Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That Summer!

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  • Jackie Clark,

    I hate to be a spoilsport but I'm just not that big a fan of summers anymore. Too hot, too humid. I don't remember them being this hot 40 odd years ago, but then I spent most of my time in the water, as a child.And my Xmas hols were a bit shit, really. What with spending a week with a not entirely happy family at a rented bach that was like Back To the Future, only there were power cuts. In a house that ran almost entirely on a computer. Not good. And then there was Chch, which was, as always, strange for me, and the weather was cold. There have been highlights this year, though. The biggest one was going with my mum to present a bow tie to Grant Dalton. It was all in aid of Muscular Dystrophy week. The MD society had had neck ties with insignia made into bow ties, and Mum donated Dad's America's Cup one to them, which was the one we gave to Grant. And Michael Fay was there as well being presented a KZ7 tie. That wasn't my favourite part, of course. Favourite bit was when Grant took me and Mum to his office, and there was a framed photo of my Dad on the wall. I cried. He cried. It meant a lot.

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

  • BenWilson,

    I got nostalgic anyway, I'm sorry.

    Truly another world, it's not something we'd ever think of letting our children do. And that's a shame.

    It is. My entire youth would be a tale of neglect nowadays.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8599 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Websta,

    My entire youth would be a tale of neglect nowadays

    Ha, mine too! We used to play this game, me and the gang of kids in my street, called 'kick the can'. It was a rather complicated version of go-home stay-home that involved hiding in a bush clad reserve next to my house, at night. Oh, the potential horror!

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My folks had no qualms letting us swim in a swampy estuary with the tide going out without any adult supervision at about the age of 8. They might have told us off for jumping off a bridge into the turgid and rapidly flowing stream racing between oyster covered pillars if they'd known, but the very fact they didn't know indicated how much trust they had that we were safe enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8599 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    Not a classic Hawkes Bay summer this year. Only recently has the weather been anywhere near settled and there have been none of the hot Norwesters we used to get. My summer has been one where we never had the house to ourselves starting with the return of the 28 year old in December and continuing with the rest as well as various relatives. Have only got the house back to just the 2 of us in the last couple of weeks. Couple of gigs-Neko Case, Grant Hart and the most disappointing part of it all was once again the failure of my tomatoes and spuds. Good beans and carrots though.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I grew up a lot earlier than a lot of people here, but much didnt change for the generation after me. We were expected as kids to entertain ourselves: you went fishing out by the blowhole?(Very good mairare there.) Cool - just remember you cant swim against the suck factor.Take the dinghy out by all means - but you cant use the motor: remember the surges that come across the bay, and dont try to surf the boat in - you've got two sets of rowlocked oars - but no steering-oar. O, you got yourself lost and sunburned trotting bareheaded down the track to the lighthouse? Hey, we gave you a sunhat, you got back, and here's some water with baking soda in it. You'll do.

    And yes, there were pedophiles & other nasties out there, and brutal things did happen, but I am so glad that most of my sibs have brought their children up the same way we were brought up - go, do, know these warning signs, and be respectful of other creatures & the world out there. And even happier that a couple of the grandchildren are bringing their kids up similarly-

    Jackie, that is one powerful and amazing anecdote. Thank you.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    Aww I got all nostalgic when i read that headline.

    "That Summer" is The Album That Disappeared. I tried to blame my brothers, and have since been caught sneakily ransacking their vinyl for it, but no sign. I guess that, like a great book, one can't rely on good vinyl remaining in ones record collection (half of which got destroyed when my mum's house burnt down). sigh.

    But Wreckless Eric's "I should be lying by a tropical beach somewhere, underneath the tropical sun..." pretty much sums up this summer for me.

    Took the decision in December not to work for two months - and managed to stave it off until 25th Feb. Piha like a millpond on some days. Splore: sublime. Took in a number of the other auckland events... like the summer series on Sunday, which went down well with some of that new cider.

    ...and more to come, it seems.

    It's been so lovely that it's turned my head and I've decided to move to Piha, so recent weeks have been spent getting the house ready to sell. But the sun has poured light, invitingly, into every open home and the interest is high. The only setback was the cat biting real estate agents and vomiting on the deck before prospective buyers arrived.

    But soon I'll be ensconced in, as someone called it, "Ponsonby at the beach." Hopefully there'll still be swimming there at Easter and beyond so I can wring the best of the sun out of those last few weeks ....before the winter sets in and I start praying for rain to fill the water tanks...

    Cat v possum should be interesting.

    :-)

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    An off topic question, but after tonights news it is bugging me - has anyone else noticed how Stephen Joyce is always interviewed in super close-up? What is that all about? Does he insist he is filmed that way? If so, isn't that kinda creepy, and what does it tell us about the nature of this government media management?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    What is that all about?

    Could it be that any further away, he could be mistaken for Rodney Hide ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    cindy baxter - 'cat v. possum should be intersting.'
    Yup.
    Unless your cat is a really big heavy tom, or, ditto, jenny with kittens, bet on the possum...

    tho' normally both species avoid having anything to do with each other.
    I'm going on the 7 known cat-Vulpecula vulgaris encounters in my 40 years knowing Big O.

    I celebrate! It is 40 years since I arrived on the West Coast, and the first time I encountered Big O.

    Ur, to keep things historically accurate, it will be. In August this year. Round numbers y'know? Whines?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • deborah coddington,

    The summer I had to say goodbye to Taja, my friend for 17 years, and not shaping up to be a great vintage. However, I shall have to bring you and the crew some James Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris next time I visit Media 7.

    new zealand • Since May 2009 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    The summer I had to say goodbye to Taja, my friend for 17 years, and not shaping up to be a great vintage

    Sympathy.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    However, I shall have to bring you and the crew some James Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris next time I visit Media 7.

    I think that after that piece of self-promotion you ought to send a bottle to every single PAS poster. I'll take the pinot gris, thank you, as the pinot noir is the devil's drink.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Tautoko giovanni!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Just spent the last few days flogging around Central Otago on a bike

    It is still a serious summer there with 28-32 deg days

    Perfect, and the radler beer and local pinot noir (Rockburn naturaly) went down a treat

    if you have ever though you might like to try the rail trail do it you will not be dissapointed, maybe a little tired but training should help with that

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Just spent the last few days flogging around Central Otago on a bike.

    That sounds so wonderful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    @ islander:

    yes, the cat is a very big, heavy tom (around 8 kg - panther-like) . Used to attack foxes in London.
    throws himself at large dogs's heads.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    .

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Waua!
    Cindy Baxter, can we have some of his get here? I loathe the damage possums do, and a cat that big is unlikely to attack my bird-life (besides, I would buy a beast a month to feed him - I figure his natural fighting instinct would clear possums off my patch-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    yes, the cat is a very big, heavy tom (around 8 kg - panther-like) . Used to attack foxes in London.

    I think we know his brother.Cosmo is much the same.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    My entire youth would be a tale of neglect nowadays

    *puts hand up too*

    Yup, mine as well. Off out with my sister and our mates straight after breakfast to play in the woods, watch horses and cows in the fields, build dens and defend them against attacks from The Boscotts, paddle in the yachting pool, fish for sticklebacks in the stream, ride my bike no-handed, climb trees, fall out of trees...

    ...back in time for lunch, then off out again, not to be seen again by our parents until well after dark.

    We could have been anywhere within an area of a couple of kilometers, and our parents had absolutely no idea where we were. Not as wild and free as Islander's childhood, but for an english kid living in Birmingham, it was pretty cool. 'Course, it was rather a special bit of Birmingham... Google map

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Is this a bit like Cosmo the fearless cat?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57VbE0J9niw/cat takes no shit from bear

    (sorry - haven't figured out how to embed, but well worth a look)

    I've totally loved summer, but I'm also glad I live somewhere now with four definite seasons. Otherwise when would I get to wear my winter jackets?

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Oops - see how technically challenged I am?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57VbE0J9niw

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    webweaver - wild & free as the wild & freedom occurs-your childhood sounds really satisfying (only ever passed through Birmingham so cannot pass any comment.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Richard, if you paste the url straight - without any square brackets - it embeds automatically, like this:

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

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