Welcome back folk, have you been away?

An old bathtub full of ice plants (I think) and put to good use at Taieri Mouth.
An old bathtub full of ice plants (I think) and put to good use at Taieri Mouth.
Firstly, I apologise if I’ve upset anyone for slipping into that terrible trap of welcoming you back when you haven’t necessarily been anywhere.

I received a note saying I was getting awfully close to the folly of "TV newsreaders, [who] tend to use the same cheerily inaccurate greeting after an advertising break".

"It seems to me that it is you, rather than we, who have been away."

I do agree with the comment about the TV newsreaders during an hour-long programme But I think it would be fair to assume that, given it is a day since the last "What’s With That" column, you have also been away somewhere else during those 24 hours, and not glued to the newspaper until the next one arrives.

During those hours I’ve been inundated by the night cart and with your stories about outside toilets in general. This thread really seems to have struck a chord.

Heather Turner emails to say she certainly remembers the night carts, especially the one run by Terry Coster in Ranfurly, where her family lived in the 1950s.

"Thankfully there’s nothing like that now," Heather says.

John from Port Chalmers also recalls "Binky" Olsen, the local night-cart contractor around the area who was mentioned by Neville Lean in this column yesterday.

"Interesting to read about ‘Binky’ Olsen.  I remember his Bedford night vehicle very well.

"As a lifelong motoring enthusiast, it is my humble opinion that Binky had the best motor car in Port by far.

"This would have been circa 1950. It was a splendid 1947-48 Chrysler Windsor,  possibly an ex-ministerial vehicle, I think two-tone dark something and blue.

"Maybe there is something in that old saying, ‘there is money in s...’ after all?"

More on the night cart tomorrow.

Maggie of Alexandra has always been keen to lend her owners Pam and Don Sparks a helping paw,...
Maggie of Alexandra has always been keen to lend her owners Pam and Don Sparks a helping paw, even when she was just a few weeks old, as seen here. Photo: Pam Sparks
Helpful pets

Pam Sparks of Alexandra has shared the lovely photo of Maggie helping out with the pots in the kitchen when she was just a puppy.

"Maggie has turned into a beautifully natured 3-year-old who helps with cuddles on the couch at night, greeting us when we come home, making us get out and walk each day, and with spreading the joy of life."

She’s a real cutie, Pam.

Libby Stevens says she was interested to read about our visiting cat-in-residence, Gus or Peaches.

"At present I am writing the story of my late husband’s journey through his illness. I thought you might be interested in ‘Cleo’ and her part in the journey. I now have the greatest respect for animals as intelligent companions.

Tyres doing their bit to arrest coastal erosion at Taieri Mouth. Photo: Ben Pearse
Tyres doing their bit to arrest coastal erosion at Taieri Mouth. Photo: Ben Pearse
"From March 7, 2013 we had a regular visitor to our home. I had first met her when I was out in the vegetable garden and she appeared coming out of the house dragging along a bra of mine. An Abyssinian cat.

"I managed to get her to drop my bra and later found a sock in the front garden — its mate was on my dressing table.

"Cleo (we called her) would come through our window at night and curl up on our bed with us.

"Throughout Kerry’s illness she stayed by his side, curled up on his lap or would sit by the pantry door until Kerry gave her the Temptations that I had begun to buy for her.

"It is as if she was aware that Kerry needed a minder.

"After Kerry went to hospital she disappeared. I have not seen her since."

Thanks for that poignant story, Libby. I’m sure animals can sense things we can’t. Putting the record straightI had a lovely note from Beryl Naismith , the widow of Dunedin dentist Ed Bonney, who featured in our column last week and in the A Day In The Life Of New Zealand book from the photo shoot of March 18, 1983.

"What a surprise to open up yesterday’s ODT (4.10.18) and see  the two photos of my late husband dentist Ed Bonney. Please note, ‘Bonney’ was misspelt in the book, hence misspelt in your column.

"I was the receptionist for the practice and I well remember that day."

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