You tell me - what's in a name

There's only so much room on the lip of those small jars. An incoming silvereye creates space for itself in Lloyd Palmer's Purakaunui garden by nudging its mate into the sugar water. Photo: Lloyd Palmer
There's only so much room on the lip of those small jars. An incoming silvereye creates space for itself in Lloyd Palmer's Purakaunui garden by nudging its mate into the sugar water. Photo: Lloyd Palmer
It's time to address the wax-eye in the room.

Or should that be the silvereye in the room?

There's been a bit of debate in the office about which is the correct name to use in these parts. One thought was that wax-eye is a more traditional South Island label and the other is the Australian version.

Personally I prefer wax-eye, but I've been using silvereye as most of your contributions have named the birds thus (interesting also that one option has a hyphen).

So what should we do about this? Your suggestions are welcomed.

Decimal currency

Keeping with the nostalgic theme of old TV, Norman Kirk and carless days, a colleague yesterday pointed out it was 51 years since New Zealand changed to decimal currency.

Anyone have some memories of that day they would like to share?

My recollections are of the slightly more recent decimal changeover in Britain in February 1971. I was almost 6 and very excited to go to the Iver Heath shops with mum, hoping to collect one of each type of new coin. I think I got a new, and tiny, ½p piece.

Galling gulls

We seem to talk a lot about birds in this column. But we're exposing a gamut of views and covering many breeds, so that's good.

Geraldine resident Robin Scott recalls a tree house they built as children in the 1940s and a painting of it, from a photo, by local artist Roy Entwistle. "He took some artistic licence with the colour, it was just plain boards. I've no idea where the pho
Geraldine resident Robin Scott recalls a tree house they built as children in the 1940s and a painting of it, from a photo, by local artist Roy Entwistle. "He took some artistic licence with the colour, it was just plain boards. I've no idea where the photo is now. The tree house certainly didn't have planning permission,'' Robin said. Photo: Hugh McCafferty
Robert Buxton writes to say he was ''done over by a seagull'' the other day.

''I'd just purchased some tasty chicken-salted chips, piled high in a pottle from the Macandrew Bay dairy.

''As I stepped out from the front veranda, I was dive-bombed by a seagull that must have been poised on the roof. Perfectly timed dive from over my shoulder, so no warning.

''Half the contents were on the footpath, along with a large flock of happy gulls. I haven't gone back, so don't know if they share the dive-bombing role or whether the mob are enjoying the exploits of one cunning and heroic gull.''

Unfortunate spelling

Carol Shortt of Mornington spotted an unusual spelling on a Ritchies bus parked at the Mornington terminus.

''I was idly reading the stickers on it.

''I had to take a second look at one by the front doors. It said: 'Emergency Push Buttom to Open'.

''Yes, it was definitely 'buttom' instead of 'button'.

''I pointed it out to the driver, who said he'd never noticed it before. We both thought it was very funny.

''The next Ritchies bus was exactly the same. I wonder how many buses have this same sticker on them?''

Thanks Carol. It is slightly unbecoming in terms of emergency procedures and definitely quite funny.

I went to Ritchies' area manager for Dunedin and Queenstown, Peter Varrie, who said he was correcting the typo.

''Funny - but not!'' he said.

Thanks to Carol and Peter for sorting this out. Thanks from the buttom of my heart.

Columnist on holiday

Just a bit of notice that I'm taking a few days off next week for some battery-recharging on the West Coast (alpine passes permitting).

Hence there won't be a column next week, I'm sorry to say.

If there's something you really need to get in the column this week, make sure you send it through today or tomorrow.

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