The Quest to be Cool

NZ Today - - EDITORIAL -

So many men, so lit­tle time. Did I just write that? What I meant to say was, so much to do, so lit­tle time. I know ev­ery­one says time speeds up as you get older, but this is ridicu­lous. It can’t pos­si­bly be July 2014. Where did the first six months of the year go? I swear I can still taste my fa­ther’s Christ­mas pud­ding on my lips.

Just to briefly get back to the first phrase how­ever, I ini­tially used it, or should I say be­came aware of it when I was 13. It came in the form of a T-shirt with the words em­bla­zoned on the front. I took great glee in buy­ing and wear­ing one be­cause I thought it would make me look cool. Oh how I cringe to think about it now… what was I think­ing?

Ap­pear­ing cool was re­ally im­por­tant to me, be­cause I was de­cid­edly un­cool. In fact, I was a nerd and I prob­a­bly still am. An ag­ing nerd, like Bill Gates I guess, but with less money.

I re­mem­ber wear­ing the T-shirt once when my fa­ther took me to one of his naval of­fi­cer friend’s house. The two of them looked be­mused but were kind enough not to say any­thing. They must have re­alised that it is im­pos­si­ble to get in­side the mind of a teenager, even though we were all young once.

Teen psy­chol­o­gist Nigel Latta de­scribes teens as highly tuned rac­ing cars, with no one to drive. And just to clar­ify, not only were there not “so many men” for me to oc­cupy my time with, there wasn’t a sin­gle, soli­tary bloke. Luck­ily, I didn’t come into my own with the op­po­site sex un­til my early 20s. Be­fore then I was a book­worm and girlie swot and long may my own daugh­ter fol­low in my foot­steps!

For those of you with teenagers, or maybe teenage grand­chil­dren, I hope this lat­est is­sue is enough to take your minds off the stress!

Charles Cole spends sev­eral days in the Waitaki Val­ley that sep­a­rates Otago and Can­ter­bury. Not only are Charles’s pho­tos eye-catch­ing he keeps his usual stan­dard of thor­ough re­search of the area he writes about and the gold min­ing, armed holdups and other his­tory will have you cap­ti­vated.

The his­tory of how the hy­dro­elec­tric dams came to be is fas­ci­nat­ing as is the fact that he finds the only South Is­land win­ner of the Cui­sine Restau­rant of the Year. We also meet Dot Smith, wearer of pink and some­times red hair and builder of her own cas­tle. Charles dis­cov­ers some old Chi­nese min­ers’ huts and even tries to find some buried gold. I found his ex­pe­ri­ence at Dun­troon fas­ci­nat­ing. It is one of the best places in the coun­try to find fos­sils and in­cred­i­ble rocks. I al­ways find this type of an­cient his­tory in­ter­est­ing in New Zealand. Al­though we are a young coun­try we are only young in terms of hu­man in­hab­i­tants and this is of­ten for­got­ten.

Charles also traces a mys­tery post­card he mailed all the way to Eng­land. A Bri­tish trav­eller dot­ted self-ad­dressed post­cards through­out the coun­try on a re­cent visit here. He was thrilled to re­ceive so many back. You will be in­spired to do some­thing sim­i­lar.

Have you ever won­dered how Lemon & Paeroa came into be­ing (and more im­por­tantly what do you think of the new choco­late)? Well, won­der no more, Steve Hale has the an­swer. He spends a weekend in the “world fa­mous in New Zealand” town in the North Is­land’s Hau­raki Plains, most fa­mous for its sparkling bev­er­age. It is hav­ing a bit of a re­nais­sance thanks to John Key’s cy­cle trail and Steve gets a taste of the new businesses that have popped up to ser­vice the cy­clists. As he has now hit the big four-oh no, he also tries his first hand at an­tiquing. A must read.

I head north from my home in the cap­i­tal, to Tu­rangi. Home of the coun­try’s best trout fish­ing and the stun­ning Ton­gariro River, where I get chilled to the bones white-wa­ter raft­ing at the be­gin­ning of win­ter. An­other amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity I get is to be the first skier of the sea­son when I en­counter an un­sea­son­able April snow­fall. Awe­some fun.

Mark Mer­ri­man takes a road trip, with fam­ily in tow, down the beau­ti­ful South Is­land West Coast and then across to Queen­stown. He vis­its some of his favourite haunts in­clud­ing the Pancake Rocks and also tries dare­devil tub­ing in some re­cently dis­cov­ered glow­worm caves. I am most jeal­ous. Mark has a mys­ti­cal qual­ity to his writ­ing that I just love. Don’t miss some of the in­trigu­ing epi­taphs he re­counts from a visit to an eerie ceme­tery.

John War­ring­ton talks about the in­domitable fe­male spirit as he ex­plains how his girl­friend gen­tly coaxed him into do­ing the Hea­phy Track (and I am be­ing sar­cas­tic about the gen­tle as­pect). John’s style is ironic, funny and en­ter­tain­ing but it is also a very good over­view of what you can ex­pect when at­tempt­ing one of our fa­mous multi-day bush walks.

Si­mon Sweet­man is here with his lat­est book re­views. I par­tic­u­larly like the look of Maybe We’ll Have You Back: The Life of a Peren­nial TV Guest Star, by Fred Stoller. It’s the story of some­one who made it as far as the mid­dle in the cut­throat world of show­biz and sounds hi­lar­i­ous. We all dream of be­ing at the top of our game, dread the thought of be­ing rock bot­tom, but what is it like to be mid­dling?

Ken Strugnell takes a test drive of the lat­est in hy­brid tech­nol­ogy. Find out if he is im­pressed.

Fi­nally, I go ga-ga over French heart­throb Ger­ard Depar­dieu rem­i­nisc­ing a quar­ter of a century af­ter two of his great­est the­atri­cal per­for­mances. En­joy. Sarah

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.