MX5 Goodbye.

 

Lock down… What a few months.  

The world seemed to  go into what I’d been dealing with from mid January. When I write this, I mean the social isolation and dealing with unknowns.  Thankfully, the nature of my work meant that I was allowed to travel for it. Working outdoors with my own tools for once had a few advantages.  

With the operation to my knee being far larger than expected the recovery was equally longer. 2 1/2 month after my knee brace coming off is my leg beginning to feel a lot better. 

So … Apart from going back to work what have I been up too…? 

After looking for a long time for a cheap longboard type paddleboard I found a bargain, less than 2 miles away. This being well within allowed travelling distance during the initial stage of lockdown. I will admit to low balling on an offer, what was already a bargain became a steal. The board, oh, it is an older Drops Spirit. Made and sold around 2009. The board is a classic longboard type shape, a little narrower than many later boards at 28 inches wide and fairly long at 10’11.  https://www.supgower.com/2009/11/drops-paddleboards/

I’ve been using my other boards to surf, like the lovely Fanatic Ray 11ft wd that I bought from Julie, my bothers wife. https://standuppaddlemag.co.uk/2015/06/05/recreationally-versatile-fanatic-ray-pure-11ft/Yet for a long time I’ve wanted a more authentic and manoeuvrable  sup surfing experience. After getting this board it fulfils 95% of my paddleboarding requirements with one board. Nice to paddle on the river, on a calm sea, yet in smaller surf, after getting used to it, simply amazing. I even did an accidental 180 when paddling out on my knees the other week.  The board started going backwards and then did a 180 degree turn, I stayed on. Opinion is divided if I can call this as my first. 
I’m sliming down my quiver to 4 boards, and one of those is only staying because one day I might be good enough to use it and I have the magazine which my brother wrote and article with  photos of him using it.

Early in the lockdown  lots people started posting lots of top ten lists, me being me, albums, films, etc… No, so I did my top ten cars. Yes, I’ve done that before on here I know… My favourite being Bel, with a very close second the Triumph Spitfire. Yet, Bel is an expensive car to keep. So sadly, is time to time to let her go. Soon she will have a fresh MOT and now is the right time to sell. Hopefully another person will enjoy her as much as I have.   http://www.classicaraddict.com/my-top-5-cars-ish/

 

 Bel costs me, even on a limited mileage policy £240 a year, and road tax is £275, mot £45. That is £560 pounds a year before she turns a wheel. A lot of money when you have none. If she was my daily driver and could carry a hard paddleboard there would be no question. She would stay, but time to let her go…  

Bel will be replaced, with a tax and MOT free car, or what DVLA call an historic vehicle.  Here in Cornwall, there a lot of these running about as daily drivers. Some young people appreciate the lower costs, yet, without an annual road safety check, I can but wonder how safe a lot are. Older cars require  a methodical approach to  maintenance  . Like for example a printing press it takes time to learn what but once you have it becomes more a question of noticing what is wrong, rather than right. 

I’m pretty fussy about the structural  and mechanical aspects of my vehicles, and far less so on appearance. Whatever she is replaced with, will still have a check over at least once a year by my trusted garage. That second set of experienced eyes worth so much.  

Having mentioned to the last owner of Bel that she would soon  be up for sale, I’ve been gently hassled since. With her booked in for an MOT next week she soon might be gone.  Bel has been my favourite car I’ve ever owned, like the close run second, the much missed Triumph Spitfire 1500, she wasn’t super fast, yet could cover ground like nothing else. 
Sadly, the combination of running costs and being unable to carry ridged paddleboard means she has to go.   

 

As I’m writing a friend has sold her little motorcycle, we are both grieving for lumps of steel, alloy rubber and plastic that have touched our souls.   

Dropping the Veil of Society

Dropping the Veil of Society  
For the first time the modern world has shut down.  Like the coyote from the Road Runner cartoon, we are still running, but now in thin air.  The veil of society has been removed and we find what behind is lacking.  


Globally, everyone has become interconnected. We all have, use and consume items from almost every corner of the planet. The economic model has been exposed.  Most of the wealth is owned by very few.  The harsh reality for many is that we are one or two pay cheques from poverty. 
Let alone what we as a species are doing to the planet. 

 

What is the aim of society?  

 Do most of us work to help the elite gain more power and money?  A couple of weeks ago I said goodbye to a client, we have been friends for 5 years. His widow says, “like two peas in a pod.” He died at home with his lifelong partner beside him. Almost 10 years ago I said goodbye to my father. To lead a good life and to die with those who care around us is all we can ask for.  

What is happening now? 

Typically, there has been mass stupidity at all levels. Governments not doing enough or acting fast enough. Selfish arseholes panic buying. Those same muppets not understanding that social distancing now has to be the norm. If we don’t, those overworked people of the medical and emergency services will become overwhelmed. The most vulnerable in society will be hit the hardest. 

 Other countries are facing total shutdown. At the moment, the UK has only partially done so, yet soon like Spain and other parts of the world we will only be allowed out for essential journeys.  I expect shortly after we will face rationing of everything including fuel. To get through this we need to start pulling together. Every time we go to the shop, we need to ask if really need to do so. 

What will happen? 

The disruption has only just started, things will get far worse before they get better.  Yet now is the time to start asking questions. Do we want to return to the old way? Thankfully we can communicate with almost anyone else around the world thanks to the internet and mobile phones. It will have to get really bad before those in power shut down our access.  I doubt any western government will risk doing so. 

 

What can we do?  

 First, heed medical advice.                                                                                                Second, look after those closest to us, our families and our communities. We need to skill share for the good of all. Working locally, but thinking globally.
Third, we really need to have a worldwide  discussion. All of us have the power to change to the future. Now is the time to set aside the differences and see the similarities.  Instead of distracting ourselves, or posting memes of cats, let’s have a proper farsighted discussion.
In the words of John Lennon, lets imagine.

The world after the coronavirus is up to us. 

 

 

My name is Alex Small, 48, I live in Cornwall by myself. Read for BA in English with Creative Writing and an MA in Professional writing later in life with Falmouth University. Better known online as The Naked Writer, or the Classicaraddict.  A dear friend who once was a New York journalist, christened me an Honorary New York wise arse, it should be ass, but I’m British.