Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Day 2 on the farm got off to a good start. (day 1 here) With their daughter off at school, Jack and his wife sat opposite me at the breakfast table. The previous night I had learnt that they all hold hands whilst saying grace before each meal, so I asked them "Are we going to say grace, or are you two just holding hands anyway?" They both fell about laughing. It was good.

I had worried if I was making the right decision in leaving the hostel. My intention in coming to New Zealand has always been to serve rather than to work. God had clearly placed me at ACB, amongst so many people, certainly to develop me and, I like to think, to help a few people around me.

Now I was a little afraid of becoming isolated. I was going to spend most of my days alone, doing a job that I could forsee little growth in. Was this really God's path for me? I had felt that I had to take the opportunity. I had been losing self-discipline at the hostel, staying up too late and not getting around to doing simple daily things like eating, and badly needed a change. I had left my comfort-zone in England, and ultimately formed a new one. I had to get out of there. I had to make sure that my real comfort-zone was in God, not in the free-food shelf, or the internet cafe, or the people who had now grown to know and accept me.

On the farm, Jack and I climbed into the truck so that I could familiarise myself with it for an hour or so. It had been about 2 months since I had last sat in a drivers' seat, but it quickly came back to me. I was thrown however when I turned the ignition on, and the radio came to life, but no engine.

Actually I was really thrown by Jack shouting at me for trying to drive a truck powered only by pop music. What a laugh.

So we pulled-out and turned left down the road adjacent to the farm, deserted but for a mailbox now and then. Jack told me not to start in 1st gear, but to always start in 2nd. I don't recall him ever saying why, I just remember it reminding me how all driving instructors seem to give different instructions. Indicate manoeuvres/don't indicate manoeuvres. Park so that you can put your foot on the kerb/park so that you can put your foot in the gutter. Always stop in first/yeeeeah let's stop in 3rd here. No-one's ever told me to always start in 2nd though. Oh well. It would have been easier if I hadn't been repeatedly putting the thing into gear, only to find that it actually wasn't.

Jack said to pull in at the next turn-off. Again, as I've found to often be the way, he never specified if he meant to pull into the turnoff, just before it, or just after it. I always consider the first rule of communication to be to speak the language of the person who's listening. I only really mention this here because Jack's temper took another knock, as consequently did my ease behind the wheel.

We pulled-in, and Jack asked me to turn around, berating me for wanting to steer the wheels around whilst moving to save wearing-down the tyre tread. Turn the steering-wheel all the way around to lock them first, and then move. Oh well, okay. I was unlearning stuff fast.

Jack was getting flustered. He was particularly upset when I stopped on a hill facing upwards and went to put the handbrake on. Footbrake start when uphill. Another lesson-fee wasted. I felt like I was due for a few refunds.

The mailboxes we were driving past bothered me - Jack had told me that I would be driving solely on private property. Unless these houses were for on-site staffmembers, living on a private road, I should legally be displaying L-plates. I considered stopping and explaining that he would have to drive back to the farm so that we could put them up, but we were almost there, and I really didn't want to get shouted at again.

By the time we got back to where we'd started for the second time, he was really having a hard time of it. He'd kept screaming at me to pull in at that metal. I asked what metal, and he couldn't believe that I couldn't see all that metal. That metal, there! I was looking for pipes, girders, bathtubs, that sort of thing. It turned out he was talking about the composition of the soil. It was metal, apparently.

Finally it all came together. This would have been just peachy, had it not been for the fact that the only stuff we had to put together had all been bad.

Jack said to pull in at this 4x4. I figured he meant the big parked black car and, with no time to ask just what he meant by "at", stopped just in front of it. He'd had enough of my incompetence and now just wanted lunch, so bawled at me to reverse around adjacent to it. So, as instructed to earlier, I locked the wheels all the way to the side and reversed around, straightening up as my angle turned out, as I'd expected, to be too sharp. He shouted at me to stop, so I stopped both the vehicle and straightening up. He yelled at me to never look behind me whilst reversing.

I pointed out that I’d been taught to look behind me whilst reversing in both the UK and NZ, presumably to see where I was going. He yelled that I had to do the whole thing entirely using my mirrors, and furthermore every driving examiner in the world would fail me if I looked behind me whilst reversing.

So I took the vehicle out of reverse and put it into 2nd. Releasing the footbrake, we went backwards, which logically meant that we were on a slight slope, as we were now using footbrake starts on hills. I compensated the same way I imagine most people do with hillstarts, with more gas.

Bad move.

So bad it cost 500 metal pictures of the Queen.

Well at least we could make some new ones out of the metal I’d torn off the big black 4x4.

I should have called this entry "A Close Shave."

(tomorrow's post here)


0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **