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CBD by Miranda Spary

CBD 774

A huge happy birthday to Alan Hamilton - he turned 90 on Sunday - a life farming and goldmining around here. When I was young, he let me put my hand in a big AGEE jar almost  full of gold he’d found - he told me that when the jar was full, he’d sell it and then fill another one. Imagine what one of those would have been  worth these days - especially given how extraordinarily heavy gold is. My mother had a great photo of him in the 80’s shearing her Angora goats on a tablecloth in the middle of a paddock, with a lit cigarette in the corner of his mouth. I’m sure OSH would have something annoying to say about that!!

I wonder what OSH will say about the fabulous idea of Rod Drury’s to have driverless buses in the Wakatipu? I think it’s sensational but I worry  that Transit or QLDC or whichever body of people has not enough to do, will probably dream up some more utterly pointless and ugly signs. “WATCH OUT FOR INVISIBLE DRIVERS”, perhaps.

Thanks so much to everyone who turned up at the Athenaeum Hall on Saturday night for the Tea Dance - the ladies who brought a plate put on a marvellous spread, but the men with crates performed very poorly - not a crate to be seen! And everyone was too busy dancing to be doing much drinking - only one bag of empty bottles for over a hundred people. The museum got lots of money and I had to keep stuffing $50 notes in museum director David Clarke’s pockets as people who hadn’t bought tickets turned up on the night. We all had a ball, or a dance, or a twirl and my dance card shows that Fred Astaire and Donald Trump had both signed up for one with me. Lots of dance club members were there and they made the dancefloor look so terrific and encouraged a lot of the nondancing population to trip the light fantastic. One young woman told me she loved it all being so vintage (not 100% sure how happy I am to be considered vintage). Huge demand for a repeat performance so I’ll keep you posted.

Impact100 held a fab cocktail party at the Threepwood Homestead at Lake Hayes - I tried to ignore that gorgeous view and to focus on the five finalists hoping for the $100,000 - it’s going to be so hard to choose - conservation, ambulance, music, babies, mental health - I love them all.

And straight from there to Jonathan Gurnsey’s 20200 days party - he was going to celebrate his 20,000th day alive (you do the math) but COVID mucked up that plan so he let it stretch another 200. Happy 20200, Mr G!!

Natasha Beckman has been here this week - she’s the British Council’s Director for NZ and the South Pacific, tasked with creating cultural ties between the UK and us. Her previous career was running the Urban Soul Orchestra (look it up - she definitely knows the business!!) It was so exciting hearing all the things that might be able to happen, and especially the ones that might happen here in our own beautiful basin. She organised a cocktail party at The Rees with the British High Commissioner, Laura Clarke. Honestly, all the New Zealanders in the room were embarrassed at how beautifully fluent in Te Reo the HC was - we should take a leaf out of her book. Lots of locals heard this intelligent young woman speaking to a huge crowd  in Arrowtown on Anzac Day 2019 (so different from this year when we all stood in the rain at the end of our drives in the dark listening to the radio dawn service and hearing the mournful Last Post being played).

This year has been so different, but different isn’t always bad - I’m very excited about having such a lot of young people being in charge of the country - I’m sure there will be mistakes, but it’s not as if mistakes are exclusive to the young!

I stole this peony from my friend Katrina’s garden - I just couldn’t help myself! Head along to the Presbyterian minimarket on Saturday in Frankton - all sorts of treasure will be there - non Presbyterians very welcome...