February 20, 2014 by vinylburns
It’s a hot summer’s evening here in the medium neglected, rural wine growers oasis of Vinilla De Burnito. I’m busy with other things… things which will manifest themselves in a short week’s time… But not now.
These long summer evenings allow a multi-locational gentleman like me, an opportunity to pause, breathe and settle into a moment of settled residence, here is the pastures of Horse Head Studios in the easy living and classless South Wairarapa.
It’s enough space to saddle a horse, to shoot a gun and to rustle up some rock’n’roll… and that’s all I a man needs.
When I first came here in the 80’s, I’d meander through the winding streets and back-lit alleys of Martinborough city, signing autographs for the local kids and gently discouraging them from taking photos or my money.
The playground groaned with the weight of local fat kids, laden with fish and chips, Fanta and loose change they’d beaten out of the nerdy children, who would, years later, be choosing to employ someone else to clean the toilets at their cosmopolitan microwave telephone startup.
Ice-creams were a dollar, sunscreen was optional, and arcade games… Well, they existed. Actually playing Queasier Voltron side by side with another sweat soaked pencil neck, took the arcade action to another level… An aspect of the gaming culture long since lost, but for a couple of million Koreans who still actually wear kevlar body armour to internet cafes, just on the off chance that your knife carrying virtual opponent, happens to be seated next to you.
But for a few whispers of yesterday, those days are gone.
The wine kids have moved in… And now, the town square bristles with crisp shits and starched shoes, hustling to be seen here in reclusive prominence, against the backdrop of olive groves and panty-hoes. High society meeting the synthetic dirt of the rural gentry.
It’s awesome… But I can’t help wondering what we’ve lost.
We pay more for a coffee on a holiday, because those greedy teenage dishwashers insist on their special overtime candy treats. I guess a business plan doesn’t take into account a full years cycle of incomings and outgoings, as it has done for, the previous 5,000 years.
The playground is silent… Axles and joints, thoroughly lubricated, as are the parents, slumped on the picnic bench, with a sly bottle of Pinot Gris, while their naive, sheltered, athletically inept offspring tumble from the flying fox and land, contorted and twitching, in the OSH approved sawdust that, kind of, sort of, saved them.
I stagger home, tossing an occasional empty into a hedge or a letterbox, and remark, loudly, to myself, that you never used to hear the swish of the glass through the foliage or the muted crunch of the shards, dispersing across the lawn. So loud and clumsy sounding, now they’re no longer drowned out by the reverberating ebb and flow of crowds and commentators, rising and falling on the late summer breeze, as an entire country lolls to the soundtrack of the season…
Cricket was our summer song… A gentleman’s singalong anthem, with no rush to the chorus… Enough, simply that it was there.
It’s still there, of course… But now we pay to play… And we’re no longer all part of the same family… It’s sad.
So while we all heard the news, probably saw a replay of the moment, marvelled at the tally… We weren’t all “there”.
Cricket is just sport.
The summer is just a temperature.
300 is just a number.
And if you listen hard in the evening for an anthem, you’ll just hear the cicadas, singing to themselves.