Art Studio and Life #61

Hello lovely family and friends

My eldest just turned 20! He is feeling old because he is no longer a teenager. But he is also feeling surprised that now that he is officially an adult, he still doesn’t know the answers to everything. I think he missed that bus, because isn’t it 16year-olds who know everything?


He wanted a Go-Karting party, with homemade pizza to follow. I always watch from the sidelines, having been in a go-kart once at age twelve.

Terrifying. I didn’t love it.

So much time has passed since then that I thought maybe it was time to have another go, which made the fam very happy. We packed 7 of us into our people carrier and proceeded on the half hour journey to Upper Hutt Karting.

My youngest and I were right at the back. He tried to get me to pay some random game on his phone, I think it’s called Plants versus Zombies. I was bored to death by it, and told him to carry on himself and let me look out the window and get in touch with my inner Lewis Hamilton (since I’m not a Max Verstappen fan). For some reason he REALLY wanted me to play a game on his phone, so he pulled up some spelling game called Wordle, or some such thing. I told him he was stressing me out by trying to make me do spelling, so then he tried to get me to play a maths game where you have to move your person to the right answer to a sum. EEesh! I told him he was stressing me out even more and could we go back to the Zombies one, but he kept trying to show me the maths one. I think he was just trying to stop me from connecting to my inner champion.

We duly arrived at the Go-kart place, had our safely briefing, pulled on our fashionable hair nets and donned our (in my case, pink) helmets. Filled our lungs with the smell of fuel and burning rubber. Climbed into the Go-Karts. Proceeded.


I didn’t love it.

I crawled at the back, hugging the sides, while the others raced around me, and regularly crashed into me in their efforts of overtake one another. After the second or third crash, my neck started protesting. I was is a car accident last century (pre- seatbelts) and hit my head on the roof of the car. Ever since then, my neck has remained very grumpy about impact of any kind. As I clung grimly to the steering wheel, I wondered how I had forgotten this? Probably because I hadn’t actually realised that go-karting is like a cross between bumper cars and F1.

Each minute crawled past.

Why had we paid for 15 minutes? What were we thinking?? Surely it must be nearly over?

But it wasn’t. The others screamed past with yells of delight. That was when they weren’t crashing into me. Come to think of it, they also yelled with delight when they were crashing into me.

It turns out, I don’t have an inner Lewis Hamilton. Or even an inner Toad of Toad Hall. I have an inner Anne of Green Gables. I want to be driven in horse carriage through country lanes where flowers bloom. Note: I want to BE driven, not even drive myself in a horse cart.

‘I had better keep going until the end,’ I thought.

We’ve paid for this,’ I thought.

‘I hate this,’ I thought.

So, I pulled into the pit lane, and then parked the wretched machine in the starting area for some other poor sucker to try.

I managed 14 minutes. Average lap time = 20 seconds. My (fastest) lap time = 60+ seconds.

It was so lovely when it stopped. Like when you’ve had toothache and got a filling. Pure happiness.

I haven’t written about the cats for a while, so time for an update. Hobbes had a large scab on his tummy, which fell off leaving a coin-sized bald patch, and still has a large scab on his side. We were blaming Davy, until he also got beaten up. He sat miserably fluffed up, a sad and sorry sight, and then went awol for over 24 hours, during a stormy patch of weather. I was stressed, I can tell you. Hobbes seemed quite forlorn too, despite having unlimited access to the seat of power. Davy has a large puncture wound and very large bald patch on his stomach. We think that they are being picked on by a visiting tabby, who sneaks into the hallway and eats as much as he can before being spotted by the locals (me) and chased off. If Hobbes sees him, he tries to reverse down the passage. Turns out we are actually feeding three cats…

So, this week, may you play Plants vs Zombies! May no one beat up your cat! And may you drive in a horse cart through country lanes!

XX Barbie


  1. Sarah

    My brother in law is visiting us from the US, and his highlight around which the whole trip is planned (not the Namibian desert, mind you) is to race an AMG around Kilarmey race track. He is unbelievably excited by this prospect and cannot imagine how no one else is at all interested.

    So he proposes that at the very least we all do a “normal” go-cart race together. I do not find it terrifying, but I really do not get the thrill that others have. What I don’t like is the noise.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Yes, the noise AND the smell. Perhaps you should show him my blog to give him a different perspective, then hopefully he will appreciate anything you do mange to do!

  2. Chris

    Oh Barbie I connected on a deep level with you today! I went go karting with my husband’s work at Hampden Downs and we got to ride in a Maserati with a professional driver as well. The latter was so terrifying with all the extreme braking and turning that I couldn’t breathe. At one point the driver commented I was very quiet and I thought “what? I’m supposed to be able to talk?!!” We were all suited up too – in flame retardant suits etc and strapped in tightly… no getting out of there in a hurry.
    On the cat front… I know it costs a bit more but you can get cat doors that read your cats microchips and only let them in. Our cats only have door servants which is occasionally a pain in the small hours but infinitely better than cleaning up any trophies they might bring in through a cat door. Ah the joy of cats! By the way a bald spot like that can mean an abcess is brewing underneath… they are not pretty when they burst… I’d get that checked today before it’s weekend rates at the vet…

    • Barbara Podmore

      Chris! Oh my word! That sounds appalling!! If you told them you were about to be sick, do you think they would let you exit the car?? I’m having secondary terror on your behalf…
      Might have to dash to the vet now…

      • Barbara Podmore

        Update : Davy has been to the vet! He does indeed have a large abcess. And is now shaven, cleaned and drugged up. More oral antibiotics to come. Fun, fun, fun.

  3. Bruce

    Thank you for trying karting again! We appreciated your bravery! “Never again… (never, never…)”

    FYA – I only signed up for one/two extra mouths to feed – not three…

    • Barbara Podmore

      I know, right! Perhaps we need the microchip cat door to exclude number 3!

      • Dave L

        I can see the potential application for this for your BnB as well … no unwanted visitors unless they have been micro-chipped. Hang on, maybe we don’t want to encourage this kind of micro-chipping behaviour. (beastly stuff !?)

        • Barbara Podmore

          I give the expected BnB people a code, a temporary micro chip, so to speak. And most of them are sweethearts and are welcome back…