Stadium our 'white elephant'

I can't remember a colder winter, but then again brain fade being so de rigueur these days I can't seem to even remember last winter.

As is my obsession, I often spare a thought for pre-calendar cave men, or cave persons rather, slugging it out against the ice and snow without the hope and promise of spring and a bonza summer to follow it.

The upside is that cave dwellers wouldn't have had the power bill to worry about as they recklessly threw another log on the fire and dragged a procession of long- haired females to the hearth to cook them up some bison and some beans.

The cold hard frozen fact of the matter is that when you're hanging out the washing on a brisk and bracing morning these days, you could snap your fingers clean off. If I weren't so lazy I'd invent washing line gloves with small interior heaters running along each digit in the inner folds.

Or what about a thermal trench running from the side of the bed to the loo to bypass the sleepy search for slippers and, on the nippy return, the de-thaw of a frozen trotter in a hairy armpit?

If these minus-six nights keep up I predict a resurgence of the deeply unhygienic, sheep-skinned toilet seat cover to prevent outbreaks of the dreaded blue- veined buttock.

But enough whining, as they croon in the old folks' home - "the sun has got his hat on, he's coming out today" - and with the barriers down we can now inspect what is left of the forbidden city, though I will miss calling it The Forbidden City as it had a Wizard of Oz ring to it.

The Wizard is beside himself with glee because he believes that now that we can see the cathedral from all sides, and not just the busted front, there will be a stampede to preserve it. Jesus wept - enough with the cathedral.

As friends said to me on the last visit to Wellington, they're fed up to the back teeth of hearing about the bloody cathedral.

Now that you can go into the Square, you can see what an unattractive area it was and with the tear-down of the Government Life building and the rest of the rotten teeth, starting from scratch is the only idea.

I'm not averse to the a new "women's parts" cathedral to replace the old. But the cathedral debate to rebuild or restore shouldn't be a deal-breaking, game-changing issue.

However, the mayoral candidates have already had the question put to them, the incumbent saying "no" to the rebuild and a "yes" from Leanne Dalziel who's seen wearing a lot of blue these days after Phillip Burdon, the former Nat MP, endorsed her because she's for the cathedral restoration.

Dalziel's learned from Jim Anderton, Burdon's best buddy, that you can't run for mayor and be an MP at the same time in this burgh so she's handing in her parliamentary bucket and spade and, after a long tease, going for broke heading for city hall.

The rest of the country is apparently envious that we have a real contest on our hands in Christchurch with the prediction that it will be close run thing.

With so much going down - the cordon lifted, the army sent home - it is hoped it might escape our notice that, after the Government and the Christchurch City Council have sorted out who's paying for what, the Government has passed the stadium buck to the council.

Now we are supposed to be terribly grateful that the tribes have spoken, leaving the rate and rent payer to shell out for an outmoded covered sports stadium when the majority has said loud and clear that we don't want a filthy great white elephant slap bang in the middle of the city. Where's the candidate who says, if they build it, we won't come?


The Press