I love my friends.
I love my friends even more when we can come to some mutually beneficial arrangement on some matters.
This weekend saw me purchasing a new laptop. My current one is what is colloquially known as 'on the way out' or on a bad day, 'munted'. Attach the iPad or other implement to it and there is only a 50% chance of it doing what it is told. It also sounds as if it's about to take off for a lunar mission after running for an hour. I've got some great use out of it over the last three and a half years, but it's days are numbered.
So the old, pretty Hewlett-Packard machine is being replaced with a sleek, white Toshiba. I also had the RAM souped up, bought some software and a terabite of external hard drive. And I congratulated myself on the $800 I saved on the whole package. And baulked at the knowledge that I bought my first laptop some thirteen years ago at the price of $3000.... and shuddered.
On arriving home after making this purchase, I was wondering what to do. If I got the new laptop set up and working I'd be spending the weekend playing with the bloody thing. It's wonderful to buy a new laptop - but the time it takes to move stuff over, set things up, change account settings and the rest of it - it's all very time consuming. I have a week off after Christmas to do all this.
But how to stop myself from firing the machine up?
Step one. Gift wrap the machine.
Step two. Have a friend look after it until Christmas.
Step two proved easier than I thought it would be. Glen Waverley was due around early Sunday morning to collect my car.
See, Glen Waverley and Merijn have two cars. Pride of place is a 1972 yellow Porsche 911. Its got a left-hand drive, it's noisy, it's smelly but Glen Waverley loves it more than his mother and his cat combined. Ask him if he would rather amputate his penis or lose his car, he's have to think long and hard about it.
Their other car is a slightly more useful car - an MX-5.
Thing is, if they have to move anything larger than a shoe box, they're screwed.
Which is where I come in.
I have a slightly more practical car - a Mazda 2. Which can move a lot of stuff about as the back seats fold down and it has a hatch rather than a boot the size of a matchbox.
So, every so often, Glen Waverley trades down and borrows my rather practical Neville.
And I get this:
Which is rather cool.
So after the gym I had a few errands to run.
I went and saw Jenny and her baby.
Then I went around to see Blarney, Barney, the boys and the Maow Maow - they live about 10 kilometres away from me near Williamstown. It's a twenty minute drive over the Westgate on an average run.
Blarney and I organised Christmas. I'm on dessert. Blogs to follow on the cassata making process.
Then I drove home.
You gotta do what you gotta do.
The next time I get to loan Glen Waverley's car, I'm going to make sure he teaches me how to put the roof down.
And there will be a next time.
One of the great things about having a practical car. And friends who need to move things every now and then.