It’s a rainy Saturday in New Plymouth and whilst I am lucky enough to be sheltered indoors from the elements, my boyfriend is not quite so fortunate. Underneath the house, safely tucked away in his mums garage is his beautiful Humber Super Snipe and this weekend has been earmarked to give her a bit of vehicular TLC. So, up roll the garage doors and out roll the tools, his friends, their dogs, the overalls and work boots and the unrelenting sideways rain. Not remotely perturbed, the boys set to task and when I return several hours later the air is heavy with the fumes of motor oil, their hands black with grease decades old and the sideways rain continues to fall. The engine has been removed from its bay and now hangs suspended above the ground. Around it the boys work and a stolid focus befalls them. They busy themselves with cleaning the black, metal mass in front of them, replacing seals and washing away decades of grime finally to finish the day painting the old engine a beautiful royal blue.
Not being able to provide any support of the mechanical kind I instead retired to the kitchen where I whipped up a plate of chicken sandwiches to sate the hunger of the boys as they toiled. They were served alongside a good black beer, both gratefully received.