Free Saturday in city filled with delights

A crystal-clear spring afternoon at Portobello on Saturday. Something about the shimmering sea makes the spirits soar. Photo: Paul Gorman
A crystal-clear spring afternoon at Portobello on Saturday. Something about the shimmering sea makes the spirits soar. Photo: Paul Gorman
I had no idea it was free bus day. It came as a nice surprise at the end of a lovely Saturday afternoon doing touristy things around Dunedin.

Sometimes you need to spend time with people who refresh the spirits, and do and see things that are good for the soul.

A coffee first in town, a look around the farmers' market, a wander through the rhododendron dell at the Dunedin Botanic Garden, a trip out on to Otago Peninsula, lunch and a stroll at Portobello and, finally, a free bus home.

I was clutching a pocket-full of change for the return journey but the coins stayed intact. On my return to the city I had that wonderfully weary feeling that comes with spending hours outside in the fresh air and also felt lightly touched by the sun and the tangy sea breeze.

What a magical place we live in.

The wrong words

My spoonerism sensors must be working overtime. Watching television the other night I heard someone say something would be decided by the ''coss of a toin''.

Denis McCombe emailed with his recollection of garbled words that provided amusement for many months after.

''I'm sure there are lots of instances for all of us when we have used the wrong word for something. But the one that has stuck in my mind was when I was working in a department in the Northern Ireland Housing Trust, which had every day dealings with maps of all shapes and sizes.

''Our boss, a humourless man not given to smiling much at anything or anybody, once told one of the staff to fold a map 'banjo fashion' instead of 'concertina fashion'.

''To our credit, we all stifled outright laughs until he left the room, but laughs among ourselves at any opportunity continued for a very long time.''

Isla Tenbeth tells the story of her late mother-in-law with a severe hearing problem.

''She always referred to 'pizza' phonetically. So it was interesting to watch the kids' faces when offered a piece of 'pizzer' (rhymes with 'fizzer').

''Being bright children, they were quickly able to say yes to granny's delicious home-made version.''

Reminds me of my mum, telling us ''I've got that whiffy thing too''. She meant Wi-Fi.

A framed photograph of the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition buildings, filling Logan Park in 1925-26. Photo: Keast Family/Middlemarch Museum
A framed photograph of the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition buildings, filling Logan Park in 1925-26. Photo: Keast Family/Middlemarch Museum
Still on Exhibition

Dawn Coburn of the Middlemarch Museum says the photo today was given to the museum by the Keast family.

''We featured it when the Passchendaele steam engine came to Middlemarch a few years ago.

''The ww100.govt.nz website says: 'The gleaming Passchendaele was one of the stars of the show at the New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition in Dunedin in the summer of 1925-26.'

''It was named in 1925 to honour 'those members of the New Zealand Railways who fell in the Great War'.''

Thanks Dawn.

Graeme Brown, who has been a tour guide at Speight's Brewery for about 16 years, says part of the history covered on the tour relates to Charles Speight - the son of James Speight - who in 1926 was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for his work as vice-chairman of the exhibition committee. He died in 1928.

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