ICBM co-ordinates: 40S 175E
Security Risk Profile: 'Mostly Harmless'
Alert Status: Taupe.
Artistic tools: Pencil, brush-pen, technical pen.
Digital Art Applications: Krita, GIMP
All powered by 64-bit Linux Mint
I'm an artist and occasional writer from the unfashionable end of the South Pacific, who has been involved with furry art and the fandom since the mid-nineties. I tend to draw mostly furry female pin-up type art, and am co-creator of 'Super Collie' (with John Plunkett).
Or: If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.
This is going to be a bit of a long ranty journal, so apologies in advance... suffice to say that I've just returned from a holiday that started well but then went pear-shaped / munted / downhill rapidly after an incident that, like a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, while lasting only seconds in itself has effects that ripple on and on for days and weeks on end.
With my father turning 80 this month, Mrs Mayfurr and I decided to head down to my old family home in South Canterbury for the occasion - and as her birthday was the week before we decided to make a road trip of it, taking Anton the Shetland Sheepdog with us as well and entering in a couple of dog shows while we were away. Now, for those not familiar with NZ geography, as Te Whare Mayfurr is in the North Island and South Canterbury is in the South Island, a three-hour ferry trip across Cook Strait with the car is required - not exactly a cheap exercise - followed by around six hours of driving to Christchurch and another three hours to Mum and Dad's place in Fairlie. We decided to break the journey at Kaikoura (yes, that Kaikoura) and Christchurch, spending a couple of nights with friends before heading south.
All was going well until we came to an intersection just outside the town of Geraldine, turning off a side road onto the main road to Fairlie. I'd just come to a halt at the compulsory STOP sign, and was about to drive off when WHAM! A large Holden ute (a.k.a. "pickup truck" for those outside Australasia) had just slammed right into the back of our Toyota station wagon, riding over the bumper ("fender") and smashing the rear hatch and windscreen, sending glass all over the place. Our first horrified thought was of Anton, whose travel crate was right in the back next to the hatch - but thankfully he was unhurt and so were we. The other driver was also uninjured (and his big tank of a work vehicle seemed hardly scratched), and he immediately admitted that the incident was his fault... but our car was not in a fit state to be driven with the back hatch stoved in and god-knows-what-other-damage incurred. We got in touch with our vehicle insurance company and a tow truck was arranged, and after letting my parents know what had happened Dad came to pick us up and get us to Fairlie (we also accepted the offer from the guy who hit us to take our gear that couldn't fit in Dad's car back as well). Our car was subsequently towed to Timaru for insurance assessment.
So now we were stuck without independent transport far from home, with our holiday ruined. Dog showing for the next day was out, as we had no way of getting to and from the venue with gear and we weren't in the mood for it now anyway. The car insurance company turned out to be as much use as a chocolate teapot for arranging alternative transport, as not only were they unwilling to arrange anything big enough to carry us, the dog, and our gear, any vehicle they were prepared to hire for us could only be used in the South Island - we would not be permitted to take it across Cook Strait on the ferry, which rather defeated the purpose of the thing.
The following day it snowed. 40mm (1.5" for those in non-SI countries) of the white stuff, which made it unsafe for driving for the next two days even if our car hadn't been damaged. At least Anton enjoyed his first ever experience of snow.
Luckily, Mrs Mayfurr hit upon approaching the other driver's company for assistance, as it was a company vehicle that had hit us. Thankfully, the company was very apologetic and supportive of us, and they organised a suitable rental car that not only would they cover all the costs for, they got special dispensation from the rental car company to take the vehicle on the ferry back to the North Island and return it to them in Wellington. The vehicle (a Toyota RAV 4) would be available from Christchurch, so they took me on on a three hour drive back to Christchurch - riding with the guy who hit us, talk about awkward! - then I drove back in the rental for three hours.. At least I got the pleasure of a solo drive, I guess. Next day we went to Timaru to collect stuff from the car, which turned out to be just as well as shortly afterwards we were informed that our car had been written off.
Anyway, we celebrated Dad's 80th birthday in Fairlie on Friday, and next day started heading back home, driving through heavy rain to an overnight stay in Christchurch before proceeding the rest of the way home over Sunday and Monday, overnighting in Kaikoura again. The rental car was interesting to drive: it had more computers, automation and proximity sensors than the USS Enterprise, while feeling rather like having the bulk of a large starship to navigate and park! Finally got home, being very glad to finally get home after what turned out to be an absolute pig of a holiday, and now faced with the prospect of finding - and paying for - a replacement vehicle (while the insurance will pay out, the amount won't be enough for a suitable new car on its own). Thankfully, a friend of ours is willing to loan us his second car in the meantime.
So yesterday I had to return the rental car back to the rental company, a 50km (no, I'm not converting this, learn metric units :-) ) drive from Kapiti to Wellington. That's normally a 45 minute drive at off-peak with an hour train ride back, so normally this would be no problem. Except...an overnight storm cause a landslip to fall on the main railway line, derailling a train and closing the line. And because the railway line is next to the main road, that was closed / restricted with major delays as well. On a weekday with commuter traffic. Police were advising "no unnecessary travel", but I still had to return the rental car.
I managed to take an alternate route bypassing the road trouble - up an over a hill road that was VERY exposed to wind and rain - to the point where water was being blown up the road by the wind. Anyway, I got the rental safely returned, had some lunch and a hot chocolate and started heading back. By this time, the rail network was running bus replacement service from further up the line, and fortunately I only had a 20 minute wait for the replacement bus.
However, once on the bus I had some old drunk bastard raving on two rows behind me... FOR OVER AN HOUR as we crawled through the coastal road restrictions.
Then he started singing... this song. Loudly. Repeatedly.
"And that's when I shot him, Your Honour."
Thankfully I managed to get home with no further incident, but just when I thought things couldn't get worse... it was announced that evening that a case of the Delta variant of COVID had been detected in Auckland and the whole country was going into Level 4 lockdown ("stay at home" orders) from midnight: an initial seven days for Auckland and the Coromandel, and three days for everyone else.
Now not only do we not have a car, we can't look for a replacement, we can't pick up the loan vehicle from our friend and we can't go anywhere due to COVID lockdown even if we had a vehicle.
So that's why I took today off work: after the last couple of weeks, I needed a break for my mental health!
Full art price schedule - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Om3Ppa6vipUFa2bFH994RNgfkFMRbo0IBpI9-I5m6rM/edit?usp=sharing
Joined 11 April 2015