I have been in Marlborough for the last few days attending the funeral of my Godfather Uncle Tony McDonald.
Friday, 19 February 2010
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Years ago we didn't have rubbish recycling centres where household rubbish is dumped out of cars into a sunken concrete pit and immediately scooped away by massive graders. We had good old-fashioned rubbish dumps. These became known as land-fills and were used to do just that - fill in valleys and sunken areas that could then be topped off with soil to become parks, reserves and schools. Unfortunately these land-fills often contained heavy metals, paints and chemicals and all sorts of toxic materials that are now leaching out into water supplies and sometimes finding their ways to the surface. But enough of that .... my memories of the old-fashioned rubbish dumps (then called 'tips') is great. The first one that I remember was in Houghton Bay at the south coast of Wellington. Dad would perhaps once per month on a Saturday load up the truck with rubbish - old paint tins, wire, broken concrete, broken bits of timber, old furniture etc., and my brother and I would set off with him. While Dad was unloading Terry and I would scuttle off like pack-rats and fossick through the acres of really interesting stuff. This remember was before the days of garage sales, roadside inorganic collections and Trade Me so we were able to legally pick over the contents of other peoples basements and garages. Fossicking wasn't forbidden then and there was little thought to the danger from metal, glass and rotting material. It was fun. We collected all sorts of stuff and loaded up the truck again much to Dad's amusement and annoyance. Most of it of course was returned to the tip the next month. We made sleds and trolleys (4 wheeled sit on things that we would hurtle down the Vogeltown streets on) from the bits of old bikes and prams we found. One memorable find was a corrugated iron canoe. Someone had built this out of two pieces of corrugated roofing iron, shaped around pieces of 4x2 wood. It was incredibly heavy but we managed to load it onto the truck. After a bit of dodgy repair work using tar products to fill in the holes we talked Dad into taking us to the coast to try it out. We went to Princess Bay a nice little secluded spot that was dad's favourite. Terry ad I pushed the canoe out a ways and climbed in. The waves at first pushed us back in but then the undertow carried us out a bit into fairly deep water. Just as we thought that things were going well the canoe filled with water and sunk like a stone fortunately leaving us on top of the water. We left quickly. I sometimes shudder to think of that rusting iron at the bottom of Princess Bay and hope that it didn't hurt anyone.
Monday, 15 February 2010
As I said there were many of the couple's friends and family there including Mike who, along with Richard and myself represented The White Sport Coat and Pink Carnation Society (Tony the groom being the other member). White sport coats were not worn however as it was black-tie. Richard had the opportunity to wear a band leader's outfit which I'm sure he has been secretly dreaming about when stuck at the back of the bands and orchestra's, hiding behind his double bass. The three of us were part of the five "Best Blokes' of the wedding party. The roles were relatively equal but I naturally had the honour of being the front Best Bloke entrusted with witnessing the marriage certificate. Richard was displeased but he should have realised that they didn't want Whainuiomata cluttering up their document and also, Philip the priest probably suspected that Richard would pocket the pen.
We enjoyed good food and wine at the venue followed by more wine at the bide and bridegroom's house.
At this stage I am unaware of Richard having disgraced himself but it is early yet and reports are still coming in. I will keep you posted.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
It is great seeing Chris get this recognition from the Folk community. Many years ago his credibility may have been a bit weak since he twice invited Richard, Tony, Mike, Roger and I to the Wanganui Folk gathering at a camp in the Para Paras. We of course behaved very badly (and had a great time). I remember on one of the trips we went for a day jaunt to Raetahi and Mike drove my car back for many miles with the handbrake fully engaged. When we arrived back at the campsite excited hippies pointed out the smoking and flaming rear wheels where the brake pads had burned away. The trip home back to Wellington was exciting given it is one of the windiest roads in the country and we had virtually no brakes. Several times I nearly rear-ended Chris in his Hillman Hunter.
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