I know that face ... or maybe I don't

Bright sun shines on this old gold miner's cottage at Bendigo, while puffy cumulus and very high...
Bright sun shines on this old gold miner's cottage at Bendigo, while puffy cumulus and very high honeycomb-like cirrocumulus pass overhead. PHOTO: MARTYN FIELDS
I'm sure we've all had those moments when we see someone we think we recognise from a distance, give them a cheery wave, then wonder why they're staring back vacantly. And then you realise it wasn't the person you thought it was.

But how many of you take it that step further? Actually go up to someone and say hello before realising it's not them?

I managed an erroneous recognition that went beyond that even. I was convinced the very tall woman in the Christchurch cafe was the sister of a young woman I worked with previously (the family includes top-level netball and rugby players).

I even texted my former workmate to say, hey, I think your sister is sitting here next to us. Reply: ``If she's tall and looks like me it definitely will be! Say hi - she'll love it.''

Even with such endorsement I held off.

``Go on,'' my wife said. ``Doesn't matter if it's wrong - she won't mind.''

So, yes, I went up to her, gave her some rambling diatribe about how I wondered if she was the sister of this ex-work colleague and just dug a hole for myself. Because, of course, she wasn't. Oh joy. Half the cafe had stopped to watch, naturally.

I'll apologise in advance - next time I see you, or think it's you, I won't be making the first move.

Brightening up

Catherine, from the Plunket office in South Dunedin, wrote about some small-scale gentrification they undertook in their neighbourhood.

``There was a piece of disused garden at the end of the cul-de-sac in Lorne St, which was full of weeds.

``A couple of months ago we got tired of looking at them out of our office window, so we pulled out the weeds and planted some plants for winter colour, along with daffodil bulbs which are now coming into flower.

``It gives a much cheerier sight out of the office window and is also admired by people walking through to the Rankeilor St car park. It doesn't take much to make the world a brighter place.''

Imagine if everyone did the same. Thanks Catherine.

Tidy verges

Bill Townsend, of Alexandra, sympathises with Gary Corbishley, from Waverley, and his experiences with contractors destroying and then failing to clean up well-looked-after verges.

``I agree that part of the contractors' contracts with the Dunedin City Council should include leaving the verges at least as they found them.

Nothing like a bit of brightening up to help people through the day. South Dunedin Plunket staff...
Nothing like a bit of brightening up to help people through the day. South Dunedin Plunket staff added some cheer to the end of Lorne St recently. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
``My home town of Alexandra is going through a similar process, as changes are being made to underground services. But it is worth noting that the Central Otago District Council contractors involved in this large project are doing a splendid job of cleaning up the mess created and putting the verges back the way they found them and in fact even better in some cases.

``The CODC concept of keeping Alexandra beautiful is certainly working here.''

A Dunedin zoo?

Anthony Skegg, of St Clair, notes Otago people are great lovers of wildlife and wonders if there is a ``subconscious yearning'' for a Dunedin zoo.

``After Oamaru, Dunedin, as Neville Peat says, is `the wildlife capital of New Zealand', with our albatross, seal and penguin colonies.

``Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Oamaru and even Invercargill have wonderful local zoos. The University of Otago University has a wonderful zoology department and we have Natural History NZ filmmakers, too.

``If we can afford to build harbour bridges and stadiums, surely we could give the kids a zoo?''

Thanks Anthony. What do you reckon?


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