The weather man always delivers

Back-seat driving? It’s often hard to agree on the right direction. Linnet Hunter, of Titri,...
Back-seat driving? It’s often hard to agree on the right direction. Linnet Hunter, of Titri, snapped this animal match-up of Tui the donkey taking Mischief the goat for a ride.

I'm happy to confess publicly I'm a weather nut. Who knows why we're interested in what we are, but there you go, the weather has been a major part of my life since I was about 6 years old. I guess it's like the sea and gets in your blood.

During my first stint at the ODT, then chief of staff Clarke Isaacs was quick to pick up on my meteorological fascination. A drop of rain would be enough to have him calling across the newsroom: "Paul Gorman - weather story; Mr Gorman - weather story.'' I was always happy to oblige.

One of the great ironies is that on my last day as weather reporter at the ODT, in December 1993, I was flooded out. Heavy rain had soaked through the roof, streamed down the then freshly painted walls, and sat in puddles across my desk, much to everyone's amusement. I checked out that same desk the other day - where reporter Tim Miller is now fortunate to sit - and there's no sign of residual water damage. In fact, the peachy-creamy paint job has endured particularly well during the past 24 years, but that's another story.

Whatever your view of Dunedin weather, let's face it, there's plenty of it. This week, members of the Meteorological Society of New Zealand have been in town for their annual conference. You might think that if the weather isn't good when there's 100 or more forecasters in town, it never will be. I guess they haven't done too bad a job.

That brings me to another challenge for you. I've always loved those surnames that some people have that describe or are somehow relevant to the job they do. For example, at the MetService in Christchurch I worked with a weather forecaster whose surname was Frost. Another had the initials H.A.L.O.

Do you have any good examples to share? Please email them to:

Favourite first lines continue to arrive and make the frustrated author in me wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?''.

Jeana McCaughan, of Corstorphine's pick is from The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton: "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind. Paul Newman and a ride home.'' Jeana says one of the main reasons she likes this is because it also forms the closing of the book.

Ross Davies, of Mosgiel, likes: "I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.'' That's the hilarious beginning of Bill Bryson's first book, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America.

And Philip Temple, of Dunedin, chose Ian McEwan's Black Dogs: "Ever since I lost mine in a road accident when I was eight, I have had my eye on other people's parents.''

ODT reporter Samuel White likes the twist in Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice beginning. "It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.''

Keep your responses and photos rolling in please. Tomorrow we'll take a look at some of your most embarrassing messages when the predictive text was out of control.

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