Rich range of smells in cycling to school

We had the Ravensbourne kiwifruit vine and now we've got tamarillos in Northeast Valley. Heather Murray says the tree, from a local nursery, grew rapidly against a north-facing wall. This is its first year of bearing fruit and it has produced 16 tamarillo
We had the Ravensbourne kiwifruit vine and now we've got tamarillos in Northeast Valley. Heather Murray says the tree, from a local nursery, grew rapidly against a north-facing wall. This is its first year of bearing fruit and it has produced 16 tamarillos. Photo: Heather Murray
Doesn't it feel like early spring already?

There's that feeling of chilly, sunny optimism in the air, particularly first thing and towards dusk, an anticipation of milder and longer days to come.

There are so many blossoms out, bulbs sprouting and buds getting ready to burst. I'm sure we have mislaid (to date) somewhere about six weeks or more of traditional winter. What's the likelihood it will come in September and October instead?

Collectables
Hot on the heels of our coverage of the old Gregg's jellies cards and albums, Joyce, of Milton, rang to ask if anyone can remember the free marbles in the late 1950s or thereabouts.

''You used to get a marble in Gregg's jelly packets. As you opened the little cardboard box, sitting on top of the packet was the marble.

''They were just the ordinary, clear glass marbles with the colour inside, green or blue. That was when I was about 10 but I think my brother got most of them. We also had the ships album - I remember the Bismarck card.''

Smells of yore
Diann Harper, of Oamaru, writes to say ''smells are what life is all about''.

''A newborn baby in your arms, children bathed and ready for a story, but most of all the smell of a real roast dinner, my mother's. She always brought the family together.

''I can still see her bringing the oyster savouries out of the Shacklock oven. What a heavenly smell!

Here's an awe-inspiring image from Brian Chalmers. This is a very active cold front out of the southern oceans sweeping north along the Otago coast, photographed from Ocean View. I bet this hit with a bang! Photo: Emily Larkins
Here's an awe-inspiring image from Brian Chalmers. This is a very active cold front out of the southern oceans sweeping north along the Otago coast, photographed from Ocean View. I bet this hit with a bang! Photo: Emily Larkins
''How I loved those times - family together, chattering away together. Whenever we have a roast at home, those times come back to me vividly.''

Thanks Diann. I've never had an oyster savoury but I remember Shacklock ovens.

Pete Strang, of Caversham, has ''pungent memories'' of cycling in the mid-1950s to King's High School from Green Island.

''It was the Green Island tanneries and the smell could be almost overwhelming some mornings, especially if there was no wind and a frost. It was an almost sickly smell and quite unpleasant.

''It was good to get up into Burnside and leave it behind, except that the Burnside freezing works could add to the mix on some days. Harraway's mill was much more pleasant, with the smell of grain.

''I seldom see guys on bikes these days cycling from out there to King's. We carried everything - sports gear, books, sometimes taking a 'shortcut' up Stevenson Rd, gravel in those days.

''Cavy Valley Rd was a challenge on frosty mornings and I can remember coming off on the ice turning into David St. We also used the old Cavy railway tunnel without torches, riding along directly under the beam of light along the roof.

''Today pin-stripe suits and laptops might prevent such challenges - although in my late 70s, I still ride a bike, albeit electric, but have my laptop in a pack on my back.

''Health and safety is the catch cry at present, but I believe to take some risks is the elixir of life. It saddened me on one afternoon recently to see a bus pull over in Green Island and disgorge a lot of King's guys, suited and looking very dapper. They don't know what they are missing.

''We are all becoming much too sensible.''

An interesting last point, Pete. I'm surprised the sellers of cotton wool aren't up there with Apple as trillion-dollar companies.

There's some instability in the atmosphere, if the cumulus clouds building up in this photo taken from Portobello are anything to go by. Photo: Emily Larkins
There's some instability in the atmosphere, if the cumulus clouds building up in this photo taken from Portobello are anything to go by. Photo: Emily Larkins
Central Otago 2050
There have been a few responses to my call for your clairvoyancy skills when it comes to Central Otago's future.

David George, of Cromwell, emails to advocate for ''population limits'' in the Queenstown Lakes District.

''And tourist limits,'' he says. ''If we do not realise these limits, we will ruin the rural open aspect of our region.

''I think the 'progress' we see today will spread out into the Maniototo, South Otago and North Otago. We forget that the opening of the Haast road 50 years ago created a flow-through.

''I doubt that a limit will be achieved by edict, or decree. It should happen in Queenstown first - with a natural limit on bed numbers - and maybe the capacity of the airport.

''As a Cromwell-born person, I reckon people come here to move into the slow lane. To rest and re-create. So why hustle us into the fast lane?''

Thanks David. The prospect of the Maniototo becoming as crowded and hell-bent on growth, led by greedy developers, as the Queenstown-Wanaka area is pretty frightening.

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