Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, January 5, 2015

Down time in Dunedin.

The incriminating evidence.. me in the red tee shirt with the pot belly. It could be that we had spent three days, - Christmas day, Boxing Day and my foster daughter's birthday eating a way too much!
We were looking at my son's partly built house in Christchurch. 
Part of our vegetable garden with a hen run in the background.

Broad beans and Japanese turnips - beautiful!
On my Saturday bike ride I turned around at the Dunedin wharf. Lots of men lazing in the sun fishing... I did not see any fish caught though.
A scene on my Sunday walk in Port Chalmers.
An idyllic setting for relaxed evening dining.
The reflection of a brilliant sunset from our front drive.
This is a strange time of year in Dunedin. People are coming back to town but it has been very quiet. The washing machine was playing up at Phoenix lodge and I knew it would have been impossible to get a repairman. Fortunately it came right with a text message from our representative, saying that a "stern talking to" repaired the problem.  In New Zealand it is like from Christmas until about a week after New Year, everyone takes a breather. Except these days there are stores trying desperately to sell stuff. There are Boxing Day sales that go on well after Boxing Day. There was a queue outside a local shop the other day, people waiting to get in because the shop was crowded. But apart from that even the traffic around town is light. People are on holiday. We all know that 2015 with all its busyness, will soon get underway, but just now we are relaxing awhile. On Sunday evening my wife and I went to a local park and had a picnic dinner with a barbecue on a little gas cooker. It was nice and relaxing. For dessert we went to a well known ice cream store and bought a cone stacked high with beautiful New Zealand ice cream. We sat on a seat across the road and savoured our cones. It was a warm long summer evening and people ambled past with each couple, family or single greeting us warmly and passing some friendly comment. That is the laid back atmosphere of Dunedin at this time of the year.  2015's busyness is looming, but just now we are pausing, enjoying the warmth of summer. 
2015?  -  I struggle to believe that it is 2015! As I grew up and went through most of my adulthood, 2015 seemed like some far off, futuristic date.  I guess it is a realisation that I must be old. I saw a photo of myself taken a day or so after Christmas and I saw a pot bellied old man. 
Creative house and garden maintenance and care. 
Since I came home from Christmas in Christchurch I have been busy doing stuff around home.  My lifestyle over the last twenty years has meant that we have just existed in our house and section. But gradually I am now tidying things up. I have had a workshop which essentially became a junk room. I have installed shelves and in the process have found family treasures, sorted rubbish and enjoyed bringing some order out of chaos. We are also harvesting stuff from our vegetable garden and increasing the crops. It feels relaxing, creative and somehow very in touch with life and nature.  Having  a holiday at home is like living for a brief time on an isolated island blocking out the world, its demands  and its needs. Next week I will get back into busyness of projects and wider responsibilities, but not now.
Goals and resolutions...
I have set so many New Year resolutions over the years that I tend to feel cynical about setting new ones. My hopes could be dashed. But here goes.

  1. I want the Night Shelter Trust to raise enough this year to purchase its buildings. That means we have to find another $300,000. I will be doing my best for this to happen.
  2. There are lots of areas of the Dunedin Night Shelter Trust's work that need to be tightened up or made more efficient. We have a great team but together we need to do our best to use each other's skills and strengths and hone our work.
  3. I am committed to getting fit. I had a chest infection in Edinburgh in August, and it has taken me months to "come right". I am now feeling more full of energy than I have for some months. As I mentioned above a photo of me showed me with a pot belly and looking old! I love being active and want to get some of my fitness back. All my physical work around our acre is assisting this and already I am feeling stronger. But beyond that I have committed to an hour of exercise a day, even if it is an intentional energetic walk. About mid 2014 on Waiheke Island I found a daily brisk walk did wonders for losing weight and increasing fitness. My Edinburgh illness mucked up that progress. 
  4. As I have been cleaning my workshop I have decided that I will do more creative handyman stuff. I enjoy building useful things, up-cycling scraps and making something useful. So in 2015 I will intentionally be spending time in my workshop.  Today I made a kitchen step for my wife out of wood from old furniture I had pulled apart. I have the bits for a garden kneeler ready to be assembled, again from an old exercise machine. I will finish that for my wife tomorrow. I have begun to gather timber to build a woodshed, to dry and keep fire wood.  I have tools, the space and will seize "me time" to do such things. 
I have now written my goals and resolutions and put them "out there" for the world to see. Perhaps that will keep me motivated and energised to fulfill them. 
Wish me well with these for 2015. Watch this space.  I wish for you security, love and fulfilment. Happy New Year to you and yours.

1 comment:

Keith Harris said...

Good resolutions, Dave! May I suggest another? Regarding the Night Shelter, don't take everything as your personal responsibilty. Delegate the work and the worry. The load can be shared (hopefully in part by people we have yet to meet!)