The annual Dunedin Fringe Festival starts today. As anyone
involved will know, preparations can be exhilarating,
exhausting, and other words starting with exh. This here's a
diary of a week leading up to a Fringe event.
In Hokitika there lived a wild beehive. Uncle Doug, on whose
farm the wild beehive lived, claimed it had been in that pine
tree for 40 years. He was proud of it: he had attached a sign
to the trunk of the tree with an arrow pointing upwards,
saying, "Look at 40 year old bee's nest up in the tree."
First, you participate in a scientific study. You give the
scientists a 24-hour urine sample which they will consult for
its salt content, and in exchange they give you a $30 New
World voucher. Also, paraphernalia: a plastic measuring jug,
a plastic funnel, and two plastic bottles, all to be used in
the collection of pee.
Hector's dolphins are political animals. Sort of. They
themselves, you have to assume, are blithely unaware their
death rate far exceeds their birth rate and this is the fault
of people and the politics of protection.
There are what, 8000 of them remaining; in the 1970s there
were what, 30,000.