OPINION: No Orwell this week. Life is too good to be quoting a somewhat depressive British author. There are better things to be thinking about right now.
First: The Phoenix kick off their 2012 season today at the stadium. Hopefully there will be a bumper crowd at the home game against Sydney who apparently have some flash has-been European guy signed up. The real news is that Paul Ifill is good to go and we can only hope a couple of years of controversy will be put behind the team this season, they can live up to their name and rise from the ashes.
Second: WOW winds up this weekend after a fortnight or so of inspirational out of this world performances including one of the best Pasifika breaks it has ever produced. Tanemahuta Grey's choreography of Maori Warriors and back projection was absolutely breath-taking. Most folk I know who went said the bra/space section was one song too long but that is nothing in the context of a Wellington event that lives up to its name and wows us year after year after year.
Three: It is the school holidays. Our kids can have a break and recharge free from the political influence of teacher unions, the dire threat of national standards and the pressure of academic assessment. Not sure if all those kids who get free lunches or breakfast are in the middle of a fortnight of starvation - let's hope not.
Four: Daylight saving is in effect. Now that we have all reset our clocks and readjusted our bio-rhythms we can get out and enjoy an extra hour of sunlight in the coolest little capital in the world.
Five: The weather is improving, temperatures are up and (fingers crossed) the equinoxal winds are abating somewhat. Let's face it, a Wellington winter can be long, cold, dark and miserable, but spring is in the process of springing and we can all put away our winter woollies and reach for the sunblock instead.
Six: Crime is down. Actually, it kind of flat-lined in the Wellington region, but it would seem there are fewer bad people doing bad things to good people across the country than last year. This is a genuine cause for surprise and celebration, given what we are told are dire levels of child poverty, social dislocation, unemployment and general malaise in our society.
Seven: Parliament is in recess. We can all have a break from the interminable barracking and bitching which is now the norm in the debating chamber as politicians return to their electorates to fundraise, or take off overseas on study trips and junkets.
Eight: Details of The Hobbit premiere are being announced on Monday. We again have something to get excited about as we prepare to be world famous in New Zealand all over again. Sure, the streets will be clogged and town will go crazy, but won't it be nice to treat all those actors we've been studiously ignoring for a year or more as stars for just one night.
Nine: Wellington City Council is actually considering some positive changes to parking in the central city. A one dollar minimum charge for meters might stop the legions of taxi drivers who occupy so many of our parking spots with 10 cent deposits as they wait for a fare from messing with the rest of us. Even better is the proposal for parking to be transferable from street to street meaning you can actually go into the central city, move around and do your business without being strip-mined of all your spare change.
Ten: Mike Tyson isn't coming to visit next month. Just why Kate Wilkinson thought $60,000 to the Life Education Trust was enough to bend the rules for the convicted rapist is still beyond me. I'd only let him visit if we could send Stewart Murray Wilson to the United States on permanent loan.
Eleven: It is possible, despite all the tales of woe, breaches of privacy, claims of incompetence and corruption in government and business, dire economic indicators, widespread redundancies, general morale decline and youth dislocation to write a column full of positive stories, statistics and events in our lives.
A friend of mine berated me earlier in the week for being too negative in my work. I hope this missive redresses the balance. That's it though, the rose tinted glasses are going back in the drawer, normal service will resume next week.
- The Dominion Post