The first thought that occurred to me on my enlightenment was that modern dance would be the ideal medium to make the story more widely known – particularly the all-important role of the drainage boards, and, of course, the issues with street alignment in the two halves.
What it lead me to contemplate is a musical version of the sinking of the Ben Venue, about which, as it turns out, Thomas Bracken wrote a poem.
I can all too vividly picture this production.
In case you were wondering, it was the phrase "the Spirit of Street Alignment" where I actually started crying with laughter.
The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho!’ trumpeted the mad dash through the fences of Rugby Park
As they started mixing in the real footage of that day, I found myself starting to tense. Those were my first real political memories. Conflict inside my family. And then they started playing Tally Ho! and I just started grinning.
Victoria Park, on a glorious morning, is a spectacular place. There are dog-walkers, cyclists, hikers. It feels very, very different to the flat city below.
Going back up into the hills is something else we've been doing this year. When the weather is nice, the tracks are busy without being crowded, and there's this thing where you say hello to everyone you pass they way you wouldn't on a footpath.
I’ve long been quite conflicted, because I know that the Salvation Army helped my alcoholic father and I’m grateful for that.
They sort of helped my alcoholic father too. He went through their treatment program, found God, changed his will in their favour, and a month later he died in a pub and my mother got nothing. I give to the Chch City Mission instead.
If you’ll excuse me for butting in I’d suggest lower Highfield or (as that’s a pretty large area), individual streets – Park Lane, Beverly Rd, Nile Street, Orbell Street all have homes like this.
It was specifically Beverly Hill I had in mind.
Can you possibly provide a suggestion for a shabby-genteel suburb in Timaru? One with nice old turn-of-the-previous-century houses that’s fallen on slightly hard times?
I reckon I know exactly the bit you mean, but I can't remember what it was called. I shall look it up and email.
Timaru, though. No need to be respectful.
Does hostens vemod have an inverse equivalent, whereby you can endure unpleasant things in anticipation of treats to come?
Thank you, Carol! We already have a word for that in English – Presbyterianism...
Pff. Presbyterianism is about enduring treats in anticipation of unpleasant things.
Have had quite a few “You must be so relieved not to have another Bob” comments from teachers, which I have to bite my tongue about somewhat.
Heh, see we had our Challenging Child second. So all the teachers thought they were getting another Kieran, and bang, Rhiana. Haha.
This is a wonderful piece of writing, David, thank you.
Aw shucks, you guys. I won't pretend that's not completely wonderful to hear. I still feel like an Internet Random, though.
We all have different comfort zones with this sort of thing, but some of us genuinely feel uncomfortable taking money for nothing, sitting around while someone else looks after us, or generally not appearing to work as hard as we could. This may be the sort of learned cultural hangup that my brothers blame on Presbyterianism.
Are you me?
Lilith linked to this on Facebook today, and it is also basically me. I have CFS. Some days, it’s all I can do to sit upright at my keyboard, and I feel lazy. I am constantly pissed off and anxious that I’m not Being Useful. I do sometimes work, though for terrible money, and I’ve reached the stage where I will call myself a “writer”, but dare not call myself an “author”.
We define people by their jobs. If you don’t work, you don’t count. This despite the fact that our society is dependent on people working for free – just look at how much free labour parents donate to schools.
I care about what people are passionate about, which might be their job, but often isn’t. I care about their politics and what art they enjoy. My mum worked part-time in the laundry of a geriatric hospital, which made her not very valued. But she was passionate about theatre and social justice, she taught English to the wives of immigrants and remedial reading to young boys and she was constantly being useful. I cannot escape her Protestant Work Ethic.
I have to remind myself that the mostly unpaid work I have been able to do IS useful. That’s not easy.