Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: South by North

25 Responses

  • Paul Capewell,

    What an evocative piece of writing, thanks a lot. :)

    Manchester • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    You say it so well David, indeed evocative

    When I realised what the weather would be like when you were due to cross I rather hoped you might pospone

    But it is worth it, just for the views if nothing else

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    wonderful writing david

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    As ever, David, evocative and beautiful prose you write. I feel privileged that we get to read it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I was in the original Oban a few weeks back and was commenting on the beautiful islands/ferry rides around that way when both of us (Kiwis) realised neither of us had actually been to Stewart Island. But with the sales job done above I'll have to make the effort

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    I thought a bus ride around an island with less than 5kms of road a bit 'rich' & went to their charming local museum instead.
    Love the transposed error in horseshoe bay and 1/2 moon bay having been confused.

    What of the building & property boom on the island?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    you might want to count the number of buildings on Ulva

    I spent my childhood years summering on Ulva... magic place

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 342 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    My mum, born and bred in Invercargill, says this piece made her homesick. Well played!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Sorry not to have replied earlier -- had a fractious baby all morning. But delighted that you guys have enjoyed my ramblings.

    Apologies for visiting homesickness upon your mother, Danielle. Despite only living there for five months we feel rather homesick for Southland as well.

    bob daktari wrote:

    I spent my childhood years summering on Ulva... magic place

    Lucky chap!

    you might want to count the number of buildings on Ulva

    I was told that there was only one main building. We couldn't get close (private property) but there did appear to be several surrounding structures. My assumption was that these were add-ons, or outbuildings counted as part of the original PO building. Let me know if this is incorrect, Bob, and I'll modify the original post.

    By the way, I think Southland is the nicest part of NZ by a very long way. I'd be interested if anyone can anyone nominate anywhere (in NZ) nicer?

    P.S. We also enjoyed the museum, Shep. But rain made a bus ride attractive (until we discovered the price).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 988 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    Its been years since I was last there there are a number of bachs or cribs that belong to members of my family. All of these structures were built after the PO had ceased operating from Ulva and had moved to Oban. There is still one house (well small dwelling) around from the mainlanding where one or two of the Traills (not sure of the correct spelling of their name) are buried - whom were on Ulva before us lot.

    The original PO Building I am sure is gone now - it was falling down and wasn't worth maintaining if memory serves (at best it looked like a rubbish shed and at worst a rubbish shed falling down).

    Summer on the island is fantastic, I imagine May/June to be a very cold and wet time - or as my cousin puts it, in winter you wouldn't send your worst enemy there

    loving the southland action cheers

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 342 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Ben

    I was in the original Oban a few weeks back ...

    Tell me you visited the distillery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    By the way, I think Southland is the nicest part of NZ by a very long way. I'd be interested if anyone can anyone nominate anywhere (in NZ) nicer?

    I've never spent more than a few days there, but Central Otago has to be one of the most visually stunning, but also fun places to be. Hot in summer, snow in winter.

    Some place like Naseby if you were looking for quiet over the winter.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    By the way, I think Southland is the nicest part of NZ by a very long way. I'd be interested if anyone can anyone nominate anywhere (in NZ) nicer?

    I fear my reporting of any alternative won't compare with your's however, I'll nominate the Golden Bay area as my particular favourite. I know it can be insanely popular, however I've had too many wonderful weeks floating about the bays of the Able Tasman National Park to not recommend it for special mention. Waikoropupu Springs, just out of Takaka, is delightful.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    This time of year my knees & elbows tell me to move back home to Blenheim or anywhere further north than Christchurch.

    If you're inside in Blenheim you can only tell the season by the colour of the grass on the Whither Hills - Green is winter, brown is summer, and flickering glow of orange is February.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    bob daktari wrote:

    The original PO Building I am sure is gone now - it was falling down and wasn't worth maintaining if memory serves...

    Thanks for the correction, Bob -- I've emended that section of the post!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 988 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Russell - Yes. I was just having a quiet sample of some of the Laugavulin 16 year single malt I picked up from the attached shop. It has totally made me re-evaluate what smooth means

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    "Kathleen Kennedy's eyeballs actually exploded when her plane hit the ground," my mother had told me.

    Someone pass the mop....!!

    You know I've only ever got on a plane twice in my life? I was hoping for a third trip, sometime in the not too distant, but kathleen kennedy's eyeballs might be my undoing.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • K. J. Aldous,

    "... hills humped in cosy catenaries" It's not immediately clear why hills would assume this form. Do you have any references on the topic?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Kerry Weston wrote:

    You know I've only ever got on a plane twice in my life? I was hoping for a third trip, sometime in the not too distant, but kathleen kennedy's eyeballs might be my undoing.

    Don't let me put you off! Planes are wonderful fun -- I'd even say that this trip was fun (in the "I'm glad I didn't die" sort of way).

    Mind you, they're not as safe as people think. The probability of fatality is usually quoted on a per kilometre basis -- but if you look at the (perhaps more appropriate) per hour-of-travel-time basis, then you're better off going for a ride in a car or having a nice walk.

    K. J. Aldous (oh noble person with the same gravatar as me) wrote:

    "... hills humped in cosy catenaries" It's not immediately clear why hills would assume this form. Do you have any references on the topic?

    At first I thought the silhouettes of the hills might be parabolas, but on closer inspection I decided they were catenaries.

    I seem to recall that the surface of a catenoid has a mean curvature of zero, so I'm going to postulate that the shape is due to the effects of sub-surface wave erosion on an (ultimately) up-thrust sea bed, or maybe an unusual consequence of the recession and advance of glaciers.

    An alternative explanation is that one or more very large regular polygons (discounting a triangle, of course) have rolled across the landscape at some point. For the latter explanation, it's possible that the polygons were of extra-terrestrial origin. On the other hand, they may have been manufactured by the ancient Celts who lived in New Zealand.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 988 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    "hills humped in cosy catenaries"

    A catenary is, by etymology, the shape of a suspended chain, so it's hard to think of a better word to describe the shape of a series of little mountains (by contrast, "range" doesn't suggest any specific shape, so much as extent of variation).
    But what's the recommended escape procedure when hills are humping?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 918 posts Report Reply

  • K. J. Aldous,

    " ... the surface of a catenoid has a mean curvature of zero ... " Are you sure? A catenary's curvature does not change sign - the second derivative of the function is the function itself, which is everwhere >= 0. Incidentally, "cosy catenaries" would be more poetically rendered as "coshy catenaries" particularly regarding the whisky-soaked hills of Southland.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I don't know what a catenary is, nor do I care, for that matter. You pointy headed nerdy boys just have to spoil it all with your discussion of etymology, don't you? Eh? Just leave a great piece of writing alone, would ya????

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    K.J. Aldous wrote:

    " ... the surface of a catenoid has a mean curvature of zero ... " Are you sure? A catenary's curvature does not change sign - the second derivative of the function is the function itself, which is everwhere >= 0.

    Oh, I'm talking about mean curvature in the sense of the mean of the curvatures at the surface of a body, i.e. the minimal area thing.

    Personally I only have a vague awareness of catenoids from the equations for heat propagation in 3D. I've never had anything to do with a real catenoid -- except perhaps making them inadvertently (instead of paraboloids) on telescope mirrors; and, you know, in the bath.

    Incidentally, "cosy catenaries" would be more poetically rendered as "coshy catenaries"

    This gave me a rare 'laugh out loud' moment -- very clever!

    ... but at this point, I'm going to take the hint from Jackie Clark and quietly retire without revealing too much of my inner geek.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 988 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Jackie, if it's bugging you, that would be entomology then, wouldn't it?

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oooo, you clever, clever girl!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

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