A right royal time for change

Last updated 07:22 23/07/2013
Pat Veltkamp Smith
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

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OPINION: Look, wouldn't it be neat to have the Invercargill Water Tower colour-lit for the Royal Babe, lit up as it has been, and beautifully, for some other occasion or milestone, writes Pat Veltkamp Smith in And Another Thing.

It is just so neat to see predictable things, landmarks and the like, looking a tad different now and then. I guess it's why we shop and change our hat and hair, so as not to get sick of the sight of ourselves or make others tire of the unchanging vista.

For buildings and gateways and shop windows (well, we are lucky there, H & J's scene stealers forever) and people on endless telly programmes also known as soaps - all need to keep up to hold our fidgety interest.

Now what wouldn't we give to see Leanne Barlow, good looking wife of bookie Mike, out of that tan soft-skin jacket that she's been shrugging off for the past decade.

It is a lovely garment but we look out for it ahead of seeing Leanne and that's not good: even mother in-law Deirdre gets changes and older women - hairdresser Audrey and Rita at the Kabin - smart as paint.

Once there was a woman in Coro Street with three curlers in her hair and three low flying ducks on her kitchen wall - and that's how we remember her, for the ducks but mainly for the curlers. Leanne is being forced into just that same sort of type casting. She deserves better, a couple of jacket changes at the least, one to top T-shirts in summer, something different when it is cold.

Nature provides so many changes that gardens can bore less than buildings which we value for their built heritage yet long to see different now and again with a Changing of the Guard, a differently painted door, a new dog or letterbox - anything bar lace curtains, or maybe lace curtains invitingly opened.

And balconies?

They are for royal nuptial kisses, papal blessings, mayoral proclamations - all designed to bring a building to life.

We all know: staying static equals death.

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- The Southland Times

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