Lost words and a newly lost landmark

A snowy day on Highgate in June 1991, when Dunedin winters were actually like winter (before climate change really got going) and when it was OK, in those pre-KFC days, to use the word "fried''. Photo: Paul Gorman
A snowy day on Highgate in June 1991, when Dunedin winters were actually like winter (before climate change really got going) and when it was OK, in those pre-KFC days, to use the word "fried''. Photo: Paul Gorman
How many of you have spent hours writing something, only to ''lose'' it in the system?

This is my second attempt at writing today's column. I am so hacked off. More than two hours' work down the drain - well not totally, as it often reads better the second time. But unfortunately you'll never know which was the best version ...

Anyway, what I think I said was:

It's amazing what you can find in dusty old boxes up in the loft.

I spent a happy hour or so at the weekend poring through just such an old carton, filled with old weather maps, satellite photographs and meteorological papers from my time at the former New Zealand Meteorological Service.

Tucked into the box were a couple of envelopes containing photographs taken during my first stint in Dunedin, in the early to mid-1990s. Among those were several shots from around Roslyn on a snowy day in June 1991 and also some of ODT workmates in the old newsroom.

Serendipity is a funny thing (and here I can feel I've gone off-piste a bit and am not writing this as eloquently as I did the first time).

I was talking to a friend the other day about the demolition of the former KFC building on Highgate, after it spent many years as a non-purveyor of chicken delights. He was surprised it ever hosted KFC and I was surprised at his surprise, given the archetypal pagoda-like design of the building.

Lo and behold (I didn't write that the first time, either), looking through that box I came across the photo we're using today. When I took it, I was focused on the snow-covered streets, never expecting the point of interest might be the Kentucky Fried Chicken building instead. But there's the proof.

Ben Pearse sent this photo of a red, tachinid, fly resting on the end of a flax leaf on the...
Ben Pearse sent this photo of a red, tachinid, fly resting on the end of a flax leaf on the margins of Tomahawk lagoon. Photo: Ben Pearse
Zoos or wildlife parks?

Anthony Skegg's suggestion that perhaps Dunedin could benefit from a zoo has sparked Neville Jemmett into action. He points out that zoos are not built today, having been replaced instead by wildlife parks.

''Wildlife parks create a better and larger environment for the animals and a much better viewing situation for the visitors.

''There was a proposal to build a wildlife park in Dunedin around the early 1980s. Several sites were considered before the Farquharson block below the Signal Hill lookout was chosen.

''A feasibility study was carried out by the then Royds Consulting, and a proposal put before the city council led by Sukhi Turner.

Some spectacular droopy mammatus cloud, hanging low over the Wanaka area. Photo: Heather MacLeod
Some spectacular droopy mammatus cloud, hanging low over the Wanaka area. Photo: Heather MacLeod
''It was rejected outright - not because it did not stack up, but because the council at the time believed they should not support such a venture that housed wild animals in a reserve form of display. It was their belief that the city's wildlife should be free to come and go, like at the albatross colony.

''Without the council approving the use of the land, the project was abandoned. The cost to provide one now would be out of the question.

''Forward-thinking councils were not to the fore those days, much to the detriment of the city and its children's enjoyment and experience.''

Cafe culture

Lesley writes to say coffee lovers need to understand the outside lives of cafe owners and workers.

''Perhaps the cafes which close 'early' are catering for the lunch trade rather than the coffee drinkers? Or maybe they are staffed by people who have children to go home to at 3pm?

''Also, we ask the staff to turn down the music in cafes and restaurants if it is too loud. If you don't ask, they won't realise it's a problem.

''With wooden floors, lots of windows and high ceilings, conversation just disappears for those of us with a hearing impairment.''

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