evening…

Often working through over a thousand lambs a day the seemingly endless task of tailing was soon finished; I was nevertheless invited back the following week to help out with other farm tasks such as tractor work, or spraying the gorse and broom overlooked by the past farm owner, or weaning of the first of those tailed lambs, or as summer broke it was helping with irrigation – also maintaining the almighty diesel engines running 24 hours a day pumping water into the irrigation system – or grubbing noxious tussocks, or making balage, or shearing, and/or so on.

…The anxiety was getting up. I had too much to do, not enough time to do it, I was more tired than ever, I had become intolerably absentminded, and I was beginning to make stupid mistakes – both on the farm and off. On the plus side though, even after slamming out a few power-naps at some of the more delayed traffic lights on the way back into Christchurch, I was so exhausted at jiu-jitsu that night that my typically fervent pace was replaced with a more methodical, docile and apparently improved technique…

During the first few weeks as a (slave) farm labourer, to my horror I found that I had shed a mysterious couple of kilograms from my already streamline physique – that inconsequential layer of stomach flab had been still reduced and if I had been toned before, this 33-year-old-height-of-hirsuteness was now utterly ripped. However the frequent hunger, the constant sleep deprivation, the excessive boozing, the physically demanding nature of my current lifestyle along with the recurring bouts of anxiety that lifestyle evoked, seemed also to be talking their toll in more insidious ways.

…My house, my grounds, my poor old neglected property was in desperate need of upkeep, only I was too tired, to Goddamned exhausted to do anything about it. While it was really only my ridiculous sense of obligation, some kind of misguided loyalty coupled with a frustrating sense of OCD-induced never-give-up-ed-ness that kept me going back to the Hurunui every Friday, and while I certainly wasn’t benefitting financially, I did feel good about the work I was doing; additionally, in fairness, it was totally pandering to my (I suspect also OCD-induced) passion for efficiency and moreover, productivity…

I have this frighteningly erratic and downright vicious tremor of my arms, neck and, well, most every place within this poor decrepit frame of mine that – supplanting the typical old debilitating rattle the ruinous nature of which I am indeed accustomed – although I don’t tend to experience all that often when I do, quite simply I am aware that something needs to change. I think the reason I don’t see it so much is because this more extreme variety of bodily tremor tends to reserve itself for those negligent moments when I have undergone prolonged periods of being either, outrageously tired, stupendously hungry, horrendously nervous, uproariously excited, or just plain anxious, (yet after running through that list just now I am surprised that this ‘mega-tremor’, as I am just now coining it, is not seen more frequently).

…There was something about the way my brother-in-law ran those multiple-thousands of riverside acres – more like a thriving city business than a dirty old high country farm – that impressed me. I recall telling him as much during one of our nightly whisky sessions (bourbon having run dry some weeks earlier), and I guess that must have been around the same time I decided within myself that if I could help to grease the wheels of this farming juggernaut, if I was allowed to jump aboard this rurally destined freight-train as it careered inexorably towards the upper echelons of farming grandeur, if I could perhaps tether myself to its mighty smokestacks as it ploughed unabashed though the tempestuous seas of the farming world, then yes, I mused beneath a metaphorical cloud of too much pricy whisky, I would quite happily come along for the ride…

Tailing lambs was fine. It was great – I would use all my strength to lift, restrain, clasp then hold the young ovine brutes, as I shoved/pushed/slid them up onto the tailing chute (incidentally it was estimated at the end that I must have carried out this procedure somewhere close to 4000 times), where they would have their ears marked then finally, their tails chopped – it required the majority of my strength therefore leaving little room for any kind of tremor, or mega-tremor, to manifest; also tractor driving – towing a heavy roller, grubbing or drilling a paddock, also mowing then later raking into rows the grass in the paddocks that I had weeks ago rolled flat of any stones so the mower could operate free from obstructions – wasn’t particularly demanding work and aside from the mental strain, which was admittedly huge, my physical state was scarcely called into question.

…Indeed from under an enchanting fug of whisky vapour the prospective possibilities for me as a farm labourer were positively scintillating; out in the paddock the next morning under a beating sun trying to shift a break fence without sustaining mild electrocution while ensuring the live wire remained sufficiently taught throughout the movement to prevent the curious herd of cattle (thank you, yes, I have – heard of sheep?) from stepping over which would mean up to an hour of sprinting up and down hills in an effort to bring them back (which, in my defence, only happened once in about twelve), then shit damn, somehow the mega-tremor caused the wire to dislodge from the standard I was holding in an outstretched arm at waist-height thereby draping its electrified self around me so all I could do to avoid its wrath was rapidly retreat until the wire went slack – but not before succumbing to at least one gigantic belt – then just as quickly pick it up in the hogs-tail insulator and raise to waist height, hoping the curious cattle hadn’t noticed the momentary break in defensive continuity…

It was everything else that was required of me which, when working for myself I can pick and choose my tasks and typically avoid the worst, or slow down and go at my own pace but under someone else’s employ (as I felt I was even though technically I was not), I am driven by my own foolish sense of obligation. This obligation drives, nay compels me to work as hard and as fast as is reasonable, which given my cognitively traumatised plight is an entirely unreasonable burden for me to place upon myself.

…Nevertheless my skin, my flesh, my heart soon inured to giant wallops brought about by cattle fences as I found that, secure as those electric wires generally were in their insulators, no insulator was above the oscillations created by a mega-tremor of the foot stamping the standard into the ground or the arm lifting it clear of the feed-break, and as I found, holding the standard higher to increase tension only meant that when the wire did inevitably jump out, it was less likely to drape across my clothed arm and more likely to drape across my semi-bearded face…

Contemporaries must have noticed the reduction in my standard of appearance and/or mood, and at jiu-jitsu of a Tuesday night I often found myself fielding solicitous queries into my wellbeing; of course I would always respond reassuringly because the truth was, gruelling as my current regime was, damaging as it might have been to my condition, dampening as it apparently was to my mood, I still felt as though I was enjoying the challenge.

…I never did realise there were so many areas in farming life where a steady hand was vital – tasks such as shifting lateral irrigation sprinklers were fine but things like plumbing up the larger irrigation gun, with all its pipes and fittings (also important sequences which if not done correctly can result in the destruction of the unit’s inner workings hence my less than confident approach), and computer units with programmes and buttons which don’t react positively to being pressed four times in under half a second – but I guess it’s similar to most other things in this world at which I’ve tried, and failed…

My strength and natural fitness were proving assets in farm life and of course I no longer had to make time to undertake my daily exercise routine; I felt more physically drained after a day shifting break fences, moving irrigation, driving tractors, mustering stock, digging in fence posts, moving more stock then putting up another break fence to shift the next day – before slurping through a straw the customary whisky on the rocks – than I feel after cycling 80 kilometres in a nor’wester (actually, theoretically only 40 into the wind, providing the wind doesn’t change halfway – which it frequently does – the other 40’s with it).

…Yet growing up on a Mid Canterbury, mid-sized; low country, low rainfall, but extremely high wind, intensively arable farm, then having nothing much to do with farming for over the past decade as I shifted focus to mechanics, to landscaping, then onto literature, I was surprised at how easily I fell in with the high country farming lifestyle…

In my heart I love the prospect of devoting my life to the land; my head however says differently. My head isn’t so sure if my nerves can handle a life of continual hard slog; my nerves, subsequently, aren’t certain if my body can handle too much more of this infernal mega-tremor that they’ve unleashed upon it.

…Jiu-jitsu again tonight (last night). Having not been back to the Hurunui District since Christmas I am feeling mildly refreshed.

Mildly refreshed but very slack.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Rip Dahf Zeek

Photography by Hitch N Hills