My beach of the week in the header photo is Puntaarena, Costa Rica
It’s not the prettiest strip of sand I’ve ever wandered, but palm trees and all that jungle driftwood give it atmosphere. The tourist stalls were full of fabulous local craft. We bought beaded purses for the granddaughters.
The locals were welcoming, the beer was cold. Chilly lager is essential in Costa Rica – not to mention Colombia, Panama and Guatemala. As a result of our trans-Caribbean cruise, Sebastien and his antagonists in The First Guerrilla are much sweatier than they used to be.
But the photo’s pertinence to this blog isn’t humidity.
I chose it because the hood which screened unwanted glare from my lens that morning was restored to service by my loved-one’s own hand.
Fancy that, eh.
It broke, but we didn’t ditch it and get a new one. We glued up the crack and screwed it back on.
Gather close, children, I have a tale of days long past.
When I was a kid, way back BCT (Before Colour TV) we did this thing called ‘repairing’. We patched things up until they were unrecognisable in their original form before we went to the shops for a replacement. Everything we owned was wrapped with electrical tape or had a glue scar where a chip had been reattached. A tube of modelling adhesive was a permanent fixture in the top drawer of the cabinet in our living room. With a pin stuck in the spout to stop it clogging up – remember that?
I’m advocating a return to those bygone ways.
Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, reduce reuse recycle, save the planet, whatever. Do it because it feels sooo good.
The hood snapped ages ago. It kept falling off in my bag. About three days before we left for the cruise, I decided I didn’t want to spend half our passage through the Panama Canal fumbling in my backpack for the damn lens hood.
“I’ll nip down to the camera shop,” I thought. Support local business.
“Have you got one of these?”
While I clasped my chest to contain the heart attack – $35 for three grams of plastic !!!! – he went through the glass cases behind the counter. Search, search, rustle, rustle. Then he ducked into the back room for about fifteen minutes.
“No, sorry. We haven’t got that one. We can order one in. We’ll have it in about ten days.”
“But we’re going on holiday on Saturday.”
So much for local retailers. I went all 2020s and hit the internet.
Camera stores in Perth stocking my lens hood = 0.
I swallowed my pride and checked the evil empires. If I had to demean myself with Amazon or Kogan, so be it. They wanted five bucks extra for expedited delivery to get it to me in … you guessed it, ten days. Cheeky sods.
“What has become of the world?” I asked. “I want a lens hood, and I want it now! What can I do?”
My loved-one descended on me, superglue in hand. “We could try this.”
“Do you think so?” I didn’t even know we owned superglue.
And it worked.
Thirty-five bucks saved. The multinational retail conspiracy defeated.
Every time I get the camera out now, I run my fingers over that little ridge of excess glue. I’m transported back to my childhood with a little warm glow of artisanal pride.
I vow to repair everything from now on. It feels great.
The repair work on The Second Guerrilla continued this week along with the sanding and polishing of Meet Me Under Brooklyn Bridge.
I also got a few thousand new words written. My latest Work In Progress one is another thriller, set in London in 1862. I’ll tell you more about that as it takes shape.