I was going to suggest that you count the number of events listed in the community calendar in Marlborough Midweek on Wednesday, but I've done it for you - just in case you've already recycled the paper or it's gone on to the floor of the budgie cage.
There were 161 listings.
Some of those are events or group meetings that happen every week - bridge clubs, croquet, Zumba classes, card sessions, arts groups, choir practices, or fitness sessions. Others are less regular or one-off events.
The total number seems to be about average for a week; sometimes there are less, but other times there are so many we have to edit them back to fit on the page.
It is proof, in print, that there is plenty going on in the region for someone with time on their hands, or new here looking for a way to get involved and meet people.
Admittedly a fair proportion of the listings are aimed at older people with more free time, but there are things to do for sporty types, newer parents, and children.
If we work on the guesstimate that the calendar has about 20 per cent of what's actually going on in the region, the total for the average week will be about 800 organised activities.
Now can anyone really say there's nothing to do here? Probably the only gap in the market is for teenagers, but a fair number of the moaners in that age group wouldn't get involved no matter what was organised for them.
People moving to a new town often find it hard to be accepted. Residents are good at making visitors welcome but can be a bit standoffish when someone new moves in next door. What happens if you don't like them?
So it's up to the newcomers to make the effort, to get out and get involved. People with children have an advantage because they meet other parents through playgroups, school, or clubs.
But it's the likes of these community events, groups and clubs that can be the opening for someone new.
As I said, the list in the paper each week, and on our website all the time, is far from exhaustive. Organisations such as Sport Tasman, Citizens' Advice, Greypower, and the district council also have long lists of contacts and events. Some supermarkets also have community noticeboards.
If we go looking, we will find.
- The Manawatu Standard