Sorry about missing last month, I had a “Couldn’t think of anything to say moment”.
I cannot believe this absurd proposal by central Government and Minister Michael Woods with regard to Auckland Light Rail. When I first heard about this proposal the budget was sitting around $14-15 billion. Now, as recently as last week, I’ve heard the budget is sitting around $29 billion. The whole plan would disrupt Dominion Road, and the suburbs between the end of Dominion Road and the airport for, I should imagine, at least a decade. Another stupid idea, just like the cycle bridge that was proposed as an addition to the Harbour Bridge. That was proposed at around $1 billion, but who knows how this would have ended up.
Central Government should be spending their money in this part of the country by upgrading the roads, such as Dome Valley, and the southern side of the Brynderwyns. There are accidents, some fatal, all the time. If I had a transport company or was driving for a living on those roads, then I would be having a crack at central Government for making me work in a dangerous environment.
While we are on about roads, I drove down Queen Street recently, just to have a look at what was going on. I was astounded by the barren wasteland that is our so called Golden Mile. It was lunchtime, and there was hardly a soul to be seen.
Lake Road traffic has finally been fixed, but it’s taken a pandemic to do it. It’s a much more pleasant experience driving along there at the moment. It must be all these people working at home or, I suppose, isolating.
I’m sad to say that we probably won’t be seeing the America’s Cup being defended in the Waitematā Harbour for the next few years, as it seems certain that the defence will be taken overseas. I know how much it captivates the New Zealand public when it is under way. We have all the usual moaning about it being a rich man’s sport in the lead-up, but when the races are on and you see those big graceful boats sailing around the course, most people are glued to their televisions, or out on the water, or watching from various vantage points around the city.
I had a wonderful crop in my garden this summer. I spent a bit of time during the last lockdown emptying out worm farms, digging over all the existing garden and completely clearing it. I planted capsicums, carrots, tomatoes, mint and parsley, rosemary, silver beet, iceberg lettuces and soft lettuces. I’ve spent the entire summer eating my five-a-day from it. A lot of people are moaning about the price of vegetables, but you can try growing your own; it’s very satisfying. You can grow a few things in pots if you don’t have enough space. Home-grown vegetables taste much better than the supermarket ones.
I’m absolutely saddened by the war in Europe at the moment, it is like watching World War II in colour, seeing those sophisticated beautiful Ukrainian cities that existed far before New Zealand came into being, being obliterated by the Russians, watching those Ukrainian people with not much more than a suitcase, leaving their homes and their country. It saddened me so much, I couldn’t even watch the news. God only knows where it is going to end. I’d love the opportunity to take a Ukrainian family into my home in Devonport, and help them find a new way of life away from the horrors of the Russian invasion. It saddens me to see all those beautiful little children toddling along with their mothers, not knowing where they will end up for the night, or indeed for their lifetimes. It is an absolute disgrace what is going on.
I am so fortunate that at the end of a summer’s day, I can walk down for a swim at my beloved Duders’ Beach and sit on the warm concrete and watch the boats. It helps to keep my mind off the horrors of what is going on in Europe. We are so blessed to live in this country, where at these times, the tyranny of distance is a wonderful thing.