SKILLS & PURSUITS

Hew and Cry

The art of axemanship

All worries fall away as the blade bites and the grain magically breaks its bonds. The log cleaves in two and the pieces drop to the ground with two satisfying thuds. This is the art of wood splitting. Part ritual and part chore, the beauty is in the repetition, the labour, and the smell of freshly split pine.

It Can Just as Easily Detract

A review of 'A Tramper's Guide to New Zealand's National Parks'

On the promise of a foreword by Sir Edmund Hillary, I picked up a copy of A Tramper's Guide to New Zealand's National Parks at a local book fair. It turned out Sir Edmund's essay wasn't as absorbing as I had hoped, he only wrote a few hundred words. Although the book itself turned out to be more useful than I had thought.

If You Only Learn One

Tying the bowline

We might have said this before, but there’s beauty in knots. Like maths, they blend functionally and the abstract, and to connoisseurs they have a sort of music, with their patterns and seemingly endless possibilities.

Primary Trainer

Early adventures in the P Class yacht

I waited for the coach to finish. He moved magnetic triangular boats around a whiteboard to indicate wind angles, sail trim and the variations of rudder movement. I glanced out to the water. The waves were short and steep, dumping themselves unceremoniously on the boat ramp. My red P Class, freshly rescued from a pile of leaves in my uncle’s backyard, sat on a trolley nearby.

Beyond the Granny

Basics in knot tying

Learning to tie knots can be infuriating. Often the best ones are counter-intuitive, requiring you to untangle the wires in your brain before you start on the rope.

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