Pondering how Central Otago will fare in 2050

A morning glow above Dunedin, captured from Kew on March 19 this year. Photo: Jon Kwiatkowski
A morning glow above Dunedin, captured from Kew on March 19 this year. Photo: Jon Kwiatkowski
Welcome to the last month of winter. That's if you believe the ''June, July, August'' winter model.

It feels like it has been a pretty mild season in Dunedin so far, with the exception of a couple of isolated southerly outbreaks and a few frosts. Of course, some of you in Central Otago had to shiver through those amazing hoar frosts and freezing fogs in June.

Central Otago 2050

Which brings me nicely on to your next bit of homework.

I've been thinking quite a lot lately about Central Otago.

It's an area I would like to know better - being more a Christchurch person, I'm a lot more familiar with the Canterbury high country and the West Coast.

Anyway, I am worried about Central. And I'm wondering who else is.

Since I came here, it seems this newspaper has never stopped running stories about new and vast subdivisions, parking congestion, dairy conversions, airport expansions, environmental pollution and the like.

I have my own thoughts about all of that.

So I'm after your views of what Central might be like in say 20 or 50 years' time. Or, shall we say, in 2050?

Please have a think and drop me a line.

Tell the rest of us whether you are happy with the direction in which the region is heading, what you would like to see and what you would hate to see. And any other relevant thoughts.

This lenticular cloud over Middlemarch on October 15 last year was so extensive it created the look of a Canterbury nor'west arch. Photo: Dorothy O'Donnell
This lenticular cloud over Middlemarch on October 15 last year was so extensive it created the look of a Canterbury nor'west arch. Photo: Dorothy O'Donnell
Whiffs of nostalgia

Recollections of smells and how they convey you back in time continue to dribble in.

Atholea Shanks remembers an aromatic teacher.

''Your topic brings to mind my first high school year when the lady principal and one of the staff shared the same surname.

''Although politely referred to by their initials, as 'Miss JB' and 'Miss HC', the latter was popularly known as 'Little Sniff', because her perfume preceded her in every corner and corridor, her arrival reinforced by the clack of high heels.

''Hindsight suggests it was Chanel No 5. But whatever it was, it was liberally applied and saw off the chalk and stuffiness of the classroom.

''We missed her when we moved on to higher forms and odourless teachers.''

How disappointing to have a non-smelly teacher, Atholea.

Jennifer of South Dunedin rang with a potpourri of long-remembered whiffs.

''First of all, I believe nobody has such lovely fragrances in their homes now as they used to because just about everything is packaged - detergents, soaps and so on. Nothing can permeate the house, it can't escape the plastic.

''My first smell memory in Dunedin was probably the Gregg's factory, a spicy smell. And when I was very young and my parents had a copper, I can remember the smell of the Bluo, the thing you put in the wash to make everything white, and the soap suds too. I think they were Lux flakes. I was only about 8 or 9, but they were very distinctive smells.

When you think kiwifruit, warmer parts of the country tend to come to mind. But this amazing vine, covering about the size of a tennis court, is in Ravensbourne. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
When you think kiwifruit, warmer parts of the country tend to come to mind. But this amazing vine, covering about the size of a tennis court, is in Ravensbourne. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
''I remember walking up George St in the 1950s, following a lady who had just come out from Wardell's delicatessen - where Farmers is nowadays. She was obviously European and had a fresh batch of ground coffee in her cane basket. The coffee smelt wonderful.

''I followed her, a bit like a dog might, up towards the Octagon. Then I went back to Wardell's and wandered around and smelt everything I could. I was about 17. It was just utopia.

''I also remember my father drinking chicory coffee. It was in a bottle and it poured out with the consistency of, I suppose, tomato sauce - quite thick and very, very dark, like liquid Marmite. Before that he used to drink dandelion coffee. It was a distinctive smell, let me tell you.''

I think you can still get both kinds of coffee. But they wouldn't be my cup of tea, so to speak.

 

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