Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Positive Week

"Wicked Wanda" parked by the brewery I visit. 
Students who helped our fundraising cause at our celebration. I had presented their facilitator with a certificate.
Waiting in our seats at the stadium as the crowd arrives for the show. 
Neil Diamond is somewhere up there on the brightly lit stage. It was a fun night. I hope I have his energy when I am 74. 
This last week there have been positive developments and experiences.
Wanda is drivable
I have a 1991 Nissan Bluebird that I am sentimentally attached to. It has sat without being used since we headed away overseas last year. We have cleaned it, worked on it, got it a legal warrant of fitness, payed the registration that we owed on it, and this week I drove it into my chaplaincies. I enjoy driving it. I have nick named her "Wicked Wanda" because she is a "spirited car" which is fun to drive. So I feel good about seeing her operational, instead of just sitting getting dirty.
Night Shelter Celebration
At the end of our three year fund raising journey the Dunedin Night Shelter Trust purchased the buildings. It was quite a milestone, so we thought we ought to have a celebration function and invite all the major donors just to say "thank you" and to express our commitment to using the buildings well and wisely. On Wednesday evening we held this function. It went well but I put a lot of time into preparing for it. On Wednesday I prepared a power point that I wanted to have running over and over again. There are 30 slides telling the history of the Night Shelter Trust and of our campaign. The function was to start at 5:30 p.m. At some time just after 3:00 p.m. I had just about completed all the various aspects of the display I wanted to set up, including my powerpoint slide show. I was working out how to time the slides, and have them repeating the cycle.  Somehow in my rush I lost all but the first few slides. I was absolutely flabbergasted. I had gathered lots of photographs and information, arranging them artistically in the slides, but now that was all gone, hours worth of work, lost in the depths of my computer,  I set to and prepared them all again. Fortunately it was easier second time around because I knew where everything was. I completed all, rushed through the shower, dressed and arrived at the conference room in time to set up and welcome the guests. All went well, but it was a very stressful afternoon.  We had people from Trusts, families and groups who had contributed significantly to our fundraising. I was pleased with the warmth of the evening, with many Trusts expressing their desire that we keep in touch.
Student Volunteer
I had been holding an email conversation with a student who had emailed us offering to volunteer for administrative work with the Night Shelter when she returns to the university next year after her summer holidays.  We really could do with skilled administrative help so I had arranged to meet this lady at the University.  On Friday I arrived at the agreed meeting point and loitered. I had sent her a description and photo of me, but I did not have a clue what she looked like. I felt a bit conspicuous loitering in this cafe type area attached to the university library looking at women students. Here I was obviously an older man, sitting around, looking at each girl student who walked past just in case she was the one. Then to my relief I heard "Dave" being called. I turned and here was this gorgeous (She would rival Julie Roberts or any other beautiful film star) woman coming toward me smiling. We chatted about possibilities and swapped information promising to catch up next year. She was so beautiful, maintaining eye contact with her blue eyes that I must admit to being a bit thrown by it all. What she is willing to do sounds good. She seems to be a genuine person so we hope it all goes well when we make contact next year. (I have had such promising interviews before which have proved not work out as well as we had hoped. You can put a lot of effort into some people and it can be wasted time. - so I am a bit cynical.)  When I told my wife about the encounter and that she was willing to spend a few hours each week doing administration, her comment was, "I hope you do not have to spend that time working with her!"
A beautiful gesture
I drove away from the university to the parking area of a hardware store.  My phone rang and upon answering it I discovered that it was a man from a wealthy family Trust which had supported us in our campaign.  We chatted briefly about the Wednesday evening celebration, then he said that they had four tickets to a Neil Diamond concert to be held in the local sports stadium on Saturday night. He went on to say that the members of the Night Shelter Trust work so hard and deserve a night out. Would I be interested.  My daughter had already given us tickets to this concert as birthday presents for my wife and I, but I said that I am sure some members of the Trust might be keen to go.  I then got in touch with some people likely to be interested and made the necessary arrangements. So my wife and I enjoyed Neil Diamond, my daughter (hard working Night Shelter Trust Treasurer) and son-in-law and another Trustee and his wife went also. I was really thrilled with the warmth of this gesture. The tickets would not have been cheap, it was great that they thought of us. 
My daughter and her husband are setting out on a project to do up another room in their house. This involves stripping wall linings off, doing some carpentry and then putting new linings on. My wife and I have traditionally helped in this, so on Saturday we loaded the van with carpentry gear and headed to their place. I love banging in nails and fixing stuff up. Tomorrow is Labour Day in NZ, a statutory holiday, so tomorrow we will be going there again.  That I will enjoy.
In spite of my uncomfortableness, we still attend the little local church where most of the congregation is elderly. There is one younger couple and they had decided to have a baby dedication service. They were keen for Jean and I to be there as their friends. My wife has a special friendship with them and their children - their little girl often sits with us in Church. We sat in assisting as they and the Parish Clerk planned a service to suit, and this morning we enjoyed a service that was different. 
This afternoon I first planted potatoes. I had prepared the ground and following lots of advice from various people about new and better ways to plant spuds, I planted a crop that I hope will supply us with lots of food for next year.  Wait and see. I then had to go to town to the Night Shelter, so I took the opportunity to go for a rare run. I enjoyed plodding around a familiar six kilometre course. I hope to do more. 

So i have experienced lots of positives in the week. Still though, for some reason I have battled a sort of insecurity and depression. I think it is a bit of a come down reaction from reaching our fundraising target. But I will work my way through it, as I always do.  As a local TV presenter used to say, "That was the week that was." 

1 comment:

Keith Harris said...

You seem to act as a magnet to beautiful women, Dave. (I refer, of course, to your dear wife!)