Friday, August 12, 2005

don't necessarily do it yourself

I've been sweating over an appeal to the environment court about recent changes to the Banks Peninsula District plan. Not sweating 'cos I'm working hard, but because I feel so out of my depth.
And that's become a bit of a watchword. I have a mate who used to rail against the kiwi "do it yerself" mentality: specifically when he had to get his home completely re-wired on discovering the previous owner- a manic do-it-yerselfer- had turned it into a electrical death trap.
"Get a professional" he'd mutter whenever anything like that came up.
Well, we might reach for a lawyer here. The "new" district plan hit on Jan 1 1997; come 2005 and variation 2 is heading for the appeals court. It's been a schmozzle. Forests have been reaped, chipped, spewed forth from printers and dispatched far and wide. One package we got was about 8" of solid A4 - with maybe 5% of content- and at least 300 of these were sent out.
The problem here is the RMA- resource management act- which is (am I saying this?) perhaps too democratic. Everyone is entitled to their say, which is messy enough. But worse, it seems to be vague in crucial ways, so pretty much everyone interprets it to suit themselves.
Enter lawyers in yellow spats.
But what I really want to get off my chest is what a bitsy "little bit of everything and no real expertise" life I lead. Is this typical of the age? The place? Or just me.
At work I don't just shoot and edit video- I often also do sound, write scripts, make calls, fix computers, etc etc. And I like it!
Then when I want to make music... all of a sudden I'm the (mediocre) song-writer, lyricist, talentless talent, tuneless singer, bad guitarist, arranger, drum-looper, bass simulator, recording engineer, mixing engineer... the studio chief with full responsibility for buying gear and the sad geek (yeah, I really do love it) who has to learn and operate half-a-dozen programmes.
Not surprising I do these things poorly.
Then again, I don't have to feel too bad- 'cos I have other roles in life.
I'm not just a husband and father.
I'm a farmer, fencer, farrier, fire-wooder, and forester. I maintain (badly) 2 chainsaws, a brushcutter, two generators, a petrol-driven pump, an outboard, two mowers, and three motor vehicles. Oh and general repairs on a horse-float, an off-the-grid power system, and a whole bunch of water-tanks and plumbing disasters. Did I mention I'm also a shed-builder? And a sheep-dog (if you've never tried to round up a small mob of very elusive sheep on rough terrain without an actual four-legged sheep-dog- don't. Well, don't if your wife is the other part of the team and she's not in an exceptionally- as in just dropped six tabs of ecstasy- good mood.)
That's just a taste of the outside jobs- not counting track maintanance, spraying, native forest regeneration and- I'll shut up now.
Of course all this isn't done well. And it's often not done at all when it could/should be. Hey, there are meals to cook, dishes to wash, kids to look after. And the mouldering boat of my dreams ...
But as I've been reading up on the district plan, I'm also thinking about the resource and building consents I need to file for the sleepout and 3-bay farm shed (to be built by real builders- thank god.) And problems with the inverter. And I'm feeling just slightly s t r e t c h e d.
Not complaining. But I fear a tombstone that reads:
He did a lot. Most of it was inoffensive if ineffectual. But there WAS that HUGE stuff-up with the Envirnoment Court/sheep pen/time the wheel fell off the horse-float....