For those not up on their Eddie Izzard, the title of this blog entry comes from one of his stand-up comedy routines called "Machines that Lie". I found that particular sketch continually running through my mind today as I set to my first gardening task of the morning: whacking and sawing down grasses and some sort of prickly plant (ouch) around the bases of the apple trees in the mini-orchard out back. For the job Skye gave a tool that was given to her by one of her former WWOOFers, a Japanese girl. It's a hand-held blade, shaped like a mini-scythe (about eight inches long), but with a serrated edge on the inside of the curve that makes it able to saw as well as be swung to cut things down. It's an ingenious little gardening tool for pruning, as it's much easier to just whack a blade at something then to precisely line things up over and over again and squeeze like one has to do with clippers. Skye doesn't know the proper name for the tool, so owing to its Japanese origins I have nicknamed it the "sushi scythe".
Regardless of how much fun I had with said sushi scythe, I think I had an allergic reaction to all the grass I slashed my way through today; my arms were splotchy red and itchy for the remainder of the afternoon, which led me to spend it quietly reading my book inside the house instead of adventuring out to explore. In the later afternoon I went up to the workshed and continued sewing knitted squares together; I figure another hour and that blanket will be done.
After dinner tonight Skye, Finn, and I got in the car and drove 7km up the road to the small (but still bigger than Waipawa) town of Waipukurau to see the Waipawa theatre ensemble's Christmas Cabaret 2010; the event was held at the Little Theatre in Waipukurau because the Waipawa Municipal Theatre is currently undergoing renovations.
It was in some ways your typical community choir and solo musical numbers (meaning the choir was painful to my elitist, choral-snob ears in places, and the music selections mainly pop tunes), but the spirits and obvious enjoyment of the performers was infectious, and I had a wonderful time. Amongst the performers there was some professional talent; a woman from Germany who had trained as an opera singer, and sang a solo number that made me feel like I was back at UVic again sitting in on a voice masterclass. After living in the world of university music, it is hard to come back down to community productions, and hearing her sing really made the evening worthwhile for me.
Now it is after 11pm; I am lying on my bed, yawning like crazy, and until about two minutes ago wanting to kill the fly buzzing around over my head that eluded my best efforts to catch it (I caught it and let it go out the window). Tomorrow morning I must get up early; Skye and Finn and I are going to go for a morning hike, and then in the evening we have been invited out to a party in Napier. I better get some sleep!