Lov­ing the shells but 30 years’ wait­ing too long

Otago Daily Times - - INSIDE ONE -

WHEN I left Dunedin more than 20 years ago there was talk about liven­ing up the wharf area and the Steamer Basin. The cold, buf­fet­ing north­east­erly wind — such a boon for the fly­ing wind­surfers — was held up then as a rea­son why that area would re­main un­invit­ing, what­ever was done to im­prove it.

While that nor’easter still blows with some fe­roc­ity down there, I find it hard to be­lieve any­one could dis­like, or dis­agree with, the amaz­ing vi­sion of ar­chi­tect Damien van Bran­den­burg for that precinct, brought to life by Ian Tay­lor’s stun­ning an­i­ma­tion. It will cer­tainly breathe new life into the area and make it in­cred­i­bly invit­ing. My only con­cern is whether I’ve got the pa­tience to wait 30 years for it to hap­pen.

If there’s one thing that makes me laugh, it’s peo­ple who don’t have a sense of hu­mour, or an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of irony or of the ob­vi­ous. So when I read that some­one didn’t like it be­cause they thought it looked too much like a cock­leshell — as if no­body else had no­ticed that — I laughed out loud.

I’d be happy to hear from any­one who thinks there are any other ob­vi­ously Dunedin ob­jects that could be in­cluded in the de­sign — maybe a rhodo­den­dron bloom or a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a curv­ing hill­top with a tall mast on it, aka Mt Cargill.

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So let’s segue from the fu­ture and the tech­nol­ogy that al­lows us to see what it might look like, into an­other form of tech­nol­ogy and where it can go wrong — no­tably, pre­dic­tive texts that went awry.

A col­league who wishes to re­main anony­mous re­ports her fail­ure in at­tempt­ing to send a ‘‘many hap­pies’’ birth­day text, which came out in­stead as ‘‘many nap­pies’’.

Reader Carl Sagstad bam­boo­zled his mother with a text that read: ‘‘Went to see Les­bian Ta­bles last night, just amaz­ing.’’

‘‘It was meant to be Les Mis­er­ables,’’ he says. ‘‘My mum was so con­fused — she thought it might be some sort of ex­hi­bi­tion.’’

More em­bar­rass­ingly, Carl also texted on a dat­ing app: ‘‘I go to gym classes and also wa*k a lot.’’

‘‘It was meant to be ‘walk’. I never heard from that per­son again.’’

A bit soon maybe?

I reckon the best one so far be­longs to ODT and now Star re­porter Shawn McAv­inue.

‘‘I texted a cou­ple I had in­ter­viewed ask­ing them to sup­ply a ‘newsy’ photo. It got changed to ‘nudie.’’

Imag­ine try­ing to ex­plain that one away.

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To­day’s an­i­mal matchup photo has an in­ter­est­ing prove­nance.

Gretchen Kiv­ell, of Opoho, says it is a fam­ily heir­loom from at least 80 years ago.

‘‘From the age of 6 my fa­ther lived in a sub­urb of Brad­ford, York­shire, in a ter­raced house. My grand­par­ents ran a green­gro­cer’s from the ground floor.

‘‘They would shut up shop at lunchtime Satur­day and take a bus to St Ives’ Es­tate near Bin­g­ley, where a rel­a­tive lived on a farm. They had use of a farm­house, leav­ing again late Sun­day by bus to be ready for the new week.

‘‘The photo would have been taken on that es­tate.’’

Thanks Gretchen.

If you read the photo cap­tion, do you think I spelt ‘‘ay up’’ cor­rectly? Any thoughts?

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Fi­nally, it’s good to hear my pre­de­ces­sor Dave Can­nan, of The Wash fame, is keep­ing busy in re­tire­ment.

Ap­par­ently at the St Clair Golf Club yes­ter­day he snaf­fled 47 stable­ford points.

Is that good or bad?

Ay up! There were some strange go­ings­on at this York­shire farm more than 80 years ago — and no mis­take. Thanks to Gretchen Kiv­ell, of Opoho, for shar­ing this fam­ily photo of an un­usual an­i­mal match­up.

Warms the cock­les . . . The sug­gested cock­leshell ho­tel and cul­tural cen­tre in Damien van Bran­den­burg’s plan for the Steamer Basin area.

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