Wednesday, 9 February 2011


My dad was, is, an engineer by trade. When I got my first car eighteen years ago we would spend hours upon hours, night after night in the family garage messing about with it. And if my car wasn't in the garage, my brother's would be, and if his wasn't, the family car would be, and if that wasn't - and sometimes even if it was - so was dad's motorbike. And if none of our cars were, then one of my friends would be round, their car up on the ramps while we passed spanners to dad through the engine bay while he lay on the greasy floor wrestling with the gearbox. These memories are some my fondest of my young adulthood (and I still remember how goddamn cold that garage could get cold in the winter). Sometimes there was an odd rattle, maybe a disturbing dashboard warning light had appeared, but often there was nothing even wrong with the vehicle - it was just an opportunity to tinker. To fiddle.

I was thinking this earlier today while I was making yet more adjustments to the Amazing15 website. There's nothing inherently wrong with it at the moment - I just feel that it could do with a bit of a tune up. And like all these kinds of jobs, once you start tinkering, it's sometimes hard to stop. Perhaps an innocent looking nut will sheer off an alternator mounting bracket or perhaps something which looks awesome in Safari refuses to work properly in Firefox.

So what is it then, I wonder, this urge to just keep toying with something which, to everyone else seems perfectly finished? A character in my favourite graphic novel by Dave McKean 'Cages' suggests that a painting is never finished, 'it just stops in an interesting place'. And I think that's it - I think we're just forever looking for that interesting place to stop.


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