Dirty Hands

Mercedes E190

Today I would like to say that I serviced my own car.

The truth being that I think I made a couple of mechanic’s day twice as difficult with my constant “How does…” “What is…” “Which…”

I studied Automotive Mechanics during my year 11. I used to have Thursday nights at the local TAFE taking apart engines and had a lot of fun in my overalls, playing with engines and nuts and bolts.

Despite that, I still have no idea how a car actually works.

And even though my scrubbing is yet to remove the grease under my broken nails, I feel good about today.

This is me putting my wheels back on.

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Last night I spoke to a new acquaintance about experiences.

That those that look at something like fixing your own car and ask “why bother?” might be missing out on something.

On the surface of things, it seems a good question.

There are mechanics to fix cars and I will never be a professional mechanic.

Why would I bother learning a skill just for the sake of it?

Should I consider that today was a waste of time?

And, if so, what else should I have been doing that would have been the best use of my time?

For me, there was nothing better to do today. There is something liberating about feeling independent enough to do something yourself and I think there is an emotional level to getting your hands dirty.

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TED Talk for today is YOUNG-HA KIM who is a Korean novelist speaking about our tendency to ask “Why be an artist?”

We come up with so many reasons as to why we can’t, or why we shouldn’t, yet almost everyone has a desire to, no matter how buried.

The image of someone looking after kids and the adult being far more amused by the jigsaws/playdough/colouring in book.

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Mr Pavel Godfrey wrote a piece yesterday suggesting that people are only doing things in order to capture them on film and post them on social media sights. He sneers at people “acting out a game of old-timey croquet just for a friend to capture it all in digital sepia.” People posting every meal they eat on Instagram and it being “a status signifier.”

Maybe my thinking this is harsh is due to me posting today’s experience in the public realm.

Maybe I am bragging about my social status by showing my freedom to indulge in slightly abnormal experiences.

But what is wrong with playing an old sport and having people add art filters over their photography?

Do we really want to live in the world where one sees things exactly as they are? Hyper real, no artistic licence, no indulging in the past?

We have only had social media for a few years and I think everyone is still trying to work out what to do with it, but isn’t this an example of people needing more creativity? Blogs, “amateur food photography”, dressing up in vintage, community gardens, DIY, every second person publishing a book.

Why are we snubbing these and asking, “Why bother?”

Why don’t we react positively to a “Why not?”

Aren’t these signs that we need to rethink what we find important?


IMG_8252Big thanks to Derrick Wells Ltd in Needham Market, UK for my mechanics tutoring today.

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One thought on “Dirty Hands

  1. Good job Kat. I totally agree: if it is fun, and knowing a bit more about how your car (that you use every day)works IS fun, then do it!

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